Simon Tomkins

Simon Tomkins is a life coach on a mission to empower millions of people to live more healthy, balanced and fulfilling lives. He runs a coaching company, including a team of talented and passionate coaches. 

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your professional journey/venture/initiative and what inspired you to choose this career.

I grew up in a loving family in the countryside in England; I went to boarding school from 11 to 18 years old, where I had seven incredible years. In boarding school, I learned to work with and understand children from all different backgrounds and walks of life. I became more interested in human behaviour and communication in my late teens. I got a job in a pub where I realised how much I love working with people. I decided not to go to university to pursue engineering. I then got a job in sales for a drinks company; this kicked off a 10-year career where I learned to master the art of sales and leadership. 

During this time, I continued building my understanding of people – how they think,  feel and behave, and how to influence them. I learned advanced listening and questioning techniques, which I didn’t know then were the foundations of coaching. I learned how to build rapport and connect with many people – mainly the owners of pubs, bars, hotels, and restaurants all around London and the UK. 

At 24, I Co-founded an ethical fashion business in Nairobi, Kenya – I worked on this for two years alongside my job. It didn’t work out, but we created jobs in Nairobi, had some incredible experiences and learned valuable lessons.

Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.

Before I turned 30, I decided I needed to quit my job and go travelling – something I had been meaning to do all of my twenties but had never quite got around to doing. 

I spent 14 months travelling around the world, immersing myself in the experience – learning about other cultures and people. I visited Dubai, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, California, and Mexico. While I was travelling, I continued to study psychology and personal development.I returned at the end of February 2020, just as covid broke out. My savings were gone, but I couldn’t get a job. I knew it was time to follow my purpose.I stayed with my parents, did an online life coaching course, built my website, and started coaching people for free to develop my skills. 

Later that year, I took a job as Head of Sales to bring in some money. Eighteen months later, with my finances in better order and a few paying clients, I handed in my notice to launch my coaching business.

Tell us about your goals, interests, and role models.

Many people have inspired me – famous leaders and thinkers such as Gandhi and Marcus Aurelius. Stephen Covey, the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, is the person I most aspire to be like. I first read his book when I was 25 – it changed the course of my life. My original ideas are clear and concise yet thoroughly explained; they formed the basis of much of my work with my clients today. And every one of the habits he identified and made famous has helped me succeed. I have many interests. In addition to psychology and coaching, I love learning new things and being active. To name a few: diving, surfing, snowboarding, motorcycling, juggling, spinning fire staffs, hiking, playing tennis, swimming, cycling, climbing and street photography.I have a lot of goals in life. On a personal note, I recently got engaged to my soulmate and the love of my life. We want to buy our dream home and start a family in the next couple of years. I want to continue having adventures – enjoying nature and exploring the world. 

My professional goals are constantly evolving; at the moment, I’m working on my first book, which I would like to publish within the following year. I want to change and improve how coaching is marketed and sold in the UK. I want to create coaching and training programs that empower people worldwide to make the most of their lives. I want to continue doing more public speaking to raise awareness of what stops people from achieving happiness and how they can overcome it.

Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?

My study of the principles of success prepared me for many challenges that I knew I would encounter.

I believe the biggest one that trips most people up, stopping them before they even begin, is the fear of failure. There are two parts to this:

  1. Fear of what people will think of you if you fail
  2. Fear of the practical consequences if you fail

I overcame both these elements in the following ways:

  1. I gathered support from the people closest to me, I sought assurance that they believed in me and that no matter what happened they wouldn’t judge me but would support me. I learned that they would admire me if I failed because I had taken a chance to follow my vision.
  2. I considered the worst-case scenario if I were to fail. I worked out how I would recover from it, and what my backup plan would be. I considered how I would benefit, even if my business wasn’t successful. I realised that it would be okay, that I would learn a lot and be better off for having tried.

Taking these actions dissolved my fears and empowered me to move forward.

What impact do you feel you have been able to create with your work so far and how would you want to grow in the next few years?

So far, I have impacted a relatively small number of people in a huge way and a large number of people in a small way. 

Through my one-on-one coaching, I take people through coaching programs from two months to a year in length, which are life-changing. They learn a lot about themselves, change their feelings and behaviours, and develop new habits and routines. They learn to enjoy life more and have a more positive impact on all the people around them while enjoying more success. So, I have had a significant impact on these people’s lives and the people and their lives. 

Through my newsletter, public speaking, and social media, I’ve shared many important and influential messages that can contribute to people’s growth. Thanks and feedback have let me know how I have helped people. 

Over the next few years, I want to scale up my business to help more people through one-on-one coaching with my team. I also want to amplify my voice so that I can be heard by many more. I want to launch many affordable methods for people to create change in their lives. 

While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?

As I mentioned earlier in this interview, the pandemic forced me to rethink my plan when I returned from my travels. Ultimately, I used it as an opportunity to study coaching, and it gave me time to build the foundations of my business. 

Covid has transformed how we work and communicate – moving us into a more remote world. This created an environment much more favourable for an online coaching business. As people are now familiar with the technology and the concept of video calls, it’s enabled me to coach people all around the UK and the world.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?

The biggest achievement was going all in, putting my fears and doubts aside, and having faith in myself to follow my passion and purpose in life. Doing this allowed me to be successful. I could find and attract incredible clients, do life-changing work, and earn more money than I had hoped for. 

I’m most proud that I did all this with integrity and authenticity. 

By the end of my first year, I had created a lot of valuable content, tried many things, evolved the business in meaningful ways and created a six-figure revenue.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

A world where more people consciously live healthy, balanced, and fulfilling lives. A world where people discover and define their purpose, realise that they deserve it and then find the courage and belief to go after it.

What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?

The scarier something is, the more you will gain from doing it. 

That may mean ending a relationship or starting a new career, which may mean giving up a part of yourself that isn’t serving you. If you notice a little feeling or fear inside you when you consider doing something, it’s probably important, and you will have a lot to gain if you push through the discomfort.

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?

I coach many successful women who founded their own businesses or climbed the corporate ladder to the senior ranks. These women are fearless, determined and motivated. One observation I’ve made is that the fact that they are women never seems to enter even the most profound conversations we have. 

Viewing oneself as a person rather than a man or a woman can reduce a label that may be unhelpful and liberate you to focus on your path and your goals. 

The playing field is now more level than ever before, which creates an excellent opportunity for women to fulfil their potential, professionally and personally.

With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

In my experience, no label that could hinder you is helpful. That label could be: I’m dyslexic, I’m introverted, or I’m a woman in a man’s workplace. 

Focusing on the positives, strengths, potential, and stories that build you up and give you confidence is more productive. Think about what you have achieved and overcome in your life, focus on your vision and work towards it. Anything is possible.