Lucy came on our Game Changers programme last year and following has left her old job and started her own coaching business. Here she shares her experience including some great advice on managing the fear:
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Lucy, mum to one lovely daughter named Bea, aged 11 months old. I recently made the decision to leave my job to work freelance and also re-launch my coaching practice, with the specific aim of supporting mums who are starting their own business ventures.
Q. Why did you decide to go on the Game Changers Programme?
I was mid-way through my year of maternity leave and facing the prospect of going back to a charity development job that I loved, but with a salary that just didn’t add up against the cost of childcare. I was toying with the idea of returning to freelancing in the sector as a consultant and coach, which I’d done before, but was lacking confidence and a plan for how to approach making the leap away from the security of a job and back into working for myself. I had also started a business blog, writing when Bea was napping as a project to keep my brain in gear on mat leave. I wanted time and space to explore the ideas that had sparked further too.
Q. What changed for you with the programme?
The course gave me the opportunity to think just about me and what I wanted, which was totally refreshing after 6 months or more of focusing entirely on my new baby and her needs. Family and friends were too close to the situation to be able to talk through things properly and help me weigh up my options clearly, so the group gave me some much needed fresh perspective.
Q. What went on for you along the way? (what have you learnt)
I realised that I loved working and it brought me a huge amount of satisfaction, and that actually I wanted to be able to continue to do that, but just in a more flexible way that I could fit around family life on my terms rather than an employers. The Game Changers workshops and exercises we did also helped me to reconnect with what I am good at and what I love doing, and I am now enjoying the process of building a portfolio career that aims to tick more of those boxes for me. It also helped me explore my creative side which resulted in me bringing a product line into my business too, of notebooks aimed at mums.
Q. What’s the best thing about what you are doing now?
I spent most of my maternity leave dreading going back to work – it felt like I was going to get my year with Bea, then I’d be back at work and out of the house 8-5.30 every day hardly seeing her in the week. The best thing is the realisation that this my life now – I get to spend time with her, work when it suits me and set my own rates. I’ve made a hard, but hopefully great, decision and it has ultimately shaped my future and all the memories I will be making with her.
Q. How have you managed ‘the fear’?
The day I handed my notice in, I was actually meant to be sat at my laptop writing and submitting a flexible working request to go back part-time. Instead I typed my notice out to see how that would feel… then called work and told them I wouldn’t be returning! I felt sick with fear doing it. But the relief afterwards told me I’d done the right thing. So definitely just a case of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
Q. What are you most proud of?
Just doing it, despite the worry, the fear, the uncertainty. It was a big leap of faith, even with lots of research, careful consideration and a plan to back it up. When I’ve doubted myself I’ve just cracked on with the next step or the next to-do on my list, however small, and reminded myself of how far I’ve come.
Q. What’s the one thing anyone considering Game Changing should know or do?
If you have an idea, then find a way to explore it and dedicate some me-time to figuring out how you could make it work for you. That doesn’t have to be how the next person would do it, it can be very personal and unique to you. Find a way to start even if it’s just very small at first – I re-awakened my love of coaching by posting on Instagram and blogging, which helped me figure out what direction I wanted to go in with my business and connected me with support too, in the shape of Guilty Mothers Club and a fellow coach who is now my mentor.
And go with your gut, always go with your gut!
To find out more about Lucy’s coaching programmes for business startups and see her product range visit www.brandnewmum.com. To find out more about Game Changers and the dates for future intakes click here.