Meet Nicky, who escaped the daily stresses and office politics of the corporate world to become a qualified health coach.
I started life in a very corporate environment, working my way up to managing a large team with many years of hard work, stepping way outside my comfort zone and generally doing simply what had to be done.
You see I made a personal decision to leave my partner and set up home as a single mum with my then 6 year old daughter. It was a very difficult place; stressful job, stressful break up, not knowing if I could afford to live alone.
I had to go after one last promotion to earn the money I needed in order to live. It was hard the job was a huge challenge and I’d beaten my then counterparts and friends to the post, I was emotionally wrecked.
Around that time I found a Health Coach who nurtured me, coached me in good nutrition and counselled me through my breakup and ever increasing job stress. It was at this time the corporate job started to get a little too much, the politics weren’t aligning with my values, and they were heading for a takeover and lots of redundancy. They weren’t treating the people well, and this just felt all wrong to me, I was also becoming much stronger in myself, I felt like I know which direction I needed to go in and I had the support of my ‘guide on the side’ Coach Jo!
I took redundancy from my corporate job as soon as I could, but whilst I was waiting I decided to become a Health Coach myself, so I studied hard for a year with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and graduated as a qualified Health Coach in 2015.
My managerial style was different to a lot of my colleagues in the corporate job, I supported my team, I inspired them, I got the best out of them because I valued their opinion, I suppose this taught me that I was nurturing by nature, that I had a natural affinity for the people I had contact with to do well and feel well.
Starting a Business
Setting up my business Healthful Hands was the right thing for me to do as soon as I could. Helping women look and feel amazing, with total body confidence, abundant energy and a zest for life is, for me incredibly rewarding. I love seeing the total transformation from the beginning of a client’s journey to the end. When a client really gets those ‘aha’ moments and moves from unhealthy to healthy, tired to vibrant and feeling blue to feeling amazing. That is why I love being a coach. Not enough women feel good about themselves and I want to change that.
Ethics & Values
I come from a place of authenticity and wholehearted living. I try to live an honest and simple life. Free from negative influence, calm and ordered, and giving to others as much as I can, yet still taking the time to fill my own cup when I need to.
My core values are Fairness, Authenticity, Belonging, Balance, Empathy, Growth. I try to align with these both in my personal life and as a coach.
The Biggest Struggle
My lowest point in my life was when I was going through my breakup, not knowing how I was going to manage with a child, struggling to break away from a toxic relationship was so hard. I felt defeated, I wasn’t looking after myself, I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing! But my friends and family were incredible, they came and had cups of tea with me, my mum helped with child care so I could get into work every day, I had the best support I could have hoped for. Plus I had my own Health Coach pushing me through with advice, support and laughter.
I got through it, I survived financially and I also met someone new which wasn’t in the plan but a fabulous ending as we eventually got married. He enabled me to build my dream of owning my own business, he gave me the space and time to develop my practice and grow in my skills. I have had ups and downs in the business. We had personal setbacks which drained me emotionally, physically mentally and meant I had to take a break from work but it hasn’t stopped me, business is now thriving which is awesome!
If I didn’t have the support of my husband, and the business really failed then I would have probably gone back to the office environment, it’s what I know but I may have looked into a different area, maybe combining my nutrition training with my office skills perhaps… who know what the future holds… I am tempted to write a book!
The Best Moment
Graduating as a qualified Health Coach was such a boost as it was right in the middle of a stressful time for me. And since then every time a client gets an ‘aha’ moment and really gets what they need to do to change their lifestyle in order to live exactly how they want to. That means so much. It gives me purpose, it means I am doing the right thing, that I am meant to be doing this work with these incredible women who want to get of the diet wheel and just live simply and healthily!
Right now I am coaching some fabulous ladies to living their best life! I am also collaborating with a local Pilates trainer to bring an online Healthy Eating course. I also deliver a Managing Stress workshop to teachers which has been received really well. Going forward I am hoping to reach more ladies, help them feel amazing and realise their own potential in looking and living a healthy life.
Coping with Stress & Overwhelm
As this is something I talk to my clients about all the time, I am actually really good at managing stress. I am by nature a positive and calm person so I can recognise when things are getting too much. I spend time in my garden, growing fruit and veg! I walk the dog, I talk to friends and family. I am also part of some incredible online business groups who are always there with advice, business tips and sometimes a good giggle to.
Every day I spend a few minutes planning what I need to do, check my diary and I visualise what I need to achieve.
Sharing Wisdom With Other Entrepreneurs
- Keep things really simple
- Don’t give yourself too much to do
- Don’t be vague about your goals – break them down into really manageable chunks that you can do each day, this will leave you feeling successful rather than overwhelmed. For example, spend 10 minutes looking for good photos to use in your media, or spend 10 minutes brainstorming blog topics. I usually only have 3 things on my list each day!
- Find some boundaries that work for you and use them
- Put some office hours structure in place and stick to it
I think it’s really important in a world of fast paced immediacy that we all take the time to slow down. We don’t need to answer those emails or messages at midnight. We can shut off.
Also plan in some self care time – put it in your diary like a work meeting and stick to it!
Nicky Long is a Health Coach who works with women who struggle to get enough sleep, feel drained of energy most days, who are fed up of counting calories and restrictive diets, or who forget to take regular self-care days.
Nicky supports clients with simple, real-life nutritional advice for healthy eating and a happy life.