Name: Farah Govani
Business: Govani Coaching Ltd
Website link: www.govanicoaching.com
Farah’s clients say that as a result of their work with her, they are more present, bold, creative and resilient. All of us have such brilliance inside us.
Farah helps to create the conditions for that brilliance to be unleashed. That may be through 1:1 coaching, or a mindfulness group or through authentic leadership training.
Mindfulness is integral to her life; she stumbled upon it 11 years ago and it has had, and continues to have, such a profound impact on how she lives and works.
Farah, what is the inspiration behind Govani Coaching? I never dreamt of running my own business; it was never part of any plan of mine. However, one morning in May 2013 during my meditation practice, I was contemplating the questions: “What is my Job on this planet with a capital “J”? and “What am I so passionate about, I would pay to do it?” The answer came resoundingly loud and clear: my purpose is to bring mindfulness into organisations and to introduce as many people as possible to these practices that have had such a life-changing impact for me.
The call was so strong, so compelling that six weeks later I resigned from my HR career and started planning. Govani Coaching was born in February 2014.
What are the key foundations of your business? I have 5 Principles that guide how I work: Courage, Service, Dignity, True Wealth & Wonderment. I could speak at length on each of those, but instead, I invite the readers of this blog to read each Principle in turn and see how much it resonates with them.
How has your business grown since you first launched? My company is three years old this month! It has grown mainly through referrals from my ever-growing wonderful network of friends, family, ex-colleagues and new connections. I feel lucky to have a mix of clients. I work with individuals who invest in themselves and with organisations who invest in their people.
What have been your biggest struggles since launching? Very little has felt like a true struggle. More an ongoing series of learning curves. One early challenge was when no one came to my mindfulness classes. I knew that it was never a personal thing and it simply indicated I had a lot to learn about marketing and messaging.
What have been your greatest achievements? Last year, in partnership with another training provider, we delivered Authentic Leadership training to 120 leaders from a global luxury brand. It was wonderful to see them open up and explore their biases, both about themselves and others, and over the course of the two-days, each of them crafted their own unique Leadership Philosophy. It was such a privilege to be part of their explorations and development.
This may sound corny or clichéd, but my greatest achievements are when my clients discover their inner resources and take the courageous steps to share their glorious brilliance with the world.
What differentiates you from your competitors?
This is a tricky one to answer. On one hand, it’s the combination of having a committed mindfulness practice and my previous corporate experience as an employee at global companies such as PwC and BlackRock. My mindfulness practice grounds me, it enables me to listen deeply and it allows for the co-creation of a safe and powerful space in which my clients can explore their fears and dreams without judgement. My corporate experience means that I can understand and relate to the challenges that individuals, teams and organisations are dealing with. In addition, I am in the midst of a Master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Approaches. Mindfulness is definitely a popular thing right now, which means that the number of teachers has exploded. If you’re considering joining a course, you should ask the teacher about their training. The bare minimum should be a well-recognised one-week teacher training course (e.g. from Bangor University). My Master’s degree is five years – clearly this goes a lot deeper than a one-week training course.
On the other hand, when it comes to people connecting more deeply with themselves and others, it’s not actually about choosing me vs a competitor.. So long as you are tuning in, both to yourself and the world around you, if you choose to that with another coach or mindfulness teacher, so be it. We are all interconnected: the more people who are bringing mindfulness into their lives, or who develop a deeper knowing of who they are and how they can make a positive impact on the world, the better. It benefits all of us.
How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service? Often the first step is the hardest, such as deciding that having a coach could actually be just what you need to support you as you go from good to great. Or the first step might be acknowledging any perceptions you have about meditation being a bit weird but giving it a go anyway as the scientific research shows just how beneficial it is for us, physically, mentally and emotionally. I can’t help you with that first step, but once you’ve made that decision, contact me and we can explore how us working together could potentially change your life.
What are your goals for your business over the next few years? To do more of what I am already doing. More mindfulness classes, whether that’s for organisations or the general public (in London and Croydon or online. I want to coach more people – it is such a privilege to work with someone as they explore their own principles and values and make bold changes in their life. And I want to run more Authentic Leadership training, which has coaching and mindfulness at its two supporting pillars. Given the state of “post-truth politics”, authenticity is more important than ever.
What is your message to the reader? If you’ve never experienced how powerful simply pausing can be, I invite you to listen to this 5-minute meditation. I’d love to hear about your experience.
Farah, what I love is your courage to stepout of your comfort zone is what many more women need to hear. I appreciate you participating in the Hidden Figures series. It takes courage to really let the world know that you are hear to serve. I thank you.
If like Farah, you want to participate in the series, please contact me on email@example.com
The series officially closes on 17th Feb 2017, when the film Hidden Figures is released in the UK.