Hi, I’m Zoe, age 44, and I have an 8-year-old daughter. I was in an abusive relationship for 6 years. My ex-husband was emotionally, physically, digitally, financially, and sexually abusive. He is currently in prison serving an 11.5-year sentence for ABH, harassment and rape, all perpetrated against me.
You might ask, what does that have to do with running a business?!
Well the answer is, its actually my reason for what business I run and really why I started it. So what is it I’m doing? I’m a certified Life & Relationship Coach and I specialise in helping people, men and women, recover from being in a domestic and narcissistic relationship.
I have been doing this for about 18 months now, and I love it, I can truly say that I believe I have found my life purpose and that providing support to those who feel broken from the trauma of being in an abusive relationship really fulfils me, it also makes what I have been through worthwhile as I am able to take everything I have experienced and use it to help someone, I can’t think of a more positive way to turn a negative experience around.
Obviously I wasn’t always a Life Coach, for years I was a Legal PA and then I trained to become a Legal Compliance Manager, and although that was very different from what I do now, the skills I learnt, such as legal research, setting goals, time management and prioritisation have really helped me to start and run my own business, because although I love to coach, running a business is so much more than a 60-minute coaching call!
So the question is, how did I go from being a Legal Compliance Manager to a Life Coach? It all really started in Instagram, as part of my healing journey I decided that I was going to speak out about what happened to me and share my experiences to help people, so they didn’t feel alone and to generally raise awareness about this issue.
So that’s what I did, and as a result of me speaking out and posting about my experiences, I had so many people contact me, asking for help, and advice and just needing someone to hear them and validate their experience. So I thought to myself, I love doing this, how can I make this into something more, so I qualified as a Life Coach and set up my own practice, which I called “Self Love After Abuse” because the first step to healing is loving yourself.
What I experienced with my ex-husband makes me uniquely qualified to coach in this area, I have experienced all the types of abuse, I have a daughter with him so I know about the issues of trying to co-parent, I have been through 2 criminal trials, I have had to represent myself at Family Court on multiple occasions, I know what it’s like to feel broken and worthless and to hate yourself so much, you can’t even look in the mirror. I know what it’s like to have PTSD, panic attacks, depression, nightmares, and just to feel afraid. Yet, I have healed, I know it’s possible so I help and give hope to others.
Its definitely been challenging setting up a new business, especially between school runs. When I started I didn’t fully appreciate how much work you have to do to get your business off the ground. Which in a way that was probably good, as it can be very overwhelming and quite frustrating when you think about all that you have to do, especially when you have to learn how to use technology before you can even do what you want to do.
The one thing I tell myself is not to let this consume me, I can’t help people, if I am tired and worn out from doing all the admin required to run a business. You can’t give from an empty cup and ultimately you are the most important person in your business, so if that means people have to wait, because you need a day off, then so be it.
When I look back at what I have achieved and I think that this idea came from nothing, it is truly amazing. I have helped hundreds of people, I speak in schools educating teenagers on the dangers of abusive relationships, I speak at conferences, and I have been featured in National Newspapers and very soon I will be interviewed as a guest on a TV program.
With hard work and determination, you really can take an idea and turn it into your life passion.
You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn