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Empowering people is why I get up in the morning

When Duncan Barker IML was in the early days of launching his own real estate business, Office Discovery, he was grateful to have his mentor, Southern Cross Coaching and Development CEO Simon Smith FIML, by his side. Both work in Sydney.

Why did you join FILM mentor program?

DB: I was referred by a friend of mine who had spoken very highly of the program. There were some changes going on at work and I had some personal goals and I thought it would be great to speak to someone who’d had a similar experience or who was able to provide some knowledge and guidance around what to do.

SS: I love what I do – that’s why I do it – but I think I can always give something back. Not everyone has the chance to have an executive coach paid for by their company, so I wanted to be able to do that for someone who may not otherwise have the opportunity. I also get a lot out of FIML, so it’s nice to be able to give something back as well.

What did you get out of the program?

DB: I got a lot out of it. Who better to be partnered with than an actual business coach? Being teamed up with Simon was great from a personal and business perspective because he’s a coach and he was exceptional with his time as well. He was a great support through what was a transitional time for me.

SS: I got a great sense of satisfaction. To be able to contribute to somebody else’s empowerment in any way for me is the whole reason I get up in the morning.

How has the mentor program helped you?

DB: The ability to talk to someone independent and experienced – Simon is at the other end of the scale to me in business. The support was great and the quality of the advice I was receiving and the access to that advice was great.

SS: Whenever I’m coaching I’m always mindful that often the words that come out of my mouth are those I need to tell myself. Listening to some of the advice I’m giving and the questions I’m asking, I often reflect afterwards that it’s probably something I also need to learn.

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