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IGNITING THE SPARK with James Caplin

For this Igniting the Spark issue we had a chat with James Caplin. James is a great friend as well as a coach of the Ignition Law team. His coaching and training helps us to sharpen our focus and skills and ensures we continue to provide the best service to our clients.

James Caplin
James Caplin

The moment that ignited the spark in me to start a business was…

I’ve had lots of “Wow!” moments. A huge ignite the spark moment for me was when I was working with some colleagues - really good coaches - and realised that none of us were very good at business! So for the last few years I’ve focused on improving my business skills by hiring a coach. In that I’m like a sportsman: I believe the fastest way to succeed is to hire the right coach.

The thing that’s most surprised me since I made that move is…

It really surprises me at how astoundingly different people are. When you learn more about yourself, part of what you discover is how everyone creates their own world in different ways. If you know yourself and your strengths that can have a really positive effect on your life.

The toughest challenge I’ve faced is…

To understand that people see coaching as a discretionary purchase. When times are tough, people tend not to spend on things like coaching and that’s the time when people need it most.

My biggest success has been…

I was behind the curve in terms of my background, upbringing and social circumstances. Through lots of determination, luck and working with great people, I’ve created a life which really suits me and enables me to be productive and of service to others and the wider community. My greatest joy is being part of people’s lives and helping them be more successful.

I’m very good at…

Coaching! It’s absolutely what I’m best at. I’m really lucky to have discovered that my personality is made for coaching.

The type of person I look to recruit into my organisation is…

I look for people with integrity, who care deeply about the service they provide to others. I enjoy working with people who collaborate, so that together we can create something greater than the sum of the parts.

The part of my day I most look forward to is…

There’s no simple answer to that. There are so many moments in a day which I look forward to, it’s difficult to say. I love seeing my wife and children, I enjoy my mornings and focusing on important tasks of the day ahead.

If I could give my 18-year old self one piece of advice it would be…

I suppose it would be “It’s going to be ok” – that might have been helpful.

Outside of work I can be found…

If I’m not cooking, then I can be found on an Eton Fives Court. I never played ball games until my mid 50’s. My son introduced me to Eton Fives and I find it fantastically interesting. It’s a handball game played as doubles in a three-sided court – squash mixed with snooker and chess.

My philosophy on life is…

In a nutshell I suppose it might be something like “Listen to your heart.”

What I like about working with Ignition Law…

I like that you take it seriously that lawyers are human beings too.

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