In this edition of Inspiring Interviews, I wanted to chat to someone who's main job is to helping and coaching others. As an entrepreneur myself, I've often leaned on my friend, Olympic Athlete, Steve Backley OBE many times for coaching advice. At times when I have turned around and said to Steve "I just want to be successful" and he turns and says to me "but what is success to you Jo?". His question back gets my mind boggling. What is success to me? Is it my family, is it my business or both? Could success be simply living a healthy and happy life? Either way, it is a thought provoking question.
Business coaches help entrepreneurs break through barriers that are holding them back and focus on the actions necessary to achieve their goals. It is clear that a great percentage of entrepreneurs are looking for ways to supercharge their business or have dreamt of running their own business, but haven't done it....yet. However, to move forwards, sometimes to have to look within and understand what holds you back or even more importantly, what drives you forward. In this interview, we meet Business and mindset coach, Caroline Britton to get us all on the right foot forward for 2019.
1. Caroline, let's start by asking you to introduce yourself?
Hi everyone. I am Caroline Britton, a business and mindset coach, escapee of the corporate world and mother of two.
2. Tell us about your business and how did you get started?
My business is focused on delivering transformational 8 week coaching programs to women who want to get out of their work rut and get their business idea off the ground. I am a massive convert to the power your mind has in creating your success so this is a big focus of my program. I want to help Mums push past the fear and get more flexibility and freedom into their life through running their own business. My program is everything I would have wanted when I left my job of 14 years working for a London based global consultancy. For years I felt stuck, like my spark was diminishing, full of fear about doing anything about it and massively lacking in confidence. I've successfully turned this around and set up my own 6 figure coaching business where I get to be around for my family and do what I love and I want to help those who want to, do the same thing.
3. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in building your business?
My mindset. At the beginning I constantly focused on 'what ifs'. What if this goes wrong, what if I cannot pay the bills, what if I throw away my career that I've worked so hard for. It was exhausting and paralysing and the fear stopped me making any real momentum in my business. By doing HUGE amounts of work on my mindset and focusing on what I do want, I have got transformational results and my business has grown rapidly..
4. As a business coach, you now spend much of your time with other women, supporting them to achieve they business dreams and aspirations. I love this! But, here's the question - where do you start?
I am a broken record but work on your mindset first! My top tips:
1. Watch what you are focusing on - is it what you fear? If so replace it with with what you want.
2. Recognise fear - if you are inactive, procrastinating, avoiding doing the most important thing first or caught up in perfectionism then it is coming from a fear you have of failing. Recognise that and choose to take action instead.
3. Start small and start today. There is no better time. Yes there will always be excuses but do it anyway.
4. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable - it's good to feel like it's scary - it shows you are growing
5. Get help - Get a coach, mentor, join a group - it's hard to do it alone and it's so worth the investment
5. I was reading on one of your client success stories how you support mothers who feel like they lose bit of themselves through the chaos of family life. One of your clients described your coaching method as a 'a truly cathartic experience'. Many mums feel like they lose a little confidence and self-belief after having a baby, so how do you support them to find it again?
It's something I see time and time again with my clients and something that I have experienced. I think it comes from a disconnect to who we really are. We get so intertwined in our identities as mothers that we don't take the time to realise it is a part of who we are and not what we are. When I work with women in this situation we look at their core beliefs they have about themselves, the assumptions they make about who they are and what they can do, based on self limiting beliefs they have carried around for years. We then shift it. We change the story of what we tell ourselves, we focus on the fact they are deserving and all the things they have to offer. We then get into action - confidence is like a muscle that needs working out and I believe it gets stronger by getting out there and doing things that scare you.
6. In business and in life in general, we talk a lot about shifting mindsets. I imagine this is a important method in your coaching. We talk a lot about growth mindsets in children, but actually, how do you help women to develop their growth mindset?
I love these questions! If you look at any one who is successful they are united by a growth mindset. Being successful is never about being perfect - you have to fail to get to where you want. The difference is whether you give up. Look at JK Rowling who was rejected from over a dozen publishers - what differentiated her was that she carried on regardless. She had belief in her work and the vision of children walking around and loving her book and she continued. Success is something that needs to be built on purpose so believe in yourself, keep going and always see opportunities in set backs - they tend to be our greatest lesson.
7. You kindly sent me one of your Mind Mail packages, which was packaged in the most beautiful box. Can you tell us more about Mind Mail and why people will love it or maybe like to gift one to a friend?
Mind Mail is my coach in a box. I wanted to make coaching accessible to everyone and by sending through a box which contained beautiful products [like a candle, crystal and notebook] as well as coaching exercises it meant that self-reflection could feel like a treat rather than a chore. I am on a mission to make working on a mindset a must for everyone - it can be transformational and these boxes are a way to bring this in to your home or as a thoughtful gift for someone you know who could really benefit from it.
8. You must see so many mums who are feeling frazzled and running on empty. What are your top tips for helping to get us back a more balanced feeling of wellbeing? What is one thing we can all do today?
I do and I think it is something we are all guilty of. We prioritise everyone else when actually everyone else would most benefit if we put ourselves first. These are my top tips for getting more wellbeing into your life:
1. START SMALL: Block out 10 minutes a day when you do something that is purely for the sake of being. It can be anything from breathing [try the in for 3 seconds, hold for 4 and out for 5 seconds], going for a walk or doing something you love just for the pure sake of the enjoyment of it
2. DO NOT MULTI TASK: When you need to be sending emails then be present with that, when you are with your kids & friends focus on them. Do what it takes to make sure that you do one thing at a time - I try and hide my phone when the kids come in and check it again at 7 p.m. when they are back in bed
3. TREAT CHALLENGE: It takes 21 days to change a habit so try 21 days where you have to give yourself something that brings you joy [not necessarily material] but it could be a magazine, flowers, time with a coffee. Anything that starts with "I really shouldn't but..."
It's going to get your mind to start prioritising you and not everyone else.
4. CHECK IN EVERYDAY: Ask yourself daily, what do I need today? How do I feel in my body? What am I lacking? A big help is to think about what you feel you are most lacking from everyone else. That is usually a real indication of what you most need to give yourself
5. LOOK AT YOURSELF HOLISTICALLY: How do you eat? Do you exercise? Do you relax? Is their balance in these areas? Can you make time to work on all these areas?
6. GET SUPPORT: Find yourself a coach, a yoga teacher, a CBT specialist, a nutritionist - whatever you need. Having someone on hand to support you without judgement is fundamental to getting long lasting changes
7.PRIORITISE YOU: Realise that by putting yourself first, everyone else benefits. No-one wins when you are burnt out, frazzled & grumpy. When you feel yourself going into that frenetic pace do what you need to get yourself out of it - a long walk, coffee on your own, deep breaths, being in nature
8. MAKE IT PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE: The best thing you can do is to introduce self-care habits into your life [whether through morning or evening routines] so that it comes as routine as brushing your teeth. Put a reminder somewhere to do this for 21 days & you will see huge differences in yourself, your enjoyment of life & your relationships around you.
9. What's next for Caroline Britton Coaching and what can we hope to see from you in 2019?
2019 is going to be all about continuing to serve my clients as best I can, to continue to invest in my own personal growth and to hold myself to my three intentions for this year - flow, growth and gratitude. Plus I will welcome some extra goodies thrown in from the universe too.
We hope you enjoyed this fab interview with Caroline Britton. For more details, please follow Caroline on Instagram (carolinebrittoncoaching) or visit her website - www.caroline-britton.com