How to quit your day job to follow your dream job

2015-04-23 12.50.30

(Above) Tammi Kirkness setting up her business stand, VisionScope, at a recent exhibition.

By Louise Taffa

The question we have to ask ourselves when thinking about starting a new venture is, would you bet on yourself? Successful people rise, not because of difficulties but because of personal motivation.

For Tammi Kirkness, founder of VisionScope Coaching, she had a strong calling to help people “become the very best version of themselves”. A woman who has worked for corporate companies, Tammi made the biggest bet of all – the one on herself.

“I have a knack for seeing the potential in someone even when they can’t see it in themselves. Turning this into a business seemed like the logical next step,” Tammi says.

I was “60% sure”. Regardless of what percentage she was sure of or not, Tammi quit the corporate life and sits as a founder and her own boss.

Interestingly enough, it’s common for an entrepreneur to find themselves at a stage where they question the “risk” – a feeling that isn’t foreign to any start up.

Tammi has done what many wouldn’t – backed herself on just an idea and left that zone of comfort. A sentiment that often needs to be shared with entrepreneurs.

Although I myself haven’t started my own business, I have spent the past 12 months watching Rare Birds grow under the leadership of Jo and have learnt countless skills. Based on this:

I told her to congratulate herself on how far she’s actually come: I could see Tammi was a hard worker because her eyes lit up when she would talk about VisionScope. Her passion is there about the business she’s built.

As humans we tend to just keep going and going, not stopping along the way to celebrate the small wins, and, in a startup this is easily done.

At Rare Birds, from day dot, Jo has embedded the value that “we celebrate every win” and, we have. What’s the point you say? Well those wins, no matter if it was the launch of the first book or the signing of a new deal, I now remember because we stopped and recognised them.

I asked Tammi what one of her biggest steps was, “to throw myself entirely into growing VisionScope Coaching”.

The life coaching business didn’t happen overnight though, Tammi made sure she did her groundwork before she made the plunge and her hard labor has paid off.

“I have a team of phenomenal people who I consult with, laugh with, cry to, throw ideas around with and trust. The team is made up of a broad cross section from HR Directors, management consultants, stay at home mums, marketing geniuses, social media people, energetic healers, meditation teachers, business owners, entrepreneurial thinkers, psych students and lawyers.”

Tammi also has a mentor who is from an executive strategic financial background. “I believe you’re the average of your environment so I make it my mission to surround myself with clever, bright, positive people,” Tammi says.

No doubt she mentioned to me that it was scary and that there were plenty of people who weren’t necessarily naysayers, but seemed nervous for her which “added extra pressure”. However if we look at a calculated risk as an opportunity to grow and that failure is also an opportunity to grow, then the fear is lessened.

So how did Tammi take a leap of faith? “I came up with a rule that if I was more than 60% sure of a decision I’d roll with it. While it’s pretty uncomfortable and decisions with that sort of risk make me uneasy, if you want to stand out and make an impact you’ve got to do it. I read many years ago a study that said the people who can manage ambiguity are the ones that make it the furthest in business, this struck and cord with me and continues to help me push through tricky times,” Tammi mentions.

Tammi’s mantra to get herself through her challenges: “Fortune favours the brave”.

Tammi’s WHY is strong which is why she’s successful. “Coaching allows for unfiltered conversation that a lot of people need to help get them out of their own heads and start taking actual steps towards making their aspirations come to fruition. For me, helping people get where they want has always put shivers down my spine and by helping my clients do it with more ease and grace is a big honour.”

VisionScope Coaching work to clarify individual and team goals while facilitating the journey to fulfilment with ease and grace. They understand that people are unique, so every coaching session and path is customised. Individualised support, tools and strategies are utilised to ensure each client’s best possible balance is achieved and their aspirations are realized.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, they offer workshops for teams and groups including:

  • Balance & Well-being in the Corporate Arena
  • Fear & Stress Management
  • Individual & Team Purpose
  • Positivity & Motivation

For more information go to  

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