Helen Soutar, Business & Life Strategy
You know, perceived wisdom at the moment seems to be all about niching – ‘there’s riches in the niches’ as the American’s say (Brits don’t because we’ve stuck with the French pronunciation so are robbed of the satisfying rhyme!) – and I admit to having spent far too much time trying to figure out what my niche is. The end result has been a realisation that I don’t believe I can niche when it comes to business, because it’s never just business. It’s life, it’s parenting, it’s finances, politics, childhood and old scripts. It’s the cultural and economic landscape we grew up in and now inhabit, it’s the family stories passed down the line, it’s the media and friends and religion.
Starting and growing a business is a lot like conceiving, growing, birthing and then parenting a child. We decide to do it, or fall into it by mistake, we hear the stories from those around us about how amazing, awful, wonderful, knackering, satisfying, painful it’s going to be, but in reality we won’t know what it’s like until we really experience it. Maybe we’ll decorate a beautiful nursery (procrasti-branding anyone?) which will likely be ignored completely for the first 6 months whilst we stumble through confusing days and seemingly endless nights with little sleep. We’ll have grand ideas of how successful our business will be…until the first time you have to cut the vest off and bin it immediately because of the epic poo-nami!
If you’re lucky, you’ll have friends around you who show you that neat trick with the overlapping shoulders on baby clothes so you can stop cutting them off, friends who will tell you about the latest genius invention to help you in your endless quest to get some sleep (Ewan the Dream Sheep, where were you for my 1st?!), friends who will commiserate, find the humour in the chaos, hold your hand through the scary and difficult bits and then celebrate all the successes with you too. Friends who will give you the hope, the resilience and the energy to keep going.
This is what we need in business too – someone who knows the neat tricks, the latest time saving software, someone who can teach you how to get going with zoom, canva, wordpress…someone who has been there, done that and can tell you the shortcuts. Someone who commiserates with you, holds your hand when it’s tough and is your biggest cheerleader, keeping you going even when you start to lose motivation.
This is one of the most important aspects of the work I do with my clients, and what my clients do for each other within our mastermind groups.
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Having worked with Helen for almost a year I can say she has helped to transform my way of working and the way that I approach my work. She is amazing at offering practical tools to automate processes for example, but she doesn’t hesitate to pinpoint blocks in my way of thinking either. I thought I needed the first (which helped) but what really made a difference was the second. She has helped me understand I need to first decide how I want to work to know what patients would benefit from my work, what booking system I need, and even how I need to brand my services! Helen seems to have an endless quiver of practical tools to offer, but she will also be your mirror and cheerleader. If you put to practice what she has to offer, you WILL grow! Her best asset might just be her tailored approachIngefleur Spreij