Tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
I am a transition and leadership coach. I help women who want to take the next step in their career or their lives. I also work with organizations who want to turn their employees into true leaders that will move the organization forward. We have two daughters, Miss J was born in Mumbai and Madam S was born in Delhi. We lived in Asia for 12 years, moving every 2 years and now are based in New Zealand. We are a true cross cultural, third culture family.
Have you had any formal training or family business?
I studied Psychology at University before starting a career in Human Resources and completing my Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.
How did you come up with the idea for your business, and what was the process of turning that idea into a reality?
Living in Asia it was very difficult to continue my career in Human Resources. I made the decision to start my own business, but spent time exploring what that would look like. I found the Business Idea Accelerator program with Tandem Nomads, and after an insightful discussion with a friend at the school pick up, I finished the program with a prototype which became my business. I started running support groups for families moving countries, Expat Parenting Abroad. I rebranded and relaunched in 2022 The Leap To Lead. Whether women in leadership positions or stay at home mums who put their career on hold for their family, they wonder if there isn’t more they ought to be doing and they’re ready to take the leap to lead the second act of their lives. Drawing on my experience and the frameworks developed as a senior HR leader across multiple industries, I now empower women to be the leader in their own lives. As a mum who gave up my career to focus on my family as we moved countries and subsequently launched my own business, I understand the multiple demands that can lead to feeling overwhelmed and a loss of confidence. I am passionate about providing clarity, developing an action plan and getting things done to see you finally living the life you want.
How have you grown as a leader since starting your company, and what have been some of the key lessons you've learned along the way?
Most would describe me as a mother, wife, and small business owner. But in reality, I am so much more than that. Society may put us in boxes, but that doesn't mean we have to stay there. I love using my experience to support women to break free from who we think we should be and start living the fulfilling life we deserve. As a leader, I draw on my professional and personal experiences to develop frameworks and processes that guide women to live their best life. Too many women settle, they get stuck, they don’t live their best life. Using lessons of resilience, clarity, ownership and growth I support them to finally have that!
Can you tell us about a time when you faced a major setback or failure in your business, and how you overcame it?
2021 was a difficult year, my dad was dying of cancer and with closed borders I couldn’t be with him. We spent a lot of time talking on FaceTime and one of the last conversations we had, he shared his vision for me and encouraged me to think bigger about my business. As a result I worked with a coach to rethink my business and refocus my energy to ensure I was supporting my clients the best I could. The outcome was a rebrand and a relaunch in April 2022. A truly challenging time in my life became the catalyst for where I am today.
How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals, especially during challenging times?
When faced with challenges I like to walk, getting outside with sunshine and fresh air, holding key questions in my mind as I walk has seen me get through a lot. It’s my form of meditation, and it has been key. Being well organized and planning in advance also means that I can pull back when I’m having a bad day or need to think. I don’t leave things to the last minute, I always plan in advance and that provides me with flexibility.
How do you balance your personal life with the demands of running a business?
I am very focused on maintaining a healthy balance between family life and business. I have a schedule that allows me to ensure my time is evenly balanced working not only in my business but on my business. I have boundaries in place that enable me to focus on my family when it’s after hours, and I very rarely say yes to anything that impacts on family time. My time with hubby and the girls is too precious. But this means I have to be super productive during business hours too, so I plan my next day before I log off. I plan my next week before the weekend starts. This prevents time slippage when getting started for the day.
What are your plans for the future of your business, and how do you see yourself evolving as a founder and leader?
I have been working closely with a business coach for the past year and I am now focused on putting in place the strategies that we have developed that will see the growth I want for my business. But solopreneurship is a journey, and things are always needing adjusting, tweaking and rethinking. So as I grow and develop as a leader, founder and coach, my business shifts with me. It’s never static.
If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Dream big. Nothing ever came from ignoring your dreams, so go for the big ones and make it worthwhile!
What's the most unconventional thing you've done to grow your business, and what was the result?
I’m not sure it’s unconventional, but staying true to who I am has been key in growing my business. What you see of me on social media, is who I am. I don’t pretend, I don’t try and be someone else. Just me. I think this provides my audience and clients the opportunity to truly get to know me and connect with me. I want them to feel like I am a friend they can talk to.
What's the most important lesson you've learned from a failure, and how have you applied it to your business?
When dad was dying, post pandemic, I found running my business hard. Everything felt like hard work, things just weren’t working as they should. On his advice, taking the time to reflect and rethink was amazingly powerful. I didn’t stop what I was doing, but I repositioned and relaunched. Being open to and able to change was key, many people get stuck in their ways and don’t allow change, for me this was key.
What's the most meaningful compliment or feedback you've ever received from a customer, and why did it resonate with you?
“You’ve changed my life '' There is nothing more powerful than impacting another woman's life and seeing them step into their best self, living their life with meaning and fulfillment. I feel really proud of the work I do, and changing people’s lives is so incredibly rewarding.
If you had to choose one thing that makes your company truly unique and sets it apart from the competition, what would it be, and why?
There are 3 words that I use with my clients - clarity, ownership, growth. These epitomize what is required for women to empower themselves. Personal empowerment is about taking control, making positive choices and taking intentional action. I am passionate about supporting women to achieve personal empowerment through clarity, ownership and growth.