Want to Live Your Best Life? Meet Gavin Sharpe

Gavin Sharpe’s career journey has been full of surprises. It led him from a successful chapter as a lawyer to co-founding a successful recruitment company and earning recognition for his entrepreneurial ventures to his current role as a respected coach and therapist. His transition wasn’t planned; it evolved naturally from his desire to help others navigate life’s challenges and be the best version of himself. It was his innate drive to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives that guided him to live his best life.

Gavin’s approach to personal development is straightforward: he works closely with individuals to uncover their true potential. Whether he’s guiding high-profile personalities through relationship challenges, career transitions or assisting organizations in talent management, Gavin’s philosophy centres on understanding each person’s values and passions. Through thoughtful questioning and a thorough exploration of what success means to his clients, Gavin empowers them to lead fulfilling lives. Join us to discover the transformative power of coaching and therapy.
HM: Could you share your personal journey from your previous career as a lawyer and entrepreneur to becoming a successful coach and therapist?
Well, my career path has been quite unexpected, to be honest. I initially pursued law because my parents encouraged me, thinking it was a stable profession. After five years invested in law school and training, I realized it wasn’t fulfilling for me. I explored media law for a while, hoping for a change, but still felt unfulfilled. 
Then, I co-founded an international recruitment business, which became the market leader in our sector, specializing in placing lawyers in prestigious firms, even setting up offices for major Wall Street firms in London.
While in that role, I found myself unofficially providing coaching and consultancy to individuals navigating major career decisions. Although we received recognition in The Sunday Times in the U.K. and won numerous industry awards, I realized it wasn’t the life balance I wanted. I knew I needed a change. I sold my shares back to the business and began a four-year master’s program in integrative psychotherapy and followed that with an executive coaching diploma. It’s been quite a journey, but I’ve found my passion in helping individuals, couples and companies flourish. 
HM: What are some common reasons why successful people seek the guidance of a coach?
Successful individuals want to perform at their highest level. Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack Obama all had coaches. Coaching focuses on identifying and working with someone’s strengths and making them stronger. It’s about uncovering blind spots and limiting assumptions that hinder progress and finding ways to unlock potential.
HM: How do you help clients uncover and address their blind spots and limiting assumptions during sessions? 
Limiting beliefs are the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and that hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be. They are often subconscious. I might believe I am not intelligent enough. Perhaps at school, I wasn’t top of the class. Over time that belief becomes the lens through which I see life and it holds me back from achieving my potential. I work with that person to identify and remove such limiting assumptions. These blind spots are like driving your car at night without the lights on. Why would you do that?
HM: Gavin, when a client comes to you for the first time, how do you approach determining if you’re the right person to help them?
When someone comes to me, I start by asking two questions: What would you like to achieve? Am I the right person to help you? What I do is an investment in time and money. I would rather people remember me as the guy who did not take their money than the one who did and achieved nothing. 
HM: Gavin, you mentioned being referred to as the “corporate fixer”. Could you elaborate on how you view this term and how it aligns with your coaching philosophy? 
I worked recently with a company whose board was dysfunctional. I was able to uncover its unhealthy dynamics. In that sense, I fixed the problem. It was the client that called me their corporate fixer.
But I am a coach, not a magician. You can’t coach a poor performer to be a star and you can’t change a corporate culture overnight. I have mixed feelings about that term. I don’t like the idea of “fixing” people because it implies they’re broken. Aren’t we all a little broken? 
HM: And what is the difference for people who don’t see the difference between therapy and coaching?
It’s a great question. Typically, therapy is more focused with processing the past and executive coaching is more about setting and achieving goals for the future. However, what too many professionals don’t appreciate is the overlap between these two disciplines. In my executive coaching work, for example, understanding a client’s past is crucial because it impacts their present behavior. While I may touch upon these issues in coaching, I also recognize when it’s necessary to refer clients to therapy for deeper healing and processing. Ultimately, both therapy and coaching are about helping individuals grow and overcome challenges, but they approach it from different perspectives.
HM: How do you keep client information private while still addressing the public interest, especially for clients with public visibility?
Confidentiality is a top priority for my clients, especially in Monaco. I highly value it and never discuss names whether my client is a top racing driver or billionaire businessman. Most clients come through private recommendations. Sometimes, we sign non-disclosure agreements at the start of our relationship to ensure their comfort.
HM: What challenges do individuals in Monaco face when seeking personal or professional development, and how do you address these challenges in your coaching practice?
Most people who live here are already successful. I invite my clients to leave their egos at the door. We’re all trying to figure out this thing called life. We’re all equal whether we live in Monaco or Mozambique. In Monaco, there are numerous temptations, especially given the wealth in this area. I’ve also studied financial disorders, so understanding people’s relationship with money is important here.
HM: Gavin, what are your future goals? Do you see yourself continuing your work in Monaco, and what do you like most about living here?
For the foreseeable future, I plan to stay in Monaco. I enjoy the lively atmosphere and the sense of safety in this community. Moreover, I admire HSH Prince Albert II’s dedication to environmental concerns. I want to continue with my monthly Wellbeing Window show on Riviera Radio. I am in discussions with another entrepreneur to develop the coaching side of the business into a pioneering new sector, so watch this space! There’s meaningful work to be done here, both in my coaching practice and in wellbeing. I’m committed to making a positive difference in the lives of those I work with.
I believe we all have the potential to live the life that we were born to lead. In my experience, we spend our whole life trying to answer one existential question. “What was I put on earth to do?” Stated another way, “What makes my heart sing?” I am blessed in my work. I get to sit alongside others and help them sing. 

Interview published in the Hello Monaco Magazine spring 2024

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