A serious accident led Business Mentor and Mindset Coach Ruth Kudzi to pursue a life with purpose. A passion for coaching inspired Ruth to retrain and start her own business supporting other female entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.
Ruth is now a best-selling author, mentor and speaker who believes we are ALL capable of turning our life around.
I started out my career in recruitment and sales where I worked in the UK, Australia, and New York. I left this industry when I was 27 to retrain as a teacher and spent over a decade as a middle and senior leader working as a consultant and as an assistant and deputy head. Whilst on a leadership development course to become a future headteacher I fell in love with coaching and retrained to start up my business in April 2016.
Bullying & PTSD
In terms of challenges I have had a few, I was badly bullied in my teens which made me lack confidence and doubt myself, every day I was shouted at and had abuse hurled at me particularly from one boy who was a couple of years older than me.
At 18 I was involved in a serious accident which impacted my mental health through PTSD for over a decade. Throughout this time I continued to do all of the things even when I felt disconnected – I had a good job, lots of friends, travelled and bought my own house but inside I felt lost, often depressed and suffered survivor guilt.
A Passion for Coaching Others
I decided to go into business as I wanted to do something on my terms, I looked at working as a coach for an organisation but with two young kids it was going to be hard logistically. I knew that I wanted to coach and had been using a coaching management style for the last 6 years which had helped me turn around performance and get results for my teams. I spent time retraining as a coach before I started and drew on my experience as a qualified teacher which helps me with speaking, events and the art of questioning.
I studied Psychology & Management at university and went on to do a MA in Psychology, so this combination of subjects helped me with my coaching. I taught both business and psychology which meant I was able to draw on this experience when starting my own business and creating courses, I had practical business experience in the past as well – running my own small ventures, setting up new offices for organisations and being in charge of marketing and operations for a large secondary school. All of this experience meant I had an awareness of the steps I needed to take.
As my business has evolved I feel that I combine all my skills – teaching courses and running workshops, speaking at events (I did my first keynote aged 27), running a team, coaching individuals and mentoring. My business is built on my strengths and years of experience at work and in the voluntary sector.
Making a difference is what drives me, it is why I gave up a 6 figure salary in my 20’s and retrained as a teacher. I love helping others see their potential and making a positive impact on their lives – this is my life purpose.
If business hadn’t worked out for me, I would have got a job as a coach – I know coaching is my passion so it is what I want to do long term. If this hadn’t worked out I would go back to education and teaching.
Honesty, Integrity & Justice
Honesty is incredibly important to me, I am loyal and I trust others. I appreciate it when people are open if I have done something to upset them and reflect this back to others. I am very aware I am not the finished article and know I sometimes get things wrong – owning up to my mistakes is important to me.
I am someone who values others, I do the right thing and I always do my best to operate with integrity and without judgment. This is sometimes tested and like anything is a work in progress. Recently I had a few people who messaged me after their subscriptions had come out for my membership community saying they wanted to cancel despite the terms and conditions saying they wouldn’t get a refund (and a slight feeling of annoyance on my part they didn’t cancel within the window) I made the decision to honour the discounts even though it wasn’t the best business decision it felt like the “right” thing to do.
Finally, I have a strong sense of justice which I am learning to temper, the older I get the more I realise that what is right is subjective however I personally always do what I think is fair in a situation. Again, I realise that perceptions of fairness may differ!
Tragedy & Loss
The lowest point of my life happened when I was 18, I was involved in a serious car accident and a close friend of mine died. I was about to start my A-levels and it was an incredibly hard time. I felt personal responsibility and acute survivor guilt. The only thing that kept me going is that I had to do something with my life in her honour. People helped me no end and I had some great personal support, I did lose a couple of friends as I don’t think they knew what to say around me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the professional support I needed and I ended up having PTSD over a number of years. I got support through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and therapy which helped me to move on emotionally.
I remember when I got a distinction in my MA dissertation and research project which felt really special, I had worked incredibly hard and the research was around group work and the impact it had on 6 different aspects of learning and development, it was such a fun project to be involved in!
In my business it was when I matched my former salary 7 months in and knew I could take it full time and it would work, it was a real pinch-me moment – I could really do this!
Running an event for 150 people earlier this year was another pinch-me moment, I couldn’t believe how far I had come in 3 years!
An Abundant Life
I have worked with 1000s of clients worldwide and have created a business where I can work with people at different levels including my membership, group program, mastermind and 1:1 coaching. I have run numerous events and have had a sold-out retreat (with 2 more next year), have written a best selling book and have a podcast which was top 10 in the business podcasts. I have a team (including 1 full-time member of staff) so can focus on what I am good at and I balance my work around my two young kids – it is pretty good but it isn’t down to luck. I have worked incredibly hard and have invested hours and money into my own personal and business development.
Longer-term I plan to teach people to become coaches through certified coach training and write a second book. I want to speak more but travel less (environmental and family reasons).
Coping With Stress & Overwhelm
On a good day I do yoga, meditate, journal and do some more vigorous exercise. On a bad day I eat beige food and drink too much coffee!
One thing which has helped me get more consistency is to map out my year and then my working week – I have every Tuesday off to manage my team, create content and my personal development and have Fridays which are sales or event days. I find that by managing my time and having the structure I can then schedule in exercise and self-care.
My personal support network is brilliant and even my best friend works for me! I see my friends every week plus have a supportive husband and family. Online I am part of a few communities and have my own coach who I have worked with for over 18 months and is someone I trust and value. I have a coaching supervisor and work with various other people when I need. I have built up a strong network of other entrepreneurs who I speak to regularly.
I honestly rarely feel overwhelmed, when I do I take a step back and ask myself what is the one thing you can do now which will make a difference and I do it. I am used to working in high-pressure environments and have learned to focus.
Coping Strategies for Other Entrepreneurs
- Break down your goals into smaller tasks and schedule them into your diary, only do one thing at a time and when you are doing it switch everything else off.
- Record your wins every day, however small and celebrate them.
- Take time out for you – schedule regular breaks and do something you love every single day.
- Spend time in nature – it has been proven to reduce stress!
Ruth’s Business Tips
- Write out a plan of what you want to do this doesn’t need to be a formal business plan but knowing what your goal is and how you will achieve it (and measure progress is important)
- Understand your numbers, this is key – most businesses fail due to cash flow issues so get a grip on these early on
- Find like-minded people – this could be online or through a networking group, support is crucial you are not meant to do this on your own!
- Get a coach! If you can invest in a coach or get a mentor to help you fast track your business and your success
Connect With Ruth
Ruth Kudzi is a business mentor, mindset coach and best-selling author who has worked with 1000s of clients worldwide. She combines practical business skills with a MA in Psychology and numerous coaching qualifications including NLP to help her clients build businesses they love.