Imelda O’Keeffe

Pride Road’s business coach

Imelda O’Keeffe is a coach and business consultant who has been working with Lisa and Pride Road for around 11 years. She has helped Lisa incredibly in moving her business forward, by helping her launch Pride Road, and by providing consistent support.

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What support does she provide For the franchisees?

Imelda’s work is people centred. She helps the franchisees understand themselves and their own motivations and their clients motivations so they can connect with each other.

Imelda is involved in the onboarding and training processes, as well as helping them by providing continued support through her coaching expertise. Laura, a franchisee, describes Imelda as “yoga for your brain, and your heart,” so, after speaking to Imelda, Lisa feels like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders.

She often refers to the Pride Road business itself as a “blueprint for success,” but the franchisees’ success is about them: what they want to gain from the business and how they go about it in terms of how they gain and work with clients. Imelda helps them to get clear on why architecture and business are important for them, what is it about Pride Road that fits with them as individuals.

Why is coaching important?

Coaching the franchisees is important as the more they gain clarity on who they are, what they’re about, and why being part of Pride Road is important to them, the easier their journey is. It’s easy having their goals and objectives in place, but unless they know why they want to achieve those objectives, there will always be some incongruence. So, her role is to help them gain clarity on their purpose: What is important to them, as individuals, about what they do? Through questioning them and helping them to gain insight into their own drivers, ambition and sense of purpose, it becomes easier for them to make it through their journeys.


What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

Mentoring is about someone who has ‘been there and done that,’ imparting their knowledge and expertise onto their mentees. Coaching, however, isn’t about Imelda telling them how to do something, as she has no background in architecture, while the franchisees are experts, rather, it’s about asking the right questions for the franchisees to come up with their own answers, which they know deep down.

When we’re stuck in life or in business, when we don’t know what the next steps are, we don’t necessarily need someone to tell us what to do, we need to understand what’s holding us back. Coaching enables Imelda to ask the right questions so whoever she coaches can come up with the answers that suit them, based on their experiences and expertise. They just need a person or a platform to get them clear on what’s making them stuck.

Imelda does work with Pride Road as a mentor in some capacity, she has a lot of experience in the business world, so, during training, she conducts talks on networking, meeting clients, and building rapport.

What piece of advice would she give to those considering setting up their own practice?

Imelda thinks it’s about “why:” Why are you going into business? What do you want to gain from it that you haven’t already got? What isn’t working? What do you want to happen instead? The clearer you are on your reasons for making this leap, the easier it is for you to understand whether it’s the right fit for you, and what you need to do in order to be successful on this journey. “Pride Road, in the way that it’s set up, is an absolute blue-print for success, but unless you have got the right motivation, or the right determination for you, as an individual, to be successful… you won’t be successful.” It’s about aligning your motivations with a successful and proven business model; aligning them will be the fuel that will make your business successful for you.

Lisa talks to imelda, pride road’s business coach