Spotlight on Kirsty Waite
Here at Spotlight, we had the opportunity to chat with Kirsty Waite, founder of Kirsty Waite Business Coaching. She spoke to us about her background and also gave some brilliant advice for those starting their careers.
A background into you and your business?
I was brought up in a family business and around entrepreneurs so understanding how a business works is part of my DNA. When I left school, I was keen to go out into the world and create a big impact but was never 100% sure what I wanted to do. I found myself going into finance and down the route of accountancy, knowing it wasn’t really for me but I did well and progressed quickly. I changed my path slightly to specialize in Risk Management, Internal Controls, Compliance and Business Processes, where I spent the last 15-years. I still felt I wasn’t really doing what lit me up however, I got to travel the world and lead teams of great people so it kept me interested.
After a spell of stress, anxiety a few years ago I hit a wall of burnout from the corporate world and started exploring what else is out there and how I could fulfil my own passion as well as have a successful career. At that time this seemed impossible as I was brought up around the concept you need to work so hard you practically work yourself to the ground to be deemed successful and that’s pretty much what I was doing to myself. I felt so out of alignment, I was definitely walking someone else’s path to success.
I pretty much went on a journal of self-discovery/self-development for the last 7 years to figure out who I was VS who I believed I should be. During that time, I worked with therapists, coaches, and mentors. Read more books and listened to more podcasts than I care to remember. I was on a mission to feel fulfilled in life.
I took a look back over my career and carved out the elements that actually gave me energy and filled my cup up VS what drained me and left me feeling exhausted. It was soon clear people and places are where I thrived. Getting people motivated, engaged and inspired is what I loved to do and travelling while I did that was ideal. My role’s over the past 15 years have all given me that to some degree but not enough. The other stuff that I had to do was way too much of a drain on me.
I decided I wanted to become a better leader so decided to take a diploma in coaching and mentoring. I paid for this myself and did it in my own time. As part of this process, I had to have x number of hours coaching various people. So, I began to explore coaching independently outside of an organization and this was like a light bulb turning on. I LOVED it and I soon realised I could do this full time and then my business was born.
Not knowing what I truly wanted to do; I ended up down a path that was definitely not aligned with who I was. I was not fully qualified in that field but was doing well regardless and held a successful career BUT I was never 100% committed with my heart because I knew it wasn’t what I should be doing. Once you are so far up one corporate ladder it's hard to change what you are doing without a significant salary impact. I felt stuck to a degree.
When I experienced burnout I made a commitment to myself that I wanted to be truly happy in whatever it was that I did so I invested time and money finding out what made me happy and then explored that further and further until today, where you find me very happy doing something I love and am very good at.
Persistence, determination and realigning with my authentic myself.
Drive and Determination
My drive and determination comes from helping as many business owners to thrive as I possibly can. I want to help them achieve things they have only dreamed of. I want to empower people to create something that aligns with their authentic selves. I want people to know there is another way, you don’t have to stay just because that’s the status quo and it's never too late.
The biggest lesson that you’ve learnt along the way
It has to be more than just about the money. I followed that path for a long time and it didn’t bring me happiness.
Three tips for those starting their careers
Don’t feel like once you have chosen a path you can't change.
Treat people how you want to be treated.
Do what you want, not what anyone else expects of you.
Advice to those wanting to start a business
Starting a business is hard and messy. I don’t think it's for everyone but if you are passionate about making a positive difference and have the will to succeed then go for it.
Advice for people aiming for leadership positions
Be conscious about the kind of leader you want to be. Leaders are not the heroes, they create the heroes. It's all about inspiring and empowering others to be the best they can be. Finally, don’t shy away from difficult conversations.
The best and worst parts of your job
The best is seeing people thrive in their business and creating amazing things in the world that they are so proud of and being part of that journey. The worst is it can be very draining; I give so much to my clients I need to manage my energy really carefully.
I am currently working on creating my group signature programme based on the framework I use with my 1:1 clients so I can hopefully help more people who don’t have access to me 1:1.