“The Launch Pad gave me more confidence, and told me that I needed to keep going and trust myself.”


The Launch Pad helped Kelly Shearer get clarity on what she wanted to do next, after she found herself stuck in a marketing job that didn’t reflect her values. Now she and her husband have their own shop, and are relishing the learning process of running their own business.

What was your work situation before the Launch Pad?

I was working in commercial marketing at the head office of a big grocery chain.

How were you feeling about your work?

I hated my old job, for a mixture of reasons. 

A lot of people there were really unhappy, and there had been some layoffs. It was just a toxic environment.

Why did you decide to join the Launch Pad?

I had already left the grocery chain by the time I did the Launch Pad, but I still wasn’t happy.

I found Careershifters through a success story, and signed up for an initial online session. 

What had you previously tried to do to make progress on your career change?

I’d tried to do some online courses by myself before, but never successfully. 

I really like having other people to help me, or I lose motivation.

What were your reservations or skepticism about the Launch Pad?

I was nervous that the same thing would happen again – that I’d lose motivation just looking at my screen.

But I decided to give it a go, and I remember the first call we had – I realised straight away that this was a good thing, that it was something I needed to do.

How did you make your finances work to take the course?

Signing up for the Launch Pad felt like an important thing to do: telling myself that I was worth investing in, that my future was worth investing in.

I also knew that, if I wanted to cancel, I could get my money back in the first two weeks. But I remember on the first call we had, thinking: no, this is a good thing, I’m not going to cancel.

What was the experience like, and what were the highlights?

It took a couple of weeks for me to really get into it. 

But eventually I found that there was this real community of people supporting each other. I got to know them well.

For me, breakout events (whether online or in person) made a really big difference, and helped me to see the other people on my course as real people. One thing that was great was having a one-on-one, in-person meetup with someone in the group – this was pre-Covid. We just talked for five hours, it was so good.

When I first spoke live on a call it made a big difference for me, just in my mindset: it made me feel like I was really part of the group.

Another highlight was realising that another person in the group and I were both messaging the same person to ask for advice! She already knew this person, whereas I only knew about them through Instagram. But that was a really big connection for us, and we ended up becoming accountability buddies. That’s part of what led to me and my husband opening a shop. Since then, she’s done a couple of pop-ups at our shop, too.

Especially because we’re not really from the UK (my husband and I are both from Texas), it felt like we didn’t have the connections we needed. But I realised I can make those connections.

What were the toughest moments?

Asking people for help was new for me, and it really made me feel uncomfortable. 

I really struggled with a couple of the tasks we had to do around that. 

But it was a good thing in the end to push my boundaries.

How did you make time for the course?

At the point when I did the Launch Pad, I really wasn’t taking my job home with me – I was just doing the work that I needed to do, and then checking out. So I had a decent amount of free time.

I definitely understand that it’s different for other people – I don’t have the commitments of children, for example. But I was just able to focus less on my job and more on my career shift.

Where are you now in your career?

My husband and I run our own shop selling high-quality food products, near where we live in North London.

How do you feel about your work?

I love it.

There are still challenges, and stuff I’m learning. 

Lockdown was really stressful. But during that whole time I just kept thinking how grateful I was that we had our own business that we were in control of.

Every night, when we close the shutter, I look into the shop and I still feel: Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s our shop. It still takes me by surprise. 

And when I look back at photos from our opening night, I just can’t believe that we did it.

How did the Launch Pad help you get clear on and move into your new career?

The Launch Pad allowed me to understand the steps that I needed to feel confident and clear about my career, and how I could evaluate my experiences.

It also taught me what I needed to do in terms of talking to people and trying out different things.

What on the course led to that impact?

Having to reach out to people and make new connections was a big part of it.

But just doing the course also helped me to recognise that I had already shifted jobs several times – though I’d never thought about that as career shifting. So it also helped give value to some things that I was doing anyway, that I didn’t really recognise as important. 

That gave me more confidence, and told me that I needed to keep going and trust myself.

What’s been the impact of your shift on your wider life?

I’ve always wanted to work for myself, because I have so much passion, and I like to be in control. So that’s really positive.

And it means that we can set our schedule: for instance, we’ve decided that from January we’re reducing the days that we’re open, so that we can have more of a break. 

To me, being able to do that is really huge.

Getting to know people has been really special, too. We’re in a residential area, and we have a lot of customers who we’re really close with – we know hundreds of our customers by name. It really feels like a community.

It’s also new for me to be in the role of employer. I have a meaningful impact on other people’s lives – not just employees but also others who don’t technically work for us, like delivery drivers. 

For me, it would be the best thing to be a good employer, to give people opportunities to grow and develop and have experiences that will maybe even lead to them opening their own business.

What would you recommend to anyone considering the Launch Pad?

Be prepared for a lot of personal work. 

For me it was a lot of emotional work around trusting myself and shifting some of my mindsets. There are some things you’re going to have to do that are maybe uncomfortable.

But it was the most rewarding thing for me. It’s definitely worth exploring. I think anyone who thinks about these things would benefit in some way from the course. 

It really did change my life. I have a totally different life now.

To find out more about Kelly's business, visit

You can find full details about the course on our dedicated Launch Pad page