The surprisingly simple secret of the most successful businesses in the world.

Purpose is one of those elusive topics that seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues in a post-pandemic🤞world. Crisis is often a common trigger for individuals to seek out more of it in life. When our very mortality comes into question, we start to ask ourselves “What’s the point of it all?” and “What’s the dent I want to make in the world?”

That’s why significant life events can prompt the need to reset and recalibrate. They make us dig deep and question everything. Covid has been one such trigger, as documented by the numerous articles about The Great Resignation.

Motherhood and being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease provided me with two such nudges in my own life.

After nearly 2 decades of working in the fields of employee and organisational development, it was always a no-brainer for me to place Purpose at the very core of my Work Happiness Blueprint© – my signature framework for happy, productive, engaged teams and founders; several years before the purported post-Covid ‘Purpose Crisis’ became apparent.

The Power of Purpose on People

Research shows that people who claim to live purposeful lives are more likely to:

  • Live longer and healthier lives
  • Be more resilient; recovering better from negative events
  • Report higher levels of wellbeing 5 x higher than those who don’t
  • Feel 4 x more engaged at work
  • Experience 50% higher levels of intrinsic motivation

Working (and living) in alignment with your values and purpose also feels great and adds real meaning and fulfilment to your day-to-day, whilst also benefitting the world in some way. What’s not to love?

The Power of Purpose in Business

The power of purpose doesn’t only benefit people, it’s also phenomenally good for business too. 

💷 According to research by McKinsey, ‘purposefulness’ in employees is positively correlated with their profitability.

📈 According to research by Deloitte, purpose-led brands tend to grow 3 x faster than their competitors.

💓 And the ever-inspiring Simon Sinek reminds us that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. Purpose-based messaging speaks to the subconscious where decisions are made in the brain, which is pretty cool.

⚡️ David Hieatt, the author of the brilliant DO/ Purpose – Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more, perfectly describes purpose as being “the multiplier of energy”. 

(Everyone who joins my signature founders programme, The Orchard,  receives a copy of this brilliant book. It’s short but very sweet so I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy!)

Put simply, purpose-ful work boosts creativityresilience and motivation because what you do aligns with your values and the dent you want to make in the world.

Need a hand shaping your own purpose-led business or team?

Maybe all this talk of purpose-led business has whet your appetite?

Perhaps you’re keen to learn how to shape, start and grow a happy, you-shaped business around your own values, purpose and personality?

I’m opening the doors again to my signature 6-month future and fledgling founders programme, The Orchard, in mid June.🌳 The welcome call will be on Tuesday 14th June at 12:30pm GMT. 

If you’re reading this after this date, drop me a line and I’ll let you know when the next welcome call will be.

What is The Orchard?

The Orchard, is my nature-inspired, anti-hustle, 6-month group programme that will show you step-by-step, exactly how to grow a happy, profitable business that aligns with both your purpose and your unique personality.

I’ve channelled nearly 2 decades of shaping and developing purpose-led, people-centric businesses and 5 years experience of building my own happy, profitable coaching consultancy into this programme. I’ve then added a dash of positive psychology and personality theory. 🧠

A pinch of business strategy plus a good dollop of neuroscience, blended together with the cyclical wisdom of Mother Nature 🌱 has resulted in this unique hybrid, self-directed course, with added group coaching support (plus monthly 1:1 coaching and psychometric insights too, if that’s what you’re after.)

Who's The Orchard for?

It’s perfect if you’re starting out on your self-employed journey and want to shape and start a happy, YOU-shaped business in just 6 months. It’s also ideal for you if you’re a fledgling founder in need of a little work happiness ‘course-correction’ in your existing self-employed business.

The welcome call will be on Tuesday 14th June at 12:30pm. 

(If you’re reading this after this date, drop me a line and I’ll let you know when the next welcome call will be.)

Click here or on the image above for more details about the programme.

You can book a free call here or click the button below if you’d like to find out if the programme is a good fit for you.

For a taster of my approach, you can download my FREE Founders Workbook and email series here or by clicking on the image below.

 

And if you’re a leader looking to infuse your team’s culture with more purpose, I’d love to chat about how I could help. You can book a ‘no strings’ initial call here.

Don’t let becoming a mother end your career.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a full-time, stay at home mum, just to be clear. In fact, I am in TOTAL awe and admiration of women who are. I just don’t think I could do it. 

I don’t have the patience, resilience or organisation skills to be one! I think motherhood is definitely the best ‘job’ I’ve ever had. Certainly the most fulfilling but probably the hardest.

I also know that I spent nearly 15 years building a career and NOT being a mother. So it stands to reason that a decent chunk of my identity is caught up in my career and the ‘professional’ – I use that term loosely! – version of myself.

“Who I was before I went away and what I had been good at had become a distant memory.”

My confidence was at rock bottom when I went back to work after my 1st mat leave in 2015. I’d gone back part-time and I didn’t really feel like ‘myself’ any more. My job had changed beyond all recognition and so had I. My expectations, my boundaries, my priorities, my sense of identity and confidence. Everything.

I had enjoyed a pretty successful career in employee engagement and organisational development before going away on maternity leave in 2014; a highlight of which was leading the People team who won the Sunday Times Best Company to work for two years in a row in 2015 and 2016.

When I was made redundant a few months later, my confidence took another nose dive. Who I was before I went away and what I had been good at had become a distant memory. I lost sight of my natural talents, the skills and the experience I had worked so hard to acquire, all flew out of the window – almost overnight.

“Your mortality and the meaning of life can become a very real point of reflection in parenthood.”

So what was it about this time out that knocked my confidence so hard?

It is well-documented that many talented mothers lose their sense of self after having children, even though they were often highly successful and full of confidence prior to their career break. I’m sure one of those reasons is the emotional shift and perspective that having children provides; and that there is perhaps more to life than having a fulfilling career?

As a new parent, it soon becomes clear that it is no longer just about ‘you’ anymore. In fact, many mothers find themselves dedicating themselves entirely to the every whim of their mewling new bundle, failing to shower, clothe or feed themselves properly during the early months of motherhood! This is an exaggerated description but you get my drift. 

Your mortality and the meaning of life can become a very real point of reflection in parenthood.

This loss of identity can also be affected by the stigma attached to having ‘time off’ to have a child. Apart from the fact I would argue that maternity leave is far from ‘time off’! some employers are still not as empathetic as perhaps they might be to the challenges faced by returning mothers. 

The often tricky transition back into the workplace as confidence issues raise their head, the newfound time pressures around childcare and the often emotional pull back to their family being just a few examples.

“Without more support and flexibility in the workplace for working parents, nothing will ever change and more and more mothers may as well sign their own 'do not resuscitate' forms on the careers they have worked so hard to build.”

I consider myself to be one of the ‘lucky ones’ and I managed to secure a freelance contract, as Shine Brighter Consulting, after I was made redundant and worked until the birth of my 2nd daughter with a brilliantly supportive organisation who saw what I had to offer, in spite of my own self-deprecation.

I took 14 months off on maternity leave and basically tried not to think about what I was going to do when I went back! It was very much a case of putting my head in the sand, I see that now!

“I galvanised my own passions and frustrations around wasted female talent in motherhood, mobilised the skills and experience gained in my 15 year career in coaching, people and organisational development and set about reconnecting with my own values and strengths.”

But it had become clear to me that being a stay at home mum was not an option for me. From either a financial or mental health standpoint! I’m definitely more than a mother. I am a working mother and, health permitting, always will be in some capacity. I’m doing it for me and I don’t feel bad about admitting that.

I also want to make my little girls proud, instil a great work ethic in them and show them that they too can work whilst being great mums one day. I am also passionate about changing the way the world of work regards and treats working mothers.

 Without more support and flexibility in the workplace for working parents, nothing will ever change and more and more mothers may as well sign their own ‘do not resuscitate’ forms on the careers they have worked so hard to build.

So after my 2nd maternity leave, in March 2018 I galvanised my own passions and frustrations around wasted female talent in motherhood, mobilised the skills and experience gained in my 15 year career in coaching, people and organisational development and set about reconnecting with my own values and strengths. And so the coaching arm of my business was born.

So as well as my leadership development, employee engagement and culture consultancy work, which helps organisations create purpose-led, extraordinary workplace cultures where the best people – even parents! – thrive and grow, I also work directly with ambitious women who want more from their careers.

“Through intuitive and science-backed coaching, I’ll help you reconnect with your unique values, talents and professional purpose so you can grow a brilliant career or start a values-led business you love, that aligns authentically to your personality and purpose. All on your terms.”

If motherhood has had an adverse effect on your own career trajectory and the corporate world has left you lost and disillusioned, I’d love to help you make work your happy place again.

I offer affordable group career coaching in the form of my Shine Collective Membership and 1:1 female founder coaching and mentoring if you are looking for more bespoke, intensive support with your work happiness.

You can book a free ‘no strings’ call to find out more and see if we are a good fit.

You can follow me on @theworkhappinesscoach on instagram and facebook and join my free Facebook group The Work Happiness Playbook.

20 ways starting a business is like starting a family

  1. You’ve never done it before
  2. You have no idea what you’re doing
  3. You work it out as you go along
  4. Well-meaning ‘experts’ tell you the ‘best’ way to do it
  5. You have to trust your intuition
  6. You spend hours on google looking for ‘the answer’
  7. You often feel like you’re talking to yourself
  8. It’ll drive you crazy
  9. It’ll keep you up at night
  10. You’ll make a shit ton of mistakes
  11. You’ll learn a lot about yourself
  12. The lows are soul-destroying
  13. The highs are out of this world
  14. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do
  15. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have
  16. There is no ‘best’ way
  17. The best way is ‘your way’
  18. There’s never a perfect time time to start one.
  19. You’ll never feel ready!
  20. Erm…

Why I’m no longer offering (traditional) career coaching

I want to share some important news about my business and I hope my story will put this decision in context for you…

How it all started

 

I thought it would be good to share a little about my motivations for starting my business back in 2016. I make no bones about the fact that redundancy was actually the catalyst for my own leap into self-employment. It wasn’t particularly from a place of courage, inspiration or a deep desire for change that I made the decision!

Honestly, I was in the early stages of pregnancy with my second little girl, Tabby, and I felt I had very little choice in the matter. In fact, I remember thinking. “Who will employ a pregnant mother of one, on a part-time basis for just a few months before she is due to give birth?”😔

Time was of the essence. I had less than 8 months to save a nest egg that would see me through my maternity leave..(and beyond?). I missed out on maternity pay from my then employer by a matter of days. 🤦‍♀️

Panic stations

Never being one to rest on my laurels, I secured a freelance employee engagement consultancy contract shortly after I was made redundant which took me up to the month before I gave birth in November of 2016.

I tried to switch off and not worry too much about what I was going to do with my career once my mat leave was over, but this was easier said than done! My redundancy process had been difficult for various reasons, aside from the obvious, and my confidence and self-belief were in tatters.

What next?

The one thing I was certain of was that going back to my corporate 9-5 (or even another contract role – lovely as my experience had been) was simply never going to cut it. I wanted more.

More meaning. More freedom. More time to spend with my young family. More time in nature. More time to create and learn. More autonomy. More happiness. More of what lit me up.

I wanted to do work that made a dent in the world. I also wanted less pressure, less conflict, less responsibility, less capitalist, alpha-male, corporate BS and far less political game-playing.

My wake-up call

Becoming a mum the first time round in 2014 – like for so many of the women I work with – gave me a huge dose of perspective about what was really important to me; and what was actually important in life generally.

Of course, motherhood isn’t the only life event that forces people to take stock. COVID, for example, has rocked the world to its core and there’s a palpable shift in people’s definition of work happiness. Check out any of the numerous articles on The Great Resignation to see the stats for yourself.

All I knew was that pursuing a career that looked ‘good on paper’, that quite often made me unhappy, took me away from my young family and lined someone else’s pockets was most definitely not my definition of ‘work happiness.’

I did it my way

So doing ‘my own thing’ felt like the obvious next step for me. This way I could do things my way, on my terms. I could choose who I worked with, the kind of work I did, when I worked and with whom I did that work. For someone like me with very clear values around autonomy and freedom, the prospect of working this way blew my mind.

So I proceeded to offer corporate culture consultancy and leadership coaching, along side my first love, coaching; working with individuals to shape happier more impactful work lives.

My business evolution

The first incarnation of my coaching business in 2018, was as a career and confidence coach for mums who were returning from or on maternity leave. Perhaps you even followed me as @shinebrightermums on social media?

Over the next couple of years, my business evolved and I started to work with a few founders who had lost their way and female leaders who wanted to change sectors or leave the corporate world to do their own thing. It became about helping people define their own Work Happiness Blueprint so they could then take aligned action to shape either their corporate careers or businesses.

It’s time to speak my truth

Over the last few months, there has been yet another evolution of my professional and business purpose, as my own interests and passions have evolved and my own why has become clearer. And I feel it’s finally time to speak my truth!

N.B It may not be your truth though so, if what I’m about to say does not resonate with you, I won’t be at all offended if you decide this is where we part company because my new direction doesn’t align with your own work happiness vision.

Here goes…

I honestly believe that the only way to find true work happiness and to create a work life on your terms; completely aligned with your core values, innate talents, work and life experiences, personality and purpose is to design your own YOU-shaped business.

Are we still a good fit?

There I said it. Eek. And as a career coach, who has historically helped a wide range of people with all sorts of career-change conundrums, this is a big deal for me to say out loud.

I also appreciate that this news may not make me ‘the career coach for you’ after all. And I completely respect that. I can’t be, and would never expect to be, for everyone.

I still wholeheartedly believe that you can definitely find more ‘work happiness’ by changing industry sectors, tweaking your role, playing to your strengths, adjusting your work patterns and working on your mindset. And for many people that is more than enough.

But this would never have been enough for me. I wanted more. I wanted to work on my terms, just as I described above. Call me selfish, call me idealistic, call me demanding.

Ain’t no going back!

But now I’ve tasted ‘true work happiness’, I’m not sure I could ever go back to the full time corporate 9-5. (Never say never though, right!?) All I know is that since I started my business, work (and life, for I feel they are one) just keep getting better and better. (She says, touching wood furiously!)

I totally get that the path to entrepreneurship is not for everyone and it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. But if you want it enough, I promise you it will be the best career move you ever make. I speak from personal experience!

The upshot

From January 2022, alongside my corporate culture consultancy and leadership coaching, where I help organisations and leaders shape purpose-driven and people-centric businesses and teams – I’ll be focusing on serving anyone keen to explore starting (or growing) their own service-based business.

I’ll continue to apply my work happiness philosophy, blueprint, science plus intuition-backed approach and signature SHINE coaching framework but with a view to helping brilliant women like you design and grow a YOU-shaped business, not just a corporate career.

I will, however, continue to support the wonderful women in my affordable career coaching membership, The Shine Collective, but this will be the only way to access pure career coaching support with me moving forward.

Because I honestly believe that entrepreneurship and self-employment is the path to true work happiness – at least until the world of work has been through a massive transformation! (which I’m working hard on in the consultancy side of my business!)

I have over 15 years’ experience of helping shape purpose-led businesses and cultures and nearly 5 years of growing my own successful coaching business, so I’m really excited to be able to share this expertise (and learnings!) with other (aspiring) female founders in 2022.

Is this goodbye?

If you know categorically that working for yourself in some capacity will never feature in your own work happiness vision, then feel free to join my Shine Collective affordable career coaching membership or please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and I’ll refer you to some brilliant career coaches who can help you grow a happier corporate career. If this is you, goodbye and I wish you all the work happiness in the world!

But if you’re still here – and made it to the end of this mammoth article! – and want to stick around to see what I have in store for you in 2022, hurray! and I’m truly honoured to have you in my world. 

Drop me a line if you’d like to be first to hear about my new future founder coaching programmes, launching early next year. Or you can book a free no strings call here to see if we’d be a good fit. You can follow me on instagram and facebook as @theworkhappinesscoach. Thanks for your patience as I update my website and social media to reflect this new direction!

How to get unstuck & reset.

It’s very common to get stuck in your work life from time to time. Sometimes it’s a life event such as motherhood, bereavement, illness, redundancy, divorce, a global pandemic (?) that causes you to stop and take stock of the direction your life (and work) is taking. There’s nothing like a dose of perspective to make you think differently about what you want and what would make you happy. 

Sometimes, the sensation of ‘feeling stuck’ can slowly creep up on you. And what started out as a dull nagging feeling at the bottom of your stomach becomes a general sense of apathy or discontent months – or even years  – down the line. Before you know it, you’ve been working on ‘autopilot’ for a good chunk of your career. “How do I ‘get unstuck?” is the million dollar question so many of my amazing clients come to me with.

And because I have been incredibly stuck in my own work life, I can empathise completely. It’s a rubbish place to be. But perhaps more importantly, I have the tools and techniques to help you get unstuck and working happy again. This is my own story of how I got unstuck and reset my own work life back in 2016.

My own reset story

You can’t go back & change the beginning, but you can start where you are & change the ending.

-C.S Lewis

Once upon a time…

…I suffered horribly from a nasty case of ‘shiny-object syndrome’. I was lured into a sparkly new role with a fancy job title and a pretty decent pay cheque – a ‘dream job’, on paper. But even as I signed my contract, my stomach lurched. Not long after, when things started to get really bad, my intuition piped up, “I told you so.”

The role was completely out of alignment with who I was, what I was great at and the dent I really wanted to make in the world.

I berated myself for not having trusted my gut, as I ignored those red flags my intuition had been furiously waving at me from the very beginning. (I hadn’t really ever been taught how to tune into those rumblings of my inner voice.) I longed to go back and do things differently, stand up for what I believed in. Stand up for who I was and what I wanted. But the truth is, I don’t think I really even knew who I was or what I wanted out of my work life back then.

Of course I knew I couldn’t go back and change the choices I’d made, but I made damn sure that I changed my ending and I embarked upon a total work-life reset. Oh, and I haven’t ignored my intuition since!

Self-knowledge brings confidence & clarity

The only way to change your ending and perform a total work-life reset, is to get super-clear on your truest, most authentic self.

Your best professional (and personal) identity.

In other words, you’ll need to explore the following:

⭐️ Who are you?
⭐️ What are you really great at?
⭐️ What are you known for?
⭐️ How do you add value, professionally?
⭐️ What makes you tick?
⭐️ What drives and motivates you?
⭐️ What’s important to you about the work you do & the people you do it with?
⭐️ What makes you feel happy and fulfilled?
⭐️ What do you actually want out of your work (and personal) life?

After all, knowledge is power.⚡️ And self-knowledge is self-power.

Significant life events – hello Covid, motherhood, redundancy, burnout, illness, divorce, loss etc – can cause a shift in your identity. And all of the above therefore have to be re-calibrated and redefined.

As things around you change, so you change.

Working through the answers to all these questions, without societal noise and pressures throwing you off track is really bloody hard. But, I promise you, getting clarity on this stuff is the absolute pre-requisite to finding happiness at work.

Which is why 90% of the work I do with my 1:1 clients is about self-discovery.
Discovery of your best authentic self.

And then we design and align your work life around this precise version of you.

You don't have to do it alone

Of course, you absolutely CAN work out what would make you happier and more successful in your work life on your own…(there’s always google, YouTube, free downloads, self-help books, journaling, trial and error, well-meaning friends and family, the cat…?)

But all I’m saying is that you don’t have to, if you don’t want to.

So if you’re looking for some gentle accountability, friendly support, a little bit of neuroscience,  positive psychology and personality profiling ‘magic’ blended with some down-to-earth and serious self-reflection to help you work out your best next steps, I’d love to help.

I have a tried and tested coaching programme that has now helped 100’s of brilliant women (and a few men!) over the last 4 years. And it works.

S.H.I.N.E is my signature coaching framework for career clarity, confidence and contentment, and if you’d like to experience its power for yourself, you can find out more about my 1:1 career coaching programmes here.

Go it alone or get wings & fly?

So if you want:

  • To find more meaning, purpose and fulfilment
  • Crystal clarity on your next steps
  • A self-belief and confidence-boost
  • To reignite your motivation levels
  • To unlock your professional potential
  • To get ‘unstuck’ & make a plan
  • Take action to create a work life you love
  • To reconnect with what you’re great at
  • To take back control of your career
  • To sense-check a new business idea you’ve had
  • To do something for YOU for a change…

…or you’re just intrigued to find that elusive ‘sweet spot’ where your passions, talents and experience collide with a need in the world; all whilst allowing you to enjoy life…then my 1:1 coaching programmes will help. 

Or you can sign up for my affordable career and personal development membership –The Shine Collective today if you prefer some self-directed coaching and  you’re happy ‘DIY’ your work happiness journey.

You can book a free ‘no strings’ call using the button below if you’d like to see how I can help you create more happiness in your work life. Or drop me a line on sarah@shinebrighterconsulting.co.uk and let’s chat.

 

How to feel more confident in your work life

This article is on the ubiquitous topic of ‘confidence’. Because, well, who couldn’t do with learning how to feel even a little bit more confident in their work life?  And yes, confidence is a skill you can learn. People aren’t born confident.

But it is a skill we all need to learn if we’re to find more happiness and success in our work lives. After all, without confidence, your thoughts, ideas, aspirations and dreams won’t ever come to fruition.

Read on for all the hacks, tips and resources to help you feel more confident and working happy… before you can even say ‘imposter syndrome’.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

– Henry Ford

Mindset is everything

Mindset is everything and your thoughts are not facts. How many times have you heard those words before?

Our incredible, wonderfully complex brains are wired to keep us safe and cannot tell the difference between a real and a perceived threat.

So if you think something bad might happen (such as not getting that amazing job if you apply for it or no one buying your new offering), your brain will respond as though you are facing a real threat; triggering your autonomic nervous system and flooding your system with stress hormones.

This kick-starts your flight, fright and freeze response; causing you to either panic, run for the hills or stay rooted to the spot. (i.e you don’t even bother applying for that amazing job or launching your business for fear of rejection.)

Thanks for nothing, brain.

This primitive response has served the human race well for millennia. It’s kept us safe from the likes of sabre tooth tigers who used to lurk outside our caves.

But in a world where tigers are less common in the work place (unless perhaps you work in a zoo?), how do we manage this natural response and push through the fear to get what we truly want out of life? In this instagram live from earlier in the year, I shared a few tips on how you can overcome this primitive response, beat the paralysing effects of imposter syndrome and make progress in your work life.

What else affects your mindset?

In short, lots of things!

a) your beliefs

b) your experiences

c) your assumptions

c) your social and personal constructs

The truth is, we all see the world through our own filters which are shaped by so many factors. These filters then influence our thoughts and ultimately our actions.

A handy model to help you deconstruct your own ‘filters’ is the Ladder of Inference where each ‘rung’ of the ladder represents another filter through which your thoughts will have passed before they actually come to fruition as actions.

In this video, I explain how these filters and ‘rungs’ can really get in the way of you taking action if you let them!

If you've found this helpful...

…and you’d like to find out how I can help you feel more confident in your professional life, I’d love to chat. 

I hope this article on confidence has offered some food for thought and that you have a few practical strategies to try out next time your very own version of ‘Snarky Sarah’ rears her ugly head!

 

What’s come up for you? What baby step could you take to boost your self-belief and confidence when it comes to taking the next step in your work life?

 

What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?

 

If you’d like to chat about how I could help you find the confidence to create your own ‘work happy place’, you can book a free ‘no-strings -whatsoever’ call via the button below.

If you’d prefer to do a little self-directed learning and development, there’s a bumper module on the very important topic of how to feel more confident in my membership, The Shine Collective, which is packed full of tips and strategies on how you can overcome imposter syndrome, comparison-itis, self-limiting beliefs and automatic negative thinking to name but a few confidence crushers.

 

My 1:1 coaching programmes start at £1599 or you can sign up for my affordable career and personal development coaching membership , The Shine Collective for only £47/month and get started today. 

 

How to find your purpose

This is an article on the non-insignificant topic of ‘purpose’. And more specifically how to find your purpose. That elusive something that we all seem to be endlessly searching for in life.

I’ll be dispelling the myth that we all have one singular, definitive purpose and showing you how you can make finding  your purpose more accessible by simply weaving it into aspects your every day life. 

Banish your significant other(s) to the another room, pour yourself something cold, pop in your ear phones, grab a pen and paper.

(You’re going to want to take notes! )

“The stronger your ‘why’, the less the ‘how’ matters”

– Dan Cable

Wondering if you'll ever 'find your thing?'

Are you feeling the pressure to have found ‘your thing’ by now? Whatever ‘your thing’ is meant to be…

If your answer is ‘yes’, then rest assured that you’re not alone.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to have it all worked out by now, have our shit together, finally grow up and ‘adult‘.

Ugh. The overwhelm that this sort of thinking can create is what often sends my clients into a tailspin of panic and stuck-ness.

But what if you were to view purpose in a different way?

Instead of a static, shiny ‘destination’ (full of unicorns and fairy dust), what if you started to view your purpose as a journey filled with ‘purposeful moments’?

I believe that we all have multiple purposes in our lives and that as we grow and evolve, so our purpose evolves and shifts.

My own purpose has changed in the 4 short years I’ve been running my business! When I started out in 2018, I was known as @shinebrightermums and focused solely on helping mums return to work, because that’s what my purpose was then. Now that’s only a very small portion of my work.

It’s well-evidenced that it can be unhelpful – not to mention unhealthy – to spend too much time in the past or indeed in the future; and that being more present and enjoying the ‘here and now’ is where we’d do well to focus our energies.

With this in mind, how could you incorporate more purpose into your day-to-day work life?

The answer is through a process called job-crafting. And you can apply this approach to both your corporate role or in your self-employed business.

In this article, Dan Cable talks about the ‘3 P’s of job-crafting’. And yes, one of those P’s stands for ‘Purpose’. He asks:

How can you find and connect to more meaning in your day-to-day tasks? Ask yourself WHY a specific activity is important to you four times.

What's your Ikigai?

If you’ve never heard of the word IKIGAI before then you might be wondering what on earth I’m talking about. Pronounced ick-ee-guy, it’s a Japanese philosophy around purpose which originates from the island of Okinawa. Okinawa is said to be home to the largest number of centenarians, which begs the question whether it is the secret to longevity! Here is a brief video I did on my instagram feed about Ikigai some time ago.

Coaching prompts to help you find more purpose

Journal around the following questions:

1. What activities do you never need to put on your to do list?

2. What would you do for free if money was no object?

3. What topics get you hot under the collar?

4. What kinds of articles or posts do you share on social media?

5. What non-fiction books do you find yourself drawn to and why?

6. What life lessons have shaped you that could also benefit other people?

If you've found this helpful...

…and you’d like to find out how I can help you find more purpose in your professional life, I’d love to chat. 

I hope this article and resources on finding more purpose in your work life has offered some food for thought and that you now have a few ideas about how you can make work feel more meaningful every day.

If you’d like to find out how I could help you find more purpose and create your own ‘work happy place’, you can book a free ‘no-strings -whatsoever’ call via the pink button below. 

My 1:1 coaching programmes start at £1599 or you can sign up for my affordable career and personal development coaching membershipThe Shine Collective today if you’d rather take things a little slower and ‘DIY’ your work happiness journey from only £47/ month. There is a whole module dedicated to purpose and finding your next best steps in there.

 

Are you making this common career change mistake?

This career change mistake is the biggest blocker approximately 90% of my clients face when they are standing at a crossroads in their career. 

The career change mistake so many of them make is feeling they have to be clear on their destination before they take the first step. 

It’s not unusual for prospective clients to send me an email or DM talking about their predicament of feeling stuck and saying things like, “I just need to work out what it is I want to do, then I’ll be ready to talk to a career coach…”

If this sounds familiar, then you’re not alone!

I know just how unsettling it can be to feel like you’re free-falling; no idea where you’ll end up or how you’ll even get there – wherever ‘there‘ may be… But waiting until you get clarity on your destination may well delay your work happiness by months… if not years.

In 2016, I was made redundant from my Head of Talent & Engagement role whilst – unbeknownst to me – in the early stages of pregnancy with my second little girl. Soon after, my husband was also made redundant.
Quite frankly, it was a bit of a sh!t show all round!

By far the biggest mistake people make when trying to change careers, is to delay taking the first step until they have settled on a destination. “

 – Herminia Ibarra

Tune into your inner compass

It was like my world had been turned upside down overnight. I had zero clue what lay in store for me professionally and my confidence was in tatters.

I didn’t have the luxury of time on my side with a baby on the way, so I just put one foot in front of the other and started. Lucky for me, having worked in personal development for years, I had a good deal of self-awareness and a strong inner compass which I proceeded to follow relentlessly.

I said ‘yes’ to opportunities that ‘felt good’, aligned with who I was, energised me and played to my strengths. I also said yes to a few things that didn’t feel quite right – and then instantly regretted it!

Through this iterative process of self-discovery, lots and LOTS of cock-ups, lots of baby steps (and lots of lovely learning), I finally created my own work happy place a couple of years later.

The point is, you don’t have to know where you’re headed, you just have to take the first step and START. Work out who you are and then start doing it on purpose.

Find out who you are and do it on purpose.

 – Dolly Parton

Take the first step

The ‘working out who you are‘ bit is the undoubtedly the hardest part!

Which is where I come in…

Luckily, self-discovery, personal development and personality stuff is kind of my zone of genius. I’ve been helping people understand who they are, what they’re great at and what would make them happy at work for the best part of 2 decades now.

So, if you’d like to give the googling and self-help books a rest, I’d love to help. 

Or if you’d like to talk about how we could work together 1:1 so I can help you find more purpose and create your own ‘work happy place’, you can book a free ‘no-strings -whatsoever’ call via the pink button below (prices start at £1599) or you can sign up for my affordable career coaching membershipThe Shine Collective today if you’d rather take things a little slower and ‘DIY’ your work happiness journey for only £47/ month.

 

5 myths to dispel before you start your own business

Have you ever wondered if you could start your own business one day?

 

… and then promptly talked yourself out of it?

I know I did. 🙋‍♀️ At least a hundred times before I finally took the plunge and did it. And even then, it was crisis that was actually the catalyst for my decision to start up my own business, Shine Brighter, in the Spring of 2016.

I was in the early stages of pregnancy with my second daughter and I’d just been made redundant from my Head of Talent and Engagement role. At the time, going self-employed seemed like my only option. “Who would employ a pregnant person on a part-time basis for just a few months before the baby arrives?” 

But self-employment had always appealed on some level. My dad ran his own successful management consultancy for many years so I knew that it could be done. Plus, as somewhat of a ‘free spirit’ and a square peg in a ’round corporate hole’ for much of my 15 year career, the lure of more autonomy, freedom and flexibility was always a big driver for me in wanting to start my own business one day.

As The Work Happiness Coach™️, I make a living out of helping brilliant people like you find your ‘work happy place’. But what happens if a client struggles to find an opportunity that fits them like a glove? 🤔

The answer is simple, I help them create their own ‘work happy place.’
 
And my 1:1 coaching programmes are designed to help you build and grow your very own ‘made-to-measure’ business. A beautifully aligned work life and business that’s simply an extension of who you are.
 

So the question is, could you start your own business?

The path to entrepreneurship most definitely isn’t for everyone, but for some – like me  – it’s the best decision they ever make in their careers. In this article, I’m dispelling a few myths about what it’s really like to work for yourself. So if you’re even slightly curious, read on..

 Learning how to monetise your talents in new and innovative ways will be an essential skill to master in future world of work. “

Myth #1

Working for yourself is risky

This is one myth that’s been well and truly busted as a result of the global pandemic. Roles are being made redundant left, right and centre. The truth is, no job is ever 100% secure. Your notice period indicates just how secure your job really is.
 
The days of ‘a job for life’ that our grandparents subscribed to are long since gone. We can no longer rely on putting all our ‘work eggs’ in one basket. The world of work is changing and many roles will become obsolete as technology and AI evolves.
 
Those who are adaptable, resilient and agile will survive in this ever-changing job market.  Learning how to monetise your talents in new and innovative ways will be an essential skill to master in future world of work. 

Myth #2

Your income will be less predictable

There’s a common misconception that being employed by someone else guarantees a predictable monthly income. But in reality, there are many factors that actually influence your pay cheque at the end of each month.
 
How the board who run your company decide to allocate bonuses will be largely out of your control, unless you sit on said board. Market rates and benchmarking performed by HR will likely determine your maximum earning potential.
 
As an entrepreneur, your mindset (and strategy!) are pretty much the only limits on your earning potential!
 
When you learn how to make your own money on your own terms, you’ll never become a victim of someone else’s decisions again. Entrepreneurialism is a life skill that will stand you in good stead, even in a global pandemic .

Myth #3

Trading time for money is 'worth it'

Work used to be about trading time to do a job that simply paid the bills (even if it sucked the life out of you) with the promise of a nice ‘nest-egg’ or pension at the age of 65.
 
It’s now looking more likely that we’ll be working well into our 70’s before we’ll be able to retire and those ‘nest-eggs’ are looking less and less likely in an increasingly volatile financial landscape.
 
‘Always-on’ culture and 60 hour working weeks mean that burnout is rife and our physical and mental health is suffering. The trade off is simply no longer worth it.
 
Work simply has to matter more and nourish our personal lives; not detract from it. Working parents and millennials alike are waking up to the fact that there’s more to life.

Myth #4

You need 'a boss' to feel motivated

From what we know about motivation; extrinsic factors such as bonuses, promotions, SMART goals, fancy job titles and benefits have limited and short-lived motivational value.
 
When you’re only operating from a place of external validation in pursuit of these extrinsic factors, you may have to compromise who you are in order to attain them.
 
True motivation comes from working in alignment with your values and playing to your strengths. This is known as intrinsic motivation and it has a huge influence over how motivated you feel in your work life. Intrinsic motivation comes from being able to bring your whole self to work, every day.
 
When your work has meaning and purpose it takes on a life of its own and actually over-working is likely to be more of a concern than under-working, in my experience!
 
If you’d like to learn more about the neuroscience and psychology of motivation, we cover this off in more detail in my personal development membership, The Shine Collective.

Myth #5

You need to be a confident person to 'go it alone'

This statement isn’t 100% myth because yes, of course, confidence and self-belief are very important ingredients in any successful entrepreneur’s artillery!
 
But what is a myth, is that you have to feel confident before you take the first step.
 
Confidence comes from evidence. Evidence that nothing bad will happen if you do ‘the hard thing’ and take the first step. Confidence grows with every positive experience you have on your entrepreneurial journey. 

I go into the neuroscience that explains confidence and the various hacks and strategies you can apply to your own work life in my personal development membership, The Shine Collective, if you’d like to dig a little deeper.
 
You don’t have to ‘go all in’ all at once. The road to entrepreneurialism can be as gradual, slow and steady as you want it to be. Every baby step you take out of your comfort zone gives you the confidence to take the next step and so on. Before you know it, you’ll be achieving things that were previously beyond your wildest dreams.
If working for yourself has ever even crossed your mind, it could well be your path to work happiness.
 
It’s not for the faint-hearted but fortune really does favour the brave.

I for one have never been more fulfilled, motivated (or financially successful) in my entire 20 year career since I set up my own business back in 2016.
 
So if you’d like to have a no strings chat about exploring the option of working for yourself, I’d love to hear from you. You can book a slot using the button below.