Getting Up Close and Personal with Coaches Supporting Coaches Founder, Donna Burfield
Updated: Nov 23, 2022
Donna Burfield is a Mother, Joy and Purpose Coach and a Community Builder who works one-to-one with people that have reached a point in their lives where their priorities have changed & are no longer prepared to put their dreams on the back burner. They are looking for a more, joyful, balanced, fulfilled, and enriched life both, personally and professionally.
Developing a creative, fun, and healthy partnership with her clients allows them to focus on moving forward and towards their desired goals through awareness, action, responsibility, and accountability.
Donna has also started a Facebook group called Coaches Supporting Coaches.
Can you tell me a little bit about your coaching journey and what motivated you to become a coach?
From a very early age, I have always been interested in psychology. My childhood was, like many, challenging. I am the youngest of 6 children and I remember when I was around 6 or 7, my dad was drunk and about to push me down the stairs. He looked at me and told me he wasn’t my father.
My mission from that day was to help people and make sure no child ever felt so unworthy or unloved like I did. I went on to work as a nanny for 7 years then as a teacher and learning support assistant for 26 years.
My first introduction to personal development was Dale Carnegie and from there Tony Robbins and Jay Shetty, and everyone in between!
I enrolled in lots of coaching workshops (Mindvalley, KBB, Marisa Peers, Mary Morrissey, Conscious Parenting), became a founding member of the Jay Shetty Certification school and went on to do my ICF accreditation.
In 2021, I resigned from my job and started up my own coaching business, Joy and Purpose Coaching. My niche at the time was single mothers, then it evolved to parents and now, due to demand, I see my niche as empowerment and solution-focused coaching for anyone who feels a connection with me.
Is there a particular moment or memory of your coach training that stands out for you?
Yeah, I didn’t realise how much shit I had been carrying around with me! Doing the Jay Shetty program allowed me to unpack all my limiting beliefs and become aware that I was constantly allowing other people’s expectations dictate how I live my life and who I am as a person.
To become a powerful coach, you need to go through a very deep cleansing process otherwise you will not be able to serve your clients in a way they deserve. During your coaching conversations there will be times when you, the coach, will be triggered by something they have shared. As a professional, you have to know how to reframe, address and process these situations.
How would your friends and family describe you?
Kind, funny, loving, resourceful, determined, courageous and goofy
What opportunities has Dubai given you, personally and professionally?
I have seen the UAE grow over the last 26 years. I have raised 3 beautiful children here and been given opportunities that I would never have had if I had lived in my home country. As a single mother, safety for my children and myself is number one on my list and the UAE has given us just that. Safety to live, grow and think outside of the box. I owe so much to this country and I finally get the chance to repay the kindness that has been afforded to me through Coaches Supporting Coaches – Dubai and my own coaching practice, Joy and Purpose Coaching.
What would you like people to know about you?
My children are my everything. I am passionate about serving others and have a strong moral and ethical compass. I love to laugh and challenge myself mentally and physically. I am getting really good at respecting the boundaries I have put in place and love nothing more than a brainstorming session where I learn from other people’s experiences. I am an empath and can be very sensitive to how others are feeling or going through. Many people are surprised to hear that I am an introvert and have had to push myself, way out of my comfort zone, to break the chains of my past.
Imagine yourself in three years. What do you hope will be different about you compared to now?
My business and Coaches Supporting Coaches – Dubai is serving the UAE and beyond with integrity, professionalism and joy!
I would love to be sharing my life with someone who matches my passion, values, sense of humour and sass.
Through overcoming my own challenges, I hope others feel inspired to start believing in themselves and realise that their present situation isn’t their final destination!
I love to learn and I am excited about growing with every new interaction and experience that crosses my path.
Tell me about a time you took an unexpected initiative
Crickey, when haven’t I? I have been taking unexpected initiative all my life really. From leaving home at 17 to work as an Au-Pair in Israel, to becoming a Montessori teacher, traveling to over 50 countries – mostly on my own, initiating my divorce and of course starting up my own business! From the moment I left home as a teenager, I haven’t stopped grabbing life with both hands.
Briefly tell me what have the highlights of the past 5 years? What has been your biggest growth lesson?
What stands out to me are 2 things. After my divorce I was in a relationship that brought me so much pleasure and growth and yet it was the most painful relationship I have ever been through, which I now see was due to my lack of self-worth. The other highlight was leaving the safety and limiting environment of working in education for 26 years. What I learned was that I am stronger and more capable than I give myself credit. I know longer try to fit in other people’s boxes. I am worthy enough to live life on my terms and not limited to or by other people’s expectations or limiting beliefs.
What are you really good at?
Being a Mum, hugging, making people feel valued and listen to, and being resourceful/creative
What would you like to get better at?
That’s a long list because one can always find things to improve upon! I would have to say, public speaking, anything techno, dancing and filtering what I say. My brain isn’t always fully engaged with my mouth!
Tell me about your coaching practice
As I said earlier, my coaching practice has evolved over time. This is due to my competency and confidence growing as well as clients reaching out to me who feel a connection to me as a person rather than the niche I started out doing.
My coaching approach is empowerment and solution-focused. I offer one-to-one coaching and mentoring. I have a few new workshops and collaborations up my sleeve which I am excited about doing but they are still in the creative stage.
How do you prepare for your coaching sessions?
I always block 30-minutes before a coaching session for me to shift my mindset and physiology to receive my clients. I make sure I am not distracted and I am fully present.
Depending on my client’s needs I will go over their coaching request and highlight what wins they have had so we can celebrate at the beginning of our session. I also make sure that I have a drink of water with me and a pen and paper if they want to do some brainstorming.
When you started your coaching business what was the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenge was my mindset. I felt very overwhelmed because there were so many components that were all equally important. The first thing I did was make sure the legal side of starting up a business was done correctly. I paid a little bit extra to ensure that this aspect was adhered to properly.
When starting out it’s very important to know you’re not alone and that there are people out there that can help you. My biggest resource was Female Fusion Network and later I join their Fusion Circle group. I cannot tell you how supportive this group has been from business, personal growth, collaborating and forming amazing friendships.
Can you describe how you were feeling when you coached your first client and what did you learn from that experience?
I was a bag of nerves when I coached my first client. It didn’t help that it was being recorded and had to be handed in to my supervisor for feedback! I was very conscious of how much I spoke, what I said, how I asked questions, did I leave enough time in between questions, am I picking up on what the client isn’t saying and their body language and so on!
My learning from this was that it’s not about me, it’s about your client. I learnt to not worry about what questions I want to ask or think are ‘powerful questions’ and to be genuinely curious about my client.
How did you feel when you got your first paying client?
There was a sense of validation and a boost in my confidence that what I have to offer is of value. It also allows me ‘pay it forward’ to the community and help those who are struggling financially. So, yes, I was over the moon.
Can you tell me of an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?
In 2016 I went to Peru for a month with Camps International to do project work. I volunteered as a camp leader and we took out a group of 16–17-year-olds from the UK. This was a life changing experience. A couple of months beforehand my divorce papers had just come through (after 3, very long years), I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus and I was stuck in a job where I was not being valued. My self-worth was extremely low, dangerously low.
Some of the things we did in Peru were build mud bricks, digging trenches, constructing bathrooms and painting. We were all challenged mentally and physically. The power of serving others was and still is very hard to describe. That month reiterated my purpose and made me reevaluate my life.
Why did you start Coaches Supporting Coaches?
I belong to a lot of coaching groups, Facebook groups (such as Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Lewis Howes, Jay Shetty etc.) and have attended several coaching schools. I heard what the coaches were saying and asking. There was a common thread, so, I decided to put out a few posts to coaches here in the UAE.
Many of the coaches mentioned feeling isolated and wanted more connection with other coaches so they can collaborate, learn and support one another.
I decided to start a Facebook group for certified and accredited coaches. This is where we connect with other coaches from a variety of backgrounds, niches, and training, build deep relationships that will go beyond the Facebook group, share best practices, support one another's well-being, professional development, and business growth.
Coaches Supporting Coaches was formed to provide a safe and thriving environment in which coaches can offload and recharge while growing from the inside out.
Integrity, service, and uplifting one another are the backbone and foundation of Coaches Supporting Coaches - Dubai
Growth Opportunities within Coaches Supporting Coaches are:
Connect with other coaches from a variety of backgrounds, niches, and training
Build deep relationships that will go beyond the Facebook group
Share best practices
Support one another's well-being and personal development
Serve the community with integrity and professionalism
Give you the connection and confidence to take YOU to the next level
Coaches Supporting Coaches members have an opportunity to attend Growth Sessions every other Tuesday and Discuss & Grow sessions every other Friday.
Growth Sessions has a set agenda where we connect, form relationships and coach one another.
Discuss & Grow Sessions is a safe space where coaches can ask questions, share their experiences, brainstorm and talk through any obstacles or triggers that we may be experiencing. These sessions are small and intimate and are great for coaches new to Dubai or building up their coaching hours for accreditation.
Coaches Supporting Coaches has a tier system to encourage engagement and service for the community (Growth sessions, Workshops run by CSC, and External events).
My role in this group is not to give them business but to give them the platform to meet other coaches living and working in the UAE and to connect with other coaching professionals who became coaches from a place of service.
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Want to know more?
If you wish to get in touch please email Donna at email@example.com or grab a coffee and book a FREE call via my Calendly link below