Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emma Doyle, Partner at Open Door Coaching USA, located in Denver, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I’m so grateful to be running a coach training organization (Open Door Coaching USA) from within my global triangle – that is, Melbourne, Australia, Denver, Colorado, and Glasgow, Scotland. My clients call me the Energy Coach because whether I am speaking or coaching coaches on how to coach, my purpose is to inspire, improve and impact those I work with.

I’m a high-performance tennis coach turned corporate coach. I represented my native country of Australia as a coach on twenty occasions, and I bring over 30 years of coaching experience to companies that want to create coaching cultures as the norm in their workplaces. Specifically, I love working in collaboration with human resource managers to find the hidden potential within individuals and teams by discovering purpose, harnessing energy, and impacting performance.

Tell us about yourself

You can probably guess that I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and while you can take the girl out of Australia, you can’t take the Vegemite out of the girl. I’m a true-blue Aussie with naturally curly hair, and I’m always on the hunt for boutique coffee places as well as hair straightening experiences; otherwise, my curls are out of control!! In the mid-1980s, my moneymaking options were either working at the local fast-food outlet or delivering newspapers. I had chosen the latter and was getting paid $7 per round, which took me three afternoons a week to complete.

Business-minded, even at that age, I was painfully aware that this path did not give me a great return on investment for the time and effort I was putting into the job. My second part-time job, at the age of 14, was as a tennis coach. I remember walking off the court after my first coaching experience with a firm conviction: I want to be the best coach that I can be.

Fast-forward twenty years, and I felt burnt out as a tennis coach. One of my biggest sliding doors moments was when I felt like I could only relate to half of my players. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I simply didn’t have enough strategies and resources in my coaching tool kit. It took stepping off the tennis court to help me become a better coach. The first course that I enrolled in was the Diploma of Workplace and Business Coaching with a company called Open Door Coaching, and I run the US partnership arm of their business today. I learned how to ask better questions to bring out the best in my clients day in, day out. My curiosity to better understand people and why they do what they do has never been stronger, and it motivates me to get out of bed in the morning and take action.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Right now, I’m super excited about the launch of my new book, ‘What Makes a Great Coach?’ Six years in the making, the book synthesizes all the data from my Podcast, The Coaching Podcast, into the top 10 practices of the world’s best coaches. Regardless of what work you do or what industry you’re in, as leaders and managers, we need to grow and develop our people and enable them to achieve success. From the front-line manager to the boardroom, it isn’t enough anymore to just micro-manage people; we need to drive innovation, accountability, and performance in our teams. And that is what my book is all about and is one of my biggest accomplishments; it is going to be a handy resource for your coaching tool kit.

As a speaker, delivering my TEDx talk on ‘Unleashing Female Potential’ in New York was also a huge leap of faith in following my dreams. It taps right into the heart of empowering women to help the United Nations’ 5th sustainable key objective on Gender Equality. I am passionately involved in creating a gender-equal world, both in all sports and the workplace, by educating coaches and empowering females aiming to stretch their comfort zone, build their confidence and discover their inner coach.

Honestly, one of my biggest accomplishments was when one of my clients referred to me as the ‘effervescent Aussie,’ who has so much energy and passion that it is contagious. Recently, a number of my clients told me that I was the real-life female version of Coach Ted Lasso, believing that it is more important to be curious than judgmental. Empathy, curiosity, and energy are my strengths, for sure! And finally, I think the sign of a successful business is when you love what you do and can integrate this into your life. So, when I’m not inspiring, improving, and impacting my clients, you can find me playing golf, tennis, pickleball, sampling wines from around the world, jogging, and hiking the stunning mountains in Denver, Colorado.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I have been a solopreneur for all my life, and at times the greatest challenge is staying motivated during economic downturns. One of the first budgets to get cut are events, conferences, and motivational speakers. This requires innovation and thinking outside of the square to stay in the game.

And while I absolutely love my native homeland of Australia, there is (unfortunately) a popular term called the ‘tall poppy syndrome that can rear its ugly head reserved for people who are criticized for their success. I was not the best of the best as a tennis player, despite playing division 1 U.S college tennis, nor a ‘famous’ coach of a top player, but I have pursued my passion and purpose relentlessly. I moved to the US to become the best motivational speaker that I could be, and I have the resilience to block out the naysayers. The long and winding road has plenty of bumps along the way, but I surround myself with my biggest cheerleaders. So, one of the keys to my success is to ‘never be down for more than half a day – that then turns into 1 hour – and now, it’s about 10 minutes!’

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Get clear on your Purpose – Your purpose drives your thoughts, decisions, and actions. Ultimately, it shapes not only your business blueprint but also your character, which dictates how you play the game.
  2. Harness your Energy – When do you need to be a magnet, and when do you need to put up your shield and practice self-care. Energy is everything. The more you give out – the more you receive in return.
  3. Develop your coaching skills to achieve High Performance under pressure. Everyone is under some form of pressure in today’s ever-changing workplace. Therefore, the leader as a coach and the manager as a mentor is the way of the future. This can only be possible by adopting a coaching culture within your organization.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Any tennis player will play hundreds of matches, from the time they first pick up a racquet to the time they retire. The same goes for coaches. I have no idea how many tennis matches I’ve watched, but at the end of each match, the umpire will announce ‘game, set, and match’ to the winner. But the learning doesn’t stop. The game is analyzed, reviewed, re-watched, picked apart, and discussed long after the bags are packed up and the racquets are sent off for re-stringing. The same principles apply if you want to discover your purpose, harness your energy, and achieve high performance in your workplace. The ball is always in your court to take action. Reach out, as I can help your organization and workplace build energy and purpose and reach that next level in performance as the effervescent energy coach from down under.

Where can people find you and your business?


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