Welcome to our series, ‘Meet the Entrepreneur’, where we meet entrepreneurs and start-ups from the Channel Islands. We find out what they are doing, what ‘drives’ them and what advice they would give anyone starting out in business.
Today, we meet Jersey-based entrepreneur Dr Julie Luscombe, founder of People Like Me coaching and training consultancy.
I’ve just taken a leap of faith to set up People Like Me Coaching and Training Consultancy and it’s very new. I launched at the end of March.
The business has two strands: person centred coaching offered privately for individuals who are wanting a thinking partner to support them to work towards meaningful change in their personal or professional lives. The second is a training strand offering coaching approaches for organisations who want to retain and value their staff by focusing on wellbeing and personal development.
I chose to target the health and social care sector, public sector and charities as these represent my own professional background and I want to give something back to people like me.
I particularly want to work with people who suffer from imposter syndrome – that dreaded feeling of insecurity and feeling ‘not good enough’ As someone who left school with low expectations of what I could achieve, I always seemed to be doing things a decade after everyone one else! I always felt I was catching up with something but never sure quite what that ‘something’ was. Through trial and error I worked my way towards a variety of professions in health care that enthralled me, building up my qualifications professionally and academically. Yet, despite my achievements I always wondered when I was going to be ‘found out’.
Although imposter syndrome still rears its head from time to time, my experience of coaching both as a coach and a coachee has helped me understand my strengths, the value I add and the role of a supportive coach in developing others.
Tell us about your ‘journey’ and how you got to this point
Being a Registered Mental Health Nurse, a public health and education specialist, my focus has always been to support people to move forward, developing skills, knowledge and personal strategies to make the most of their potential using their unique strengths and developing resilience. So coaching was the natural next step and has allowed me to bring all the strands of my professional skills and knowledge together.
During the first lockdown, I used my annual leave and money saved for cancelled holidays to train as a professional coach and loved it! Once I had that qualification, I knew I needed to use it or lose it so I built up my coaching hours until I felt confident enough to take the plunge and leave full time employment. It’s a scary but very exciting time.
As a coach, I’m here to help people be ‘brave’ with their lives. Sometimes that means we have to choose courage over comfort, challenge our doubts and insecurities and take a chance.
Can you talk us through a typical working day?
What I’m loving so far is that no day is a typical one and I love that flexibility and variety that being self employed gives me.
I’ve surprised myself by enjoying all the aspects of self employment that I wasn’t expecting to – I knew I’d love the coaching and training and being able to support others but I hadn’t expected to get excited about personal branding, marketing and websites! I’ve also turned into a bit of a networking ninja and love building those relationships with like minded entrepreneurs.
Have you had support from Jersey Business or Digital Jersey?
Timing has been good to me. I was lucky enough to get a place on the ‘creating a start up’ certificate course at Highlands and a ‘social media marketing’ course run by Digital Jersey both funded by the Fiscal Stimulus Fund.
Both of these courses were invaluable in terms of practical information. I also signed up for a specific business development course for coaches run by my professional association (International Coaching Federation).
However, some of the best support I’ve had locally is from a network of local professional coaches all at different business stages who have been so generous with time, advice and connections.
Jersey has a thriving and growing coaching community and I’m grateful for that.
What’s been your biggest challenge as a startup?
The biggest challenge was actually making the decision to go for it! Having had the idea rattling around my brain for a couple of years, it was hard to give up a full time wage, the security that brings and take the plunge.
In the end it came down to values and priorities. Did I want to practice what I preach and do something I really believe in?
Whatever happens next I know I will have tried and given it every possible chance to succeed with no regrets.
Once I made the decision to do it, I’ve thrown myself into it and am enjoying the problem solving as I immerse myself in the world of business and entrepreneurship.
Can you share any pleasant surprises as an entrepreneur?
Being a nurse and educator by background, I did not think I had a business brain so the practicalities felt a bit daunting. However, I put my head down and worked out what I needed to find out and just got on with it.
It turns out I like setting up a business! I’ve really enjoyed the setting up phase and have made sure I’ve put time aside going forward for business development. I did find a business coach though who helped me fill in any gaps that I didn’t know I had – you don’t know what you don’t know!
What advice would you give to someone who has a start-up idea?
Talk about it to whoever will listen! Saying my ideas out loud sounded strange and a bit scary at first but it made them more real and concrete in my head.
Friends and colleagues all had opinions, thoughts and ideas about what I was planning to do and listening to them helped me to evolve my thinking and develop the services I have today.
What would you like the States of Jersey to do to help entrepreneurs and start-ups?
I would like to meet more like minded people from different professions who are starting up – we all have so much to offer each other in terms of experience and information. At the moment, I am finding these networks by accident are often set up by the entrepreneurs themselves.
Having some government backing for these connections and entrepreneurial communities would be so helpful.
I was looking enviously at the recent IoD lunch with a great speaker – it would be fantastic to have something like this for entrepreneurs who don’t get access to these networks. Maybe this already exists and I just haven’t found it yet…
Which leaders do you admire and why?
I’ve got a couple of ‘go to’ leaders that I follow on social media and read their books.
The first one is Brene Brown who talks about leading with courage and vulnerability and the second is Nancy Kline, a coach who writes so well about the importance of listening in a team environment.
Aside from ChannelEye.Media, who do you follow on social media?
- Santander Work Café: I love the community nature of the free workspaces and meeting rooms and also they host free events for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses
- International Coaching Federation Business Development: a network of coaches around the word sharing information about growing your coaching business
- Stephen Bartlett: since starting my own business I’ve become obsessed with Dragon’s Den. I’m always looking for tips!
What do you do in your downtime?
Until recently I loved running – I’ve run a few marathons and half marathons but my body is telling me enough is enough so I’m now into power walking and yoga.
I love travel and I’ll book new experiences whenever I can.
I give into my inner geek on occasions too. I’m ridiculously excited to have found a summer school course in Oxford studying Victorian literature for a week.
What’s your favourite film?
It’s impossible to choose between Gone with the Wind and Chariots of Fire. I’ve watched them both over and over and know which line is coming next.
What music do you listen to?
I’m an 80s teenager so that will always be my favourite era as it feels like the soundtrack to growing up. I’m going to see Duran Duran in Hyde Park this June.
Are you listening to any podcasts at the moment?
I’ve only recently got into podcasts but I like Diary of CEO with Stephen Bartlett and also ‘You are not a frog’ by Dr Rachel Morris aimed at busy health care professionals who are wanting to manage their stress better and thrive in their jobs.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m in a book club and I’ve got two on the go – one is ‘The Coward’ by Jarred McGinnes, a novel looking at the aftermath of a young man dealing with life and family following an accident – funny and brutally honest.
The other book is one I have to read for my Victorian literature course – Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon daring in its time because it challenged stereotypical notions of femininity. Reading is my escapism.
Are you a Channel Islands entrepreneur/startup who would like to be featured in Channel Eye? If so, please drop us an email to email@example.com