On 11 March 2016, I won the 2014-16 Beautiful You Coaching Academy International Coach of the Year award. Below is the newsletter I wrote to my subscribers shortly after, as well as a round up of the other winners, and some beautiful photos from the night (courtesy of Fi Mims Photography).

Post International Coach of the Year Award Reflections 

I remember sitting at my kitchen table whilst on maternity leave in 2014 and making a conscious decision to do a little experiment: a whole year of letting go of what my head said was logical and instead tuning in to what felt right. This did not come naturally to me – but I knew my current mode of operating wasn’t working and I needed to try something new. I was determined that I wouldn’t remain confused and stuck about my career and passions forever.

One of the decisions that this heart-based operation mode led me to was enrolling in the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. My head told me it was a crazy idea! I didn’t know what a life coach was, I worried about what people would think, and I thought it would be more sensible to go back to university and do my masters in psychology. But something about studying to become a life coach felt right, so I honoured my commitment to follow my intuition and enrolled in the course.

Fast forward to now and I’m sitting at the kitchen table in a holiday home in Melbourne reflecting on the pros and cons list that my brain would have created about the course that day back in 2014. With the beauty of hindsight, I can now see that the pros and cons list would have been inaccurate and incomplete.

I look up and on the other end of the table is a beautiful quartz crystal trophy, two gorgeous bunches of flowers, three certificates, a stunning necklace, two jewellery trinket dishes, a cute illustrated book, harmony dolphins and a lucky little elephant. An email is open in front of me saying that a $1000 professional development cash scholarship is on its way, as well as an upcoming opportunity to grace the covers of Inspired COACH magazine.

I had won the 2014-2016 BYCA International Coach of the Year Award and across the table was the bountiful evidence.

With the beautiful and heavy quartz crystal International Coach of the Year trophy. Photo by Fi Mims Photography.   

I can guarantee that winning an international award and receiving such generous gifts would not have been on my initial pros and cons list that day. The awards didn’t even exist back then and I wouldn’t have been able to imagine that surprise up! And that is just one of the many unpredictable pros that I’ve experienced since making that heart-centred decision in 2014.

That’s the thing about relying on our brains and logic sometimes – we can’t foresee all the possibilities. We can’t possibly imagine what the pros and cons list truly is.  But somehow our intuition seems to know… if we listen to it.

Now I’m not saying to throw out your pros and cons list. Heck, I’m still impartial to them myself! But please tune into your heart, and if it’s singing out to you as your thinking or writing away, I beg of you to listen.

You just never know what doors might open and close if you do. A new best case scenario that your rational brain could have never imagined might eventuate.

Thank you so much for being here and being part of my delightfully unpredictable and unfolding dream.

Julie Parker CEO + Founder of Beautiful You Coaching Academy. Photo by Fi Mims Photography.

Winners round up:


The winners of the 2014-2016 Beautiful You Coaching Academy international awards were:







You can read more about the awards and each category on the Beautiful You Coaching Academy website here.


With winners Jenny Orenstein (CEO Shine), Tracey Spencer (Emerging Coach) and Sarah Jensen (Best Event). Photo by Fi Mims Photography.

Some last thoughts and BIG thank yous:

Below is the un-giggly version of who I thanked and what I hope I somehow nervously said in my acceptance speech: 


I have so much admiration and respect for each and every finalist tonight. They are doing incredible things and making positive differences to the lives of real people. I have no idea how the judges were able to pick a winner or even finalists in each of the categories. That seems like an impossible task and I’m glad people more decisive than me were on the panels.

I want to start by thanking Julie and team Beautiful You for everything that you do. Your course and your example in running a heart-centred business has been the springboard for so much change in my life. I went from feeling confused and stuck, to more on purpose than I could possibly imagine. You are world changers and your training world changers. What an incredibly important and valuable mission. Thank you for helping open my eyes to the endless opportunities that are out there for using our uniqueness to do good in the world.

I would also like to thank my beautiful friends Emma and Sarah who changed their holiday plans to come and support me tonight. I think all the coaches here in the room would understand how much it means when people from your pre-coaching life publicly step up and support you and your work. It’s HUGE and it means the world to me. I love you both.

Photo 1: My friends Sarah and Emma and I about to leave our apartment for the event. 

Photo 2: My prizes and award (not pictured – $1000 professional development cash scholarship and opportunity to be on the cover of Inspired Coach magazine). Photography by selfie 😉

And even though my family aren’t here tonight, I want to thank them for their support and encouragement also – especially my husband and my parents. Life has thrown us some real beauties over the last 18 months, it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride, and then I went and added quitting my job and starting a new business into the mix. But they’ve been my number one backers, fans, supporters, babysitters and website builders – and I’m so very blessed to have them.

And finally, I want to thank all of you. This community is nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. It’s so uplifting and inspiring. Each of you so incredibly unique and gifted. Each of you a real life superhero in my eyes. And I genuinely feel so very grateful to be part of this tribe. So thank you all of you for being you and for encouraging me to just be me as well.”

Accepting my award and nervously thanking people in my speech. Photo by Fi Mims Photography

Let’s soar together,

PS. As Julie Parker mentioned when introducing me on the night, I am now an ambassador for Engaging Women. You too can apply to join this movement of people sparking change for women and children in crisis here.


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