Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
I am a commercial solicitor and mediator trying to break the mould and do things differently. I ran on the corporate treadmill, following the path I was ‘supposed’ to follow, for 10 years and all of a sudden decided, no, this is not what I want to do, so I got off and started my own business …
Tell us about your business
My business has two elements to it: providing legal consultancy services in relation to probate disputes and providing commercial mediation services to resolve disputes.
What are the most sparkly bits of what you do?
Helping people resolve disputes which are consuming them and, ultimately, helping them move on with their lives.
I love the unrestricted side of marketing my business how I want to market it without others preventing it, branding it and advertising it on social media, spreading a little bit of sparkle in a very serious and traditional market.
What are the biggest challenges you face running your business?
I have two main challenges. The first challenge relates to the mediation side of the business, Concentus. Breaking the mould and convincing the market that a young, dynamic, experienced woman can bring expertise and skill to the table, ultimately resolving conflict at an affordable cost, is a challenge. It is a known fact that 90% of mediations go to 10% of mediators in this country. Outside of London there are few female, specialist commercial mediators. It’s a daily battle to attract work away from that 10%.
My second biggest challenge is #goingitalone. There is no-one else to step in. As the mother of a toddler and running a business, this can be exhausting.
What have been your biggest achievements and how have you celebrated them?
My biggest achievements have been winning work and then ultimately being successful with that work.
I have celebrated with a big sparkly smile to myself and a pat on the back. I no longer have to wait for praise from others for doing well, I can give it to myself and it’s great. I do suffer from imposter syndrome and regularly have to pinch myself to check that my successes are really happening, which makes me laugh to myself. Then a good cuppa and a bar of chocolate once Rosie has gone to bed is a perfect mini celebration these days!
My biggest personal achievement is most definitely getting through labour!! Obviously having my little lady as the prize!
What are your goals – for yourself and your business?
My personal goals are to make me and my family happy every day. Work is not the be-all and end-all of life, but it is a huge part of life so to be happy whilst you’re working is so important. I have learnt some harsh lessons mentally by working too hard for others, so to work for myself, be happy and be able to spend time with my family and make them happy, is my ultimate goal.
My business goals are to make me and Concentus a brand that people trust to resolve their disputes and conflict.
What is your favourite place in the North East and why?
Saltburn is my absolute favourite place in the world, never mind the North East. It is my place of sanctuary. I have made many life decisions whilst sat on the pier looking out to Huntcliff and the sea. There is something about the sea that calms me and allows me to put everything into perspective. A picture of the pier is on my wall in the kitchen and I cannot resist fish and chips from the Seaview whilst I sit on the pier and contemplate life.
Who puts a Sparkle in your eye?!
My little lady Rosie. She has brought the biggest pinch of sparkle into my life that I ever thought was possible. She is absolutely adorable and no matter what time she wakes up in the morning (or in the middle of the night), as soon as I see the sparkle of mischief in her eye, I smile! She has been a huge part of my business journey and has travelled all over with me, most recently to Paris to be able to greet me and spread sparkle on my day after I had been judging an International mediation competition. Oh and my hubby of course …!
A final Sparkly thought – what tips would you give to busy, hard-working entrepreneurs?
Stay focused, consider every opportunity as it arises and evolve with them but always go back to what you ultimately set out to do. Make sure you’re on track to achieve your goals and if the opportunity is sending you off route, make sure it is doing it for the right reasons, for you!
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