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#mumsmakeithappen by Emily Thorpe

Uncategorized Apr 11, 2017

1.   Tell us a little bit about your background and what you did for a career before you made the change?

I had been an Air Traffic Controller for 23 years before I made the leap into being a mumpreneur, although I had been building my coaching business on the side for the last 4 years that I was employed. I think it’s important to emphasise it’s NEVER TOO LATE to start doing what you love. I remember hearing that Louise Hay started Hay House Publishing, now the largest publishing house of self-development books and audios, when she was 61! Age is not an obstacle to success.

 2.   What changed within you when you had children?

Two things related to becoming an entrepreneur; Firstly having a baby is life changing, as we all know, but it makes you stop and look at life (your life) in a new way. You also have time on maternity leave when you are away from work, which gives you the breathing space to assess if you’re on the right path.

Secondly, your priorities completely change. Where once I was all about cycling around Vietnam, now I just wanted to be at home with my baby…my world went from looking out for adventure, to being absorbed by the adventure I was having at home.

1.    Tell us a little bit about your background and what you did for a career before you made the change?

I had been an Air Traffic Controller for 23 years before I made the leap into being a mumpreneur, although I had been building my coaching business on the side for the last 4 years that I was employed.

I think it’s important to emphasise it’s NEVER TOO LATE to start doing what you love. I remember hearing that Louise Hay started Hay House Publishing, now the largest publishing house of self-development books and audios, when she was 61! Age is not an obstacle to success.

 

2.    What changed within you when you had children?

Two things related to becoming an entrepreneur; Firstly having a baby is life changing, as we all know, but it makes you stop and look at life (your life) in a new way. You also have time on maternity leave when you are away from work, which gives you the breathing space to assess if you’re on the right path.

Secondly, your priorities completely change. Where once I was all about cycling around Vietnam, now I just wanted to be at home with my baby…my world went from looking out for adventure, to being absorbed by the adventure I was having at home.

 3.    What inspired your business idea?

It had taken me 3 years to get pregnant, so I’d had a lot of time to think about what kind of mum I’d like to be. I decided on a Julie Andrews mix of Mary Poppins and Maria from The Sound of Music! In my mind our family life would be visions of laughter, singing, bike rides and climbing trees (I was looking ahead past the baby stage) however my reality was as far removed from this vision as I could have imagined. I was exhausted; sleep deprivation was making me grumpy and emotional. I felt stressed; going back to work in a highly responsible job with little sleep was making me anxious. And I felt guilty; leaving my baby at nursery from 8.30 - 4.30 when I knew he wasn’t taking an milk from the bottle made me almost ill with guilt and worry.

My breakthrough came when I signed up for a life coaching course and finally started to work on myself and understand why I was feeling the way I did. When I knew how to stop feeling stressed, overwhelmed and guilty, I knew I had to share. There was no way I wanted another mum to feel the way I had on this beautiful of journey of motherhood.

 4.   How did you move the business from a dream to reality?

I started by coaching friends and family, practising my craft until it became more fluid. I kept learning and studying all the time. I wanted to find different ways to support my clients; some techniques can work for people but not others. I wanted to expand my repertoire of skills. 

I went to networking events, just to practice talking about my passion with people who didn’t know me. Sometimes those closest to us, don’t like to see us change, so they don’t support us in the way we need. Strangers are perfect for testing your ideas on, they know nothing about your past life and so their feedback is just related to what you share with them.

I constantly focused on my ‘Big Why’ - the reason why I wanted to change career in the first place. For me this was twofold; to be able to work from home and be there for my kids and to help other mums in the same position as I had been.

 5.   What makes your business different?

Me!

I do not claim to be the first or only person helping mums with guilt and overwhelm but I know that some people will hear the message I share and it will land for them and make a difference. I don’t want to work with everyone; I want to work with the ladies who ‘get me’ because I know I will ‘get them’.

It’s like going to a party when you don’t know anyone… there are people you meet and you click straight away and the time whizzes by as you gabble away. That’s the kind of connection I want with my clients. If we don’t have that connection, then I’m not your girl :0)

6. How do you promote your business and what have you found works the best?

I like to make videos and write articles or short posts for social media. I like the mix of fun and substance that I can put on Facebook and this is a good place to get yourself out there. For creating deeper connections you cannot beat ‘face to face’ conversations, in person is best but I also like to Skype and have a ‘virtual coffee’.

For positioning yourself as an expert in your field, I have found speaking is a game changer. It takes practise but it is definitely worth persevering, not only for the positioning but the fact that you can reach so many more people with your message.

 7. What was your biggest challenge in this journey?

Self-doubt.

I knew I had something to share but would I be able to do it? Was I good enough? Could someone else do it better? Was someone else already doing it better? These questions of self-doubt affect us all, but it all ends when you go back to your USP.

No one can deliver this message in an ‘Emily Thorpe way’ as well as me, because I am Emily Thorpe. So I am the only person for the job…there is no competition.

 8. And what has been your proudest moment?

I’m a bit of a Gratitude Freak, I can’t get enough of saying Thank You, so I have quite a few proud moments. Here are a couple of examples; doing my first ‘Happy Working Mum Party’ at someone’s house and coming back 2 hours later with £80 and Jakey my youngest saying ‘Well done Mummy’

Receiving an email from a client (she almost cancelled our session because she was in a bad place and wasn’t up for it that day, I persuaded her to give me 10 minutes but we did the full hour) Afterwards she told me everything felt better and it had made a massive difference to her.

Winning the Rising Star award from We Are The City and going to the award ceremony at Portcullis House (part of Parliament in Westminster) with my husband. Probably the point at which he thought ‘Ok maybe she’s on to something’!

 9. What top tips/advice would you give our Mpower mumpreneurs?

Have a massive, humungous, heart wrenching ‘BIG WHY’ this will keep you going through the ups and downs.

Have a support system; a coach, a mastermind group, a facebook group or your best mate…it doesn’t matter but you need someone who has ABSOLUTE faith in you and your vision.

Be BRAVE and Be YOURSELF. You can do this and in fact, you are the only person who can do this, IN YOUR WAY.

Celebrate every little win. Look back often and see how far you have come, you will be amazed!

10.  Finally what’s your #mumsmakeithappen moment? (a moment where you made something happen thanks to connecting, collaborating or getting support from another mum in business)

I no longer believe in coincidences. I have experienced, far too many times, the serendipity of a chance encounter, a conversation that led to an invaluable connection or even being given the perfect book at just the right time. We are all connected so every time we help another person move up the ladder or make a break through we are all being pulled forwards.

My motto when meeting people (which is loosely based on a quote from JFK’s inaugural speech) is ‘Ask not what they can do for you, but what you can do for them’

 

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