This week on my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring Donna and Cheryl who co-founded Now Is Your Time, to empower women to become the best version of themselves and overcome any Imposter Syndrome. When I read their interview I was already sucked in by the first paragraph, and I hope that you are too? Reading their story I can see their passion for their business and how they can help you today.
Their story tells of us success and just reading this interview back, I am already feeling inspired to push forward my own business. So if you’re looking for inspiration read on, I’m promise it’s good one….
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
Cheryl and I are Co-Founders of Now Is Your Time. We’re Breakthrough Coaches and we specialise in empowering women (and some men!) to transform their lives, taking them from feeling overwhelmed and riddled with Imposter Syndrome to happy, fulfilled and in balance. We want everyone to be the best version of themselves.
The first thing to know about Cheryl and I is that we are truly Soul Sisters! We met at work a fifteen years ago and we’ve been best friends ever since. We come from a pretty hardcore corporate background and we’ve developed our coaching skills and knowledge in senior leadership positions, and we’ve always wanted to share our coaching skills outside that world. We talked about setting up our own coaching business for a long time before we actually did it. I even bought a website domain for it twenty years ago – that’s how long we’ve been dreaming about doing this! But last year everything came together. I’d been doing some consulting work, and Cheryl had left her job. I had an epiphany following Cheryl’s Dad passing away last May, that it was really now or never and Now Is Your Time was born.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
There are so many! Cheryl and I are all about empowering women to make positive changes in their lives. That’s ultimately why we do what we do. We find that women are much more likely than men to put all their hopes and dreams on the backburner. Because we’re the caregivers, right? That’s what we do. That’s certainly what we did for many years. We just ‘got on’ with life, in relationships that weren’t serving us, in jobs that didn’t make us want to jump out of bed – we put all our energy into our partners, our kids, our parents, our families. It’s so easy for us to lose track of who we really are and what we really want, and that causes a lot of unhappiness. When was the last time you stopped to ask yourself what you really want out of life, for you and you alone? What makes you happy in your soul?
Our clients often end up in tears when we ask them that question. Either that, or they’re completely befuddled by it! We’re so unaccustomed to thinking about our own emotional needs that we’re often just stumped when somebody challenges our day to day routines with a question like that. It can feel very uncomfortable. It’s okay to feel that discomfort, but it’s important to push past it. We believe that it’s the only way you’ll ever make positive changes in your life. We want to help women figure out what they really want, so they can make empowered life choices in the future.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
It’s a lot easier than it was when we were working in the corporate world! Cheryl’s daughter, Hollie, is grown and flown – she recently bought a house with her partner, so it’s been an exciting time for all of us. What’s great is that Cheryl has been able to work commitments and clients around supporting Hollie with all of the appointment in the run up to buying the house, which was much needed support as Dan was at sea in the Navy for 7 months during that time and at 21 years old, it was a lot to deal with. Now Cheryl gets to go and play ‘Gran’ to their new puppy and work flexibly.
As for me, my son Kaleb is only six years old and it is so much easier to be present for him now that Cheryl and I are running our own business. Now Is Your Time is based out of my kitchen at home (if you ever see is talking about HQ on our social media accounts, we’re talking about my kitchen!), so it’s really easy to balance client calls and meetings with his timetable. For the first 4 years of Kaleb’s life, I lived in the iPad – Facetiming him for bed every night from Manchester, London, Egypt or India – wherever work took me! We’re also lucky enough to live really close to my family, so on the rare occasions my diary just will not co-operate, and my husband is unavailable, we have a loving support system nearby to help.
Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?
There are so many things that we could talk about here, it’s difficult to pick just one. And none of them have anything to do with revenue!
Running our own business has pushed us outside our comfort zones in lots of different ways and we’ve experienced a lot of personal successes and milestones. If we had to pick just one, it would probably be being invited onto BBC Radio Newcastle for an interview about Now Is Your Time and what we do. That was a really exciting day and the team made us feel so welcome that we almost forgot we’d never done a radio interview before!
In terms of the business, our biggest success has to be the opportunity to work with the amazing women we coach. We set out to empower women and help them make the kind of positive, proactive choices that can really transform their lives, and now we get to do that every day. It’s an incredible privilege.
What’s your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
For us, it’s all about being clear on your intention…for everything – connecting with your ‘Why’. That’s something we coach with our clients; being intensely connected to the reason why you’re making the choice to go into business yourself is a powerful weapon. It will keep you going through the low moments and the days when nothing seems to go your way – and there can be a lot of those when you’re setting up a business. It really is an emotional rollercoaster but being deeply in touch with your purpose will help you stay the course.
The other tip we have (if we can share two!) is to just enjoy that rollercoaster! Running your own business is uncomfortable. It challenges you in ways you never expect and pushes you outside your comfort zone almost every day. So get comfortable with those feelings of discomfort, take all the ups and downs as opportunities to learn something new, and accept that it’s okay to feel uncertain. Self-doubt is normal. Stay connected to your ‘Why’, learn from every situation, and get back up whenever you fall down.
You’ve got this!
Thank you so much Donna and Cheryl for being part of my series, it has been an absolute pleasure to feature you both on my blog and I hope that others will find your story just as inspiring as I do.
You can find out more about Donna and Cheryl, and Now Is The Time by visiting their website and their social media channels: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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: Ruth Wilson PR, Honest Mum, Parent Cloud and Emma Hammond