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Career Transition to a Full-Time Coaching Practice

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 08/08/2017

Personal Growth Coaching

Coach Interview with Mark Marcynuk

Coach Name: Mark Marcynuk
Practice Area: Career & Transitional Coach (Edmonton, Alberta) 

This article was originally published in 2011. Mark Marcynuk, the founder of Dynamite Coaching and Erickson graduate, took some time to share his story with us. We reached him at his home in Edmonton where he had just finished enjoying a taste of the Edmonton Fringe Festival with his family.  

Where Do You Run Your Coaching Practice? From what I hear you've already reached out beyond Edmonton? 
This is one of the great things about coaching: I run my practice from my own home-based office with roughly 80% of my coaching being done by phone. There are some people who request to “meet” me through Skype first so they can put a face to the name and get a feel for my personality and coaching style. Then, there are the clients whose preference is to meet face to face, and so we’ll arrange to meet in person to help them get the most out of the coaching experience. One might make an assumption that my business is based solely in the Edmonton area but in fact, I have clients all over North America.  

What is the Core Focus of Your Coaching Practice?
I call myself a Career & Transitional Coach which I find opens up the door for further discussion. Most people are not familiar with the title so I’ll start by asking them the question: “Who do you know that is frustrated in their job or career, maybe feeling like they're stuck, or looking to make a change?”

“I work with those people around developing Solution-Focused strategies that allow them to create more of the kind of career they want.”

And of course everyone knows someone, maybe it’s even them. That’s where a coaching conversation starts.  

What Was Your Previous Career and How Did You “Take the Leap” to Being a Full-Time Career & Transitional Coach?
Before coaching I was a practicing physiotherapist working for 18 years in the profession, but my approach focused on more than just the physical healing of the patient and in fact, might have been considered more holistic in a way. Throughout my career, I was always interested in hearing what the patient wanted for an outcome. When they took a moment to envision what ultimate health looked like for them, I wanted to know what they saw. I didn’t realize it at the time but soon found out I was using some of the same coaching principles in my physio practice that I would later be learning as a coach. One of my instructors at university gave me some great advice:

“If you listen long enough the patient will tell you what’s wrong, and if you listen a little longer, they’ll tell you how to fix it."

The point being to use the ratio, you have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason……..listen to your patient. That advice served me well throughout my career. I used these principles as a guide during my time as a physiotherapist and I saw people creating some amazing realizations about what was possible for themselves as they realized they actually had more power and more control over their own health and their own situation than they ever could have imagined. But I was ready for a change in my career and as luck would have it, in 2007 I had conversations with 2 friends who had become coaches and who suggested that I should look into the profession as well.  

To fast forward, I did look into it and in October of 2008, I enrolled in Erickson’s The Art & Science of Coaching program.  

I completed Modules I through IV and proudly graduated in March of 2009 as a Professional Coach. By December of 2009 I completed Module V and in June of 2010 I met all requirements and was certified by Erickson Coaching International as an Erickson Certified Professional Coach and by the ICF as an ACC-level Accredited Coach (now PCC). My website was up and running and I was almost ready to take the plunge. I had dropped to working three days a week as a physiotherapist in January of 2010 and was coaching during the rest of the week and on weekends.  

The next step that allowed me to take the leap to realizing my dream was taking Erickson Business Center's marketing course for coaches. That's where I learned the tools on how to compliment my coaching knowledge with how to be an entrepreneur and business person. I attended this course from November 2009 to April 2010 and by the end of April, I had quit my physio job and was ready to step into coaching full time.  

What Do You Attribute Your Quick Success to?
It’s twofold. What you learn at Erickson on how to be a coach, combined with what Erickson Business Center offers, provides you with the opportunity to take the steps necessary to make coaching a career. You get to decide what that looks like for you. It will be different for everybody. I think we all, to some degree, have barriers to getting started. For me, I just started following the steps rigorously. The more things were new and out of my comfort zone, the more I knew I had to do them; not only that but do them more often. I think stretching yourself and taking action on your vision are hugely important.  

Now you’re training to be an Erickson Instructor, is that right?
Yes, this is a goal that I have set for myself. I first chose Erickson because when I was looking to become a coach I had researched their program and had interviewed some of the grads who were really excited about their experiences. After going through the program myself I really wanted to be a part of firing up other people and sharing my passion with them.  

Any conclusions or advice for new coaches or prospective coaches?
It may seem a little cliché, but when building a business, it’s pretty important to get out there, get out of your comfort zone, have great conversations with people, and really do something that challenges you every day!  

Mark’s 3 Tips for a New Graduate Coach:

  1. Take an Erickson Business Center course
  2. Get into action and out of your comfort zone
  3. Be prepared to think and ask big

You can reach Mark at Dynamite Coaching.

To experience a live coaching demonstration and learn more about Solution-Focused coaching, attend our Free online webinar Explore Coaching