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Former Black Watch Captain finds his place in civvy street

Matthew Atkin spent the first three and a half years of his working life serving in The Black Watch. From his time as a 2nd Lieutenant at Sandhurst until he left the Army with the rank of Captain, The Black Watch operated as mechanised infantry in BAOR interspersed with a six-month tour in Belfast.

Finding ActionCOACH
“I began looking for a new business opportunity, that’s when I got a call from ActionCOACH. I learned about their tried and tested system and support structure and I thought my experience would work well with the franchise. So, in June 2009, I went to ActionCOACH training in Las Vegas for an initial 10 days. It was extremely challenging, intensive and I came away with my head boiling. You are given a huge amount of information and you need to convert that into the practical reality of being a good business coach.

“In August 2009, I launched my ActionCOACH business in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. I was slow in getting to grips with sales and marketing. Whilst I had negotiation experience as a farmer, I did not have marketing experience – farm commodities sell in any volume at a given price and property is put onto the market for offers. The support from our franchisor in this area has improved exponentially in the last three years. Few military people have sales and marketing experience, but at ActionCOACH the education is provided and all you need is the will and application to succeed.”

A rewarding business
“Initially, I worked from home but later took on office space on a flexible basis near my clients. The business has grown year-on-year consistently for seven consecutive years. Part of the attraction of ActionCOACH was that it’s a cash generative business whereas, previously, I had always been involved in asset heavy business - farmers live poor but die rich. I valued that most highly at that stage of my career and it remains true today.

“I have a variety of client needs that vary from meeting for one hour a month to being in their business for a full day a month plus weekly contact in between. I have 10 clients (an average client invests £1,500 per month), which generates an income that matches anything I’ve ever had before. Livestock farming and the Army can be 24/7 and the beauty about ActionCOACH is you can make it what you want - some coaches work a full five-day week and others choose less.

“I’m gravitating towards a four-day work week, spending more time managing our own future. People bust a gut to make money and then spend very little time managing it afterwards. They abandon it to others and hope it works in stocks, property or a pension. We’re in a position as Action Coaches to learn about how to manage our assets and money more wisely. One of the options is that you can still buy another business and grow it whilst being an Action Coach.

“The rewards aren’t just in the form of income for me. I enjoy helping business owners transform. I’ve been working with a veterinary clinic for five years. It has grown by 75% in gross turnover terms and now employs 35 people. To grow the business, you’ve got to take market share in a crowded marketplace and while supermarkets get excited by a 1.5% increase in market share, you can see why we are so pleased with the growth of this business! Profits are up by 380% and the value of business is up by 500%. Profitability is important as it gives you the cash to invest in great people and systems but it also allows the business owner to draw money from the business to enjoy life. The owner used to be a vet who happened to run a business, now she is a businesswoman who happens to run a veterinary clinic. She’s currently using some of the profit to upgrade the clinic to hospital status, but the real value comes with having a business that she can sell at the time she decides to retire or take on a new challenge.

“ActionCOACH is a great business to be in once you are established. You need to be willing to invest time in training and lifelong learning but you buy the systems and support that you need to succeed.”

Next Step
If you'd like to be your own boss with our support and you:

A) get a buzz from helping others succeed
B) love learning and developing yourself
C) have enjoyed success in your career or sport…

Then find out more by watching the 6-minute overview video at actioncoach.co.uk