Raised in Stoke Newington, Marcus Grodentz went to a local comprehensive school. He had always wanted to be a journalist, and with luck, he managed to get his first job at London News Service as a Copy Boy / Junior Reporter. His experience gained him a further position at the Watford Observer where he received formal training and went to journalism school at Harlow College.
As a freelance journalist, Marcus worked for all the nationals, radio and TV and then obtained a position as the Chief Reporter at the Lea Valley Mercury, Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire. He later left journalism and pursued another role of Public Relations and Press officer for Haringey Council.
Marcus had spent 40 years working in local government as a senior PR Manager. During this time he had undertaken a lot of management training and coached and mentored colleagues both within his organisation and around the country. In 2014, he took voluntary redundancy and decided to retrain as a Life Coach as he loved the process of coaching and getting the best out of people.
Maggie and Marcus met on an online dating service seven years ago. Maggie was born and grew up in Newport, and for the past 25 years had worked as the HR Practice Manager of an extensive GP surgery in Newport. She was responsible for all the staff along with patient liaison and acted as the interface with the GPs and senior partners. During this time, she did voluntary bereavement counselling with the St David’s Foundation, dealt with the peripatetic aspects of patients and their families and counselled staff as well as doctors in their highly demanding work environment.
Marcus found Novus in May 2015. Novus is Latin for ‘New’. Twelve months ago Maggie joined Marcus in the business after deciding to relieve her job as the Practice Manager at a local GP surgery to develop and grow her counselling work. Maggie’s desire to work in the field of bereavement counselling stems from the passing of her son aged 20.
Their business complements each other superbly in Maggie helps people deal with emotional challenges from their past and Marcus is about assisting people to create new exciting futures. Either way, it is about new beginnings.
the Jupital had the opportunity to speak with Marcus and Maggie:
the Jupital: What is unique about your business?
“Coaching and counselling are complementary services. Potential clients are may be unsure of exactly the type of help they want or indeed what they want to achieve. Working together means we make sure clients see the right person. Our free initial sessions allow us to explore with the client what is going on with them and whether coaching or counselling is the best way forward. Our clients feel confident they are getting the service for their needs. It also allows them to see how we work and if they feel which is appropriate for them.”
the Jupital: As a business owner what are your top three priorities?
“Our clients are our absolute top priority. We want to make a significant difference in their lives. If we do this, then we achieve our second priority which is to make sure we have a sense of fulfilment from what we do. Our third priority is to make sure we have the correct work/life balance. This is what we talk to our clients about, and we have to make sure we are an example of this. We ensure we make time for ourselves and each other. We go out and do things together and have fun.”
the Jupital: To what do Maggie and you attribute your success?
“Two things: empathy and understanding. Maggie’s son passed away from a terminal medical condition when he was aged 20 and had his life before him. She is passionate to help and support others who may go through the isolation of this dark tunnel alone, as she had to do. I had two previous marriages before meeting Maggie and was a carer for more than 20 years while also holding down a high-profile, full-time job and bringing up a young son. You achieve more than you think despite challenging circumstances. My skills as a journalist and public relations executive also enables me to coach around opportunities which clients may be unable to recognise.”
the Jupital: Give an example of a time when both you and Maggie exceeded your client’s expectations.
“Maggie was counselling a lady in her late middle age whose husband recently passed away and as a result had become a virtual recluse. She was housebound for months. The client was unsure what to expect from the sessions and thought it would only be talking to someone. When Maggie went back to her for her second session, the client was excited to tell her she had been out for a walk for the first time ‘in ages.’ She said it had been the ‘little gems’ Maggie had gifted her during this first conversation, which had given her the courage and the tools to walk out the front door. The client unexpected such a huge breakthrough after one meeting.”
“I had coached a former army officer with a young family. After two tours of Afghanistan, he had received a medical discharge from injuries received in the line of duty. He had been in a front-line regiment and was unable to envisage a life outside the service. He was contemplating his future and was unable to see any way he might replicate that sort of experience. During the first session, I was able to steer him towards a business idea which drew on all of his military training and experience. It also drew on one of his previous passions and importantly brought in former military comrades to work with him. The veteran was delighted and excited. Within days, the veteran had been in touch with colleagues and was talking with them about creating a business proposal. He was moved by the results from one session and was then keen to sign up for more.”
For Marcus coaching is an adventure. “It’s about finding out about people. Who they are and what they want out of life. Coaching is about getting people to look at their life from a slightly different perspective – and if you may be able to get them to do this their whole life changes.” says Marcus.
As a coach, Marcus feels it is his purpose to challenge his clients and to help them achieve goals beyond their limits. His wife Maggie works with people who are dealing with ‘emotional challenges’. She specialises in bereavement counselling. Maggie is a skilled and empathic counsellor who helps her clients through these challenging times. Maggie has a natural empathy, which her clients see and respond too.
Marcus’s love of coaching comes from the excitement he has had over the years of coaching people professionally as journalists and PR professionals and working with trainees. In all cases, it was seeing them grow and develop and realise potentials which were unknown to them.
They reside in Magor in South Wales and prefer face-to-face coaching and counselling, however, also conduct sessions via Skype or telephone. Maggie and Marcus both have worked with people internationally.
“There is always time to start a new chapter in life. We’re excited about our future, and this is what we bring to the people we work with, so they may be excited about theirs.” says Marcus and Maggie.
To learn more about Marcus and Maggie at Novus click here. Alternatively, they are active on the following social media links:
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=marcus+grodentz
What further benefits are there to couples working together in business?