Susan Jackson Cousin is a chartered accountant by profession and a trained business coach, with over 30 years commercial experience. In this first instalment of our Questions for the Coach series, we ask Susan about her job, her passion and the influences that have helped her in the work she does to support businesses.
- What is your passion?
Seeing business owners succeed in business and being less stressed in their role. Starting and running a business is a challenge and I believe that people need to use their skills and time wisely, and seek from others the skills that they do not have themselves. No one is expected to be the master of all areas. My objective is to support the business owner and share my knowledge and expertise so they can move their business forward AND enhance their own skill-set to be better equipped for the future.
- How do you work with Transition Peak?
I met Charlie and Linda at a networking meeting. Through discussion and bouncing ideas off each other, we all saw the benefit in having an outside perspective and a sounding board to discuss ideas and issues with. This is what I offer Transition Peak – experience in practical business management, including collating and understanding the numbers of a business and developing plans to help people move forward.
- What do clients say about you?
They mostly comment on the fact that I pitch my discussion to match their level of understanding and knowledge. Some say that they like that they can ask me any question and never feel it is too basic. Some say that they like that I bring a different perspective.All my clients like the accountability that working with me brings. I work with their pace and roll-up my sleeves if needed – but at the end of the day, they like that they see progress and get satisfaction in ticking all things off their to-do list – even the ones you were not so excited to do, but yet have done.
- Can you let us know what you are noticing in the market or finding interesting?
So many more people are starting their own business now and it seems the space to compete is getting tighter. There are so many things to do and so many options that people struggle to make decisions and “dabble” which can dilute results. At the same time, there are many people offering services who are not real experts in their field (especially in the digital marketing world which people delve into to get more clients/sales).Finding true experts that add value is difficult – my advice is to not get tied into contracts and have agreed performance metrics against which you can measure results.
- What are your greatest achievements?
My personal objective has always been to be able to say “I learned from that experience”. I have had some roles/times in roles where things were challenging but I can honestly say I learned from them all and am better from the experience.If I allowed a second one, it would be to have my daughters say that they were glad I worked – they think it set a good culture for them. I was lucky however that I always had a degree of flexibility to make the school dates etc. I do believe you can manage things and not suffer “mother’s guilt”.
- What is something not many people know about you?
I never questioned that Father Christmas was not real, I had to be told. In fact, he was so real that I would not go to bed alone on Christmas Eve. No one argued with my logic – there was a strange man coming into the house that night (potentially into your bedroom) which was something we were always cautioned about and yet we were meant to look forward to it!
- What is the best advice you have received?
Seek input, listen to others but be comfortable with your own decisions.
- What book have you read that really helped you?
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey, by Ken Blanchard. If you are someone who leaves a meeting with more to-dos than anyone else or wondered how you ended up with someone else’s problem being yours, this is for you.
- What is your top career transition tip?
Relevant experience is not just what you did in your last role – it is all the experience you have had to date. Take time to think about all your experience, what you learned from it, how it can benefit you going forward and how you can apply it in your new chosen path.
If you think you or your organisation would benefit from someone to speak to about professional and personal objectives, learn more about Susan Jackson Cousin and see our full team of coaches and experts.