Guest Blogs, highlighton other fab ladies, Life of a Mum, Other fabulous ladies

Nicky Masson – A global force to be reckoned with (guest blog)

Interview and words by @chameleoninhighheels

When you speak to Nicky Masson, a friendly smile and inviting enthusiasm in her voice make you feel at ease immediately.  But there is also an air of calm collectednessabout her, a sense of empowering confidence that is infectious and inspiring. Nicky Masson is a business coach and mentor at Nicky Masson Global, helping individuals and businessesachieve their goals, get results and focus on a positive mindset.

I first met Nicky over four years ago at a local baby massage group where my little one had chosen to scream for the entirety of the course. We bonded over a shared determination to breast feed our babies and Nicky was giving supportive advice as a mum of two which I, as a first time mother was incredibly grateful for. 

We recently reconnected as part of Nicky’s exclusive Make It Happen membership program, which offers advice and coaching to new and existing entrepreneurs. I met her for coffee and flapjack to chat about her journey over the last 4 years, her business and life as a full time entrepreneur and mother.

When I ask Nicky how and why she embarked on her career as a business coach, I am taken aback by her candid honesty.  Nicky describes 2016 a key transitional stage in her life.  She got made redundant from a job role she had known for many years.  In response to this, she set up her own network marketing business but failed to make significant progress.  “My fear and anxiety stopped me”, she smiles shyly. “I had so many ideas but I just couldn’t apply myself.” A chance meeting at a webinar introduced her to her mentor and has been working with him ever since.  “It was a catalyst toacknowledge that I had to work on myself and change.  Theway we act and behave is a mirror to what’s happening on the inside. I realised that, if I can achieve it, then I can help others to do the same.

Does she think being made redundant has shaped the way she approaches her own business?  Nicky is thoughtful with her response and I can tell this delves into some difficult memories.  “I left a good job to be a mother and returned to find it had been taken from me.  Instead I had to do menial tasks that gave me the feeling of being neither wanted nor skilled enough, all because I’d had two babies and worked part-time.”  Recalling my own experiences of returning to work after maternity leave, I can empathise with Nicky’s recollection. She also sums up the emotional side of employment as a new mum perfectly: “As a mother you are vulnerable and dealing with so many emotions.  Being given the feeling you are not good enough anymore makes you question everything.  In the end I just felt numb and went through the motions.” She laughs, but it doesn’t come from the heart. “Ironically, by treating me this way, my employer didn’t get the best out of me anymore either.” Nicky suffered from postnatal depression and anxiety, something she struggled to comprehend and combat.  “I didn’t understand what it was, why I felt the way I did.  It wasn’t a good time.”

Has this insight into darkness helped her in her own development and that of her clients?  Nicky nods passionately.  “Through my mentor and the coaching process I got answers to who I was.  I believe that personal development is incredibly important in any business, yet most people don’t get trained and furthered that way. Most companies only focus on knowledge and skills.  However, 85% of how you work is about your attitude. If you focus on the positives and embrace change, you will thrive.”

I am interested in how Nicky combines running her own successful and growing business with being a mother to two young children.  I mention that a recent study conducted by the universities of Manchester and Exeter showed that full-time working mothers with two children experiences significant stress levels that could, in the long term, be harmful to their health (Barr, 2019, The Independent). Does she have any tips for other mums? “The biggest thing is managing and separating your time.  It’s all about focus: If you focus on your work you will get things done and, in return, you will spend less time doing it.  Likewise, once you are with your family, that’s where your focus should be.”  
Does she ever experience mum guilt, I ask.  “Yes, of course.  It happens to all of us.  When we work we think of our kidsand during family time we may want to check emails.” Her words resonate as I recall my own guilt since the day I dropped my babies at nursery.  How does she cope with her own mum guilt these days?  “I am getting better”, Nicky smiles serenely.  “I have created a better environment for myself with my business and I can help others achieve the same”. 

I feel it’s time for my million-dollar question: Does she believe that women can have it all? Nicky’s response is immediate, firm and delivered with such conviction I want to close my notebook and sign up for whatever course she wants me to sign up in the future.  “Yes, without a doubt”, followed by a pause, and I am not quite sure if I need her to elaborate.  However, she has an explanation up her sleeve.  “Women in general deserve so much more credit in modern society.  We are the ones who do all the juggling and wear the different hats. We do it all.  The important thing, however, is that we have to believe that we can have it all – if you don’t believe it, it won’t happen.” I wonder if Nicky still has moments of doubt or if she has figured it all out.  She laughs. “I constantly work on myself.  There are still things that hold me back and,as with everyone’s road to success, it’s work in progress.”  

We leave the café over an hour after our official interview has finished, reminiscing and ponder over where we are now. Nicky’s achievements and proven strategies have intrigued me to interview and write about her, something our past selves would probably not have predicted. What I can predict, however, is that there is a lot I have already learnt from Nicky, and can’t wait to implement her strategies.

Nickys Facebook

Nickys Insta

Guest Blogs, highlighton other fab ladies, Life of a Mum, Other fabulous ladies

Colourful Soles- Guest Blog

I’m a mum of 2 wonderful and spirited children, from the minute my daughter was born my perspective on life changed completely. This changein me inspired the opening of our Independent Children’s shoe shop in Lutterworth, Colourful Soles.

Our mission is to support the development of children, support our local economy and communityand for me personally I want to be able to read a story to my children, Ella and Thomas every night. 

Colourful Soles is a Children’s shoe shop, inside we are a team who are trained to measure feet and fit shoes correctly. We want shoe shopping for children (and those with them) to be an enjoyable experience and for them to go away with a pair of shoes that fits their individual and unique feet and personality.

Up until November 2012 I had spent all my working life dedicated to a large ‘Blue Chip’ business and became accustomed, if not somewhat addicted to, the long hours, travelling the world, discovering new experiences, the people (not all of them particularly nice) the salary and the rush of landing new contracts. On the 22nd of November my daughter, Ella was born and from that moment on I knew I had changed. 

I went through the motions for 5 years, going back part time after maternity leave, working long hours, answering e-mails @ 1am, being away from home for numerous nights, knowing deep down though that my heart was not in it. Being a mum was my priority and the compromise was getting too much for me. 

When my son Thomas was born, I decided there and then that I no longer wanted to be number in a big business, I wanted my family to come first.  I started training and learning about the development of the foot inspired by the fact that I couldn’t find the right shoe for my daughters’ narrow ankle and foot. Re-enforced by my sons’ wide foot and high step and inclination to pronate I decided I wanted to offer shoes for children that I couldn’t find.

Finally 2 years later the perfect unit turned up and we made an offer, I handed my notice in and started contacting companies that I trusted and believed in. 6 months later the icing on the cake I found the perfect partner, Sarah, to work alongside me who has experienced a very similar journey. Now I love coming to work and I love what I do, I like meeting new wonderful customers and having time for family and friends without secretly checking my phone for an e-mail or message. It’s fun! Don’t get me wrong it doesn’t come without worry but it is absolutely worth it. My family and friends have been more supportive that I could’ve hoped for and without making you want to reach for the sick bucket, couldn’t imagine better.

Couple of facts you might not be aware of…

By the time a child is 8 years old they’ve already walked, on average, 11,500km which is the distance from London to New York and back! The right shoes for all that walking is so important, allowing room to grow and supporting those soles!

The bones in the foot don’t stop forming until 18 years old, the right shoes will help those bones form properly.

Loving life…loving work and of course loving shoes! X

Insta

Facebook