Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kate Flory, Founder of Kapow Coaching, located in Ormiston, Scotland, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Kapow Coaching supports senior leaders to live more confidently and calmly. Typically, we work with people in their 40s and 50s who are at a career crossroads that have them doubt their abilities and the choices they need to make. In this ever-busier environment learning to take stock, take time and take a more positive mental health approach to be not only a leader but a colleague, a parent, and a partner are essential to living a fuller, calmer, and happier life.
Tell us about yourself
When I was in my early 30s, I trained to become a coach. It was one of those lightbulb moments when I realised that I'd been waiting all my life for this moment. When I was about 24/25, I went through a personally trying time. I was sacked from my parent's hotel business, and they then subsequently disowned me. I was in a poor relationship that was slowly falling apart, I was diagnosed with skin cancer – and then my dad died.
What got me through all of this was personal development, looking for the answers within as I felt I had no one to turn to and knew that the answers were within me. That was my first taste of self-coaching, and having the ability to make radical and small changes in your life is something that I passionately believe in today.
Once I was on the path of coaching, I built on it with NLP, solution-focused therapy, and leadership training – but always with the golden thread of coaching and the power from within.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I had children late in the day, in fact, I was nearly 41 when I had my daughter and then my son at 42. On a side note - I spent two years in coaching, attending personal development and leadership programmes to actually decide if I really wanted to be a mum before finally conceding that I really did.
I wasn't worried about the experience of childbirth, I was more concerned about how to look after my first baby - my business. I've had to relearn priorities and boundaries. With my time split between family and work, I also had to get really clear about what I was offering and to who. I feel the challenge of juggling family and work and not forgetting to focus on my needs has been my biggest accomplishment, as well as my constant challenge to date.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I've been a solo entrepreneur (this time around) for nearly 21 years, and I've had some wonderful years and experiences and some situations that have kept me worried and wondering, 'is this really worth it?' as well. The hardest thing to learn is to ask for help and to realise that you need a network around you. At the start, you can often see everyone as your competitor and want to make sure they don't steal your intellectual property, your ideas, or your contacts. But with time and grace, you start to learn that there is always something to learn from the wider community and that giving something without any expectation of a return is a very powerful gift.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Plan your day, week, quarter, and year - even if it's as simple as having a focus or intention for what you want to achieve. You need something to aim for, or you'll end up going around in circles.
- Remind yourself what you love about your job, what you're amazing at, and what gets you out of bed in the morning. When we feel low, and there will be days like this, reconnecting with your true purpose and calling will help keep you motivated.
- When it comes to growing your business, there is an element of giving something a go and learning from the experience. A few years ago, I learnt a design concept of prototyping - trying something out that is only 80% ready for market or 80% suitable for a target audience. The other 20% is welcoming feedback and considering what you'd do differently before putting it out as a pilot. This concept helps keep your perfectionist at bay and invites deep learning and insight.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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