Before I started seeing Shirley, my life coach, I was in a very bad space in my life. I was hurt, broken and constantly emotional and I had psoriasis. I was sleeping very badly due to a lot of things on my mind all the time. I was very angry at myself and started having problems at work because of the emotional stresses in life. I started to lose a lot of my friends and my social life started fading away. I was just a mess and thought there was no way out until I met Shirley. My first session with Shirley was amazing because I felt very comfortable around her and instantly knew she was someone I could trust. I of course didn’t just tell her everything in one day. Shirley never ever judged me or told me I was wrong but always gave me the amazing advice and guidance I needed. As time passed on I would be very excited to go to my next session to tell Shirley about my improvements and how my week was. One of the things Shirley asked me was whether I dealt with the diagnosis of psoriasis. She helped me get through it. We can’t control what happens in our lives if we don’t know where to start but having a life coach changed my life forever. Shirley worked through each and everything I needed help with and not once did she ever make me feel less of myself but only ever uplifted me. Things started falling back into place because of the guidance and knowledge that I received through Shirley. When I did have my bad days I knew I could send a message or call Shirley just to give me advice and talk me through what was wrong. Thank you Shirley for changing me into a better person. “Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible.” – Cherie-Carter Scott


I met this lady with flair in an interview and instantly connected with her warmth, maturity and experience. Shirley and I met when I interviewed her for a position on my project and appointed her for the bespoke role. I have discovered much more than a project manager but a friend who resonated with me immediately. As we got to know each other, over many cups of coffee, we also connected on a personal level and shared more and more about ourselves. She said she was an unofficial coach to her kids and some friends and I really craved someone to unpack my soul with. As everyone has issues I also had deep things which, if exposed to family, might create more tension than resolution. When she said she was doing her professional coaching certification I was quite keen to be her proxy and volunteered. We met on a Saturday afternoon and unpacked my issues which were quite visible to me but not to anyone else. She brought a dimension of understanding which was so obvious but I did not connect those dots. She showed me the relationship dimension between my father and I was resonating in my personal stresses and resulted in my own discomforts around executive relationships. I was amazed at the realisation that these damaged connections present in my life, spilled over in my professional life and the craving of approval from a father figure impacted the way in which I related to executive figures. This realisation in itself brought so much insight and healing and moved me forward over my fear. It is still a healing process but something I understand and can explain now and have insight to manage going forward. Although it is still early days and Shirley and I will still have sessions going forward it was a massive stepping stone to move forward in my career and to boost my self-confidence. She is an excellent friend and coach. I really appreciate the interaction and hope for a long journey going forward. “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” – Plato


My coaching journey with Shirley: The origins of “coaching”…The first use of the term "coach" in connection with an instructor or trainer arose around 1830 in Oxford University slang for a tutor who "carried" a student through an exam. The word "coaching" thus identified a process used to transport people from where they are to where they want to be.I met Shirley Pool in 2011 and I wish it had happened sooner. Shirley graciously gave her free time to support me through my career development and personal goal achievement. At the time we were both employed by the same company, however I came across Shirley’s skills profile in 2009 and I was in awe of the strong programme management and general IT experience Shirley had in her profile. There are not many local South African women working in IT management roles for +/- 30 years, whilst being a mother and raising a family. In 2009, I knew already, that should I meet Shirley in person, I would love to have a coffee with her and find out how she made her way through her roles and have some insight into this strong woman’s career, so that I too can see the possibilities in my own career. I have a background in human resources and resource management but my dreams and aspirations were to move into project management. Shirley helped me put my goals into achievable small chunks and together we made it happen. The journey took some time, had huge learning spikes and challenges for me. However, from a coaching and mentoring perspective, Shirley helped me focus on what is achievable now, what can we plan for and what key choices and opportunities I should potentially look out for. In isolation and without insight from someone who has been there, done that so to say, it was a limited view of the horizon, based on my experience. Shirley helped me think differently and I soon started to learn from her experience. I was a single parent during this journey and not everyone is privileged with the time to make every mistake themselves, so Shirley taught me how to grasp the lessons learnt and apply them in real life experiences. I also experienced a very traumatic attack in my home, which led to a criminal court case and thankfully a successful end. However trauma does take its toll on one’s mind and ability to focus. Shirley helped me regain focus on the career goals and positive life goals that I wanted for my then 4 month child and I to achieve. My coach walked with me, alongside me though this journey helping me see situations differently, to think differently and see the possibility in the painful moments. And because of Shirley, I grew from this pain both career wise and in my personal life. I am now a successful agile project manager working at a multi-national company. I have achieved all the milestones we set out to obtain. During this journey with Shirley, I was motivated enough to complete my Prince2, Lean six sigma, COBIT 5, ITIL and I am a certified SAFe Agilist. In my personal life, I found peace of mind and happiness, I am now happily married and now have my second child and I feel very blessed. Blessings come in different ways and we have to seek them at times and I am very grateful for Shirley Pool. As my coach and mentor, she helped me grow into the person I want to be, the person I am proud of and a career and life I love. Shirley took me from my “as is” to my “to be” and we still meet twice a month to continue this growth journey. I would highly recommend Shirley Pool as a coach, mentor and life advisor. Shirley gave me a competitive advantage in a digital world that is ever changing and helped me think better. "Plan purposefully. Prepare. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently." – William A. Ward

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