Today, the name Coaching Without Borders doesn’t raise many questions, but 15 years ago there was a very specific reason to choose this name. It all began with this young American lady, with a rich history of living and studying abroad. She had dream to share this with others.
Her name? Margo McClimans.
Margo was working in the stone industry. No, not digging up stones. She worked in retail for a company that bought stones in Italy and imported it to the United States to be used as countertops, fireplaces, or flooring. Even though she quite liked the stone industry, she knew that one day, she wanted to share her experience – of living and integrating abroad – with others. She wanted to give intercultural training to individuals and companies.
From stones to students
To be able to do so, international work experience is a requirement. Margo lived and studied abroad before, but only worked in the US so far. She also realized further business know-how would be an asset, so she decided to start an MBA in Italy. She graduated after 1 year of 7-day-a-week schooling in Asolo, Italy at CIMBA. Continuing the strategic steps in her master plan, Margo started to work at an Italian company. Her official role was selling HTTP compression software, but her main interest was in perfecting her Italian and learning HTML from watching her colleagues. Soon she knew enough to make her own website and founded her own stone brokerage business on the side. With the American-European time difference as her great friend, she dealt with clients in the US at night, while her weekends were spent on getting her business, International Stone Consultancy, up and running.
Not entirely surprising, selling software wasn’t Margo’s big passion in life. She was let go not long after she started. It was a scary time, as she and her boyfriend at the time had no financial safety net and struggled to make ends meet. Like the young bird pushed out of the nest by its mamma, Margo had to make the stone business fly. This was the push to become an entrepreneur, and she has never looked back.
A few months later, luck was on her side. The Director of her MBA wanted to start a leadership program for the business students and asked Margo for help.
This was in 2005 and not long after, she decided to get her coaching certification through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). After running both the stone business and her coaching business in parallel for 5 years, with a heavy heart she closed her stone business and focused fully on expanding her intercultural coaching. Read the more detailed story of how Margo got into coaching here. The aim? Erasing boundaries and misconceptions between different cultures, hence the name Coaching Without Borders. The beauty about borders is that some create them, while others don’t experience them at all. Think of the bird, which is part of our branding. The borders we see, between countries and cultures, are borders that don’t exist for this bird. The same can be true for the borders we create for ourselves in our minds. The importance lies in how and which borders we perceive and our actions following these perceptions.
What started with understanding and easing cultural borders, now has an expanded focus to removing more than only intercultural differences. Nowadays, we focus on erasing borders of gender (in)equality, expanding ways of thinking and expressing in both personal and work environments, and stretching the borders of the way teams collaborate.
So, over 15 years, the name gradually evolved in meaning and purpose, which can only leave us curious as to where this will lead us and our clients in the future!
A world without borders is a world full of opportunities.