Local female founder Claire Morton has a passion for helping people; It’s what led her to leave the corporate world and start her own business. Claire set up an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) consultancy business in order to help people gain confidence, overcome impostor syndrome and take charge of their career.
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is a holistic approach to understanding someone’s thought patterns, then using that knowledge to help them improve certain areas of their life. Let’s find out how Claire combined her interest in NLP with her knowledge of business consultancy to create the unique NLP consultancy service – Ell & Dee.
1. Why did you start your business? What spurred you on?
I wanted to be my own boss. After working in the corporate world for a long time, I eventually decided that it wasn’t for me. So I left to lead my own business. I’m a bit of a rebel; I like to be different and I love to be free and have choices. I always felt trapped when I was working for someone else.
2. What are the unique challenges that you have faced as a female founder?
To be honest, I think the challenges I’ve faced are the same as any business owner, regardless of gender. The risk of being self employed along with having no savings meant that I was saying yes to every piece of work that came my way; working long hours away from home. However, I have great support from my family. When I’m working away I know my children are being looked after, although it doesn’t stop me from missing them.
3. What were the 3 steepest learning curves in your first year in business?
- Don’t say yes to everything
- Make time for family
- Make time for myself
I learnt to not to jump in to saying yes to every job. I was saying yes to work even when it wasn’t even worth my time, effort or skill. I was scared of the business not making any money, so I just kept saying yes and didn’t take foot off the pedal until about 18 months in. I realised I needed to focus on business strategy for Ell&Dee, as well as spend time with the family and on my own self-care.
4. What is your favourite thing about founding your own company?
My favourite thing would be the freedom it gives you. Also spending more time working with people I want to work with, who are like-minded and have similar values
5. What is the best business advice you have been given by someone else?
Never undervalue yourself!
6. Do you ever suffer from Imposter Syndrome? If so, how do you tackle it and move forward?
Yes I do, I have to work on that on a daily basis. I’ve found that yoga and meditation helps me a lot, as well as talking about it to my husband and close friends. I try to focus on my achievements rather than what I haven’t managed to do yet.
7. What’s the best book on business you’ve read?
- Go for No by Richard Fenton
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
- The Speed of Trust by Stephen R Covey
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8. Tell us about another brilliant businesswoman that you think our readers should know about.
9. What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting your business now?
Invest wisely, keep up with your accounts, and ensure that you keep on top of your service levels with clients so they trust you to deliver.
10. If you had a marketing budget of £1,000 what would you spend the money on?
I’d spend that money on updating our website with effective and relevant content, promoting social media ads and sponsoring an event.
Can’t get enough of badass businesswomen?
We hope you enjoyed Claire’s story! If you’re an aspiring female founder in need of even more inspo, check out our most recent interview with Jennifer Bailey, founder of Calla Shoes. Or, if you’re into sustainable businesses, have a read of our interview with Lisa Kelly, founder of Oya Goods.