As scary as it can seem, I found that writing down my long-term goals for my business and who I wanted to be, as if they were already happening, was hugely effective - and everything I wrote down came true! - Natalie Edwards, Transformative Coach
Can you give us a brief overview of what you do as a transformative coach?
I specialise in bringing people back to life. I help inspire them through my writing and I combine my knowledge of yoga and meditation with a powerfully transformative coaching process to help people out of emotional and physical pain, get them out of their ‘stuck place’, and back into alignment with how they actually want to live their lives.
Tell me more about your career before starting your business?
I was an Art Director for an online greetings card company in London. I worked my way up in the company over the seven years I was there managing the in-house design team, freelancers and publishers. I was outwardly successful, but the ethos and atmosphere began to change when the company was taken over and I started to question my real reasons for being there after such a long time. I knew I wanted a different lifestyle and whilst it was a great job for many years, I knew I was destined for something different and I wasn’t going to find it sitting behind my desk anymore.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was teaching yoga part time whilst in my old job but what I found was that every time I worked with someone privately they would end up telling me about other areas of their lives that they were struggling with. I have always wanted to help other people and had always been told what a good listener I was, so I began to think about how I could combine my yoga and meditation trainings with coaching, writing and speaking to help people on a deeper level. I also began to meet more and more people in the same situation I was in – stuck in a job and relationship they didn’t want to be in, and in a lot of emotional and physical pain – and I just knew I wanted inspire people to think differently about their lives. I wanted to help them to avoid the same painful pitfalls I had encountered.
How did you manage building it alongside your full time career?
The yoga training and teaching alone, plus a few other trainings I wanted to complete before leaving, I did alongside my old job, but as I began to get more clear on what I really wanted to do, I must admit I just decided to make the leap without a grand plan in place! I took a huge risk but I just knew I had to do it, as going part time wasn’t an option and I kept finding that I’d have to say no to opportunities that came my way whilst I was still working full time. It gave me the space, focus, drive and energy I needed to get fully aligned and get things moving.
Having some part time work lined up is a good idea (I still consult in my old industry and do part time yoga work or cover), and obviously savings are a huge bonus, but I find sometimes you do just have to leap, otherwise you tear your hair out when you are being pulled in too many different directions.
What’s been the biggest highlight?
Probably the amount of feedback I get on my messages, articles and sessions. To know that I have helped or inspired just one person is enough for me, but I was overwhelmed by the responses I received when I began truly speaking from my heart. And of course signing my first high end client to a personal 1:1 package was pretty amazing too. It’s so scary when you first put yourself out there in your business, and there are days when you wonder if what you’re doing is ever going to work, but then you realise that you do have something important to say when you make those first few sales and are able to start connecting with and helping people.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
For me, it’s been managing my own fears and self doubts. We all have them, but it’s funny how, despite my own personal eagerness to leave my old job, when you make the break, you can still feel a slight sense of loss of identity and you suddenly realise that you’re out there alone. That can be pretty daunting. But the key is to keep doing the internal work and keep a positive mindset every single day. Because without this, you can have a to-do list as long as your arm each day for your business, but none of it will get done with any meaning if you’re out of alignment or in a negative, fearful place.
What is your secret to promoting yourself and building up a community?
Word of mouth is the most powerful and underestimated tool. I try and set a goal for myself each week to have a certain number of conversations with people and I’m always thinking about who I would love to work with and who I can help. Video blogging on YouTube is also a great way for people to get to know you and get a feel for your personality and style, plus it’s fun to do!
What advice would you give to other women who dream of starting their own business?
Don’t keep those dreams locked in a closet any longer, start taking steps towards making them a reality NOW. As scary as it can seem, I found that writing down my long-term goals for my business and who I wanted to be, as if they were already happening, was hugely effective and everything I wrote down came true! So try that simple exercise first if you’re just starting out with ideas. But above all, keep taking action, keep talking to people and making as many connections as you can, as procrastination is one of the most frustrating things, and it can completely dampen the fire of creativity that is essential for any female entrepreneur.
What’s next for you?
I’m in the middle of setting up a new website and writing a book which I’m really excited about. I’m also planning a retreat with my friend and colleague, which is going to be offering yoga, meditation, coaching and counselling from both our skill sets.
What’s your favourite quote?
I love Martin Luther King’s “You don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step” – this is such a poignant one for me and maybe for many women out there scared about starting their own business. I was such a ‘details’ person and used to get so caught up in how I was going to make everything work, plans, and how to get from A to B, that I ended up taking no action at all and ended up feeling completely stuck. I’ve learnt that you just need to start, put yourself out there, risk being seen, let go of being perfect and then amazing things will happen.
Natalie Edwards is a coach, writer and certified Forrest yoga teacher. It’s her mission in life to inspire as many people as she can to see that life doesn’t have to be led by someone else’s rules and it certainly doesn’t have to be wasted chained to a desk all week long. There is a whole world out there to be travelled and experienced, and she knows that everyone really can do whatever they want AND make a living from doing the things they love.
Want to hear more inspiring articles and stories like this, including our tips to help you style a career, business- and life- you love? Join our growing tribe here.