Eleven years ago, Marlene Powell left her comfortable but strong role in the financial sector of the corporate world to become ActionCOACH’S first woman Business Coach in South Africa. She explains, “I loved entrepreneur and author, Brad Sugars, the founder of ActionCOACH’s vision.” After business owners were approaching him for business consultations, Sugars realised that the missing component between knowledge and implementation was coaching.

Consequently, Sugars company Action International (now known as ActionCOACH) was born in 1993. ActionCOACH has grown to be one of the fastest growing franchises in the world and is the number one business coaching firm in the world. There are currently more than 1200 ActionCOACH offices in over 80 countries; in South Africa there are 50 coaches.

The hundreds of proven systems and strategies that have been developed are guaranteed to get results for entrepreneurs and business owners around the world. ActionCOACH’s ‘14-points of culture’ is the heart of the company and defines the core values of the Global ActionCOACH brand and community.

As the first woman ActionCOACH franchisee in South Africa, and with more than 10 000+ coaching hours, Marlene has transitioned herself from a generalist to a specialist her field. As a certified business coach, Marlene provides business help, business advice, business coaching mentoring services to small and medium sized businesses.


Marlene believes she is now living her dream, with strong support from her husband Geoff, and son Dylan, who encouraged her to turn her dream into a reality. Says Marlene, “Either you can take ownership, accountability or responsibility to achieve your dreams or you can blame, excuses or be in denial… The choice is up to you.” “As a business owner myself, I value quality of life – like everyone e lse s hould. B y implementing simple practical tools into my clients’ businesses, I help them create more money and time to allow them to enjoy finer things in life. It inspires me to help people spend more quality time doing what they love doing.”

“As an Internationally certified Business Coach, Marlene will help you deliver the results you desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, tested and perfected over tens of thousands of businesses worldwide for over more than two decades. I will hold you accountable for your results and just like a sports coach, push you to perform at optimal levels.”


The franchise employees are people who have the right attitude and can take initiative in their respective roles. Of significance, they assist in building the ActionCOACH brand. “We complement each other through our own strengths for a bigger purpose,”explains Marlene.


ActionCOACH clients come from a variety of business backgrounds. “They value my input as they have seen business growth from the inception of their coaching programme,” says Marlene. “My down to earth, no nonsense approach has been commented on – and the fact that I am passionate to help my clients spend more time on their businesses and not slogging day in and day out in their business.”

“We couldn’t have excelled as we have without a coach. Marlene has got to know us well and knows which buttons to press. We would never have been able to expand our business as we have without Marlene.” (Liza Clifford)

“Marlene has helped us make decisions that have helped differentiate ourselves from our competitors. We have definitely seen the rewards of having Marlene coach our team.” (Gopals Bags)

“Thanks to Marlene’s coaching, our business has expanded exponentially. We just wish that we had found her sooner!” (Woza Moya)

“Our major concern was working in our business and not on our business. Marlene showed us how to get out of this rut and we now have a better quality of life – and a greater turnover. I wish we’d found her sooner.” (Talisman Hire)


Marlene’s personal brand is defined by precision in all that she does so it is not surprising that the Westville based franchise has consistently been placed in the Top 100 in the world. She also attributes her success to discipline and consistency. “I have continued to focus on the positives; the vision and my purpose on why I became a coach. Helping people to achieve growth in their companies has helped me achieve growth in mine.”

“Significantly, success revolves around the word action. We literally took a pact to take ACTION and help our clients to do the same. Results must be forthcoming or else what’s the point?” Since 2008, Marlene journey that has seen her turn people’s businesses around – achieving between 46% to in excess of 1000% growth.

“Clients have more than tripled their bottom line in a recessionary economy; won entrepreneurial awards; developed exit strategies; taken time out with their families and found the financial freedom to pursue what really matters.” She said.


“There is more than enough business to go around on the coaching front. I don’t see anyone as competition.” “My feeling is that I would rather complete one another than compete with one another. Coaching can take business owners to the next level and allow them to achieve their dreams, and with an abundant mindset we can all achieve this. Together Everyone Achieves More.