“I decided I wanted to have more freedom, and that the only way to achieve this was to be self-employed.”
What work were you doing previously?
I was an Internal Auditor for ten years.
What are you doing now?
I've created my own business called Love Me Slender.
I'm helping women with a history of yo-yo dieting and comfort / emotional eating break free from dieting and live life with greater purpose.
I'm also doing auditing work alongside this.
Why did you change and when was the moment you decided to make the change?
About six years ago I realised I wanted to be self-employed.
I'd never really known what I wanted to do and had fallen into a job; admittedly it had components of what I enjoy. A big part of how I decided to make the shift is linked to why I've set up my business in the way I have.
In my twenties, I followed the typical weight loss / gain pattern; by the time I was in my mid-twenties I weighed nearly 16 stone. I could hardly walk and wasn't particularly happy. I'd already conquered panic attacks and decided I needed to lose weight once and for all, so I went to Weight Watchers.
Over the next five years I lost 78.5 lbs. I reached my goal weight a week after my 30th birthday, but despite my life being significantly better I almost had a breakdown that year.
I meditated, had counselling, and read a book called Excuse Me Your Life Is Waiting, by Lynn Grabhorn. I started to explore complementary therapies in a bid to finally find out what was missing in my life. As all of this developed I decided I wanted to have more freedom, and that the only way to achieve this was to be self-employed.
So began the search for what I could do. I dabbled in various craft endeavours (and even pushed my comfort zone by selling them), and went to the gym. I came across a great-sounding training course in NLP, Time Line Therapy™, Hypnotherapy and Coaching. I loved the holistic approach, and the results of Time Line Therapy™ amazed me.
Still searching, I did various courses on discovering your purpose, setting up a business, and marketing.
While on a course I was asked about what I was interested in; a conversation followed where it was suggested that I could create something based on food, weight, etc. I didn't believe back then that something like this would be of value and didn't do much about it. Then one day I had a conversation with a coach who asked me whether I was passionate about the subject – could I do it for the next five to ten years?
I decided that yes, I was, and yes, I could.
Are you happy with the change?
Yes, the change is helping me develop as a person.
Although it's a bit of a roller coaster at times, I'm starting to like it. There are days when I'm scared; however, I apply the techniques I'm trained in (which really helps) and I'm blessed to have amazing people in my life. It's been a journey which has helped me (and continues to help me) develop my sense of self-worth.
What do you miss and what don't you miss?
I do miss the banter I've had in previous jobs.
Because of this I want to make sure I work with people and not just at home all the time.
How did you go about making the shift?
I started by reducing my hours in my previous job to four days a week, and then (as I was so miserable) I took the plunge and left.
I did crash and burn for a while, with no structure and a mix of different 'purposes' in my head. I started to run out of money so decided to go down the contract route. I've just finished working on a six-month contract, and I'm now looking for a part-time audit consulting role so that I have the space and security to grow the business even more.
The idea has taken time to develop and I've continued to develop personally throughout. I trained as a Master Practitioner in the previous qualifications and then got into the fitness and nutrition side of things (which is adding more to what I can offer).
Now I'm clear about who I'm helping with what and the difference I can make. I've started to coach and offer online courses. The structure and purpose I have helps me help my clients get structure and purpose in theirs.
What didn't go well? What 'wrong turns' did you take?
I've wasted money on courses that I haven't completed.
I wonder whether I could have moved forward faster with more individual help and by employing or working with someone.
How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?
This is definitely an area of weakness for me.
I got into debt to fund university and afterwards spent a number of years paying it off.
I've taken some risks with my finances, which I most definitely wouldn't recommend. But I have learned how to budget and how to look after and grow my money. Consistency with my finances is an area I'm putting a lot of effort into, as I recognise that to take more responsibility in this area will attract greater success.
What was the most difficult thing about changing?
Realising that I'm not a problem to be solved.
When I was feeling rubbish, down, or not wanting to do something, I used to get into this negative mindset, thinking I'd gone backwards and was somehow failing. Now I realise that this is all part of the process. I will have down days; it's all part of my learning.
It's also been a challenge to put myself out in the world, with the aim to inspire. I was someone who used to hide from the camera!
What help did you get?
As I've been growing and connecting with more people, I've had a lot of help.
I met my housemate whilst training in NLP, Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnotherapy. We decided to houseshare since we both had similar ambitions. It's been a roller coaster of a ride as we've both been developing and this has naturally led to challenges; however, he has really helped me develop and move my concepts forward.
I'm also grateful to have many people in my life who help me, whether by asking me the challenging questions, letting me develop an idea, or grounding me. The more I'm doing this work, the more I'm meeting people who help me. My family have always supported me too.
What have you learnt in the process?
I've learned my true value: that if I work with my why, my mission and purpose then this will reflect back into the clients I work with.
I've also learned the importance of embracing the right help at the right time.
What resources would you recommend to others?
I'd highly recommend Roger Hamilton and Wealth Dynamics.
What do you wish you'd done differently?
I wish I'd trusted myself sooner, and been more active in engaging help.
What would you advise others to do in the same situation?
There are many courses out there and they can all be useful.
However, be strategic, and be clear as to why you are going to buy that course or service.
To find out more about Emma's business, visit www.lovemeslender.co.uk