Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jen Gale

Entrepreneur Spotlight focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

This week we have an interview with Jen Gale, an Ethical Business Coach, empowering change makers & environmental entrepreneurs to grow their business AND impact.

Hi Jen, What’s your business name and what’s it all about?

My business name is simply my name – Jen Gale!

I work with ethical business owners and social entrepreneurs. I use my coaching skills to help them to create truly sustainable businesses and to amplify their impact.

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

I love the “Why” question – it’s one of the things I really dig into with my clients. It’s so important for keeping motivated when things get tough, and it’s a great way to connect with potential customers or clients.

I guess my Why started a few years ago, when my family and I spent a year buying nothing new. What started out as a slightly naïve personal challenge became so much more, and really opened my eyes to the impact our modern throwaway society is having on the planet. It taught me so much, most importantly that as just one person my actions matter. And that by making better, more thoughtful choices, I really can create positive change.

Since then I discovered this thing called ‘social enterprise’ – business that has a positive environmental or social impact, and firmly believe that business should be a force for good. As business owners, we create positive change in the same way we can as individuals, but our impact is amplified.

I believe that ‘good business’ should be about people and planet as well as profit. I want to spread that message and help to create and sustain as many ‘good businesses’ as I can.

What lights you up about your business? 

The thing that really lights me up about my business is working with amazing, creative and inspirational business owners every single day.

I love hearing about the fabulous things that they are doing, and I love how the simple act of asking a series of careful questions can really help to raise people’s awareness of their strengths and their challenges, and that this can then lead them to their own brilliant solution. I love empowering people to take those first tentative steps out of their comfort zones, to overcome their fears and their doubts, and then seeing the motivation and the momentum that comes from taking action.

What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5?

My 9-5 was more like an 8-7 with on call nights and weekends too, as I used to be a veterinary surgeon. One of the things I love best about having my own business is that I can fit it in around my kids, who at 8 and 6 are still young enough to enjoy having me around (I think!). I get to do the school runs, and go to all the assemblies and nativity plays and sports days without having to feel guilty, which is amazing!

What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

My biggest daily habit is creating my daily schedule for the next day, which I do each night before I go to bed. I have an exercise book that I carry around with my diary, and I plan out the next day’s appointments and client calls, along with my ‘to-do’ list. It really helps me to feel more in control, and to hit the ground running as soon as I get back from the school run in the morning.

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

I guess I would say I am living the ‘freedom lifestyle’, although it’s my own version of ‘freedom’ that’s constrained by the school run and looking after two little people. But I have the freedom to work when and where I want, and with who I want. And that feels pretty epic!

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

In two years’ time I’d love to be earning a full-time income, working school hours and term-time only. I will have a full client list and be coaching two days a week, leaving plenty of time to be working “on my business” and creating new content, online courses, and podcasting too. My work fits in around the kids, and I get up every morning excited to be doing what I’m doing, and to be in a position where I can help other people to really be the change they want to see in the world.

What advice would you like to give to a woman who’s considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected?

My one piece of advice for anyone wanting to start up their own business, would be to get really clear about your ‘why’ and your ‘big vision’. Hold onto these and remind yourself of them when things start to feel a bit too scary, or a bit too tough.


And take action. There’s nothing that helps you to move beyond fear more than action. Just one baby step, that’s all it needs. And that will give the momentum to take the next one, and the next one. Don’t wait for the fear to go, it won’t. Learn to walk alongside it and to take action despite it.

What’s your favourite motivational phrase/quote/mantra?

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.”

~ Zig Ziglar

Where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

You can find me on my website, where I’ve just launched a podcast that I’m hugely excited about!


And I’m on Facebook and on Twitter.


Do come and say hello

Jen

Loved your interview answers for the Entrepreneur Spotlight, Jen. Your business and ethics sound amazing!

Sending you best wishes for your future success, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Linn Thorstensson

Entrepreneur Spotlight focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

This week we have the lovely Linn Thorstensson, food blogger and nutritional therapist, with her special heart-centred and mindful twist.

Hi Linn, What’s your business name and what’s it all about?

My business is a food blog and a nutritional therapy service. I would describe my business as Straightforward Nutrition, Heartfelt Eating and Mindful Living.

My mission is to make cooking fun and creative, and eating nourishing and fulfilling.

I work with people from all over the world on a private 1:1 basis, and also through an online programme, for those who’d rather work on their own.

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

I have many big WHYs… Initially, my own personal story with food, eating, nutrition and healing lead me to study nutrition, but my desire to help others heal their relationship with food, eating and body, and my passion for being my own boss and work on my own terms, are ultimately what keep me going.

What lights you up about your business? 

When one of my client’s has a breakthrough and really “gets it”, and also when they make changes from a place of care and compassion for themselves.

Making dietary and lifestyle changes are hard and it takes courage to change your mindset and habits.

What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5?

I’ve never had a “traditional” 9-5 job, so I don’t know the answer to that really. Working for myself gives me the opportunity to do the things I love as well as make a difference in people’s lives. I love the flexibility of doing different things, which means most days are fresh and interesting.  No time to get bored that’s for sure!

What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

I’ve started to be more intentional and consistent with my meditation practice. Being a nutritionist and a foodie, feeding myself well is top of mind. But that does slip occasionally!

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

Yes and no. I love the flexibility and the ability to work a good bit of the time from home. I love that I can take a nap if I need it or take a few hours in the middle of the week to go for lunch with friends and catch up±

The downside is that you can’t guarantee how much money you’ll have in your bank account at the end of the week…

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

Earning me a decent full-time living, with time to travel some and to continue to further my therapeutic skills.

If there was one piece of advice you’d like to give to a woman who’s considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected, what would it be?

It takes longer than you think! Don’t be afraid to pivot and change, and embrace ALL aspects of the journey!

What’s your favourite motivational phrase/quote/mantra?

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

~ Dr Wayne Dyer

Where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

Here are my hangouts:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

 

Thanks for having me Sharon!


Linn

Loved your interview for Entrepreneur Spotlight, Linn. It’s wonderful how you are positively impacting and transforming people’s lives. With best wishes for your future success, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Sadaf Solangi

Entrepreneur Spotlight focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

This week we’ve got the talented Sadaf Solangi, explaining all about her special blend of massage and coaching.

Hi Sadaf, What’s your business name and what’s it all about?

My business is Earth Rose therapeutics. It’s about developing Balance and Calm in the lives of women, predominantly through massage and coaching.

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

I was attracted to the glamour of self employment and being a business woman. I didn’t want to feel stressed working for a bossy manager. I wanted to heal and make a difference. And also make some decent money.

What lights you up about your business? 

The fact that I can have a brand like Liz Earle and that, by God’s will, I have a healing touch which makes women’s mental and physical pain go into remission.

What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5?

Wake up when I want. Develop my own brochures. Choose my own working hours. Meet beautiful people. Command my own prices.

What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

Prayer and meditation. Intermittent Fasting. Practising therapies which are therapeutic for me. Being plugged into the Profit Pack.

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

Sometimes I do feel that way, however, when I’m unfocused and don’t make a profit in my business, then I lose my freedom lifestyle. My ideal freedom lifestyle involves travelling and holding retreats, a clutter-free environment, eating Paleo foods and being really spiritual. I’d also be making enough money to sustain my freedom lifestyle.

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

A Therapeutic Spa up and running and funding to do my Masters.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to a woman who’s considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected?

Self-care, baby steps, a simple and concrete logo, and perfect your product or service.

What’s your favourite motivational phrase/quote/mantra?

When the student is ready the teacher appears.

What are you favourite social hangouts, and where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

My favourite social hangouts are:

Profit Pack

Vital Mind Reset

and here’s where you can find me:

Website (under construction)

Facebook

Lily House

The Berkley Clinic

 

Sadaf

Thank you for letting me interview you for the Entrepreneur Spotlight, Sadaf. It was a pleasure to learn about you, your business, and your vision for the future. Wishing you the very best for your future success, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jessica Dornieden

The second interview in our Entrepreneur Spotlight series, which focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

This week I interviewed the upbeat and multi-talented, Jessica Dornieden, and  founder of www.jessicadornieden.com which provides business strategy and VA services to female entrepreneurs.

Hi Jessica, What’s your business name and what’s it all about?

This one is not very interesting I’m afraid! When I first started out I was struggling to decide on a business name and decided that really I wanted to just be me. So we are operating at JessicaDornieden.com. Me and my team work with entrepreneurs and support them in their business strategy and technical implementation. We help entrepreneurs to plan out their sales funnels and marketing and then implement the technical side.

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

I think I always knew I wasn’t really cut out to work for other people. Since the age of 19 (and in my first job after school), I struggled to just “fit in” in the workplace and “do as I’m told”. When I see problems, I want to fix them. When I can tell something is badly organised, I want to organise it – but none of this input was welcome anywhere.


I didn’t really know what else I could do though, so I always had the nagging feeling of wanting to “get out” but I didn’t really know an alternative. In 2015 I had a big meltdown, because I realised that I’d not be able to save money from the salary of the career I’d built in childcare. We’d never be able to buy a house, and adding a baby to our family would be impossible given high childcare costs and my low salary. I felt devastated. One evening, I made a decision that something had to change. I began researching alternative “jobs” online which would utilise my skills, and learnt about “online business”. Now my “why” is stronger than ever. I fell pregnant 2 weeks after resigning from my full-time job. My baby is joining our family very soon, and I feel like I’m now in a much better place to grow my business and spend time with the people that matter to me most.


What lights you up about your business? 

Many of my clients join me and my team at a really exciting stage in their business. Things are just starting to take off for them and they are growing big time – and we get to be there and support them. I love seeing their projects take off, and then supporting them further in developing a strategy for the next steps AND working out a way to implement them in their business.

What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5?

I love waking up in the mornings and knowing that I DON’T have to rush anywhere. I can take my time drinking my coffee and I can have breakfast when I want to. I love being able to start work as early as I like and take a break when I feel tired/can’t focus well – that’s usually right after lunch for me. That was always the thing I hated most about working a 9-5 (or 8-6 in my case), you had to turn up every day at a fixed time and stay there for a fixed number of hours – whether you were feeling inspired or productive didn’t matter.


What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

I am really strict with interruptions now, I do not check FB messages, Slack or emails before I have gotten my most important tasks for the day out of the way. So I often start work early around 6.30 or 7.00am and then take a break at 10.30am, by which point any distractions won’t totally spoil my day. We are creative entrepreneurs and we need to protect our creativity from outside influence, whether it’s personal, economical or political.

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

I would say I’m 60% there. I do have a lot more freedom to make decisions about my life then I ever did with a job, however  I think I won’t feel totally “free” from the restrictions of other people until my other half is also free from his job. That’s our next goal. My ideal freedom lifestyle involves us, as a family, travelling more (as and when we want) and spending more time with our respective families that are both abroad. We only have a limited time to spend with those we love the most, and we want to make the most of it!

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

I have big plans! I’m looking to grow the VA side of the business and really scale things up to help as many entrepreneurs as possible. I am aiming to connect with different professionals and grow a network of people that can help entrepreneurs in ALL areas of their business. I also want to really focus on the strategic side of the process of growing a business. That’s what I used to do in childcare and building and improving businesses is my passion.


What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to a woman considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected?

Just keep going. These days we are desperate to make things happen overnight and we are often deluded by all the glorious descriptions of entrepreneurship we see online (Thanks Insta for showing me another entrepreneur sipping Cocktails while “working” on the beach). But in reality entrepreneurship is tough and dirty and things rarely go to plan – so it’s time to get used to it. It’s a game you have chosen to play, there are risks and there are rewards – but to me the only way you’re going to win is if you don’t give up.


What’s your favourite motivational phrase/ quote/ mantra?

My favourite mantra is: “Spend zero percent of your energy on things that don’t matter” – Gary Vaynerchuk
When I started my business, I was working a tough full-time job. It was the hardest time ever to create a business alongside it. But I focused on the tasks that brought results and left everything else – and that’s what got me to where I am now.

Where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

The best place to read more about what we do is the website. If you’d like to get to know me as a person a little bit better, then you can follow me or Instagram.

 

Jess

 

Thank you for allowing me to interview you for my Entrepreneur Spotlight series, Jessica. It was great hear your story and your advice. The very best of success to you, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Alexa Tewkesbury

This week sees the start of our Entrepreneur Spotlight, which focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

We kick off with the delightful Alexa Tewkesbury, an award-winning screenplay writer, author of books for children and creative editorial specialist: freelance copywriter, copy editor and proofreader.

Hi Alexa, What’s your business name and what’s it all about?

I trade under my own name – Alexa Tewkesbury. Sometimes I think about changing it to something more imaginative, but as clients are used to this as my business name now, it might confuse things! I’m a copy editor, proofreader and copywriter working with publishers, independent authors and businesses. Wherever words are involved, my aim is to shape and refine them so that they showcase the writer or the business in the best possible way, delivering the true heart of the message.

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

I’m a fairly solitary person, so I’ve always quite liked the idea of working on my own from home. But the main driver to actually doing something about it was the fact that my son is autistic and has epilepsy, with a few physical difficulties to go along with that, and I needed to find a way to work but be based at home so that I’m around when needed too. It’s too easy for autistic people to become isolated, and I don’t want that for him. Although it’s a bit of a juggle at times – most of my work is to deadlines so there’s not a lot of room for manoeuvre – I can’t imagine being able to ‘do’ life any other way now.

What lights you up about your business? What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5?

I love creating my own schedule, albeit a bit haphazardly sometimes. And I get a real buzz when potential new clients find me online and contact me. It’s very rewarding to know that all the digital marketing does pay off! I also love the variety of work. I can be copy editing a new writer’s novel one day, switching to some website copy the next, proofreading a regular magazine for a publisher on another, and in between, creating content for my Twitter feed and scanning relevant editorial blogs and articles to share. That’s a variety I never had in my 9-5!

What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

I recently had to give up caffeine, which was a bit of a blow! I always enjoyed the routine of settling at my desk with a mug of steaming coffee, checking my email and social media accounts to see what’s happening in my work world, noting anything especially good to share, and picking up a few hints and tips from my industry in the process. I still have coffee now, but of the decaff variety, and I’ve pretty much adjusted to a caffeine-free life. So the mug-moment still stands and kickstarts my work day.

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

Because so much of my work is to deadlines, I wouldn’t exactly call my freelance life a “freedom lifestyle”. I can be flexible up to a point, but if work is due in for a certain time and date, that does take quite a lot of the freedom out of it! I suppose that’s the nature of editorial work. Having said that, on hot summer days, I can set up outside in the garden, and on cold winter ones I can snuggle with my laptop on the sofa. And if it’s all been especially manic and suddenly there’s a quiet day, I can decide to finish early and go for a walk. So, in those respects, yes, there is freedom, and I think I’d find the rigidity of 9-5 really hard to adapt to now.

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

I’d like to have grown! I have one business client who pays for my services with a retainer fee monthly, which is great because it’s regular income to rely on. I would love to be able to find more clients who would like me to work for them on that basis. I’d also like to be able to regularise my work flow more, rather than everything landing at once, as it so often does! It’s an aim, but I’m still working on how to achieve it at the moment…

If there was one piece of advice you’d like to give to a woman who’s considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected, what would it be?

Read as much as you can about how other women are building their businesses – how they’re networking (face to face and online), what digital marketing channels they’re using, where the needs are that you can fulfil in your industry. Having a marketing strategy is so important in making yourself visible to potential clients, but connecting with people doing what you’re doing also builds an amazing and vital support network for you and your business.

What’s your favourite motivational phrase/quote/mantra?

“My life – my rules” (not that I’ve by any means cracked this yet!).

Where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

Here’s where you can find me:

Website

Twitter

Linkedin


Please say hello sometime!

Alexa

Thank you for taking part in the Entrepreneur Spotlight, Alexa. It was fabulous to hear all about you and your business. All the very best for the future, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...