1. Tell me a bit about your business – when it started and what are your main services?
My business is called The Mental Movement and I refer to myself as a Perfectly Imperfect Life Coach – that’s reference to both the flavour of work that I do and the fact that I’m willing to hold my hands up to being perfectly imperfect myself!
I launched the biz back in 2014 and I offer 1-1 coaching (face to face if you’re local or online via Zoom) and am launching an online programme called Good Enough 101 in November 2018.
2. What was the main driver for starting your own business?
I worked in the corporate world for 14 years and was trained as a coach in 2010 whilst I was working for the Head of HR at Deloitte.
Throughout my career I’d had urges to do something different and, although I’d experimented on several occasions, I’d never truly bitten the bullet and stepped off the big business treadmill.
I moved to a new role as the Chief of Staff to a senior audit partner in 2013 and within 3 months I was bored and unhappy. This time I knew I had to take radical action but that felt very scary.
I knew that I need to make a tangible contribution to something that was meaningful to me.
Having had my own experiences of low mood and depression, I decided that I wanted to use my coaching skills to help other women feel good about who they already are. The Mental Movement was born!
3. What gets you up in the morning?
The literal truth here is……my dog. The first thing I do every day is take him for a walk. If he’s ever staying elsewhere I feel totally lost!
Workwise…..it’s the opportunity to witness the women I work with discovering their own unique insights into both the unhelpful thinking habits they’ve been practicing for years and the small actions they can take to feel different.
4. If you could change one thing about your first year (or first few years) in business, what would it be?
I thoroughly enjoyed my first year in business but, looking back, I spent way too much time doing lots of random things to market myself without any specific purpose or strategy!
I’m now fortunate enough to be working with a fantastic marketing coach (Kayte Ferris of Simple & Season) who both gives me great advice and holds me accountable. I definitely wish I’d found her earlier because maintaining a flow of clients via effective marketing is the part of my business that I often struggle to get my head around.
5. What is your biggest achievement to date?
Ooh, this is a great question that I haven’t actually thought about before!
It would have to be that, off the back of working with me, two of my clients have been inspired to research training as coaches themselves! I don’t think there can better validation of the impact of your work than someone wanting to do the same for others.
6. What has been your biggest challenge?
I alluded to this above……it’s having a strategy to attract a steady flow of clients to my business.
My goal is to work with my clients over a defined period of time (usually 3-6 months) and get them to a place where they feel confident to go off and put their newfound awareness and skills into practice.
I’m essentially helping them to become their own life coach and, in the process, I’m doing myself out of a job!
I get a lot of word of mouth referrals which is fantastic but it feels good, running alongside that, to also have a strategy to get my message out to some brand new people.
7. What would be your number one tip for other entrepreneurs who want to develop their personal brand (related to their industry / specialism)?
Be real. Be authentic. Be yourself.
Make your natural voice and personality a big part of your brand.
The people you’re most suited to working with, and will most enjoy working with, will love you for it.
8. What advice would you give to other women thinking of starting their own business?
Focus your energy on the small steps of action that are likely to take you in the right direction. Know that things don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to wait to be 100% ready or until you’re certain of the right answer.
(I still need to listen to this advice myself on occasion!)
9. Lastly, which social media platform has helped you get the most customers to date and why?
For me it would be Facebook because it’s the platform that my clients are most familiar with, it’s the one I most enjoy using, I find it the most versatile (posts, photos, videos, groups) and it’s enabled me to get started with online group programmes in a really uncomplicated way.
Facebook: The Mental Movement
Hana Manthorpe is a Perfectly Imperfect Life Coach based in London. She helps women to become more calm, confident and content by feeling good about who they already are.
This interview was conducted by Jennifer Corcoran, LinkedIn Consultant & Trainer, Founder and CEO of My Super Connector and Host of LinkedIn Local Croydon. Jennifer regularly writes and speaks on the topics of social media, personal branding, networking and being an introverted entrepreneur. If you need help with any of your profiles mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter @SuperConnector.