The Careers Teacher
“You are far too clever, you bite your nails and you have acne. How can you possibly be a beauty therapist?”
The room smelt slightly damp, there was a dim light on the desk I was sat opposite her, she was not even glancing up from the papers on her desk. One sentence that I truly believed that crushed my soul. It stayed with me for a few decades and thankfully later became a springboard of hope, change and determination.
I didn’t go to college to be a beauty therapist as the head of year had dictated on that grey afternoon in a comprehensive school in Sheffield.
I avoided A Levels and didn’t aspire to attend University. My grades were 3rd in the whole school. She wanted me to be a shining beacon of hope for that depressing grey building, with the reputation for bad behaviour, truants and teenage pregnancy. I could have been one of those shining lights, I could have gone onto do A Level’s and attended University but that is not what the daughter of steelworker does.
Job For Life?
I went to work in an office A Job for Life! In the civil service working in a large City Centre office assessing claims to benefits. It wasn’t what I wanted to do I wanted to help people look and feel better about themselves. It was spotted in me before I knew it. I was a helper you see. I was one who could get people to talk. People trusted me with information they wouldn’t tell my colleagues I had a knack of being able to help people get their facts and figures straight and help them get their benefits, right place, right time, right person. (That was our strap line)
So there I was, still a teenager in a job for life. I had some good times. But my soul was never nourished.
I had to be effective and although I was indeed effective within my career, I was stifled by the guidelines, the bureaucracy and the lack of vision. I saw our clients as people. Yet to many they were simply numbers or sadly scroungers.
The assessments, the numbers and the data entry was beginning to take its toll. I had been overlooked for promotion; they thought I was not a long-term prospect in the Civil Service. I was easily distracted. I was uninspired and disengaged. They were right they knew before I did!
Listen to Your Heart.
I followed my heart and trained as a beauty therapist. I was following my dream the one Mrs Henderson had swiftly squatted like an irritating fly at a family picnic.
It was hard work, It took dedication and during a bought of glandular fever it proved particularly challenging. I qualified with a distinction and once again in the top three of the class. To the delight of my husband I also qualified as a masseuse with distinction.
Did I leave that job for life? I was still that girl from the council estate she didn’t belong in a fancy pants salon. What would people say if I gave up my job for life in the Civil Service?
My foray into self-employment started on a part time basis. Low on confidence and self-esteem I began driving my tiny red car around offering mobile beauty treatments to the women of South Yorkshire. I didn’t know how to work out my costings and with low self-belief I am sure I wasn’t making any money at all.
Ditching The Imposter
I joined a direct sales company for the products to use on my customers and WOW signing on that dotted line was a quantum shift.
I discovered how to make a living, how to run a business, how to apply the most beautiful make up for brides on their wedding day. I also discovered I was a natural at motivation and inspiration I had a knack of helping people see how to grow and develop as individuals as well as helping them grow a business.
My clients spoke to me naturally I helped with so much more than a colour match as people opened up to me about all aspects of their lives and said they felt so much better for having been in my presence.
I worked but it never felt like work. I was driven by the recognition, the rewards and of course seeing others develop. I won holidays abroad, designer bags and luggage, two cars and a Gucci watch. Not bad for a girl from a council estate. But I still felt like I didn’t belong in the world of designer bags and diamond earrings. I was great at “ground level” but the higher I climbed the bigger the imposter in my head.
Job For Life Not On Your Nelly!
Eventually after discussion with my husband I handed in my notice at my “Job for Life” That was it I was going to become fully self-employed a business owner. The imposter was still there but I was trying my best to shush her as I built a business and helped others to grow.
Things were going swimmingly and then there were changes within the company. Branson sold out, a management takeover and new products introduced. Jewellery and later Homewares. That didn’t float my boat and I began to feel detached from the business.
The first clue that authenticity and integrity were part of my belief system.
I used to travel around the streets of South Yorkshire applying make up to women and some men. They said I made them feel like a million dollars. But I could see that inside as soon as the makeup was removed the old feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness would return.
I knew deep down it was about much more than a killer lipstick. (Although I know a killer lipstick is a fab quick fix)
Reflecting on the training, coaching and seminars attended along with the talent I had for inspiring and helping people to grow and develop I decided to train as a Coach. I undertook a two year coach training programme. I became a certified personal life coach and advanced coach.
I wanted to facilitate the long-term fix giving people confidence and self- worth with perfectly applied make-up or a naked face. Hair straight from the salon or not brushed for three days!
I believe it is everyone’s right to be confident in their own skin regardless of physical appearance and abilities.
I continued to train in holistic therapies, NLP, becoming a Reiki Master Teacher, DISC profiling, Bars, Public Speaking, PTTLS and many other courses of personal and business development. Combining all the skills and techniques over the years I have developed a style and brand that suits me.
Now with over ten years’ experience as a coach and personal empowerment specialist I have achieved the following.
- Spoken at business and personal development seminars.
- Coached individuals personally to grow and develop their own businesses.
- Helped many women discover their authenticity and self-empowerment.
- Am a published author.
- Created The Power of Three – Signature Coaching programme.
- Collaborated with numerous business owners to bring my unique take on life to their events and courses.
- Become a champion for Women in Business.
- Hosted and promoted many events that promote self-worth confidence and so much more.
- Hosted networking events for business owners to encourage personal and business growth.
- Supported many charities.
I take pride in those I have helped on my journey.
Those who have read my book and taken action. Heard me speak at a seminar and had a lightbulb moment.
The personal clients who have experienced major transformations.
Those who read my news and views or simply interact on social media.
I Love My Job
I love making an impact that is what I was born to do. Thankfully I followed that calling. There is so much I have achieved since making that Shift from Civil Servant to Life Coach and from Beauty Therapist to Inspirational Speaker.
My transformation may have taken a while and there may not have been life or death moments requiring change but I found myself.
I started this story with a throw away comment that was made to me in the 1980’s. It took me years to understand I had lived with those comments. They were the root cause of my imposter. The thoughts that I wasn’t good enough.
I had let someone else squash my dreams and my desires to make people’s lives better either through giving them the correct benefits on time, making them feel wonderful on their wedding day, helping them face their path and rid themselves of their imposter.
I discovered that being my own boss has given me permission to be my authentic self. Hey I was and I am good enough.
There have been many challenges along the way and I am sure there will be many more. Would I do it all again? Yes I would.
Would I do it differently?
Now here is the surprising bit.
No I wouldn’t. The time spent in the Civil Service helped to nurture my empathy and understanding of people on all levels. I spoke to dignitaries and the homeless. Sometimes in the same day. I treat everyone the same. (Maybe that was why I never got that promotion.)
I had a stopover in the beauty industry. That was my childhood dream and I fulfilled it. It enhanced my communication skills and helped me to really be able to focus on people as individuals. I gave treatments to people who probably couldn’t afford to go to that fancy pants salon. I helped them feel amazing.
Would I still sign on that dotted line of the cosmetics company? Hell Yeah! I got to know business. I discovered personal development.
I do believe that we all know what we are destined to be. Which path to take and how remarkable our lives can be and should be.
I also know that we often listen to those throw away comments, the ones that are said with all good intentions – Yet we allow them in as imposters. We allow that imposter syndrome to work away at our well-being our self-worth and self-belief.
We need to get good at asking if we are OK, checking in with ourselves and making sure we are following our path and not necessarily the one that is expected.
There is so much support and advice out there in the world today. Make use of it. Ask questions, join groups on social media, and find your support tribe.
You got this
You are good enough.
So my piece of advice to you.
If you are looking at another path. The chances are you are ready to make that move. Do it.
You may question yourself but as the famous quote goes.
“What if I fall, But oh Darling What if you fly?”
Hopefully my story has inspired you to follow your dreams, if you would like to find out more about me or how I could help you please me contact for a free One to One Consultation.