Case Study - Dot Dot Dash Coaching
In conversation with Elizabeth Fraser-Betts
My name’s Liz Fraser and my background is in the arts, specifically in museum and gallery education. I used to head up education departments in galleries and museums, working with adults, children and older people, and a lot around arts and well-being, in London and internationally.
Dot Dot Dash Coaching is a coaching business. I help people achieve their goals and help people get to where they want to be, through individual coaching sessions, workshops, bigger learning programmes and group coaching. Coaching essentially is helping people with their mind models, and figuring out what their goals are and how to achieve them. The idea for the business came when I was on my second maternity leave. I had just had my daughter and I decided to train myself as a coach, and through that process, had coaching myself, and I found it extremely helpful.
I was at a crossroads in my life, wondering what to do and how to juggle childcare and working, and then when I did go back to work, I was in the unfortunate position of being made redundant, partly because of my childcare situation. I then wanted to use my coaching experience to help other parents. That became the mission of my business, helping support women or parents who were in a similar position to me get the confidence and motivation, and figure out the best way possible through coaching, when returning back to work or trying to juggle childcare and work/life balance.
I started my business in late 2019, just before the pandemic, which, in a way, was an opportunity for me, because a lot of people were in a situation where they were wondering what to do with their lives. We were stuck at home, so my business model went onto Zoom and online, which really worked for me. The journey so far has been just that – a journey – and I think that I have had to pivot along the way.
I initially wanted to focus on parents and women, but I have moved more into the creative sector, helping companies with their coaching culture, coaching approach, doing group coaching sessions for teams, and just adapting along the way to serve my needs as a business and my clients.
The growth curve
There are a lot of ideas, energy, excitement, and it’s a great time, because you can experiment with those ideas, you can try something out and if it fails, you can adapt it, and in that way it is an exciting time. I think the reason I have been able to grow is because of the relationships I’ve built with individuals, with clients, and then business starts to come to you, rather than you trying to get yourself out there and pitch for it.
It’s really been that kind of strengthening of networks and relationships, but also pivoting to what people need. So, as I said during the pandemic, there was a lot of specific coaching people wanted around career, around confidence, around motivation, so it was adapting what I was offering to what people out there wanted and needed, and that was best for both worlds.
The biggest challenge is when things don’t go to plan. Initially when I started out, I had a business model of coaching workshops face to face, then the pandemic hit and everybody had to go inside, and so I had to very quickly adapt that model to being an online business. Consequently, as we came out of the pandemic, I had to adapt back to being face to face.
But I think the biggest challenge really for any business owner is those times where you’ve got lots and lots of work and you can’t really manage, and then you have times when it can be quiet and you think ‘what’s next?’ So it’s that constant rollercoaster of busyness and quietness and how you get that balance.
I’m really proud of everything I’ve achieved. 3 years down the line and I’m still going. I think if I was to look at all of it, it’s the small wins, it’s the working with that client and them having that boost of confidence or getting that job. And also, getting the bigger wins, like winning ‘that client’, and essentially fulfilling my mission of helping support people through the struggles of their life and helping people achieve their goals.
I’ve always been interested in the coaching, well-being and arts side. I’ve recently become a mental health first aider, and I think there’s lots and lots of potential to combine the three of them – coaching, creativity and well-being, so I really want to strengthen that side of my business.
The other thing is using creative ways more, using visual stimulation. I’ve worked a lot with the creative sector, but I’d love to take what I’m doing to the corporate sector, because I think it’s unique and not really being done there. So that’s the way I am currently growing my business.
I think I’d say don’t be afraid to fail, because failing is how you learn, how you pivot and how you experiment with all those exciting ideas you have. So, my advice would be know your values, the purpose of your business, because they are your compass and the thing that directs you, and the thing that helps you get back on track.
Don’t be tempted by the sparkly objects that might promise you money, but aren’t actually fulfilling your purpose. And just enjoy the ride – as I said before, it is a rollercoaster, but it’s a fun one and if you can keep going with it, it will be worthwhile.
Using 1st Formations
I think it was my accountant that recommended 1st Formations, and it was really easy to find you. It was really simple, an easy website which looked really professional, and I trusted straight way. I think when you start your own business, it’s really overwhelming and there’s all those little bits you need to know that you’ve never thought to do, so I think that’s why it was helpful, because it felt like everything was in one place, and it was easy to use for somebody who didn’t know what they were doing.
1st Formations today
I use the address service, which has been easy to use and really useful, and again, just takes care of that logistical part of my business, so I don’t have to think about it, and it all just comes to me in a really helpful way.