Ms Kudzi has been involved in education for the majority of her career but felt that staying in this role would impact the relationship she had with her children. Armed with a BA in Psychology & Management and MA in Psychology & Education, she looked to create her own coaching business, and now Optimus Coach Academy is nearing the £1million sales mark.
Having started her career in teaching, Ms Kudzi found a way for her to transfer her skills into a business model that would not only give her more time with her young family but also provide more financial stability for them.
She explained: “I had been in school leadership for five years and I felt that if I stayed it would impact my relationship with my kids as my hours were long and I looked ahead to the future and realised I would never be able to do school drop off and pick ups.”
Her desire to be there for her children conflicted with the love she had for her career and the duties she loved doing as a teacher, liking helping to develop and coach people.
Starting off, Ms Kudzi simply added some additional training and coaching externally from her main job and continued to set up her own coaching business.
“I thought that by being an entrepreneur I would have more freedom to work in a way that suited me, could choose what I did and didn’t do and be around for my family more,” she added.
“In November 2019 I set up my new business and worked with my first group of trainee coaches in 2020. The inspiration came from my own background.”
Ms Kudzi explained that alongside her degrees she also had multiple diplomas, certifications and a PGCERT in Coaching Psychology, but it was through all of this training that she discovered the gap in the market that would be her golden ticket to financial freedom.
“I wanted to create something which was based in psychology and neuroscience, and went deeper with the same practical focus so it was accessible for all.
“I also thought that having an online programme would be a great idea as it was more inclusive and meant that we could have a wider variety of people joining.”
Materialising this idea was not an easy feat, as Ms Kudzi explained that the £7,500 costs to ensure she got the necessary certification for both herself and the business meant she was only able to make a low profit in the first year.
However, she added that this trend did not last: “We will have generated over £1million in sales over the first two years.
The success of Optimus Coach Academy has provided Ms Kudzi the opportunity to reach a great personal milestone: putting an offer on her dream house. “We have had an offer accepted on our dream house which is hopefully going through soon,” she said. “The business has helped me to build more financial security and I am now investing in building assets and longer term wealth.”
The freedom of being an entrepreneur and business owner has also offered Ms Kudzi the opportunity to be there for her children and her team in the Philippines whenever they need her.
Alongside this she also has the flexibility to take time out for herself, enjoying her morning yoga, daily exercise and signing off of work at 3:15pm some days to spend more time with her family.
Ms Kudzi advised that this ability to put oneself first is vital to being a good coach and mentor: “I see many people working all the hours and not giving themselves time to relax and recharge which will impact how they show up with their clients: most clients come to you with an element of stress in their lives so as coaches if we can work on our own stress levels and reducing these we are helping to model what a safe space looks like.”
She added that being able to provide this for her employees as well is one of the joys of being a business owner: “Part of being an entrepreneur that I love is that I get to employ others and you can therefore see the ripple effect with them and their families.
“As well as with our trainees who often undergo significant transformations with the training which they call life changing: being even a small part of this is really humbling and makes everything worthwhile.”
Ms Kudzi advised that any aspiring entrepreneurs should look to stand out from their competitors if they want to succeed, not necessarily by being better but being different.
“For example the largest providers in the UK offered different qualifications to us which weren’t in as much depth: we made the decision to do something different.
“Equally, be prepared for things not to work; there are many days and weeks when things aren’t working as well as I had hoped, plus I have had a few times where I have felt like there is so much I could do and have been overwhelmed by possibility: coming back to the core business and understanding what that is is always helpful. You don’t need to be everything to everyone and you can start small and build from there,” she concluded.