I specialise in productivity and making businesses more efficient but I have my points of procrastination too. Even now as I’m writing this because this isn’t an easy one to share. But it’s an important message – one of rebuilding confidence, resilience, empathy and hope.
Mindsetup Ltd was borne out of a desire to do more, to live more and to help others do the same. It is purpose driven to help develop individuals and teams reach their goals, increase productivity and improve performance. With a tagline of “life is short, so let’s crack on” I thought today would be the time to explain why I started Mindsetup and what journey led me here.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and it’s so important to raise awareness of this because in the UK in 2018 the rate of suicides rose by 10.9%. This is the first rise in five years.1 in 4 people have experienced mental ill health and 1 in 5 people have had thoughts of suicide.
My sister was 15 when I was born which was quite some age gap. Even so, it didn’t make a difference, we were close. We finished each other’s sentences and the phone would always be engaged as we called each other at the same time. But when she was 37 and I was just 22, the phone wouldn’t be engaged anymore – we had lost her.
Through heartache, anger, grief, a breakdown and a slow but gradual recovery, I’m here and am stronger and more empathetic than before. Life happens to all of us and how we deal with these major events which will turn us into who we really are.
Then having gone back to work the following year, I developed a bit of a skill in project management. It’s not what children think of doing when they grow up, but needless to say it worked out well for me.
I led major pursuits, sales PMOs, managed projects and process improvements, training delivery programmes, workshop facilitation and coaching. Across the financial services sector, creative and digital industries and engineering consultancy I got to experience public sector organisations, FTSE100 and Fortune500 companies, charities and start-ups. It highlighted for me running an efficient process is only a foundation; it’s how people perform which determines success and often people just aren’t supported or heard in so many organisations.
So it was in 2017 when I turned 37 that I reached a turning point in my life. It was 15 years since losing my sister and I was going to live a day, every day, which she didn’t get to see. And this really mattered to me. It took many months to work through how I was going to harness this new found energy and desire to help other people in a meaningful way. At a point, I heard a pertinent quote on a podcast which hit me. It was “there’s no point in spending years climbing the career ladder if you find it’s leaning against the wrong wall”.
Which is why I started Mindsetup, where I focus on leadership coaching which encourages using humility and vulnerability. This is at the core of developing a high performing team and by learning to work more efficiency and productively with purpose; stronger and more successful teams can be developed. Being open is a large part of this approach – so we can learn to support each other in a team and to succeed together. If you can have a positive impact on one person, and they have a positive impact on another, well the effects are magnified.
Alongside passion, integrity and honesty one of my core values in business is fun because life is short. So you can expect irreverence, dark humour, tangential anecdotes and a huge amount of love and care in my workshops.
During my journey over the last couple of years, I’ve read a lot into the areas of human resilience, leading with vulnerability and searching for meaning and purpose. If you’re interested in some further reading, I’ve listed a couple of great pertinent books below:
There is an increasing amount of research being done on post-traumatic growth in light of our rising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD itself isn’t even a fair description – it isn’t a disorder, it’s a title which can be used too freely and can stigmatise if we’re not careful. Handling stress post-trauma is in the realms of psychotherapists and clinicians but having an awareness is important and supportive. Understanding post-traumatic growth can be eye-opening for those who bounce back with force and who struggle to place their energy and focus.
“Bouncing Forward” by Michaela Haas is an insightful read into this area and one of my recommended reads on this subject. “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl is a enlightening read on the areas of finding purpose and focus even during the bleakest of times.