Patrick Bennett of Successful Consultants Limited: “Listening and being present are also essential”

Listening and being present are also essential. Listen for the nuggets of gold that will be transformative in the coaching conversation, which can help your client to see their way ahead and ultimately succeed. That’s the magic. The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office […]

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Listening and being present are also essential. Listen for the nuggets of gold that will be transformative in the coaching conversation, which can help your client to see their way ahead and ultimately succeed. That’s the magic.

The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the same time, not everyone who starts a coaching business sees success. What does someone starting a career as a life coach, wellness coach, or business coach need to know to turn it into a very successful and rewarding career?

In this interview series, called “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach” we are interviewing experienced and successful life coaches, wellness coaches, fitness coaches, business and executive coaches and other forms of coaches who share the strategies you need to create a successful career as a life or business coach.

In this particular interview, we have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Patrick Bennett.

Patrick Bennett heads up the New York office of Successful Consultants Limited a Hong Kong based executive coaching and consulting firm. He translates his prior experience as a senior global leader of multi-national companies across the globe through a combination of transformational coaching and management consulting. His focus is on executive mentoring, developing people, and challenging the unchallenged.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and what brought you to this particular career path?

Sure, I’d love to share the moment that changed my life forever. Having been an executive of multi-national companies, you are sometimes fortunate enough to be exposed to opportunities. That’s where I first discovered the power of coaching while being coached. I am the kind of person who continuously wants to learn and develop my skills, especially around leadership, so I jump on every opportunity to grow.

My coach at the time, simply asked me “Hey Patrick, why don’t you become a coach, you would be great at it.”

Understanding the potential coaching has to change a life and career, I seriously thought it over and decided to go for it. This was the moment when I decided to give up trying to climb the corporate ladder and become a coach and advisor — essentially a transformational leader with a newfound sense of purpose to share and help other leaders get clarity around their goals. I enjoy helping others map out a path to achieve their maximum potential.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  • Passion — it fuels you’re your motivation. I have always been passionate, especially about my work. At first when I started out, I was passionate about achievement. I would continuously strive for more, and wanted to grow. My passion is what motivates me each day to do better, be better, and to give back better.
  • Empathy, great leaders know that to tap into someone else’s potential you must get to understand them, and know how they are wired. It can be difficult to understand what a person is going through, what they mean, and where it’s coming from. Unless you take the time to learn about them, their culture, and the situation, you cannot help yourself or others to succeed. Empathy is the true essence of leadership, this was especially important for me when leading teams in Thailand and Denmark. There were stark differences between our three cultures, but we prevailed because we led with transparency and empathy. We took the time to personally get to know one another, our unique values, our beliefs, and we talked and spent time together.
  • Maybe most important trait, in my view, is authenticity. Be yourself. Show up every day and be authentic, participate and never be concerned about how your unique perspective is perceived. There is only one unique you in the world.

There have been times throughout my career where I was scared to say what I was thinking because I wanted to fit in. I would be in meetings where group thinking was determining what decisions our executive team would make. One day I had enough. My values no longer aligned with those of the teams, and I decided to take a stand, so I spoke up. I shared my perspective and point of view and was shocked at the results. I later realized being your unique self is the only path to real success and liberation. When people get to know the real you, the right ones will follow and support you in your success. Believe in yourself, try, fail, and try again.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Having good habits is so important — small habits that effect your life and the life of those around you.

One important habit I have developed over the years which has really helped me is to not read e-mails before 10:00 am. I read them the night before, then plan my day from there. I found that e-mails can derail my entire schedule if I let them, and so I spend my mornings being more productive with meaningful work, or with client appointments.

Exercise is my favorite habit. I take time out of my day every day to exercise. I love Muay Thai. It is amazing and fun, and a real full body and mind workout.

It is the small habits, where you are taking care of yourself, that keep you vibrant, healthy, and available to those around you, as well as learning new things.

I select habits that foster good self-awareness, connecting me with my inner core. This, in my mind, is where greatness comes from. I try to add a new habit that takes me outside of my comfort zone. Take Muay Thai, for example. I added this habit to my routine while living abroad. My instructor did not speak English; it was both a new hobby and a challenge to communicate in a foreign language, understanding a new culture while exercising and learning. Now it’s a that is built-in, and I am a better person because of it.

When you have enough good and deliberate habits, it becomes easier to add more good experiences into your schedule and routine.

Our life is a series of habits. If you think about it, we get up, brush our teeth, have breakfast, go to work etc. We already have many habits, and by adding new habits to your existing ones, you are so much more likely to succeed at making them a part of who you are, and more importantly to be who and what you want to be.

This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Small improvements in life, led by good habits, are the moments that shape success. If you put the time into something, anything, and it is good for you, the outcome and results will inevitably be good.

Sometimes the environment we live in, the culture at the office for example, can determine your behaviors if you let it. We tend to adopt habits from our surroundings, so building habits around authenticity is what I recommend. Surround yourself with those you can learn from, and those you truly enjoy being around while being true to yourself.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

The simplest way to develop good new habits is to start with your daily routine, then add in small, intentional new habits. Start with what you are already accomplishing. Give yourself credit for these by the way, since having and keeping good habits is not easy, then start stacking on new ones — small, deliberate good habits on top of what you’re already doing, one or two per week.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

Oh, I love this question, my motto is simple, “Make it happen” so the life question goes…

“There are 3 kinds of people in the world, those that watch it happen, those that let it happen and those that make it happen, who are you?”

I got this question from my very first boss. It was this same person who really gave me a chance in my career. These simple words motivated me throughout my life, and to this day I live by this lesson, and you can too. Think about it.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am working on a super exciting project right now. There is an overload of content for most topics on the internet, and getting the right information efficiently is now harder than ever. The future is no longer influenced by the past.

My team and I are creating a space, the first of its kind really, where people can learn from each other on a deep level yet in an agile way, but that’s all I can say without giving it away.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Many coaches are successful, but some are not very successful. From your experience or perspective, what are the main factors that distinguish successful coaches from unsuccessful ones?

As a coach you must be in it for the person and people you are coaching, not for your own success or prestige. Successful coaches must understand where the power lies. It’s within the person whom you are coaching. You must be ready for every challenge, and help others pursue and persevere with their own abilities and unique ideas.

What are your “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Character
  2. Communication
  3. Commitment
  4. Contagious Energy
  5. Care

What are the most common mistakes you have seen coaches make when they start their business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

I have seen so many new coaches undervalue their expertise and services. We all make this mistake on how much to charge at some point in our coaching careers. It is important to know your value and not to undersell your skills, just because you might be short on new clients. Leverage the coaching community and network within your niche for opportunities, but hold out for what your time and expertise are worth. You will not regret it in the long run.

Based on your experience and success, what are a few of the most important things a coach should know to create a Wow! Customer Experience? Please share a story or an example for each.

The best most impactful way to create a WOW experience is through the person whom you are coaching, by helping your clients see and unlock their own potential. Find that “ah ha” moment, and then you will create a runway for their success. I live for that moment, when the person I am coaching finds the way ahead — that second where it all becomes clear, and they have a vision that translates into actionable goals and results. That’s the WOW.

I can recall one of my coaching clients who wanted to reduce pollution in his country. He was passionate about technology and nature, so he devised an in-depth business plan to sell air purifying systems to the government. I couldn’t believe this was his goal; at the time, it seemed unattainable to me. My job was not to judge; it was to facilitate the way forward for my client, who at the time was only 28 years old.

Today this same client is pioneering shipments of the Moderna vaccine to under-developed countries in Asia, and leading the way with a new startup venture for a modern purified drinking water company.

Listening and being present are also essential. Listen for the nuggets of gold that will be transformative in the coaching conversation, which can help your client to see their way ahead and ultimately succeed. That’s the magic.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business, and particularly in coaching. What are the best ways for a coach to find customers? Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

Find a niche and leverage it. You have to be able to speak to your ideal clients in a way in which they believe in you and themselves. It is also about where you will be the most help, and have the most expertise. I coach CEO’s, founders and executive leaders within the niche of jewelry, accessories, and luxury goods mostly. I have in-depth relatable experience here, and am immediately identifiable and a subject matter expert.

This helps gain creditability and recommendations, traveling within the same circle, generating new leads and opportunities with far less competition in my specific area.

Coaches are similar to startup founders who often work extremely long hours and it’s easy to end up burning the candle at both ends. What would you recommend to your fellow coaches about how to best take care of their physical and mental wellness when starting their business?

Find a partner, (I did) and leverage your network. Don’t go it alone. There is strength in numbers, and above all believe in yourself. Have good people around you as a supporting structure and a sounding board.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think the world right now needs more people with “will do for others” attitude, I mean with so much out there in social right now wouldn’t it be great if there was a movement that really helped people by bringing solutions to real problems rather than just meaningless postings to look famous, make a buck, or receive likes?

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Gary Vaynerchuk the serial entrepreneur and “Unicorn”, has an unbelievable purpose in life backed by amazing passion — a true authentic, no doubt shaping the future of the next generation and having fun while doing it.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can visit our website, or send a DM on Instagram @Thepatrickbennett, or on LinkedIn at

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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