Tricia Fox, Volpa
It has been often said that ‘cobbler’s bairns’ are the last to get their shoes mended. So when PR & marketing agency head, Tricia Fox, sat in front of Tickety Boo Training in November 2014, it was with a long list of business growth challenges that felt insurmountable.
“I’ve always been a clear thinker in how I approach my work – highly focused on solving client challenges, able to deal with multiple projects simultaneously, and great at delivering results. Yet, here I was, feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of growing my own business and completely floundering to tap into that fountain of business know how that came to me so easily when sitting in from of my own clients! It was slightly ironic.
“Annie at Tickety Boo Training had been working with Volpa as a client for over a year and we had been working on a series of case studies for the business. The more I spoke to her clients about how she’d helped them through the growth phase of their business, the more it dawned on me that she could help me with mine!
“So, there I was, with my long list of woes, an open book – ready to be ‘coached’ out of all my bad – and thoroughly ingrained – habits!”
Learning to change her approach to problem solving and interpersonal relationships was key to Tricia’s evolution. Tricia comments:
“I’ve spent the last year learning to approach things differently. This is not coaching as I’d ever known it – no goal setting, no targets to meet, no frantic scrambling to clock up achievements before the next meeting. It was more of a learning journey, where I learned to work to my strengths, and relax my innate entrepreneurial tendency to control everything, and find ways of working that enabled both me and my team to move forward.”
Building the business from what was initially, and for many years, a traditional ‘one man band’ was one of Tricia’s biggest challenges. Starting the business aged just 26, she was a self-taught ‘manager’ and, while exceptional at project management, struggled with the rather less task oriented people management skills that the growing business and a team of seven employees now required. Learning to adjust and develop her management style was an ongoing process, one which is only now – after a year of very hard work and a lot of practice – really bearing fruits.
Tricia feels the process has changed how she operates:
“Annie kept saying to me that the skills that had made me successful this far, were not the same skills that would help take me to the next level. In some cases, that has meant changing my approach completely. I’m clearer what is expected of me now, and my team are clearer as a result. The business expanded last year, beating its sales targets, and is on course for double digit growth this year too. We made it to the final of the CIPR Scotland Awards for Most Outstanding Small Consultancy – a tremendous achievement as a team, and were even recognized at our local Chamber of Commerce Awards as a finalist in their Business Growth category. I genuinely feel I couldn’t have achieved all we have if I hadn’t surrendered myself to Tickety Boo’s leadership development processes. The skills and knowledge Annie has introduced me to have really proved invaluable. It’s like having your own wee Genie.”
Two of Volpa’s senior team members are now about to embark on a similar programme of coaching in 2016.
Tricia Fox worked with Tickety Boo Training on their Coaching for Development programme, a structured series of coaching sessions designed to enhance entrepreneurial performance.