Naomi is a kids coach. Don’t know what this is? Read on to find out! Naomi has just published her first book which has had quite a bit of media attention so you may have heard of her already!
Jane: Naomi, you run ‘The Kid’s Coach’ and work with children from the age of 6 upwards. What gave you the idea to set up a coaching company for children?
Naomi:I wanted to work for myself (post children) but also wanted to work around my children. I was not sure at first what my dream job looked like but after some self-reflection I realised I was good at problem solving, I had a creative mind and I loved children. When I put all of these together I came up with The Kids Coach.
What are the most common issues you get asked to deal with?
Self-esteem, confidence, friendship issues, negative beliefs, bullying, sibling rivalry, communication, transition, parent separation, motivation, concentration.
What has been the most challenging thing about setting yourself in business, particularly in such a new field?
Getting people to realise that there is a place in society for life coaching children.
What advice would you give a woman thinking about self employment? Is there anything you wish you’d known before you started?
If you really want to work for yourself go for it. There will be peaks and troughs but if you put yourself out there and want to succeed you will. Be realistic especially if you are a mother too. Working for yourself when you are a mum is a juggling act. I would also say use your network and regularly meet like-minded individuals so you can swap ideas and share your highs and lows of your business. Self-employment can sometimes be lonely especially if you don’t have a team of people working for you.I wish I had known that advertising my business was going to be a waste of time and money. I did not know how to market myself when I started the business so threw money at advertising.
What do you think is the biggest hurdle women in business face? Do you think there are any differences between the genders?
I think the biggest hurdle is being taken seriously. When you are trying to make a difference and do something slightly different it is great to have the support of others. I think as a wife and mother with other priorities you sometimes don’t get the same respect as a self-employed man. I think the main difference between the two gender is multi-tasking. I am not saying that all men cannot do it but women are particularly good at it which means they can get lots more done in a little time.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Who enthuses and inspires you?
My inspiration comes from my friends around me and other business women who have successful businesses. They have had an idea and turned it into something tangible and have done well.
When you were at school did you have any career thoughts? Did you follow a traditional path, go onto college, or get out into the world of work very quickly?
I had no real career thoughts when I was at school. I just wanted to enjoy whatever I did and have lots of variety in my work. I wanted to be a travel agent so I went to college and studied Travel and Tourism. I then went to university to gain more qualification and studied marketing. I loved marketing so much I went straight into full time work in the UK marketing department of Dow Jones Telerate. I worked in numerous marketing departments in the telecoms and finance sector for 10 years.
In the public domain, i.e. someone you don’t necessarily know, who do you most admire? And why?
Karen Brady because she became the first female Managing Director of a football team aged 23 – a massive accomplishment and has shown women that you can be successful in a man’s world where age and sex is no barrier. I also admire Bill Gates and Richard Branson for creating worldwide products and brands. They did not just create one product they continued to improve and deliver more. Both are such successful brands.
How do you combine your business with being a parent? Is being self employed an advantage or do you find yourself working more?
I find being self-employed really suits me as a parent. I work around my children so I take them to school and pick them up. We do homework and after school activities and I put them to bed. When they are at home I am too. I work school hours, evenings and on Sundays. My husband is fully supportive of my work and is a very hands on dad so it works perfectly when I am running a clinic on a Sunday or if I want to go out to a networking event early evening.I don’t think I work more I just have to work smarter.
If you could give the 16 year old Naomi one piece of advice, what would it be?
You can do whatever you set your mind to and be whoever you want to be. Take risks, learn to laugh and love and don’t take anything for granted.
What challenges and projects lie ahead?
Well my book, ‘The Parents Toolkit’ which was published this month so who knows what will fall off the back of that. I would like to think more radio, more writing, public speaking and some collaborative work with other organisations that see the value in giving children the essential skills they need for life.My biggest challenge could be trying to fit it all in in the hours that I have!
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Posted on February 24th, 2012 by Jane