Moments of clarity can be fleeting or they can change your entire life. For Ed JC Smith, such a moment took place when a homeless man stopped him from leaping under a moving train. “I wasn’t a happy teenager. I had debilitating acne and had been diagnosed with curvature of the spine. I was doing terribly at school and didn’t see eye-to-eye with my father who used every opportunity to take his anger and frustrations out on me,” the Englishman says.
One day, after a particularly heated argument with his dad, Ed ran to the local train station where he was going to end his life. “I was pulled back from the edge by a homeless man who happened to be at the platform. He wrestled me to the ground and made me promise that I would never try anything like that again; that I would never give up on my dreams,” he says. “This was the moment that changed my life. I became determined to succeed.”
And succeed he has. Today, Ed is the CEO and founder of The Champion Academy, an online coaching platform that helps entrepreneurs from around the globe create and scale their own coaching ventures. He has also created 22 online courses, written three books including a number one Amazon seller, and hosts a popular YouTube channel and podcast about business, coaching, and overcoming limitations. He has also spoken alongside the likes of Ryan Deiss, Lord Sugar, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
Staying true to the promise he made at the station, Ed decided to turn his life around. He started by getting a job at the local gym where he cleaned equipment. It did not take Ed long to realize that he was good at helping people with their fitness routines. “I was mainly helping women who wanted to lose weight and people with bad backs,” he says. “It took time but I eventually rented a space in central London where I helped men with depression and couples going through relationship problems.”
After taking classes in various healing practices, such as neuro-linguistic programming and cognitive behavioral therapy, Ed decided to take things to the next level. “While I felt that I had found my purpose in life, I was exhausted by one-on-one coaching. I felt like I was stuck in a cycle and had very little time. I needed to scale my business and start group coaching.”
Unfortunately, Ed soon found out that public speaking was not a skill he was born with. He was nervous in front of large groups. “My first group presentation was on ‘How to Make Changes in Your Life in the Fastest Time Period.’ I was a nervous wreck and my hands shook the entire time. I did the pitch and was hoping that at least five people would join my program but nobody did,” he says. “That day I decided to give up coaching. Luckily, I was brave enough to give things another chance.”
Building a Dream
Today, Ed runs The Champion Academy, an online company that offers programs for coaches and consultants. Ed’s signature program is Clients on Automation. Based on his extensive knowledge and years of experience, the program teaches participants how to grow their ventures into five- or six-figure businesses. The program is broken down into easy-to-follow modules with information about how to get clients on automation and scale a business; all without hassles and a huge time commitment.
“The seven-week program begins with identifying your specific business niche and your target market. We then teach you how to capture your clients using the tools that I have used myself to build a seven-figure venture,” Ed says. “Participants complete weekly tasks to keep them engaged and can access our support system for up to six months after completing the program.”
To date, Ed has helped hundreds of newbie and established business people to reach financial freedom or scale their enterprise. “Our clients end up with a fully automated online business that gives them plenty of time to spend with their families, go on vacations, or pursue their interests,” Ed says.
The program can also be adapted to all business niches, provided that they aim to help others. “I have coached individuals involved in a huge range of business types. One of our students teaches women how to have orgasms. She used to have problems in this area herself and now uses her knowledge to teach others. We have also coached an older woman who was helping people suffering from arthritis. Another of our clients coaches people dealing with grief after the death of a loved one.”
Making a Difference
While Ed generally chooses to run his programs online, he does run one live event — an annual retreat on the tropical island of Bali in Indonesia. The ten-day program teaches participants about overcoming limitations and scaling their coaching businesses. “The intensive program attracts people from all walks of life, all of whom are ready to let go of the things that are holding them back from success,” Ed explains.
A part of the program involves a visit to a local school, an organization that Ed supports along with a homeless shelter and a stem cell research foundation. “We get the participants to spend time with the children and watch them learn. This aims to teach them about gratitude and the importance of giving back to the community. We hope that once they are running a successful business, they will also help those less fortunate than themselves.”
Once at the end of his tether, over the years Ed has learned that everything is a matter of perspective. After all, you can take any event in your life and either look at it in a positive or negative light.
“I’ve never been able to find that guy that saved my life on that platform all those years ago,” Ed says. “It’s taken some time to heal, but today I am grateful that I had that experience. It’s made me realize how lucky I am and that every single day is a blessing.”