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What is the Growth Pod?

entrepreneur growthpod impact passion purpose strategy values welcome Mar 03, 2023

 Welcome to the Growth Pod Blog!  

In this first post I wanted to introduce myself and the Growth Pod - particularly how we can help you build your passions, skills and ideas into a thriving business that works for you.

  This is very much the roots of my business – after 20 years in consulting, I’ve realized that I’d prefer to put my energy and hard work ethic to something that was for my own and that aligned better with my values.

And so recently the Growth Pod was born and I can’t wait to share my experience, skills and strengths with you so that you can also work to live not live to work. My true hope out of this is that more and more of us realise that we can contribute so much to the world if we follow our passion, purpose and inner ideals – and I’m fully committed to helping you grow your passion into a purpose that delivers for you.  

 Starting with a little on me and my background. How a rather unimaginative management consultant in the UK ended up living her best life as a freelancing strategy consultant in Dubai, helping passion led entrepreneurs increase the impact they have on their communities.

Like I said, I’m a management consultant by trade. In fact, I’m probably one of the few people out there that wanted to be a management consultant before they’d even hit university. It runs in the blood - my dad went into consulting post university, and aged 16 I wasn’t as imaginative as I could have been with respect to careers. Thankfully, it plays to a lot of my strengths, and has brought me a lot of joy. Over the last 20 years, I’ve had a great client facing career, working with oil and gas clients of the world on strategy and sustainability. I was also one of the few and lucky female consultants that was able to pivot internally when I decided to leap into motherhood. And when I say leap, I mean it. I never actually wanted kids, but I did want a break from consulting for a while and thought that maternity leave was more acceptable than asking for a sabbatical. 9 years on and I have 3 kids and laugh in the face of anyone that thinks Maternity leave is a nice break from work. There’s a reason I’ve run back to the office after 6 months at home each time with babies. Like I said, I was super lucky. Actually, I should say I was super motivated when I came back from maternity leave. Lucky that my firm had just been a merger target, motivated / aggressive perhaps about having a role on the merger project that would mean I didn’t need to travel each week. Motivated to show that despite having a young baby that I could still add value, and my brain cells hadn’t spontaneously combusted upon giving birth. And show value I did, and I was promptly asked to come over to our new parent company full time and work on internal strategy, operating model and projects at a regional level. With the same salary, and flexible working. Basically the holy grail for returning mums. I got to be a management consultant for a firm of management consultants. I got to do strategy for my firm, to work with leadership, and be responsible for delivering successful strategic projects. AND I LOVED IT. Rarely have you seen such a smug working mum. I was leaning in, having it all, living the dream. So why am I not doing that now?

 

Big question, and lots of answers.

  • I’d moved away from leading consulting and project teams into the delivery side. For a while I headed up IT and then HR trying to move the needle and build teams to support a really aggressive growth target. I’m not an IT or an HR person, I learned a lot about strategy execution in those two roles and for the most part I loved them. But they weren’t where I was going to put myself longer term. For that I had found my dream role in our global strategy team after my stint in IT – but was asked to move into HR and replicate the success I’d had there. And by the time I realized that I wanted to be more aligned to strategy rather than delivery again, the role had gone.
  • One thing I am very proud of is that I live my values – and this is something that we will cover in future podcasts. And my principle value is enjoyment, closely followed by impact / value. And it got to the point that I wasn’t having as much fun in my roles as I had in previous ones, and I’m sure most will realise that it’s hard to have the impact you want to when you aren’t enjoying yourself, which I found frustrating. I’d never had a role where I wasn’t sure each week whether I would achieve my targets, or whether I’d not be stressed out. It really took it’s toll on me. In an attempt to deliver that value / impact I’d started compromising on my other values – family and friendship and my own health. I was running myself into the ground for a role where the end goal kept shifting, and which I wasn’t enjoying. It took some real self reflection for me to decide that my own health and sanity was for the first time more important than my career. So I handed over to others and left professional services.
  • Ostensibly I wanted a break…but I couldn’t help but keen an eye on linkedIn and keep open conversations with recruiters. Some really interesting roles came round, but there was this nagging doubt in my mind with all of them that I “COULD” do them, I could do them really well that I could make a difference, that I could get back some flexibility for the life part of my world, BUT I still wasn’t sure that the enjoyment was going to be there. There was something with each of these roles – politics, leadership, location, other team members which held be back from leaping into them. I started thinking that having worked for ½ my working life in consulting and professional services, perhaps I should be thinking about a MAJOR career refresh. Be more creative than my 16 year old self had been in my next role. I started looking into university courses – organizational psychology, vetenary science, data science all sorts of things that I found SUPER INTERESTING…but would have involved starting again at the very bottom.
  • TO help me process my thoughts I decided I needed help, so signed up with a career coach. I fully expected her to spend a few sessions getting to know me and then I’d get a report that told me which industries and roles I was suited for, and some help rewriting my CV.
  • Instead, I had my eyes opened up massively. We ripped open my career history, my values, my strengths, my skills, my personality type. What I enjoyed about each role, what I didn’t. Thought out hypotheses around the types of organizations I would enjoy working in. We created a framework for me to assess fully what would allow me to work to live rather than live to work, in a role that allowed me to keep my values sacrosanct. And of course it had to talk to my strengths and skills. And what did I learn about myself?
  • That I love problem solving, I love analyzing issues, breaking them down and then coming up with a roadmap for success. In short, I love strategy consulting. BUT what I haven’t loved for a long time is doing that in a corporate environment, competing and positioning and politicking. In fact the most fun I’ve had in YEARS was staying with a university friend for a couple of days earlier in the year, and listening to her about her spiritual business and her manifestations for success. And I have to admit at the start of the trip there was a huge amount of skepticism that her vision could be realized. But then I lived her business for 2 days, and I realized that with the right strategy, with the right focus on the right growth levers her vision, was completely attainable. SO we mapped it out. On paper, with kids coloring pencils. In color, with joy and excitement. And when it was time to leave and drive to the airport, I was BUZZING. And from a completely different way than I used to in the corporate world. IT meant so much more to me to be advising her on how to look at her business, her revenue streams, her plans, the enablers she needed for her business, specific to her than to a billion dollar firm. Deep down, I frankly think the world will be a much better place if she can expand her services to more people, than an auditing firm expanding and earning more money for partners. Suddenly my sense of fulfilment was turned upside down…So there I was in a car for 4 hours – and I spent the whole time thinking about what it would be like to do it for myself. And out of that car journey, the Growth Pod was born. Out of that car journey my next adventure was born

So what is the Growth Pod. Well, it’s several things…

  • First and foremost it’s a community. I want this to be a place where passion and purpose led entrepreneurs can come together to help each other build and deliver their successful growth strategies. Where we can share our skills in return for other skills we need to build our businesses.
  • It will be a resource Centre for members – where I can share tools and methodologies that will help you drive your business forward based on my 20 year career.
  • It will be a coaching space, where I will offer small coaching circles, working collaboratively with intimate groups over weeks and months to build plans. Where we will peer coach, celebrate and support each other to win in our respective areas
  • And I’ll also be selectively supporting on a 1-2-1 basis for those that want specialist advice, or additional support on designing and delivering their growth strategies.
  • Finally, it’s this blog – a place where I can share how to build a successful strategy – and to deliver it. I hope to bring some of the wonderful people I’ve worked with, those who I’ve learned from, those who have inspired me, and those that I’ve helped build their own business to share their advice, their stories and their successes, motivating and inspiring others to follow their values, their passions, and grow a business that delivers for them.

So in the coming few weeks we’re going to talk strategy fundamentals. We’re going to talk passion, purpose, values and Big Hairy Audacious Goals. And then we’re going to step by step walk through how to build up your business to deliver them. I’m not going to talk marketing, SEO, funnels, sales or anything else that frankly I don’t know much about. Simple, practical, common sense business planning.

And i’m going to really enjoy it and hope you do to.

 

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