This week I would like to introduce Esther Wane to my Parents in Business series who created her own business narrating audiobooks for producers around the world. This sounds like such a cool job, that she does from the studio at the bottom of her garden, allowing her to be around for her children.
Do all have a read of Esther inspiring story-telling business story….
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
Did you dream as a child of creating an exceptional life story that remains, as yet, untold?
Did you yearn to dance through life in full technicolour but find yourself trudging through endless grey days?
Would you like to take your creativity once more by the hand, step into your unique story and learn to dance with life?
I was there ten years ago, approaching 40 and feeling less than fabulous. Today, I am a Storyteller and Creative Coach. I am an award winning audiobook narrator with over 120 titles to my credit, including Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven Series, Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” and Sarah Vaughan’s “Anatomy of a Scandal”.
I am the author of a novel, “The Way Home” and a second book is in the pipeline, “Be Your Own Hero: A Mindful Guide to Thriving in a Creative Life.”
In developing my own creative practice I have drawn deeply on my business leadership skills as well as research into positive psychology and mindfulness to ensure I give my clients the very best service possible. I have over 20 years of experience in business leadership, a Certificate in Foundations of Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. I am also an accredited CAPP Strengths coach and a Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
I was a highly creative child. I lived in a vibrant world created by my own imagination. I read, I wrote, I performed. I had a strong and unquestioning relationship with the life-giving force of creativity, trusting implicitly that it would always be there for me.
Then I grew up. I put away childish play and worked to join the world of adults. I became a lawyer and an accountant. I wore suits. I had a career in a bank. I had a title, a salary, status, success. I had everything but felt nothing.
Then in 2007, I became a mother to a beautiful daughter and my soul awoke. In the light of her eyes I was reminded of the power of creativity. I loved her from the start, but when I saw myself and the person I had become, I was filled with rage and shame. I had to change, for her and for me.
If she was going to learn to embrace her unique story, to dance freely with her dreams and hopes, to giver her life to bringing them into glistening reality, I had to show her the way.
I revisited my creativity and asked if it was still there for me. It told me gleefully that it had simply been waiting to be asked and took its place as my dance partner, holding me close while I took a step of faith into my own creative hero’s journey.
Trusting in its guidance and wisdom I began to grow in creativity. When my son was born I stepped resolutely on to my creative path. I wrote the first draft of my novel and took acting classes, finding myself celebrating my 40th birthday at Drama School. From there I continued to grow in strength, overcoming expectations and predictions to become a successful storyteller.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
Most of my work is in narrating audiobooks for producers around the world which I am able to do from my magical studio at the bottom of my garden. Inside my studio is my vocal booth, or Tardis, which allows me to travel in time and space through books. So I can be anywhere, but also at home for my children, and I can wrap my work around their needs, not that it isn’t sometimes a bit of a juggle!
I also love to write so when I’m not narrating I am writing, again in my magical studio. From there I can also lead creative coaching sessions virtually or in person.
Since setting up your business what’s been your biggest success to date?
There have been many but probably my greatest was reaching 100 audiobooks narrated and then being offered to narrate “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” which was a huge favourite of mine as a child. This also gave me the impetus to raise money to stock a community library in Malawi with over 100 curriculum books needed by the children there to support their education. Meeting their local project worker and finding out what amazing positive changes were happening as a result of that was incredible.
What are your top tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Do what you love and love what you do. If love guides you then you will be prepared to put in the work and the work will be always be a joy.
Thank you so much Esther for being part of my series, it has been lovely to feature you and I wish you all the best in the future.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Sprout, Talented Ladies Club, and The Shoe Consultant.