How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you become a life and business coach to creatives?
To answer this question, it's probably best that I share with you a defining moment, and a resulting "compelling story," that brought me to where I am today – coaching creatives just like you to make more money, have more time and get that freedom you crave. That defining moment in my life happened in 2014.
I had returned back to London after a stint of working, living in (and loving) Buenos Aires. I was 27 and back to square one - broke, living back at my parent's house, job-seeking for the hundredth time, and hoping a different industry, a different role would give me the fulfilment. I'd had enough of this feast and famine cycle I got stuck on that went a bit like - work, earn, soul starts dying, leave work, live off savings, soul revives, but money goes, find new work. It never fulfilled me, and I felt trapped and helpless. Trouble was, Argentina had given me a taster of doing work I loved, with clients I loved and being in control of my time. I was a part-time English teacher going into companies and working one-on-one with their employees. If I'm honest, I didn't stick to the boring grammar lesson plans the books had. I got creative and made my own lessons centered around bringing out the best in the client. I spoke to them about their passions, their long-abandoned dreams and found myself coaching them on reconnecting them and accomplishing those dreams. I didn't know I was coaching at the time. It was only when I was back in London, searching for jobs that I discovered that what I had been doing was life coaching and that was an actual legit full-time profession.
"Whaaaat?! I could actually use my unused psychology degree, work on my natural strengths of seeing the best in people, do meaningful, fulfilling work, choose who I work with AND get paid for it??" It was enlightening and terrifying at the same time.
I had finally found my calling! Crap, now I had to actually answer it. I was not prepared. I'd been in fearful and frustrated mode for so long that I had no idea what confident action-taking mode was. Finding my calling didn't actually lead to instant rainbows and daisies. Instead, it unveiled the insecurities, the gremlins I'd buried deep under a long never-ending ‘To Do' list and seemingly-important busy schedule.
Gremlin number one was the "not good enough" gremlin. I had zero belief in myself. I compared myself to other coaches out there, to how confident, talented and successful they looked and felt deflated. "I'll never be like them," I thought, "There's no way I have the talent or business savviness to make this my full-time profession for life." That was my gremlin number 2- the deep-rooted belief I'd grown up with that you couldn't be creative AND be rich. I thought I only had two choices in life. Either working for someone else, hating your job, but having money or working for yourself, following your passion, but always struggling financially.
Well something in me rebelled. I didn't want to choose between the two. When researching coaching, I had found a uni offering a MSc in Positive & Coaching Psychology. It was expensive, it would take 2 years doing it part-time, there'd be no guarantee that I could make a career out of it, I knew no one else that was a life coach, but…..I remember that moment distinctly. In that moment, the odds seemed to be against me, but I decided to take a bet on me.
Those 2 years were the toughest and best years of my life. I worked 4 days a week and studied the rest of the week for 2 years. The first year I burnt out, had a panic attack, wanted to drop out, got frustrated, doubted and questioned myself….but persisted. My professor gave me a mantra which kept me going and which I use and give to my clients too. He said the journey isn't linear. There will be bad times, plateaus and doubt, lots of doubt. All you need to do is "trust the process." So, I did, and then the second year, I got a breakthrough! I decided to actually try every single coaching tool on myself and apply every single positive psychology model in my life. Basically, I coached myself. I got over my perfectionism, I worked out how to not burn out, I nailed time management like a beast, I worked on my negative thinking patterns and became positive, optimistic, and actually started to believe in myself.
I graduated with the coaching skills, but not the experience. I wasn't ready to work myself because all I wanted was to coach day in day out. I put "working as a full-time life coach at a global values-driven career and education company for creatives" on my vision board. I cannot tell you how ridiculous that felt at the time, because full-time life coaching jobs did NOT exist. At all. It just wasn't a thing. But it turns out that when you choose to follow your calling, the universe chips in and helps you out.
I got an email from LinkedIn that suggested I apply for this Life Coach job. I read the job description and couldn't believe my eyes. I basically read my vision board order. I emailed them with the opening line of "Pick me!!!" And included about a million and one exclamation marks in the email. Three interviews later, I got the job and so started 2 dreamy years of coaching creatives from all around the world. I loved every second of it because creatives were my tribe! I know the creative mind so well. I can follow it when it skips from one thought to another and then loops back again because it remembers that inspiration from another conversation. I'm able to connect to creatives’ deepest worries, but not get pulled into them, because my Jedi mastery is my academic experience that taught me to time manage, work efficiently on multiple projects and be supremely organised. These time-saving tips and systems are what I share with my clients now, that save them so many headaches and staying up late stress. In this dream job I coached thousands of people just like you - photographers, hair stylists, make-up artists, fashion stylists, fashion brand owners, from Korea to Kazakhstan, Canada to Chile, America to Australia. I coached these passionate creatives on overcoming the very same problems I had just overcome too.
It all made sense to me then. I was always meant to have all those gremlins so that I could figure out how to get over them and help other creative souls get over their gremlins and start becoming brave, creative leaders. I coached thousands of creatives on time management, dealing with rejection, overcoming overwhelm, but the last piece of the puzzle was how to help them make a sustainable career from their passion. I saw a lot of them give up on their dreams because they didn't know how to make more money in less time, or how to have predictable cash flowing in and still do work they loved. That's when my calling became even clearer. My life purpose was to save creatives from quitting on their dreams and on themselves so that the world could benefit from their work.
I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping other creatives break through their glass ceiling and up level their profits so that they can make more money, in less time, doing what they love, so the world is not be robbed of their gifts.
Since then, I've worked with many private clients, lead online group coaching programmes, hosted workshops and spoken at many talks. I'm finally living my dream of working for myself, empowering creatives and having the freedom to collaborate with brands and people that inspire me. I have created Creative AND Prosperous, a series of 10 steps every creative needs to break through their glass ceiling, make more money, and have the freedom to do what they love.