The quote above connotes the concept of perspectives and how people react to life’s unfair situations. You mostly have two options – take it the hard way and go down further, or let it motivate you to make a difference.
For UK-born entrepreneur, business coach and investor, Ed JC Smith, his painful experience as a student paved the path to a future where he would eventually coach tens of thousands of people to entrepreneurial success.
When Smith received his results after high school, he was crushed to find three E’s splashed across his three major subjects. Smith had always had a hard time with academic learning and while his grades hadn’t always been the best, that particular blow still hurt deeply. However, Smith believed that he wasn’t as academically challenged as they made him out to be. The teaching methods were simply not suited to the way his mind worked.
Today, Smith is now the founder and CEO of The Champion Academy, an online business coaching academy that fosters a community of learners from all around the world learning to create, scale, and sustain their own coaching & consultancy-based businesses. With three books to his name including Coaching Business Secrets, Smith has created dozens of online courses and championed training programs for entrepreneurs throughout his career.
“I left school with three big fat E’s,” Smith says of his motivation to journey down the coaching path. “Being able to identify different ways of learning has made me a better teacher – and this is one of the very few things I brag about. It’s a game-changer for me. I help thousands of people realize their dreams because I was a bad learner. I can relate to so many of them as I speak from my own experiences.”
Overcoming the pains of youth
Growing up as the middle child in a middle-class North London family could easily be considered a pretty normal and probably privileged life. Sadly, the young Smith was so unhappy as a young kid and teenager that he was eventually driven to end his life.
“Even though we were defined as middle class and we lived in a nice area, I wasn’t happy and was very lost in life,” Smith recalls his earlier years. “My father and I just didn’t quite see eye to eye, he expected more from life and he worked night and day to achieve it – but he always felt short-changed. We all felt his frustrations.”
He was tarnished a failure at school and home, battled a terrible acne condition that decimated his self-esteem, was diagnosed with a curvature of the spine, and later on, a wrong diagnosis of mental illness. One day, Smith decided to walk to the railway station and jump in front of a moving train.
Luckily, he was rescued by a stranger, a seemingly homeless man who stopped him from making the jump.
“This guy who looked like he was homeless reached out and pulled me back from the edge. I owe him my life. He wrestled me to the ground and made me repeat again and again, ‘never give up,” Smith narrates.
As he got older and became more determined to push his life in a better direction, Smith took up work as a cleaner in a gym so he could get a free membership. He hadn’t always been great at communicating with other people – those early life experiences had shattered his confidence and speaking in public made him uncomfortable. However, he split his time at the gym between cleaning and helping clients use the equipment, inadvertently boosting his confidence and improving his physical fitness.
Coaching as a career path full of purpose
Smith took up an auxiliary role as equipment instructor and eventually scaled up to becoming “a fitness trainer”. He started by helping people with bad backs get straightened out and then delved into helping women with weight loss workouts. He eventually took up mental health and unofficially started talking to men dealing with depression. As his popularity grew, he began couples’ therapy classes.
However, he needed to switch up his methods and take things to a more efficient level.
“I started like most coaches and consultants, doing a lot of one to one and I loved it,” he said. “I was making a difference, I was helping people, and I was making an okay amount, but at the same time, it really wasn’t at the level I knew it could be. I was stuck in a cycle of the ‘same’ every single day and I wanted to make a difference to a lot of people, but I just couldn’t scale because I literally had no more time left in the day.”
Smith began to take classes in psychology, healing modalities including NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and fast-action coaching.
Following years of intense hard work, many failed businesses, disappointments so grave that he actually lost everything to trusting the wrong people, and eventually learning how to get people to believe in his work, Smith was already leading a community of dedicated learners looking to change their lives as well.
Today, he now travels the world to coach thousands of people on business and lifestyle through The Champion Academy, an online community of progressive entrepreneurs learning to build businesses for financial freedom and a meaningful life on their terms. The Academy also focuses intensely on teaching people to start their own coaching business through a streamlined and organized curriculum, so that the ripple of transformation can keep growing far beyond just one person.
Clients On Automation is Smith’s signature program. The program is a practical, live, and online coaching course that provides all the tools required to set up a successful coaching/consultancy business on a scale.
“It starts with identifying your niche, identifying your target clients, and learning how to capture them through all the various methods I have used myself,” says Smith. “You learn how to automate your business using a host of modern tools. Participants have weekly tasks to complete and access to our full support systems for a six-month period. The outcome is that clients are left with a fully automated online coaching/consultancy business that allows them to fire and free themselves from the daily grind so they can do whatever they want.”
Smith also runs a YouTube channel and a podcast where he shares valuable lessons, information, and resources on coaching and life lessons. One of Smith’s most fulfilling engagements is now his live-only event, a high-end exclusive retreat held in Bali, Indonesia, aimed at educating hundreds of eager learners on scaling up their coaching businesses and stepping up their lives. The retreat lasts for ten days and has people from all walks of life attend to participate in revolutionary discussions for game-changing results.
As part of the training process, the retreat attendees are taken to a school that Smith supports for local children to get the skills required to give back to society for free.
“By getting the retreat participants to spend time at the Bali school we support,” he says. “We teach them about how businesses can support goodness all around the world, which is a huge benefit of success in my opinion. Once you’re successful, the joy you get from helping those less fortunate is a gift in itself.”