My Story*

*Success is never a straight-line journey

A piece of ribbon that would change my life forever

March 23rd 2003, I sat on a train looking at a small piece of golden ribbon. I had no idea how that one tiny piece of ribbon I'd been given that morning was going to change the rest of my life so dramatically - in good and bad ways.

First come back in time with me, ten years earlier, where at university, I met the first love of my life: Business!  University was a great time, I made some wonderful friends, but I was already very focused and ambitious:

So much so, I remember having a bet with my closest friends..."I will never get married and I will never have children". I wanted a career!  "There’s no way I can have the sort of career I want and have children." was my bet.

When we graduated, all my friends went travelling for a year.  I immediately launched my career!

A meteoric rise

I started work in Marketing, in a high-tech company based in Sophia Antipolis, France (often referred to as the ‘French Silicon Valley’). My career went from strength to strength: I did postgraduate business studies, I was frequently promoted, and led teams on high-profile, big budget projects and moved into the world of Business Consulting.

I'd soon lost my university bet! By the age of 24 I'd met my husband and started a family. When my daughter was born, I enjoyed my 6 months maternity leave.  I loved my daughter and being a mum, and I also loved my career, so was looking forward to going back to work.

It wasn’t always easy.  Business consulting was a very male-dominated world to work in.  I was only 1 of a handful of women out of 150 consultants, and by my late 20’s I was managing men 20 years my senior. Awkward!  (but they soon got used to me ha ha).

There were moments when this rate of progression and level of success felt quite scary, but my hard work and love for what I did paid off, literally…I had become the main breadwinner.  My career was really rewarding, I got a great sense of satisfaction from my work and I felt proud of my career.

To anyone looking in from the outside, I’d already cracked it with a fantastic job title and big salary.

But that was about to change…

The email that changed everything

The global consulting company I worked for, picked a small group of people to take part in 6-month a ‘Peak Performance’ programme, designed to fast-track us within the organisation. 

I remember how privileged I felt to be part of that group. As I read the email invitation, something told me deep down this was a huge opportunity that would change my life. How right I was!

In the first weekend, first day and very first exercise the trainer told a story about a piece of golden ribbon. I had a Golden Ribbon Moment that changed my life forever. 

As a busy executive Mum working in a male-dominated indsutry, the ‘Ribbon of Life’ story, so simple yet immensely powerful, had touched me profoundly.

It highlighted just how short life really is and the importance of being on the right path for you, finding your true purpose, the costs of remaining stuck in the status quo and above all, the importance of always pursuing your OWN definition of success.

Unfortunately, at the time I didn’t realise I only held one, small piece of the jigsaw in my hand, and was unable to recognise the role that fear was playing. In hindsight, I often wonder if I'd had 1:1 coaching all those years ago, if things would have gone differently. In fact, I know they would.

After the training, shaken into action by the impact of the ‘Ribbon of Life’ metaphor, I did two things… one which brought joy, one which taught me my most important life lesson to date…the hard way!

The best and worst times

The first thing I decided, thankfully, was to have another child, something I really wanted deep down but had been putting off, fearing the impact on my career and my ability to cope.

However, I also made the decision to walk away from my corporate career and follow my husband in his dream of setting up his own gastronomic restaurant in a small village in the South of France.  Now you may be asking, what on earth could be so bad about that?  Following your husband’s dream, all being together as a family, starting your own family business in the South of France?  Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

Although the restaurant was a huge success financially and we saw more of each other (as we lived above the restaurant), I can honestly say it was the worst time of my life.  For the first time ever I felt lost, trapped, and overwhelmed.

Wasn’t I at least seeing more of my family?  Yes, but therein laid the problem; ‘seeing’ my family, was not ‘being’ with my family. I was so frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed that when I did spend time with my children, I was far from being the best version of myself and actually had very little left to give them.

I’ve often reflected on this period, trying to figure out why it was such a difficult time for me.  I’d always worked, was used to working very hard while juggling everything, so I knew the problem wasn’t the work itself.

After two years of pushing myself to continue down this path, I eventually burned out...physically, mentally, emotionally.  I had nothing left to give.

With all the alarm bells ringing, we sold the business and my biggest life lesson had been well and truly learned…there was more to this 'success formula' than I thought.


The lesson that changed my life forever

It took me 18 months to fully recover. I attempted to make up for ‘lost time’ with my children and returned to my 'own path’ with a deepened passion for self-development and self-discovery, and to pin down this illusive formula for successful combining our professional fulfilment and personal happiness we all seek as working women.

What I came to understand, is that my decision to leave my job and start up a business wasn’t a choice I made from a sense of passion or purpose, it was a ‘way out’ driven by fear, guilt and a sense of what I ought to be doing.

With a renewed understanding of the importance of pursuing my own dreams, purpose and passions, I spent the next 10 years living and working all over the world with my family; five countries over three continents. I enjoyed working in various senior leadership roles, running voluntary projects, and starting and running my own businesses.  Always continuing to deepen my understanding and practice of the formula for achieving my own definition of success, balance and fulfillment.

In 2010, my world was shattered when my 17-year marriage ended over night. I felt like life had suddenly been shattered into a million pieces.

At the age of 37, I returned to the UK with two broken suitcases, two broken children, and a broken heart.  I had no credit history (having lived abroad for so many years), and nowhere to live. For the first six months we lived with my parents.  The children bunked down with their cousins (raised by my parents) and I slept on the floor of my grandmother’s front room (my Nan lived with my parents for over 20 years).  It was a busy house, to say the least!

We were literally starting from scratch.

After a year of getting back on my feet and rebuilding our life and new home, I was ready to pursue something deeper and bigger.

I remember hearing a quote from the Dalai Lama at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009 saying ‘The World will be saved by the Western Woman’. And with the birth of social media I could see a wave of women just like me, keen to make a great living doing what they love, without sacrificing a life they can love too. I  knew what my next and most important job had to be.

The day Mpower was conceived

Having understood the power of coaching from my consultancy days, I decided to train in personal transformation coaching to complement my business expertise. 

I felt passionate about using my own personal and professional experience, business expertise and coaching skills to empower other women in pursuing their version of success and happiness.

I was on a personal mission to empower 1 million women!

Mpower was born.

My vision from the beginning was to empower women 'both sides of the fence' - in both the entrepreunerial and corporate worlds.  Not everyone wants to become an entrepreneur, and I'd experienced how great it is to be in a career you love when its right for you. 

Initally, my work took off in the entrepreneurial arena and within the year I was fully booked out with high-value 1:1 clients.  I began to receive requests to work with me from other coaches who wanted to build a successful coaching business, as I'd done with Mpower.

I feel both blessed and proud that within two years of starting my coaching business:

  • I got my first VIP client before I’d even had time to launch my website.
  • I won multiple awards including “Most inspiring Coach/Mentor,” “New Business of the Year” and national finalist for “Best Supporting Business”
  • My work was featured on international TV
  • I am regularly invited to give talks to amazing audiences - and I overcame my life-long fear of public speaking giving a TEDx Women talk in Crete.

And I went on to smash my goal of replacing my salary at the peak of my corporate career.

In 2018 my work expanded to supporting professional, career-committed women and running women in leadership development programmes.  As I mentioned above, this is something that had always felt important to me, not least because part of my believes that if I'd have had coaching support all those years ago, I may not have felt the need to walk away from the successful business consultancy career I had taken so many years to build.

Today, I feel very blessed:

  • I continue to grow my business in my 16 hour week, taking school holidays and 6 weeks every summer.
  • My partner and I have a beautiful fusion-family life with our four amazing children.

Over the past 20+ years I’ve learnt that no matter how successful you may have been in your previous career, no matter how many business degrees you have or where you were educated, and no matter how talented, driven and smart you are, we all need support. I believe, with the right support and surrounded by the right people, anything is possible.

Mpower isn’t just a business to me. It’s a calling. It's what my whole business journey has been about…gaining the business experience, know-how and life lessons to be able to empower and positively touch the lives of a million other women helping them transform their lives, businesses and careers.

Thank you for taking the time to read my personal story.  I look forward to connecting with you. 

Kindest wishes,


P.S. If you really knew me you’d know:

  • I can’t cook.
  • I love twiglets and eating uncooked porridge oats.
  • I'm an introvert.
  • And I'm absolutey nuts about our two Friesian horses Luna and Monty.
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