Heather Dempster's Story

‘Life happens when you are making plans!’

Have you ever heard of the above expression? I was reminded of it recently while watching a movie, and it made me think of where I am now and how I got here.  Life has happened and hopefully will for some years to come, but what I’ve learned is that whether you make plans or don’t make plans, life will happen, no matter.  We have control over some things, and not over others and the learning comes when we can discern the difference between the two. However,  it’s about doing the things that we do have control over and making plans. Even if they don’t all materialise it’s better than making no plans at all.  Everyone has a unique story to tell and I will tell you part of mine.  (My whole story would take pages).  


Career Journey

I’ve been a coach now for about 14 years, but to get to the point of being a coach took a lot longer; to get to a place where I felt I was doing the right job for me. I spent many years in Education and Employment, but never feeling that I quite fitted in any particular job or place. It wasn’t until I left full-time employment in 2009, did part-time work for a year or so while working on building my business, and finally became self-employed that I knew I was in the right place. If I’d had a coach when I was younger, the path wouldn’t have been so long and winding. I got there in the end, but it took a lot of time, energy and disappointment to discover where I was best suited.  It took a lot of job applications, employment that I wasn’t a good match for, especially that I was over-qualified for, jobs that were not challenging and where my ability was not always recognised or rewarded. I found that most of the work I was doing (with a few exceptions), was employment that paid the bills, but that I didn’t necessarily enjoy.

I had a couple of very good employers and worked for a couple of true leaders and alongside some lovely people during my various roles, as well as with those who were back-stabbers, who were jealous of the ability of myself and my colleagues.  I understand what it is like to work in many different fields; in education, health, mental health, the IT industry, the faith community and equality organisations. I’ve also worked in interim management and project manager positions.  I’ve had the opportunity of being employed in the private, public and voluntary sectors and I’ve lived through so many scenarios in which people still find themselves.


I’ve observed much conflict in the workplace, bullying, selfishness and unhealthy competition. I’ve also watched many people who worked steadily and conscientiously day after day in employment that they hated, where there was a culture of blame, gossip and ‘backstabbing’. I saw supervisors who ‘walked over’ people, who acted like ‘kings and queens’ in their own little castles, and yet others who were true leaders and who served both their employees and their employer well.  I didn’t necessarily want to be a manager, but I wanted to be one of those true leaders. I didn’t realise until afterwards when I looked back that I had been leading all along; leading from senior roles and but also leading wherever I went no matter whether the job was a senior position or junior.  People naturally came to me for help and guidance, and I always endeavoured to help them to the best of my ability. 

I didn’t realise at that time that being a leader is different from being a manager. You can be a leader no matter what your role or age. Being a leader is enabling others to achieve; it’s influencing them, and that’s what I had been doing for most of my life. In fact, I had been a leader from primary school, not a leader that is commanding or telling, but one who shows and guides and encourages.

Even as a child, I was the one that teachers would give responsibility to.  I took new kids under my wing and showed them around the school and looked after them until they settled in, introducing them to others who would befriend them.  I watched over the younger classes until the sub-teacher arrived.  There were many other tasks and responsibilities given to me, none of which would be permitted nowadays.

On hindsight, it showed me that the teachers trusted me and they must have seen some leading quality in me that wanted to help and enable others. It’s sometimes only in reflecting back that you can see how your journey has helped you for your current situation. And it’s not until a friend told me I was a leader that I realised, “Actually, I am!” 

Becoming a Coach

A coach above all is a leader, influencing and guiding others.  But it wasn’t until I was working in an interim management role for a health organisation when a counsellor said to me ‘Heather – you would make a great coach’, that it got me thinking that maybe I could be. It was that one comment that sparked my interest that ‘set the ball rolling’. Sometimes we don’t see the talents and gifts in ourselves and it takes others to help us see that. That’s what a coach does – she enables people to see, not only things as they really are, but how they can become. It took another 3 years, however, until I began to realise that dream of being a coach.  But actually, the life, work and academic experience I had gained along the way only served to help me serve others, all the more. 

Part of my life’s purpose is to enable others to discover how to fulfil their potential more easily, so they can live the life that is best for them. In so doing, I am also fulfilling my potential. I delight in helping others in their own personal development and to come alongside them to empower them to clarify goals and reach their potential.  I say that my job as coach is ‘part of my purpose’, because your job is only part of what you do.  It shouldn’t define who you are.  Your ‘job’ whether paid or unpaid, is only part of your life, but it takes up a lot of your time, and energy (mental, physical and emotional), and can determine a lot of what you have to deal with throughout your life as well as affecting your general wellbeing.  So, it’s important that you are doing the right thing.


I am interested in people and have always been interested in what makes us ‘tick’, what makes us think, feel and behave the way we do, wondered about what we have in common, what makes us different and what makes each of us unique. It is what makes each one of us unique that fascinates me the most.  I’ve always had an informal interest in Psychology, so I did something about it, studied and worked and found out for myself about the way the mind works. This led to many paths and changes in my life partially explained above, until I realised what my work role was.  I am passionate about making a difference in the life of others; I love to see the person succeed; to see transformation, achievement and change for the better, whether that be in work (career or business), in health and well-being, in dealing with difficult relationships especially at work, with spiritual development or practical everyday aspects of life, such as self-management or with life in general.

Holistic Approach

Javelin Success is unique in that the coach considers the person holistically.  We are complex created beings. We are not just one part; we are many.  If you’ve signed up for my e-zines, you will see that we discussed, in one of the Spring editions that we are not just 1-dimensional (body) or even just 2-dimensional (body and mind).  I suggest we are made up of many dimensions and 4 of these are core (body, mind, emotion and soul). I am committed to seeing my clients’ achieve results and address the various ‘parts’ of a person, whichever areas the client wishes to address so it may be about taking time out to look after the mind; dealing with stress and not being overwhelmed with pressures of work, life, career and family.  Or it may be helping you with time management; looking at procedures and systems and the way you work, how strategic you are; how you plan and prioritise etc. 

The coaching could be about understanding your emotions – exploring emotional intelligence and resilience – bouncing back from disappointment and moving forward, or dealing with the everyday conflict of working and living with others. It could be about dealing with anger or grief, or confidence and self-esteem  or to look after the body (eating properly and taking time to exercise) or to take care of spiritual welfare exploring beliefs and values, and that behaviour is not in conflict with core values and it can be about exploring the bigger deeper questions.

Invest in Yourself

As already mentioned, we are complex created beings; we are not one thing.  All our parts our interconnected.  What affects one part of our life will usually affect another.  Coaching helps to unravel mixed-up thoughts and helps to make sense out of all the thoughts, feelings and issues we deal with. Coaching gives a space and time for you to work things out.  Coaching, mentoring and training can help us understand how we can change things for the better.

When you invest in coaching, mentoring or training, you are investing in yourself.  You are investing in your own success. It’s not like buying a product that you use for a while and eventually wears out, or where it loses its ‘newness’, or that breaks down or that you lose interest in. When you decide to invest in yourself, you are investing in your own learning, investing in the change you want to make; or clarifying the change you want to make; you’re investing in your present and your future.

If you would like to have an initial conversation to find out more about how I can help you, please feel free to contact me at heather@javelinsuccess.co.uk or complete the form on the contact page or ring me on 07800978121.

I look forward to meeting you!

Heather Dempster