My mother and husband say I “make friends wherever I go” (how nice is that?!), and while I’m not sure if that’s true I do know that I am utterly passionate about and committed to my wonderful tribe, and all the love and cheers we give each other. I have always been infatuated with people's stories, with being the problem solver, the one that people come to when they want to think something through.
Teaching has been a permanent fixture in my life – I’m surrounded by musicians and teachers (my parents, sister, her boyfriend and my glorious husband are all teachers and musicians) and since getting my degree I have been a secondary music teacher, and a professional singer (quite the juggle).
Then I had children. And my priorities changed.
Suddenly the career that had served me so well before seemed completely incompatible with raising the two beautiful people I’d made. I kept asking friends and family for advice and getting different opinions (looking back, I’m sure I was searching for the “right thing to do”, not the right thing for me). I was going round in circles, feeling ever more lost and frustrated. I had a couple of ideas, but they seemed too nebulous, transitory, confused.
I met an amazing coach. She kept popping up on social media (Facebook to be precise), and seemed like a wonderfully honest, well-informed person. She seemed to be wherever I was and spoke with genuine integrity about her ever evolving development as a coach, the mistakes she’d made, the successes she was having and the hopes she had for her business. Importantly, she also kept appearing and offering really good advice, or thought-provoking comments.
Crucially, she’d walked the path I was starting to follow. She’d been in a successful and fulfilling career, but having children had left her feeling dismayed about the lack of flexibility she had to spend time with them. She missed them. She knew she could never progress in her current role in the way in which she was capable, without making serious sacrifices on family life.
The more I talked to her, the more I started to imagine a new and exciting future for myself and my family. A future when I was in control of my time, my energy and my finances. A future where that ever elusive “being present” is less of a Pinterest quote and more of a reality. A future where I get to go to reading hour at my daughter’s school, and take a holiday when I like.
But how to get there? I knew I wanted to work with women - specifically mums - who inspire me, energise me, to whom I am making a profound and significant difference. I knew (let’s be frank) that I wanted to coach.
But I didn’t feel I had the credibility or experience of running my own business, of mindset work or of coaching.
In hindsight this was ridiculous - I’ve coached throughout my 13 year teaching career, working with students and staff, supporting them in making confident and powerful decisions about their futures. I’ve used specific strategies and techniques, received lots of training as part of my professional development, and been a very good listener! As a Head of Year I’ve effectively lead group coaching programmes for years. I led my team as a Head of Department, working with them individually on their goals and dreams and helping them to realise them.
And the running my business? I’ve BEEN my business as a professional singer since I was 21!I’ve done my own accounts, created my own work, sold myself and my product with great ease and with fabulous results.
I still felt it wasn’t enough, so I looked for a space to train in a coaching capacity. I didn’t just want to take a diploma and then announce I was a coach - I wanted to develop the skills of running a business, working on mindset, strategy and action with clients. I trained as a Hypnobirthing teacher and launched Power of Mum in 2017. I helped clients work through their fears, work out their strategy and work with others to achieve a birth and fourth trimester where they felt calm, in control and excited about their future. I did all this alongside juggling teaching in a highly academic secondary school and my singing career.
Power of Mum started to develop as the brand I was so keen for it to be - a go-to blog for Mums, a place of sanctuary and support for business owners via my Facebook group, and a place to make friends via my meet ups. (I also learnt about how to use Facebook to advertise, Mail Chimp, lead pages, the power of face to face connections, networking, niche marketing, the joys and frustrations of Instagram, building a website, SEO, the Facebook pixel, sales funnels...the list goes on, seemingly interminably...)
It was amazing. It was rewarding. But it still wasn’t enough. I knew I wanted to work with Mums. I knew I wanted to coach.