Allen O'Donoghue Motivation Interview Podcasts

Coaching specialist Allen O'Donoghue sits down with inspirational individuals to delve into what has motivated them to follow their heart.
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Allen O'Donoghue Motivation Interview Podcasts









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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 22, 2017

I'm delighted to have been joined by the master himself, Ronan McQuillan from The Enemies. Ronan tells us about how music was just always a part of his life and how a setback in music brought him in a brand new direction. Enjoy!

Dec 19, 2017

This was such a fun and interesting podcast to do! Allen & Gerry tackle some very common Christmas parenting issues. Enjoy!!

Nov 30, 2017

Today, Allen chats with Youthreach resource worker David Carry. David charts his journey working in multimedia, right through his career to supporting young people who have fallen out of the traditional education system and the importance of time with friends and family. 

Nov 20, 2017

In the latest episode of Series 2, Allen get's to meet with Fiona Walsh who is a prosthetics and make artist for film and television, having worked on some of the most successful productions of the last 10 years including The Hobbit series, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars. Fiona delves into her journey and the ups and downs of working in the movie industry.

Nov 3, 2017

As Season 2 continues, Allen finally gets to interview Sandra Garry & Gary Griffin, two people who's dedication to volunteering and supporting youth development, is an inspiration.

Oct 27, 2017

In this episode, Allen & Gerry discuss a range of parenting topics including a 14 year old refusing to go to school and how to support your child auditioning for a TV talent show. 

Oct 20, 2017

Welcome back to Series 2 of the Motivation Interview Podcast. In this episode, Allen talks to actor Darby Stanchfield about her life growing up in a small town to becoming successful in her career.

Oct 10, 2017

Welcome back to Series 2 of the Motivation Interview Podcast. To kick us off, Allen chats with filmmaker, web developer and owner of Infinitum Limited, Jason Leung about his journey away from civil engineering in Vancouver, traveling the world and ending up owning a company in Budapest.

Aug 18, 2017

In this episode Allen and Gerry cover a range of Parenting questions such as teens hanging around and getting into trouble, volunteering, building self esteem, being left home alone, teens distancing themselves and dealing with adult children. 

Jun 20, 2017

In our latest episode, Allen had the pleasure of talking with Louise McPhillips about her desire to build a cob house and how the concessions she has had to make along the way haven't dented her resolve to succeed. Louise also talks about where her determination came from and how she fostered it.

May 22, 2017

In this week's Motivation Interview Series Podcast episode, Allen speaks with sports entrepreneur Elaine Keogh about her life, being a young mother, building numerous businesses and overcoming personal setbacks through focusing on her personal health and fitness. #MondayMotivation

May 12, 2017

In our latest episode, Allen meets former CEO / Animation and Film Director at Coalter Digital, David Coalter. David talks about his upbringing, getting into a major corporation moving away to set up on his own and ultimately learning about work/life balance which let him to return to his former employers.

May 5, 2017

In our latest episode, Allen meets President of LNR Property in Miami Beach, Adam Behlman. Adam discusses the impact of losing his father at a young age, how a chance meeting got his mojo back and how a major health diagnosis made him re-evaluate his priorities. 

May 3, 2017

Allen of answers your questions on a number of topics.  In this podcast, Allen discusses whether or not you can be your child's best friend as well as their parent, how to deal with kids playing parents off against each other, introducing alcohol to teenagers, parents social media use, having "perfect children" and overweight kids! Oh and a cheeky mention for the 2017 Parenting Expo in September in Dublin. We hope you enjoy it.

Apr 12, 2017

Grandparents Looking After Grandkids.  

It takes a village to rear a child is an old saying and today it is as valid as it ever was. More and more grandparents are taking on the role of child carers. With the high cost of mortgages and child care, it is often necessary for both parents to work, to cover living expenses. Or both parents may choose to focus on career.

From the child's perspective grandparents caring for them is a wonderful experience. All children need love, acceptance and validation in order to develop a strong sense of self and independence and being surrounded by people who love them unconditionally fosters these qualities in them.

However, issues can develop unless boundaries are made clear from the very beginning.

Grandparents need to remember that this is not their child and it is up to the parents to set out how they want their child cared for. Issues around discipline, food, sleep etc. should be clearly understood prior to the childcare starting. Parents also need to understand that their parent has successfully raised them, so they are not without parenting skills.

Children need structure and consistency in their lives, so it is important that all the people caring for them are working from the same perspective.

Differing opinions need to be discussed and negotiated. It is not appropriate for the Parents to lay down rules which the other finds difficult or impossible to implement. It is also unacceptable for the Grandparents to agree to the structures and then to disregard them and do their own thing. What happens here is that the child receives mixed messages which just confuses them and leaves them feeling unsafe and with divided loyalties.

How then can these differences be dealt with respectfully?

1: both parties need to admit that there may be a potential problem.

2: an appropriate time needs to be set aside to discuss the issues. Not when people are tired following a long day, much better to meet when both parties are free.

3: start with “I” messages, e.g. I am worried, I feel restricted, I am not sure what is expected etc.

4: then say what you would really like to do about the issue.

5: together think up ideas which are possible solutions to the issue and list them.

6: choose one idea, the one most likely to succeed.

7: plan the details.

8: carry it out

If 8 fails or is difficult to implement, go back to 6 again and choose a second option.

Allow each party space to speak without interruption, giving them your full attention.

If parents and grandparents put their love for the child first, they will find it easier to come to an agreement in the service of the child. In this way appropriate boundaries for the child will be put in place. The parents will feel secure that their child will be well cared for and the bond between the child and the grandparents will grow from the daily interaction.


Apr 5, 2017

In our latest episode, Allen meets marketing pioneer, Jon Buscall. Jon has travelled such a fascinating path through dealing with mental health issues, being a published writer, lecturing and now running his successful business. Jon's openness and honesty in this interview are truly engaging and inspiring and highlight the need for us all to find our own balance as we strive for contentment.

Mar 30, 2017

In this interview Allen meets technology specialist, Lisa Fannin to discuss how she has built her career and attempts to balance work/home life as a successful product developer and being a mum and wife. Lisa talks about working from her core values and trusting her instincts and how, as she has grown, this has changed and got her to a point where the balance is getting that bit easier.

Mar 26, 2017

Lots of people assume that video coaching won’t be as effective as one to one coaching.  Over the past few years our video coaching clients have increased.  We have worked with clients from United Kingdom, USA, Canada and Australia and that’s just in the last six months!!!  Here are a number of reasons why it is becoming more popular:

  • Convenience – you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home.
  • There is no wasted time travelling to and from appointments.
  • You could be anywhere in the world and avail of our coaching expertise.
  • Appointments can be scheduled to suit your time zone.
  • For local clients it can be an alternative to face to face appointments.

Here’s what our video clients have to say about it.

Personal coaching can be about becoming the best version of yourself, and about living a life of gusto, purpose, and impact. My coaching experience with Allen has not only helped me work towards those things, but it has enabled me to discover what makes me tick, what stands in my way, and which priorities and goals are truly important to me. Allen has the gift of being able to find “hidden” tools that allow clients to realize their goals. My sessions with Allen are always productive and insightful. If you had asked me a year ago if having Skype coaching sessions would be as rewarding or helpful as they have been, I might have been skeptical.  Thankfully, Allen is adept at helping me focus on what is really important, and what next steps I need to take.  He has fantastic, creative ideas that I’ve found eye-opening, simple and practical. As someone who generally feels reasonably competent, it’s amazing how Allen can help me cut through the diversions to discover what, in retrospect, is the obvious path. That is a unique and skillful gift that he readily shares with others.  Whether it’s a challenge that I wasn’t able to work through or a new endeavor that will affect my growth, I can look forward to having Allen’s insights and guidance to help me along that path.  What started for me as a focus on “getting good parenting advice” has become much broader and more beneficial. I highly recommend Allen as a positive, knowledgeable and effective coach.

                                                                                           -K. Hanson


I first contacted Allen to help me with navigating a new career in a field that can be frustrating and demoralizing.  I felt like he had the unique qualifications I needed to help me succeed and flourish in this business.  With his help, I have gained an immeasurable amount of confidence and he has given me a lot of tools that I can use when I get stuck with whatever situation may arise.  He has been an unending source of support and encouragement and he challenges me to look at situations from angles that I may not have seen.  He has helped me in both my professional and personal life.  He is a great listener and he provides a thoughtful and insightful approach to every issue.  I highly recommend him to anyone who is interested in becoming an improved version of themselves!

-A. Rainey


I came to Allen for help with time management. I was hoping for some straight forward tips and some powerful motivation. I was not ready to face the fact that I was putting up my own hurdles and I was definitely not comfortable exploring why. But, Allen was just so genuine and caring that I couldn’t help but let my guard down with him. Once I did that his warmth and insight made it possible for me to gradually drop my guard altogether, a prospect that would have seemed terrifying only months earlier but has turned out to be more rewarding than I could have imagined. I’m still working on it but, Allen has given me the tools and encouragement to make changes I thought were impossible, not only in how I manage my time but in how I approach life. I am forever grateful.

-D. Ramsay

Mar 23, 2017

Not every family is 2 adults and 2.4 children. Whether you are a single parent by choice or whether you have lost your partner, the issue of parents forming new relationships can be hard for kids and can manifest itself in many different ways.


So what can parents do to help their children deal with either parent introducing a new partner? 

  • This can be quite a balancing act. The main thing to remember is that you are your children’s biggest role model so take it slow.
  • You may be head over heels in love with person, but that doesn’t mean that your children will feel the same. Be prepared for them “not liking” this person in the beginning.
  • It’s important to remember that your children love their other parent too and possibly might still hold out some hope that their parents will get back together so when a new partner is introduced this can be quite confusing and difficult for your child to understand.
  • Your children don’t need to meet (or know) every person you may be dating. Although you may be infatuated with your partner, especially after a relatively short space of time, many relationships don’t work out and putting your children through the undue “stress” of meeting a new partner and all the emotions that come with that, should be kept to a minimum.
  • If you feel that your relationship is one that is going to last, talk to your children about your partner before they meet. Let them know that this person is special to you and you’d really like them to meet.
  • You can explain that this person is not replacing their other parent and that they will not get in the way of your relationship with your children.
  • Have that first meeting in a neutral place, like going bowling or a park, something that your child actually likes doing. This way they don’t feel like your partner is encroaching on their turf!
  • As always, keep good lines of communication open with everyone involved and chat about how the first meeting went.
  • As the meetings continue, make time for your partner to chat with your children in a relaxed way and without any pressure.
  • It might also be an idea to let your former partner know that you have a new relationship.
  • As your relationship develops, it might be worthwhile explaining why your partner is staying over and remember that you are showing your children how to conduct a positive relationship.


Mar 22, 2017

In Episode 1 of our Motivation Interview Series, Allen meets professional rugby player and creator of the world's leading social audio app Limor, Shane Monaghan. Shane talks about how, as a teenager, he set out a timeline of milestones to measure his progress to achieving his goal of becoming a professional in the sport he loved. Shane also delves into how the setbacks throughout his career impacted on his self motivation and desire to succeed which has resulted in him creating Limor app and becoming a pioneer in the social audio world.

Mar 21, 2017

What is resilience and why is important to our children?

•  Resilience is the ability people have to recover from setbacks quickly and in children it is extremely important. Most parents I deal with, if they were able to pick a trait they would love their children to have, it is the ability to deal with things when they go wrong or don’t go as well as expected, and can adapt to any situation that they find themselves up against. Ultimately this is resilience.

•  The people who are successful in any walk of life are the people who, even when they are knocked down, believe in their own ability to achieve and can pick themselves up and “get back on the horse”. Resilience is just as important as natural ability.


How can we build resilience in our children?

•  First things first, we are all individual and we all learn skills in slightly different ways. The list below is a toolbox of techniques that could work for your children.

•  Your child has some resilience skills already! That’s right, your child begins building their ability to cope with pressures from day one. Also remember, your child will hone their resilience skills, not only through interactions with you, but through friends, relatives, teachers, coaches and peers. This can be quite a reassurance for parents.

•  Doing everything for your children will slow the development of their resilience. We all learn from doing things for ourselves, but if we block our children from learning how to complete tasks and be successful at it, this can stunt their progress. Obviously it will be important to be there for them if they need a little help but don’t take over.

•  Little victories are extremely important. Your child will achieve things and while you don’t need to go overboard in the praise of these, it will be important to help them to recognise HOW they achieved these victories.

•  Get them involved in helping others. Volunteering is the bedrock of many communities and provide volunteers with a serious sense of self-worth and belonging, two very important aspects of resilience.

•  Trusting your children will help them trust themselves. Allowing your kids that bit of leeway to try new things and build their confidence is really important. It can be as simple as letting them walk to the shop or school on their own. If issues do arise, again, instead of giving the solutions, get them to explore the potential solutions with you.

•  Sometimes straight after something has happened or not gone as well as your child had hoped, give them a little bit of time to process it in their own heads before delving into solutions.

•  Be enthusiastic but realistic. “You were the best player on the pitch sweetheart!” when they have been substituted after 20 minutes is not much use to your child. All it will do is make them believe you less. If all the evidence tells your child that they have had a bad game or things haven’t gone there way, you can start with an open-ended question like, “how are you feeling after that game?” This allows your child the space to talk about their feelings, if they wish.

•  Remember that your child’s feelings are real for them, so if they are frustrated or upset about how an event has gone, explore with them, what they could do differently if they are in a similar situation again. If they struggle with this, give them a number of different options and let them pick the one that works for them. You can then go on to talk about what they need to do to put this option into action.

•  Teach your children relaxation & mindfulness techniques. We can all do with learning skills to calm ourselves down and keep things in perspective. There are lots of simple relaxation tools online, get them and learn them with your child.

Mar 12, 2017

Allen of CA Coaching answers your questions on a number of topics.  In this podcast, Allen discusses about how best to talk to your child about stranger danger. Being realistic, how to keep safe and also what to do if an incident does occur. He also provides tips to deal with a difficult ex partner. You can't control what they do, so all you can do is control what you can do. Using these tips can help reduce the stress and keep your relationship with your child positive.

Mar 12, 2017

For some parents, using the internet can be as scary as walking a tightrope across the Grand Canyon on a windy day. Some people get a complete mental block about using sites and either feel like they need to do a course or find someone to help them navigate sites…just incase they cause the computer to explode! It is very much based around a fear of the unknown. Many people didn’t get a chance to grips with the internet as it was evolving and have now almost resigned themselves to the fact that they just don’t know how to use it and that’s that.

Children and young people, on the other hand, embrace the internet like it’s their best friend! There is absolutely no fear factor and they feel so confident that they will accept any new popular sites and learn as they go. They delve into nearly all nooks and crannies of sites they enjoy (many of these being social media outlets), until they figure out how it works and then off they go into cyberspace to discover the world.

Both of these attitudes have created a sense of growing distance between some parents and children resulting in parents relying on media outlets to inform them of the “dangerous” sites that can cause their children harm, while at the same time, almost providing a road map for young people to explore a new site they shouldn’t. Well here’s the good news parents, it doesn’t have to be like this and there are a number of really helpful sites out there that can help you learn and understand all about the sites your children use every day (see the list below!).

How we access the internet is constantly changing and, as parents, it’s important to be aware of how your children are using the internet on a daily basis. We’ve progressed from a big bulking computer and monitor in the corner of the kitchen to having the ability to access the internet via tablets and phones and using glasses is just around the corner…who knows where this will lead us next!

With all this in mind, online bullying has become a real and tangible issue for both young and old alike. Whereas, years ago bullying was generally confined to outside the child’s door, with the ever expanding use of technology, we have unintentionally opened our front door and invited bullying into the home. As parents we can’t completely prevent our children from going online, and it’s important to not scaremonger your children about the internet but it is important to discuss with them how they can keep themselves safe while online, just as you would teach them about road safety or stranger danger.

So what can parents do. We have created a short information sheet for both parents and teens to keep safe online which can be downloaded below.

Tips for Kids

  • People you are talking to online may not be who they say they are.
  • Only put up information you’d be happy for your parents & relatives to see/read.
  • Everyone should check out for tips on staying safe.
  • Only accept people as friends online if you know them in person.
  • Never agree to meet an online friend in person, without permission from your parents.
  • Not everything you read online is actually correct.
  • Respect others and yourself while online as you would in person.
  • Show your parents how to use the internet!
  • Don’t give out personal information (phone number, address etc.).

Tips for Parents

  • Discover the internet together.
  • Make sure you have good lines of communication open with your children.
  • Learn about what social media your children use and how they use it.
  • Check internet history.
  • Don’t overreact if you find something that makes you uncomfortable, it’s possible your child got there by accident.
  • Encourage your child to let you know if they ever feel uncomfortable.
  • Save any abusive/concerning messages sent to your children, no matter what devise it is on.
  • Report any obscene messages to your local gardai.
  • Set guidelines for internet use whether at home or on mobile devices.
  • Set up the computer in a busy space in the house (kitchen/sitting room).
  • Get parental controls on your devices and your children’s devices. Use filtering software and keep it up to date.
  • Check regularly for updates on the latest trends in social media activity.

Download our Online Safety – Tips for Parents

Useful sites for parents:

So don’t be scared of the internet, that expensive tablet you bought isn’t going to blow up in your hands if you access a Manchester United supports site (well maybe it will!), and like we consistently say, communication with your child is the key.

If you have any concerns about your child’s internet use, or wish to book some internet safety coaching sessions, feel free to contact me at

Mar 5, 2017

Most of us will admit that at some point in our lives, we were a bit lost at sea! Every day, people sit at their desk or at their kitchen table and day dream about making a change in their lives. They want to add a bit of spark to things and feel that they have so much untapped potential. The problem is, they don’t know where or how to start the process of change.

We allow ourselves to be held back by many different factors. Some are real actual issues we need to take into consideration (such as leaving a secure job without another one to go to) right through to our own personal insecurities getting in the way (I’m not good enough or someone else is better than me). The greatest point we have to remember is, we are actually in control of what happens to us, much more than we like to think. Each and every one of us has the ability to make changes, that is a fact! Whether it’s radical change like moving to a new country or just changing our mindset to be more positive and pro-active in following our dream, we all can make that change.

Now I know you may be sitting there thinking “Yeah that’s easier said than done”, and this is true to an extent but if we actually sit back and analyse what is in our way, there are very few elements that we can’t overcome.  In our individual work with clients, we see it every single day! People who felt that there were too many obstacles in their way, after working with us for a short period of time, broke through the barriers that, ultimately were put there by themselves, and have achieved their desired goals. Sometimes all we need is someone to guide us through the initial process of recognising those barriers and exploring ways to make them disappear!

Does this sound familiar? So what do you do next? Here are some tips to get moving forward and get pro-active. It’s in your hands!

- Be very specific about what it is you want to achieve – Many people say to us, “I want to change job”. When we ask what it is they want to do, they look blankly back at us. What they are actually saying is, “I just want to get out of THIS job!”. When you want to make a change, decided what it is you actually want and keep looking forward.

- When you have decided where you want to get to, begin to examine the practical steps you need to take to get there - If you want to be a doctor and are currently an office worker, you need to see what qualifications you need, how much it might cost etc. It’s not impossible to achieve but you need to be realistic about the time scale and do you want it enough.

- Carry out a cost/benefit analysis – By this we mean, look at all the pros to making this change, write down everything. Then look at all the cons of this process. This will help you to make sure this is the course of action you want to take.

- Go for it! After going through the above steps, and you’ve decided its what you want to do…go for it! You’ll have days of insecurity and doubt but you need to stay focused, you can do it!

 - If you are ready to make change happen for yourself, we’re here to guide you through the process.  Email Allen today at to get moving!!

Mar 5, 2017

It is never too early for you to get your kids into a healthy lifestyle. Children have a lot of energy and as a parent, it is your role to help ensure they use up that energy every day. Some tips for raising a healthy, happy child:

  • The earlier you introduce fruit and vegetables into their daily routine the less likely you are to have a fussy eater.  Don’t pass on your own food prejudices onto your kids – encourage them to taste everything and try everything. And remember just because they don’t like the taste of things at two years of age doesn’t mean they won’t like it when they are three or four or five.
  • Of course kids should have a sweet treat, but remember they should be just that, a treat. Sweets, chocolate and bars should not be a daily occurrence, especially for toddlers. Treats can just as easily be fresh fruit, raisins or fruit yoghurts (that are low in sugar). You can teach your toddler what a treat is, and that doesn’t always have to be a sugary treat.
  • Good behaviour should be rewarded with positive reinforcement and not sweet treats. If you are doing a star chart with your child, the end reward should be an activity together – something fun that you will do together and that you will both enjoy.
  • Know what your child is eating. If you are buying processed foods for your toddler know what the ingredients are. Many processed foods are high in sugar, salt or saturated fats – none of these are good for young children.
  • Make a trip to the supermarket an adventure – think about the fruit and vegetable aisle from the perspective of a toddler. All those colours and shapes will be attractive to them. Talk to them about food and bring home something new to try every week. As long as a child is in a buggy or trolley you can also avoid the sweets aisle – remember they learn pester power at a very early age.
  • Involve your kids in cooking. Help them to understand that time spent cooking helps to create yummy food that they will enjoy.
  • If they don’t like the texture of fruit or vegetables then make your own sauces. Load them full of fresh fruit and vegetables and whizz them up to a smooth consistency that you can put on pasta or with chicken or potatoes.
  • Get them used to exercise – a lively trip the playground, kicking a football in the garden, playing chasing. On a wet day run races up and down the corridor or play chasing around the couch. Teach them to swim, dance or other activities that involve jumping around and being active. Kids who are active have better concentration and sleep better at night because both their bodies and their brains are tired.
  • If your child is an only child, set up play dates with other kids. This will encourage them to try new things, to play new games and to learn how to share and interact with others. This is a very important lesson for when they go to school. It is also very important for you as a parent to get out and spend time with other adults and break the cycle of being stuck at home.
  • And finally, both kids and clothes are washable. Allow your kids to get dirty when they are playing. Put on their wellies and let them jump in puddles (wait until you hear them laughing).



  • Exercise should be a daily part of family life.
  • Get them involved in team sports. Team sports not only get them fit and healthy but also teach them structure, discipline, team work and fun while making new friends.
  • If it’s raining, set up games indoors or take them to indoor play areas. Remember, children and clothes can be washed…kids love playing in the rain.
  • Let them try as many as possible.
  • Take an interest in the sport they play.
  • Don’t give them or let them create excuses to not take part. People with severe disabilities and without limbs exercise every day.
  • Make time for exercise yourself. Sometimes it seems like there are never enough hours in the day but we need to prioritise exercise. Plus you’ll never regret getting up and exercising!
  • It is also important for your children to see you exercise (or to know that you make time to exercise). If they exercise as kids and they see you enjoying and making time for exercise as an adult, they will learn that it is part of a lifelong habit.  It helps to clear your head. It helps you to de-stress. It releases endorphins – the happy hormones. And it keeps you fit and healthy. A great result!
  • They will also learn that time for mum and dad need time for themselves also!


Check out - For some really important information and tips to keep your kids healthy!

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