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
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...