We know that the number of people moving into self-employment has tripled in the last 20 years. More and more people are considering leaving the corporate world and going self-employed. Research shows that this transition to self-employment can be made easier if some key issues are tested out and addressed. They include:

  • your clarity of vision
  • your personal competencies
  • your personal and financial supports

why coaching?

One-to-one coaching can provide a number of benefits, including:

  • more awareness of how ready you are to move into self-employment
  • clarity of whether self-employment is right for you
  • increased focus on what is needed to move successfully into self-employment
  • the addressing of some of your gaps or improvement areas
  • opportunity for tailored support
  • more energy and excitement!


Central to this coaching support is the Testing the Water® questionnaire. It has been designed by Cathy Brown, and developed in partnership with Birkbeck College, University of London over 18 months of research. It aims to help you to assess your readiness for self-employment.

The one-to-one coaching has a number of steps:

step one – checking it out

  • after applying for coaching support, you will have a conversation with Cathy to ensure that you are best prepared to complete Testing the Water®

step two – testing the water

  • ahead of the one-on-one coaching sessions, you will receive the Testing the Water® questionnaire
  • typically it takes 60-90 minutes to complete
  • by completing this questionnaire, you will have assessed your readiness for self-employment and will understand both your strengths and development gaps and the support you will need to take your first steps into self-employment

step three – providing practical support through two coaching sessions

  • there are two personal coaching sessions which take place face to face
  • each session lasts up to 90 minutes
  • the first session will involve Cathy talking through the questionnaire in more detail and working with you to identify any gaps to address
  • the second session will involve Cathy addressing with you the gaps identified in the first session
    session may be combined or held on the same day, to ease travelling


The Testing the Water® coaching programme costs £325 + VAT, including questionnaire. This covers:

  • questionnaire completion
  • interpretation of questionnaire
  • discussion of gaps to address coaching exercises to address gaps, taken from the booklet Testing the Water® Toolkit
  • personal copy of Testing the Water – Is Self Employment for Me? Practical Guide

If you would like to book your own coaching session or find out more, please contact Cathy Brown via the contact form.

Testing the Water Questionnaire

The Testing the Water® questionnaire has been developed in partnership with Birkbeck College, University of London over 18 months of research.

find a coach

If you want to find a coach closer to you, here is a list of other licensed Testing the Water® coaches.

Licensed Coach Stamp