Today’s blog features Alison Coates, the newly re-named… as she explains now in her own words:
My name is Alison Coates, although I have been known as Alison Morrison for nearly 30 years. Coates is my maiden name and having got married at the tender age of 21 I very excitedly became Mrs Alison Morrison, and felt all grown up! Although I divorced a number of years ago it seemed much easier to keep my married name as it was the same as my young children’s and coming to terms with being a single parent was enough to cope with without having to explain why we had different names. But, those once small children are now nearly fully grown and that reason is no longer relevant, so the time is right for me to reclaim my name and my own identity.
Interestingly, on 31st December 2013 I chose a theme of transformation for the year ahead (I prefer a theme to a resolution). At that time I had no idea that changing my name would be a part of the journey. It now seems very fitting as part of my transition from single parent of teenage boys to independent woman of the world seeking fulfilment and purpose for the second half of my life.
My main focus for the past 20 years has been as the mother of two amazing young men who have been my greatest gift. To be witness to them growing into young adults and beginning to make their way in the world is a priceless experience. They have taught me so much. It has been the hardest, most intense, most challenging, and by far the most rewarding period of my life. I am proud to be their mother. I know I haven’t been perfect, and haven’t always got it right, but I have always done my best and I always put their wellbeing at the centre of decisions I have made.
I have been self-employed for a long time but in this year of transformation I am finally daring to show up with something I am really passionate about, rather than just something to pay the bills. Through my new business, Alison Coates – Living with Love, I will provide support to people wanting more in their lives. It will be about finding a way to live our lives with love, rather than fear, at the core. My offering will include writing, blogging, coaching and organising events.
This is a new and exciting venture for me. In my career days I was a Town Planner in Local Government, before becoming an IT consultant specialising in bespoke information systems for Local Planning Authorities (sounds really impressive I’m told!). I realise what I was doing then, which I absolutely loved, was solving problems to enable people to spend more time doing what they did best, and less time on the mundane admin jobs. I loved creating systems and processes because I love simplifying life and making things easy wherever possible.
My new business is all about empowering and enabling people to live a life they love, and to live it with love. This may be by inspiring people through my writing and blogging, or through one to one coaching and exploring with clients what they really want from life and how they can create it, and by creating events for other inspiring people who share similar values to me.
The thing I love best about working for myself is the freedom to be truly me. To really own who I am and what I stand for. I don’t have to pretend to be something I am not, my work is an authentic expression of myself and my values. It doesn’t appeal to everyone and that is absolutely fine; I work only with those people for whom what I offer resonates. I also love the freedom to:-
- work the hours I want, when I want;
- choose where I work and who I work with;
- walk with my dog in the beautiful countryside right on my doorstep;
- meet friends for coffee or lunch;
- always be open to new possibilities and opportunities.
And, best of all I love the satisfaction of creating something that is a unique expression of who I am.
The surprises have been that I didn’t even know this was a possibility until I was well into my 30’s. No-one ever suggested at school that I could earn a living without having a ‘job’. And with my most recent venture I am discovering that it is actually ‘allowed’ to be paid for doing something I love. How wonderful is that!
The shocks are that I managed to survive so many years in employment, and self-employment, without really understanding until recently that I am – like you and everyone else – unique and have my own individual combination of gifts to share with the world; no-one else does what I do in quite the same way, and that is the beauty of discovering the essence of who we are.
I feel I am very much a beginner when to come to this business but, I also realise that I bring to it a lifetime of learning and experience. I am constantly learning and growing. Finally I feel I am discovering who I am, and that I do actually have a place in the world by showing up as myself – Alison Coates, that’s me!
Today the thing I’m most looking forward to is launching my business and knowing that I am inspiring and supporting others to live with love rather than fear. In the meantime if you want to follow my blog go to LivingWithLove.co.uk.
Alison is a much valued member of my mentoring group, Club 100, which is almost exclusively wonderful women like this. We do also have at least one wonderful man, as members discovered at our annual summer party on 9th August! Previously, they had thought that Richard was apocryphal… but the men keep a lower profile while the women love to support each other through our Facebook group. If you like the sound of growing your business in the company of a support team of like minds, then grab your seat now at £100 pcm before prices increase to £150 for all new members as at 1st September. Full details here.