Byte Experts: Byte The Bullet: Why Getting a Coach is a Brilliant New Year’s Resolution by David Roche

Posted by Justine Solomons on 18 December 2020, in Byte Experts, News

Publishing industry veteran David Roche has just launched his new venture Grey Area Coaching. in this month's Byte Experts series he explains why new year is the perfect time to treat yourself (yes, really!) to some coaching and mentoring support.

Myths to dissipate:

Everyone is becoming a coach these days

Hang this one up with the ‘those who can, do; those who can’t, teach’ nonsense. Every one of us benefits from attending school, from learning and improving our knowledge. Likewise, we all can perform better by understanding what is holding us back and planning and committing to succeeding in the future. Good coaching is highly skilled and needs a lot of training (12-18 months minimum) and practice, as with any other qualifications. There aren’t enough of these skills to go around.

I don’t need a coach, I can do it myself

Well, if it was that easy, you would be where you want to be already and have a pathway of milestones to achieve your long-term goals mapped out and being ticked off on a regular basis. For the rest of us, distractions, lack of time or resources, sabotage and barriers, wavering self-belief, and others’ perceptions tend to get in the way and distort the straight-line path to success. Coaching can help with all of these.

Coaching and Mentoring are never to be combined

Both coaching and mentoring employ asking powerful questions and the skill when utilising both is not to stop self-empowering the client while at the same time providing faster routes to success that experience can bring. This is not an easy balance to achieve and needs a talented and experienced practitioner to provide the benefit without the reliance that can be associated.

Where to start to make 2021 the beginning of a new journey

Admit to yourself that you have taken too long putting action off

Is prevarication your superpower? Have you been drifting at work and need a jump- start? Are you at a crossroads and need help seeing new options rather than the same old routes? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, coaching and mentoring can help you move forward in ways that you had not imagined when writing your to do list over and over again.

Acknowledge the definition of madness

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? Coaching and mentoring involves both planning, commitment and assessment of your progress. Great coaching and mentoring involves challenge and self-awareness that embraces change and quickly leads to improved results. It is wizardry if you have been stuck for ages and never experienced its effects before.

Try it, try it, you will see...

All you need to benefit from coaching is the commitment to try and make it work. It is not hypnosis, it is not prestidigitation – it is a mirror to yourself which finds the answers that are right for you, and a window that can show you some simple routes that have been trodden by others before. I still benefit enormously from being coached and learn something about myself every session; these are often things I knew, but wouldn’t admit to myself, let alone anyone else.

The first session is one of familiarisation and is free. It is designed to establish if we would be comfortable working together and if the right ingredients are there for a successful outcome. Byte the Book members get 20% discount from the cost of any subsequent sessions. More details are on my website at - do get in touch.


David Roche is non-exec Chair of London Book Fair and Chair of the writing agency New Writing North and the online publishing news service BookBrunch. David has just launched Grey Area Coaching as part of his company, David Roche Enterprises Ltd, and is a coach / mentor, sometime literary agent for a few select authors, and had his first book published by Unbound in 2017.

David has worked in both retail and publishing as CEO of Borders & Books etc, Product Director of both Waterstones and HMV, and Group Sales and Marketing Director of HarperCollins. David has also been President of the Booksellers Association and a Trustee of BookTrust.

David reads mainly literary fiction but will cross the floor to non- fiction if the subject is something he loves (see One Two Three Four by Craig Brown) or is critical (see The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *