Meet Tom Paine, a Certified Life Coach who decided to create a business that could positively impact the lives of working professionals after spending 10 years in the recruitment industry.
At one point, all he could see around him were people suffering from stress, feeling burned out, and not knowing where to turn. Tom also saw his colleagues and friends struggling to get a good night’s sleep because of the anxiety that their job created. They’d even fall out with loved ones because their mental well-being was being pushed to a horrible place.
Tom felt he had to change and he wanted to do something about it, so he decided to use the coaching skill that he had perfected in his years of sales team management to support people who had hit career crises. This led him to found Tom Paine Life Coaching to help others achieve their full career potential.
When he was considering a career change himself, he had no one to talk to at the time. His wife was preoccupied with their newborn baby and he was scared to tell her he wanted to walk away from the great reputation and client base that he had built in the recruitment sector.
As a result, he felt trapped and like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Looking back, hiring a coach who specialised in career change would have been the perfect solution for him. It would have been amazing to have an open conversation with an independent 3rd party, someone who had the expertise and would offer a different perspective on the issues he was facing.
It would have helped him get answers a lot faster and saved him years of struggle. Today, Tom wants to be that person for other people and he’s honored to help those who reach out to him take control of their lives.
Tom can’t wait to start a journey of discovery with you! For more details, visit his website here.
Here we sit down with Tom to learn a bit more about his journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. Tell us a little more about your journey as an entrepreneur – how did you get started? What inspired you?
Tom: I decided to set up Tom Paine Life Coaching at the end of 2020 after having a successful career in the recruitment industry for 10 years. When the first COVID outbreak happened, I had a massive period of burnout and I felt completely exhausted. I got to the point where I was questioning my purpose in life.
I suffered in that period and I struggled a lot with sleep. At the time, I was leading a team of 24 people and I was responsible for an £8 million pound turnover business. Though I looked successful from the outside, behind closed doors, I was crashing and I realised I needed to do something different with my life.
I started to question many aspects of my job at the time and did some soul-searching. This helped me realise that I like coaching people, working one on one with them to help them reach their goals, and watching people grow.
That’s how I got the idea to start a life coaching business focused on helping STEM professionals beat career burnout, so they can start to have more happy and fulfilled lives for themselves. The main purpose of my business is to help individuals overcome the challenges of career burnout.
Q. What are your long-term goals in business? Paint a vision for the future
Tom: That’s a good question! What I’d like to do is touch more people’s lives through coaching. I firmly believe many people are not doing what they would like or what they’re meant to be doing professionally. They are essentially wasting precious years of their lives in a job they don’t like or that is not meant for them.
I am currently a one-on-one coach with a regular practice of coaching clients. So, what I want for the future is to start serving bigger clients such as blue chip companies with coaching packages. I want to expand my business and have multiple coaches working with me. I’m looking to scale my business to reach more and more people.
Q. What motivates you?
Tom: My family is one of my biggest motivations. Making sure that they have everything they need in terms of opportunities, security, etc., is very important to me so it’s one of my main motivations. On a more personal level, being able to set up my own business however I see fit and design my life is another big motivation.
In this day and age, remote work allows us to work with anyone in the world, and the work culture is changing. So I’m very motivated about helping others realise they can make a place for themselves.
Q. What business-related book has inspired you the most, or, what is your favourite book?
Tom: Reading is a part of my morning routine, so I do it every morning. Right now I’m reading personal development books, but one of the business-related books that inspired me the most is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
I read it when I was going through burnout and what stood out to me the most was the focus on values and principles, and how important they are in leadership and business. It led to many lightbulb moments for me and it got me to reassess and reevaluate things. The book had a huge impact on my decision to change careers and set up my own business.
Q. What strategies do you use to optimise your performance or mindset?
Tom: Meditation is one of the strategies that have helped me the most. It helps me calm down, be a better listener, and come up with better ideas, and it also enables me to be a better coach. I meditate every day to optimise my performance and mindset. I also read a lot about personal development and inspirational people, which also helps my performance and mindset.
Q. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
Tom: Would have to be something about being brave and bold with your decisions. I would say a lot of people are locked by fear in their careers. So many things could go wrong, so they decide to not do anything at all. But time continues to go by and they get to a point where they feel like it’s too late to set up their own business. It takes bravery to step out of your comfort zone so I’d like to write a book about that, inspired by my own personal journey, to help inspire people who feel stuck and afraid.
Q. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Tom: Buying a coaching course is one of the most worthwhile investments I’ve made. Generally, investing in education and self-improvement has always been worthwhile to me. Investing in that coaching course allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, learn from experts, and challenge my own thinking. It has really paid off for me because it helped me set up my business and start this journey I’m on.
The coaching course was refreshing and it allowed me to learn many things I hadn’t considered before. Such as learning to analyse people’s belief systems and how they create them, understanding how people get stuck in a negative mindset and negative thought patterns, and more. It helped me transform my own mindset and now I’m able to help others do the same by passing on that knowledge through coaching.
It also helped me understand how people’s principles and values work. We all have them but they operate on an unconscious level, so most people don’t have insight into what’s important to them. This keeps them from living a life that’s true to who they really are. Overall, the coaching course taught me a lot of the things that guide my coaching today and allows me to offer great benefits to my clients.
Q. Where do you see the future in your niche/industry 3-5 years from now?
Tom: From a technology perspective, I think there’s a lot of opportunity in the metaverse. For example, in group coaching, people would be able to connect virtually from all over the world and actually look at each other and share a similar experience as they would in person. I think technology will have a big impact on coaching.
From a niche perspective, I think people will continue to leave their 9-to-5 jobs and start their own businesses in the digital space with the help of technology and social media. People will continue to turn to coaches to learn how to use digital tools, how to operate a virtual business, and how to pursue different opportunities. Coaches will be there to support people and help them navigate all that.
Q. What is your ‘one-sentence’ piece of advice you’d like to give to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur, coach, or business owner?
Tom: There’s a lot of responsibility that goes into answering this question, but what I would say is don’t procrastinate on testing your ideas. I wouldn’t recommend jumping into something without some kind of evidence that you’ll get a return on investment. What I would recommend is that you start a side hustle to test your business idea and go from there. Always test your ideas before fully committing.
To keep up to date with Tom and his journey, connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.