Lucy Stanyer – Life Coach
We caught up with Lucy, a life coach who was prompted to start her own coaching business after a health scare…
If you could first of all introduce yourself…
Hello! I’m a Lucy, a Life Coach who works with mums in business and mums who are mid career or returning from maternity leave to make a step change in their work and their life. So I offer career coaching and small business coaching combined with life coaching.
I’m based in the lovely historical town of Faversham, in Kent. I’m also a mum, a wife and an avid ukulele student!
How did you first come up with the idea of your business?
I actually made a career change myself. I used to work in PR and Communications for national charities. I’d been talking about making a change for some time, then following a health scare, I decided to realise my dream to start my own coaching business. I wanted to use my skills and experience to help business owners and professionals – especially working mums – to make a step change in their work while balancing family and personal life. And I love what I do. 🙂
How do you stand out from your competitors?
I offer a ‘whole-person’ approach, whether I’m working with a client on their business or their career. This means that I look at all aspects of your life and support you to set business or career goals alongside your personal and family goals. For example, building ways to get a better work life balance into your action plan and building in ‘me time’ for hobbies or mindful relaxation, date nights or creating more family time.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
As a business owner, it’s the changing ‘hats’ from coach to marketer to bookkeeper, then to Mum and a focus on my home life. It really helps to have great support from my husband and family. And to have a degree of flexibility with how I work, while still scheduling in my MITs (Most Important Tasks) so that I stay on track with my priorities. And I always try to remember one of my favourite quotes: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”
What have been the best and worst things that have happened since you’ve been in business?
Ooh, good question! The hardest thing was the first time that I had to let a potential client know that I didn’t think that we were a good fit and that the degree of availability and support that she was looking for (24-7 access!) wasn’t what I offer. It taught me a lot about different people’s expectations and about having boundaries and sticking to them. It was actually one of the best things too, as I have grown so much from that point and am super clear with clients about when I am available and what I can do for them. Luckily, I’ve only had to do that the once, as the majority of people’s expectations are realistic and they are often surprised at how much extra input I provide during the course of the coaching programmes.
The best thing for me is when I see my clients getting the results that they want – reaching their goals, confidently embarking on a new career path, setting up a business or investing in staff. When clients have those lightbulb moments of clarity and realise that they CAN take the steps to make things happen, with my accountability and support, that’s the best.
Tell me a bit more about your business?
Well, I always prefer for my clients to speak about my coaching and the impact that it has:
“Having Lucy as a professional sounding board was great. It can be lonely and tough making decisions on your own, but having her enabled me to get them out of my head into breathe life into them. It’s a good way to really test your ideas before they become reality.” Michelle Gyimah, Owner of Equality Pays
“I wanted to have a long term plan for my career change and I came to a conclusion after three researching different job possibilities. The exercises you gave me were very good to start to find out where I was at and where I needed to go. And as you have a young family, you totally understood me.” NR, Kent
“I sought out life coaching because I felt a bit stuck. I was due to return to work after having a baby, but the job was dull and left me deflated and frustrated. Because of the changes I’ve made in terms of work, I’m less frustrated at work, less bothered about the boredom, and less whingey about it. I’m proud of myself for actually *doing* those things, rather than just wishing I could.” AN. Surrey
I offer a free, no obligation discovery session for you to find out more about my coaching, to understand where you want to go and to see if we’re a good ‘fit’.
Are you at the stage where you have any employees, or is this something in the pipeline?
I don’t have employees and don’t plan to at this stage, but I do work with other fab business women to outsource aspects of my work. For example bookkeeping help, some copywriting and ad hoc admin to a VA.
How do you fit in running your business with your family?
Our little girl is in pre-school three days a week so I currently work part time using those three days plus a couple of evenings a week. My husband is a great support and has extra days off as he works 6 weekends a year, so those give me extra days to plan, coach and write.
What 3 words would you use to describe your ‘business self’?
Direct, energised and optimistic.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a business?
“Let your heart, not the world, define what success means to you.” It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and measuring your own success in relation to theirs. The truth is, we are all at different stages of our business journeys and have our own set of values. Some people are motivated by ambitious financial goals, whereas others define success by getting the right work-life-family balance while bringing in ‘enough’ for what they need. There’s no right or wrong. So define your own measures of success and put your creativity and energy into making it a reality!
Who do you look up to business wise? Do you have a business idol/mentor?
I was always a big fan of Anita Roddick, even from school age. Her combination of passion, ethics and innovation were quite unique at the time and have influenced many strands of business today. I also loved her campaigning drive and the way she pushed the boundaries of what people could – and should – expect from the cosmetics industry.
If you could go back in time, would you change anything?
Yep, I’d scratch every bit of self doubt and ‘comparisonitis’ that I allowed myself to feel. They are totally unhelpful in business and in life and mean that you just get in your own way. That’s why I’m super clear on my own measures of success and see the value of seeing my personal, family and business goals all together.
And finally, where can we find you?