Coaching has come into its own and is no longer a fad. Coaching is a strong business necessity that helps to make the most of your resources and your personal skills, as Paula Bellamy, Managing Director for Oceanwide Logistics Dubai (OL Dubai), part of a global network of companies covering international freight forwarding, discovered and continues to leverage.

Having been personally coached by Maria Pearson, co-Founder of Grow.Me, Paula grew her self-confidence to launch OL Dubai in 2016. Run as part of a global network of freight forwarding offices, she used the tools developed by Grow.Me to help craft and create a launch pad for her own successful business.

“The Grow.Me team has been excellent in diagnosing where we needed to create a focus for a successful, sustainable business and how to deliver on that,” said Paula. “When I first came to Dubai in 2011, I was working for someone else and needed help to understand how this market worked. I realised, quite quickly, that I needed someone like Maria and the Grow.Me team to boost my confidence and make the most of my business acumen. Add to that, her local knowledge was invaluable.”

Within five years of working with Grow Me, Paula had a business model, investors in place to set up a new business within the logistics sector. In the first six months, she had to rethink her strategy and direction and, with Grow Me’s help, has built a more sustainable business.

According to Paula, coaching helps you to understand whether you are working “in the business” or “on the business”. It helped to clarify and make better use of her resources which included her own team and the network of offices around the globe. Grow.Me helped her to empower her team to work “in the business” to operate smoothly while Paula focused on what the business needed to make it sustainable.

Grow Me’s strategy has always been about helping teams make the most of its resources – whether they are the team’s personal strengths or the company’s overall strategy.

Maria Pearson of Grow Me pointed out, “While a company may have a sound business idea, the team executing determine success or failure. The strategy needs to make the most of the gifts people bring and help them focus in the same direction and work as a team. Paula has always had excellent business acumen and an eye for an opportunity but to step forward we needed to provide an sounding board and support her confidence to carry the plan through. We are thrilled that she has successfully established and grown OL Dubai, her own business within the last two years.”

For Paula, the key lesson from the ongoing experience has been that while growth is an onward journey, “you do need to look back to learn from the things that went right as well as wrong and build on that. The key to our success (and will continue to be) is slow sustainable growth.”

Her three key takeaways that she learnt from her journey that she would share with anyone starting out on their own include:

  • Take notes: At the beginning of each week, empty your mind on paper, creating tasks and to do lists; tick off the things that are done and roll over the rest for completion
  • Looking back: Looking back (this is where the notes help) to help you to deal with situations that might have occurred before and learning and building on them.
  • Support: Having someone there to help and guide you or focus your efforts is important especially if you don’t have a business partner or shareholders.

Using a business coach is not just important for a start-up because you need to have someone sitting on the outside to look in on your business but also as you grow since you need to make the growth transition even more smooth and effortless.