My Word Of The Year (+ The Story Behind It)

My Word Of The Year (+ The Story Behind It)

“When we stop growing, we stop living and start existing.”
~ Warren Wiersbe

This blog is a bit different, in that I’m not here to share a business strategy with you, more the personal story behind the word I’ve chosen as my theme for next year. 

My personal growth journey started back in 2010. I was in the middle of a nasty and toxic break-up, my self-esteem was rock-bottom and in a moment where I realised I needed help, I booked an appointment with a therapist. And thus my healing journey began. Those first few years were huge, I became celibate and sober, I started a blog, I quit my career, I sold everything I owned and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. From there, I travelled, did hours and hours and hours of yoga, tried out various healing modalities, attended meditation retreats, found myself, learned to love myself and as a result met the love of my life.

From there we travelled some more, I built a business as a coach, lived off the grid in a remote village in Mexico for a year and finally returned to Europe to start a family. From 2016, I navigated the adventures of pregnancy, motherhood, and moving house, all while launching and growing my second business.

It’s safe to say that my personal and professional growth journey, during the decade 2010–2020, was truly epic.

And then something else happened. In 2018 after experiencing some level of burn-out (characterised by sheer exhaustion and chronic bouts of illness), I hit the reset button. I became all about doing less and finding ease. So much so that my word of the year for the past two years has been ease. But it hasn’t been easy, at the end of 2019, I gave birth to my second son, just as my business was booming, and there I was navigating being a mother to two boys while single-handedly managing a thriving business. It’s been a slog. 

And somewhere along the line, I feel as though I stopped growing and simply started existing.

A few days ago, I was unpacking boxes of books in my office and came across a box FULL of personal journals and notebooks from years gone by. I was blown away by what those notebooks contained. In my words, there was so much awe and wonder at the limitless possibilities there are available to us at any moment.

As I read them I couldn’t decide if my younger self was naive or my current self, jaded. After sleeping on it, I came down on the side of the latter. I realise that with the busyness of being a parent and a business owner, I’ve lost my connection to my own sense of personal (and even professional) growth. 

Given the huge leaps I made in that decade of growth, it’s almost as if somewhere inside of me, I had started to believe that I had reached my limit. Having hit so many of personal and professional goals, it’s like I had unconsciously told myself, well that’s it, job done, now you just have to maintain it. 

I know that part of this plateau has been complacency, especially in my business. After years of struggling in the feast and famine stage and then finally having my business take off, there has undoubtedly been a trend of sticking with what I know works, to stop experimenting so much and thus take my eyes off learning new strategies. 

On a personal level, another part of this has been hitting middle age. As a 45 year old woman, who has had two children late in life, there has been, for me, a gnawing sense that my best years are behind me. That my levels of fitness, capacity for adventure and ability to stretch myself have already hit their peak. 

When I caught this limiting belief recently, it was like a siren sounding. Since then it’s felt like a spark has been ignited once again. I’ve come to realise that over the past couple of years I have stopped growing, stopped learning, stopped having breakthroughs and insights, stopped having my mind blown by new ideas. I realise now that there’s been an unconscious script playing in the background that’s been telling me I’ve done all the growing I’m going to do.

What a load of BS! 

And that is why my word of the year for 2023 is growth.


It’s time for me to break out of the personal and professional plateau I’ve been on for some time now and re-engage my beginner’s mind. To allow myself to believe that new heights are possible in all areas of my life. I feel tentative and excited in equal measure. I want 2023 to be a year that I learn new things and grow in new ways. I want to ditch the feeling that I’ve peaked already, that the only way left is to stay the same (or slowly decline). I truly believe that there are new heights to be experienced, if I’m only willing to believe in the possibilities. 

And that’s why I am sharing this with you here. For my sake — to speak out loud the story I’ve been telling myself and to put in black and white my intention for the year ahead. 

And for you — in case you too are harbouring limiting beliefs about what’s possible for you in 2023. I’m excited for you to consider what could unfold for you, if you were willing to believe in the possibilities?

Have you set your word of the year for 2023? If so, I’d love to know what it is. Feel free to let me know in the comments below.



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

How To Cultivate A Strong Business Network

How To Cultivate A Strong Business Network

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”
~ Reid Hoffman

I wanted to talk to you about building a solid business network so that you can feel less alone on your business journey as well as reap the benefits of having more income, opportunities for support and collaboration and growth.

Operating as a solopreneur can be a lonely business indeed. Many of us spend all day home alone, working in front of a computer with nobody to bounce ideas off, share our coffee breaks with or to give us encouragement when we start to doubt ourselves.

It’s for this reason that I believe it’s so important to consciously create a business community to surround ourselves with. That is, a group of people who support and have an influence (directly or indirectly) on your business. Whether we do this or not, there will always be people who influence our business but not necessarily always in positive ways. I’d like to make the case for getting intentional about creating a business network that includes the following people:

  1. Your ideal clients.
  2. Your mentors.
  3. Your collaborators.
  4. Your Mastermind.

Your Ideal Clients

I know that you’ve probably already heard this a million times already, but it bears repeating. Having clarity on who your ideal client is, is incredibly important for your business. If you don’t get intentional about who your business serves and then making serious efforts to be in touch with those people on a regular basis, your business simply won’t grow. A lot of people get stuck trying to define their ideal client – with client avatar exercises a plenty on the internet, it can sometimes feel impossible to get down to the level of detail that we’re expected to. I have a few suggestions to make this process easier.

  1. Think about your ideal client for now. When we feel pressured to come up with our perfect ideal client for evermore, it can feel overwhelming and restrictive at the same time. Don’t worry about whether or not this is going to be your one and only, simply think about who you feel called to work with now. This takes some of the pressure off.
  2. Forget about demographics. Something that trips many entrepreneurs up when it comes to identifying and reaching their ideal client is nailing down the demographics such as age, ethnicity, location, gender, income etc, but I’m here to tell you that these matter far less than who your ideal client is on the inside. I much prefer to focus in on characteristics, traits, personal values and ways of being. Are they introverts or extroverts? Which do they value more, wealth or having an impact? Are they ambitious action-takers or are they currently feeling stuck and confused?
  3. Where are they on the journey? If the work you do supports people on a journey to get some place, where in the journey do you and your services come into the equation? For example, if you’re a coach who helps people get better at self care, is your ideal client someone who is heading for burnt out and needs urgent support before it’s too late, or someone who has already experienced burnout and is ready to finally start practicing self care to avoid it happening again? Knowing where your ideal clients are on the journey, really helps you to not only tailor your products and services to them, but to more easily find and connect with them.

Once you have this clarity, your next step is to begin forming relationships with these people, reaching out to them, offering your support, finding out more about what they are struggling with. Ideally, you’ll want the people in your community, who like and follow you on social media and who subscribe to your newsletter to be as close as possible to your ideal client.

Your mentors

Having mentors to support you on your entrepreneurial journey is absolutely crucial to your business success and your sanity. I certainly would not have the business I have today without the support and guidance of several incredible mentors along the way.

Now whilst I am, of course, an advocate for investing in business coaching, it’s not always the right time to hire somebody, nor it is it always feasible, for many small business owners to do so. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have mentors.

For the purposes of your business network, I would consider a mentor to be anyone whose business advice you are listening to and acting upon on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes we unconsciously create business mentors just by listening to their advice, perhaps it’s by subscribing to a newsletter (like this one!), reading their blog or listening to their podcast, without even realising, we begin buying into the approach they are sharing.

I believe it’s absolutely essential that we get intentional about whose advice we are listening to. I realised that much of the “business advice” I was consuming ran contrary to my own personal and professional values and beliefs. When I began to pay closer attention to whose blogs and newsletters I was reading, I was surprised to realise what advice I was allowing to filter into my consciousness. Now I’m much more intentional about the advice and information I consume, I’m especially mindful of who I allow into my inbox.

My suggestion is that you consider your business and select 5 people whose advice you want to follow, both when it comes to business in general and your industry specifically and then unsubscribe from everyone else. Not only does this help with inbox overwhelm but it ensures that you’re conscious of what advice you’re listening to.

Once you have identified your list of mentors, make efforts to connect and engage with their content and courses. Have them know that they are in your tribe by sharing the impact of their work on you and your business.

Your collaborators 

Having fellow business owners to collaborate with can be a wonderful thing indeed and collaborations can come in many forms. Back in 2018, I made collaboration one of my strategic priorities because I knew that my habit of going it alone was only ever going to get me so far. Nothing could have prepared me for the countless benefits that came as a result of the collaborations I have since formed. To give you a few examples, from my business, of how and who you might collaborate with.

  1. You can collaborate with people on content – for example I have over the years interviewed several amazing women and you can see examples of the results here and here. Or if playing the role of interviewer doesn’t appeal, you can collaborate by being the curator of content which I did for a 2-part blog series on creating clients which you can read here and here.
  2. You can collaborate with people on products – I co-created and co-hosted a 3-part online workshop series called The Business of Coaching with a former client, friend and mastermind partner. Helen and I created an enormous amount of content for this series, which took us half the time than it would have, had we done it alone. We were also always there to cheer each other on, when the task before us felt too huge.
  3. You can collaborate with people on services – you might invite your peers, for example to be guest experts for your program or membership, giving them more exposure at the same time as providing valuable content to your people. This is what I occasionally do in the Conscious Business Mastermind and as a result the breadth of teaching I’ve been able to provide for my members is richer than if I taught all of the classes myself.

The key here is to look at your peers and consider those people who you admire and perhaps those who are doing similar work and reaching a similar audience. Rather than view them as competitors, see the opportunity to collaborate instead.

Your mastermind

A business mastermind needn’t be a paid for program like mine, it can be a small group of business owners who meet regularly to share mutual advice, feedback and support. I’m a huge fan of being in mastermind with others and for much of my career as a business owner, I’ve been in a such a group.

If you are going to set up your own mastermind group with some of your peers, I recommend discussing the following with your potential mastermind partners before you begin:

  • The purpose of the mastermind and what you hope to get out of it. For example do you want compassion and nurturing or do you want to be challenged and held accountable? Are you all on the same page? 
  • How often and for how long you’ll meet. What can you each commit to? 
  • How you will organise the mastermind sessions? For example, with you have an agenda or a chair? Will you have set topics or see what comes up on each call? 
  • How will you dissolve the mastermind? It’s always good to discuss up front how you will end the mastermind, should it no longer feel like a fit for one or all of you? 

Once you’ve thought about who you would like to be in mastermind with, don’t be shy, reach out and see if they feel the same way. You might be surprised how many of your peers could use the support of a mastermind too.

Then of course there are paid masterminds, just like my Conscious Business Mastermind, where you not only get the support and encouragement from peers but guidance and training from a professional in your field. I’ve utilised both paid and free masterminds over the years and found both to be extremely valuable. 

So there you have it, 4 sets of people you want to begin consciously identifying and cultivating deeper connections with as you navigate the road of entrepreneurship. On the tough days, nothing helps you more than having a solid group of people in your corner.



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.