For Sharon Kaibel, coaching and training high achievers isn’t just theory. It comes from her own remarkable stories of success and adversity in business and life.

Sharon is the founder of Achievernet, helping people achieve extraordinary results through her professional and personal development training programs in leadership, sales and presentation training skills.

These seeds were sown in her late teens, when she started a fast growing photography business while her friends were at University or partying.

“When I look at what was the courage to start the business, I suppose it was more just my innate rebelliousness,” Sharon told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast.

“I went to work in the bank and couldn’t stand it and realised that actually I was an entrepreneur at heart, and I went into a business that was just myself and another person who was a photographer, and he’d set up this photography business. And we grew it in the space of seven years from just the two of us opening the doors, to it being a business with two sites and 23 staff. And it was just an extraordinary business.

“It was just something that I’ve always felt compelled to do, to do my thing, to have the freedom to be able to do my thing, and my thing is to help educate.”

During that time, Sharon received sales training from a flashy US sales coach who inspired her to pursue training and education herself.

Sharon quickly learned about the importance of helping people balance self image, belief systems and values.

“There’s an obvious comfortable affinity with sales and having the confidence and belief to sell whatever it is that you are wanting to influence people,” she said.

“And the image part of it as well, I mean, it’s something that a lot of people, I believe, don’t put a lot of energy into, and that first 15 seconds of impression pretty much sets up a relationship with people.

“(But) over time, it got to me that feeling of being vulnerable, that feeling of being judged and critiqued, and it started to get to this point where I felt that this wasn’t right, you know? That it’s not all about the outside, it’s about the inside.

“And I suppose that’s what started me on the journey of doing the real reflective kind of training work that I do now, where, yes, I do a lot of skill-building and sales and leadership, but I also like to dig under the surface of people to look at their belief structure and why they do what they do and what their drivers are and what their vision is and what presses their buttons and what are they passionate about.”

The most successful coaches and advisers are those who teach from their own life lessons, and Sharon has faced more than her fair share of adversity.

Sharon went from having no children to being. a mother of three within a matter of weeks, when her husband’s children from his first marriage moved in at the same time that Sharon gave birth to her first child.

Then while three months pregnant with her second child, Sharon was served with divorce papers and was facing life as a single mum fighting to keep her home.

“I remember back to that time, it was probably one of the hardest times of my life,” Sharon said. “I worked up until pretty much about two days before my baby was born because I needed to maintain my income. So I was just working like a drover, running as many courses as I could just to bank up a little bit of money so that I could have some quality time with my baby.

“Everyone on this planet has a story, and everybody goes through challenging times. And my challenge was certainly dark days, but I always had this optimism that things would work out, I just had to take a step at a time and to keep taking action to progress the income, to keep my family fed.

“But one of the things, and this is the beautiful part about humanity, is that there are always people around who will help you, you know? And generally you have a circle of family, friends, acquaintances who step up to the plate when they are required to, when they know that you need them.

“There’s also so many supports out there in terms of education. I really relied on, funnily enough, my own profession. I relied on education to help me gain the skills that I didn’t have, to be able to learn how to cope or learn how to manage my own emotional responses.”

Not only has Sharon gone on to find success in business, she has also prospered from property investment.

Her only regret was listening to a bank manager at the age of 21, who told her she couldn’t get finance because she was “too young and a woman”.

“Don’t let somebody else stop you from doing what you want to do,” Sharon said.

“You know, if I’d taken action when I was 21, I continue to reflect on where would I be now? You know, I’ve considered that I’m successful, I’m happy, I enjoy my life, I have a very healthy, wealthy life, and I feel incredibly grateful for that. But if I reflect back to that bank manager incident, I would have certainly a lot more wealth at this point if I’d taken action. And it was just that lack of action for those years. It was probably that 10 to 15 year period that you’re talking about, where I could have potentially doubled what I have now, because of the lack of action.

“My motto is ‘I can do things, I can take action, I can get results in my life’. I’m very much an ‘I can’ sort of person, and my mental construct around ‘I can’ is, the ‘I’ is for intention. You’ve got to set your intention about what is it that you want. And once you’ve set that intention, you then need to, the ‘C’ is for ‘certainty’, and it’s about ‘How do I get that level of certainty?’ And that comes from education, speaking to experts. Then the ‘A in ‘I can’ stands for ‘action’, so it’s very much about action. Nothing changes until something changes, and so you’ve got to take action. And the ‘N’ in ‘I can’ is for ‘now’, because that was my biggest lesson, because when I didn’t take action at the time I wanted to take action, it cost me dearly from a financial perspective. And probably, too, from an emotional perspective as well.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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