Human First, Business Second
Updated: Apr 9, 2021
Human First, Business Second
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And we're live. Hello, Fran, how are you?
Oh, I just wonder if my internet's okay.
Your internet is okay. Your internet is okay. I can still see and hear you. But the internet issues is a real thing. I remember at the beginning of lockdown, we actually moved house because our internet was so terrible. And when everything went online, we had to move move house. But welcome. So welcome back. Welcome back everyone to the Get Your Sh*t Together Live Show and today, I am with one of my favorite people that I follow on LinkedIn in a very uncreepy way like I have definitely been following for quite some time. But I am really excited to be speaking speaking to Fran, about how she built up her business in 2019 how she's been able to take care of herself. And you know, the advice that she puts out, or it's not really advice, but the things that she follows to take care of herself is completely reasonable. It's completely sustainable. Unlike the motivational Martins out there that we've seen all over LinkedIn, you know, wake up at 4:01am. Do a marathon before you start the day. Dress until you've earned 100k you know all that kind of shenanigans. She doesn't give that you know. So everybody please welcome friend from Future Cloud.
Oh, thank you. I'm just--I'm making sure because I'm I want it on LinkedIn on my phone as well too. So I can see any comments about I've just put "Hi" does that mean everyone--?
I can see the "Hi." Yeah, so we're gonna if anyone that that's a really good point. So if anyone wants to join in the conversation, if anyone wants to ask questions, or comments, join us!
See Clare's comment. Good afternoon, ladies. So it does work. That's good.
It does work? Yeah, no, it is it is fun during lives, I really do enjoy it. So thank you so much for taking out some time out of your busy schedule. We're just talking about how to have a chat about yourself. And you know, how you keep motivated and all of that stuff. So quick question. So you started your business in 2019. But there was a journey before you started your business. So how did you so what were you doing before 2019.
So before 2019, I have been at my corporate job for about six years, just over six years, and some learning everything all to do with accountancy, and learning all about the cloud solution. So I worked in a very traditional practice that did things quite long winded. They're a big company that had different offices in different areas. And they get dealt dealt with audit, which is for massive companies. And I realize there's a bit of a market for the smaller businesses and startups and doing everything in the cat cloud and virtual and doing it on your phones. I just just fell on it. And I loved it. So I learned all about that start with but I was so scared to leave. I remember going to see the director to give him my my resignation and our shake, literally shaking and wailing open. Because it is scary, especially for a woman with kids as well think it's pressures, you know?
Yeah, I remember when I quit my last job before I set up, Get Your Sh*t Together. And I was like, I frickin love what I did. Like I thought it was really good but I was so close to burning out again that I was just like I can't do this, I just can't do this but I loved my manager and I was so nervous and it was scary. I don't have kids but you've got that you've got your kids here as well.
And so obviously with the I thought I was one in a way when you work yourself you can do the school run and whatnot but it never works out that way and because I was so passionate about it, I put so much effort into it but I still managed to schedule time to like train in the gym. I still did that like five six times a week and you will get up earlier if you really want to do something not because the Guru's told you to do it and that's the way to be successful just because if you need to make it fit for your lifestyle to make you happy and it will if you want to do it not because someone else has told you to do it. Think why you want to do it and that's how I got my head around still going to train some days I went to training and I felt almost like a zombie goin if I'm if I'm honest. (Yeah) For the first six months of the business cuz it grew rapidly and massive whirlwind of like, not so much late nights because I don't believe in go to bed at twelve, one in the morning and force yourself up at seven, six. I'm not I never did any of that. For it was a long day's up and down. It was it was crazy, but in a good way. You know, overwhelming, not stressed overwhelmed.
Yeah, I guess there's a difference between pressure and like good pressure on the pressure that pushes you out of that out of that zone. I mean, to be fair, setting up your own business. It doesn't matter if you grow quickly or don't there's that uncomfortable amount of pressure that you've got kind of lean into that discomfort, you've got to be able to manage that and be resilient in certain situations, especially, you know, I feel like I always feel like sometimes it's my business because it's growing pretty quickly too, I feel like the Fred Flintstone on the in the car with the feet running and not going anywhere sometimes, and you've got to make sure that everything that you're doing is, you know, proactive as well, which can be really challenging. And I know that leaning into that discomfort can be can be tough. So you so you resigned from your job in 2019? No, before that, or in 2019.
It was just the month before the company started.
Oh wow! So do you have a lot of support from family?
In what respect?
Like from like, you know, quitting job setting up the business? Like, did you get a lot of like, support going like, You go girl, like you go after it?
Yeah, so no, they're probably more cautious than me anyway. (Okay) They didn't encourage it. But they supported, you know, the fact that I was going to do it, you know, so go for it sort of thing. Yeah, I can't remember in common with them not supporting it. My mom's always, you know, she said, from what my background is that my mom was always the one that stayed home with the kids while the man worked. If that makes sense. To her, it's probably a different world, you know, that I'm doing this. And I didn't realize how well it was going to go. But I also knew that we had the best solution for businesses out there, I knew that I was that passionate, I knew I was gonna work on make it work, or do whatever it takes to make it work so well.
Absolutely. No, I think that I mean, to be fair, like, you've like you've said, You've grown quite dramatically in what, like two years. So you've done really, really well. So here's the thing. I'm always curious about this, I'm always curious to find out how people sort of--like, it does take a different kind of person to be able to set up her own business. I mean, you've got two kids, I believe they're teenagers, I see you pick them up and all that kind of stuff. It's got to be it's got to be you know, you've got to be resilient and tough. Like, where do you think he got that from? Like, how do you think you've built your resilience up?
I think he's come from the type of relationships I had. So the father of my children maybe, the friends around me, how maybe even coming from my mom and dad how not to be. You know, I didn't want to, you know, even when I was younger, I was brought on up. And they used to say, all you need to find a rich man, you know, that kind of background. And it used to sit funny with me. And when I did have kids young, and I felt I had to rely on the partner, who wasn't always very nice to me anyway, and I knew one was bright at school and had more about me, and I questioned how other people did their business or how they did things. And I used to think I would never do it like that. And, and that's why it--prompted me also to go back study and when the children was so young, but I'll never forget my ex saying, what are you doing that for, you know, it's gonna take you years to get anywhere with it sort of thing, it's gonna take you more than five years. Like, if you shouldn't put the time in, you know?
Isn't that weird!? Like, why would someone turn around and say, hey, it's gonna take you five years. So like, why bother? It's like, Well, when I get into five years time, I'm gonna have a different life. So like, it might take me a little bit longer to get there, but doesn't really matter. Like most university degrees are like, four years. And you were like I you know, if you're, if you're a young mom, like, why not?
No bolts, it wasn't. Well, obviously, a lot of people want the money there. And now, but I was willing to be on your six pound an hour to go to, because I was at a reception job to then try and get the job. That was that six years, which took me two years to get a job there to get the foot in the door. And (wow) people aren't willing to sacrifice nights out, new clothes. And I was I started completely almost changed overnight, I kept myself to myself, and kept my head down, researched off, looked into what where want to visualize--thought, you know, I want this kind of life. And I actually can't believe it does work. It does work, but it doesn't happen overnight.
Yeah, exactly. What you know, Clare saying here, it's just focusing on the next step. Right. I think one of the biggest things that I've learned in, you know, in my business, you know, I've, I've got a, you know, my background has always been nutrition. But prior to that, you know, on a personal level, I always suffered from anxiety. And I was really stressed out. And I came out in a lot of different ways, whether it was eating disorders or health issues and things like that. You know, and I think that a lot of that is a lot of people suffer from those things. And a lot of us don't, don't know, right, like we don't, you know, we don't we don't know what other people are going with. But one of the things that I always when I started to like manage my anxiety and manage my stress, it was focusing on what can I bring back everything to the present, right, like, what can I do today, that's going to help tomorrow? Not what's going to help for 10 years because that's great to know the direction you're going, but it's all about What's the next step? Right? You know, like, for me, it's like, how do I how can I get up the next day and do what I had to do? And I think, you know, that's something that, you know, I definitely learned and it's worth it. Right?
Yeah. 100%. So I suffered. An eating disorder started in 2011. I know. And it's a control thing for me. So I was studying at the time, kids were young. The only thing I could control was food. And it wasn't that I didn't eat. I just restricted carbs. I thought that's the way carbs and ran a lot. Because stress you will don't Yeah. And it just crept up on me The more I was losing weight, the more I was covering my body. And I couldn't stop it. It was almost like an obsession. It was horrendous because I knew what I knew about eating disorders. I'm bright. Doesn't matter (Yeah) it does not.
I was at school when I was a teenager when my firt my eating disorder developed. I ended up in University studying nutrition of all things. Of course, I did. And I still suffered with that during University even when I set up my first business as a nutritionist, helping people, you know, gain weight, lose weight, like helping them and I felt like such a hypocrite when I was when I was giving out that information. But yeah, it lasted for seven years eating disorders a horrible sorry for me. My again, mine was the control thing. So I had didn't have a lot of control. When I was 15. My parents had just split up, there was so much going on, and just the personal life. And the one thing I could control with with my was my diet, and I think there's a lot of misconceptions with eating disorders. I think a lot of people think that you want to lose weight and you want to be skinny. It's like, No, it's just it was it's just a weird thing that you do. It's not weird, but it's something that you're controlling. And, you know, I hated it. Like, because people would always comment on a comment, like, oh, why don't you go eat a burger? Or like, why the gym? And that's like, like me, I'm clearly suffering, like, what's yourself? Keep that his name, side voice, you know, like, don't you know, take that out. But yeah, so having an eating disorder, I think that for me, that was one of the toughest things that I had to overcome. Like that was that was, um, that was really challenging. Like, how did you manage to overcome that for you?
So it took years, I had to have therapy, I saw someone that specialized in that kind of behaviors. Talk about and I remember saying to her? We're not really, I know more. That's what we're talking about is I'm never going to get better. I feel like I was planning my next week's meal. What can I Oh, that is so short, I'm not going to go out, you know, things like that. I didn't really want to go out because I think I was changing a different path anyway. But I didn't think it linked food. It's talking to the right person. It's all to the mindset and working on you. That's how you get better the person want to get better.
Mm hmm. Yeah, no, I absolutely agree. So if anyone's watching this and wants to sort of, like, add into this or ask any questions, because I think to be fair, I think there's not enough people talking about eating disorders. And I do think that they're really misunderstood. So if you have any questions, like, I'm super happy to answer them. So please, just feel free to just ask us anything, we just join in the conversation. I know there's a few people, few people here. So
Thomas has joined, Thomas Gray from the USA. I don't--
I know, Thomas. Hi, Thomas. So I think there's, you know, just join in everyone. I think that there's something that it's a good conversation to have. So I think, um, you know, eating disorders or something, like I said, Really misunderstood. So, I'm, it's good for people, especially for women to talk about them a little bit more. I know, guys, suffer from as well. But yeah, I mean, it takes years. I think that's the biggest thing. What I learned with my disorder was, I had it for seven years, on and off. Seven years, and it went unchecked. It was, you know, it took a lot of a lot took a lot of energy. And I remember, I don't know if you experienced this as well. But the internal chatter that I had, like the voices that you hear, like not not saying that I was like, psychotic or anything, but then internal chatter that everyone has. Yeah, it was so loud. And to get that that voice to start getting loud, because it takes time to lower that voices, like, you know, every week, it might lower that de--, you know, decibel kind of situation, but it's something that's really like it takes time. Like, did you notice that as well?
I can't remember that whole moment if that disappearing a search because I don't have any of that voice. Now, obviously, all of our thoughts and stuff but mine a really good, though--
I actually want to get into this. Say your stuff on LinkedIn is amazing. Like your ability to get up and go for your exercise. You walk and talks that you talk about, like make sure you're getting a good night's sleep. Like for somebody that's got kids, like I don't have children, but I can relate to setting up a business and I can relate to, you know, making sure that I'm exercising and dieting and sleeping. I mean, it's part of my business if I didn't it would be pretty bad. Um but like, how do you get that internal chatter to like, how did you transition that?
So what I used to do when the kids were little, obviously go to a gym, so I used to do the home workout. So I don't know if anyone's heard of Davina McCall, which I'm sure they have, she used to do all the DVDs, one new one every year, I used to buy it, I used to do it at home, I used to get up early and get it done, even if I had a bad night's sleep, because I felt like it gave me energy. But then you sleep better the next night because you are exhausted until you just settle into a routine. And nothing was stopping me. But when I got better from eating problem, and it was a I think it's a good thing now because I learned so much about nutrition, what not to do, you know, I've developed is all about being strong. And I only started training in the gym in 2016. So it's not that long ago. So I was like, What am I now 36. So I can't even do the math and I'm an accountant five years ago I started the gym and the strength weights, give your body and the way the shape you so much better than anyone running cardio does, and I eat so many calories now (right?)--
I think honestly, I think that my background as a nutritionist there's so many there's so many misconceptions in the in the diet and exercise world. It actually does my head in. Like I get really frustrated with some of the silly things that come out. Like for instance, "carbs are bad." It's like, no Brad, carbs are just fine just ate your carbs I completely fine. You know fats bad for you. No, it's not fat, it's actually really good for you just say you fat my friends, like it's really good for your immunity, it's really good for your metabolism, it's really good for brain health, all that kind of stuff, right? You need all of those things. Again, with protein, it all comes down to obviously making sure that what you're putting in it's energy in, energy out. And that's not the same for everyone. Like you can take two people, we could weigh the exact same amount like we could, yeah, but the amount of calories that you can eat the amount of calories that I can eat could could differ because, yeah, exercise levels, but also just our genetics and things like that. But it always does come down to calories in calories out. But the amount of calories that we have to have in have to match what we're doing right. And I'm not a big fan of calorie counting, and it will come back from you know, my eating disorder days and those types of things. Like I have an idea of how much I ate but I think the thing is, it's it's understanding that all foods good. Like it's not it's not necessarily it's all it's all bad. So--Oh, recovering Slimming World member, Clare. I hate Slimming World like I don't use hate and like a lot of like in a lot of sentences. But I will say Slimming World, like I hate--
I like the Slimming World recipes. So Diet Coke chicken is amazing.
Diet Coke chicken...
Clare, I know you're gonna know what I'm going on about with Diet Coke Chicken. It is amazing. And it is. It's so low, like not low calorie, but it's nutritious. And it is low calorie, high protein if you want to get in your calorie deficit.
But that's the thing, right? Like, I think with the Slimming World, I'm not a big fan of replacement meals, I'm good with real, like, you, you give me real food any day. Like, I'm cool with that, like, I'm okay with, with with what you did with all that kind of stuff. So, hang on, we need to come back a little bit. So you were you were suffering from an eating disorder, which does come with a lot of negative mental chatter. Like, it's horrible. Um, so then so now you're into this really positive mindset where it's like, you know what, I'm going to get up in the morning, I'm going to exercise, I'm going to I'm going to do all my stuff like, how did you how did you transition into that wasn't like a slow process? Or is it something that you woke up one day and you're like, That's it, I'm going to the gym. That's it, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna do this because you and then you feel the benefits.
Right, so I used to train probably three times a week when I was doing it from home. So that's build an Optima five, six times a week in the gym. I'll tell you the honest truth. The only reason why I started the gym training was one, I've always loved the idea of strong women. So as a kid, I was obsessed with Tomb Raider: Lara Croft. I was obsessed with She-Ra, the pink Power Ranger. I looked all think--women, they're strong. And I looked looking at strong women and thinking I wish I could do that. And so just wishing for it. I just went for it. I'll tell you something now, going into a gym is so scary. I didn't the machines like I don't know why I didn't know what I was doing. I had to have a PT. And I invested in me. And I'll tell you something. My son was going through Hodgkin's lymphoma which has cancer of the lymph nodes at the time. Yeah. So I whatever else bullshit stories that say I can't, I can't. I haven't got time. I've got kids and you've got to kind of be selfish. So he was going through a rough time. But I needed the time because he still went to school to build me and honestly worked a treat. As crazy as it sounds, it worked a treat.
So five years ago, your son gets diagnosed with with lymphatic ca--, lymph node cancer, pardon me, and you're like, I still have to go to the gym, I have to do that that would crush a lot of people. And I think that there is a resilience. There's a real resilience there. So how old was your son, then?
He was six-- so on his 7th birthday, six, and he was diagnosed in the May, and then by the October is in remission, so in the same year, and it was a high cure rate. (Yeah) He was fantastic. You know, kids are resilient. And I do believe it's the people around him that kind of had that positive light. And I made it, it's almost sound like to just go for a dental checkup, come on, we're going again. And just kept a beat around him, you know, he changed through the steroids, he put on quite a bit of weight, and thought you still need to be strong for you. Because if you're not strong for you, how can you be strong for them, and it gave me a focus because it was a completely new scary thing, it almost felt like I was a warrior getting through it. And in fact, I took my son in the gym with me, I wanted to--
Wow, I actually really love that I think, you know, one of the biggest, one of the biggest things that people tell me is that they don't have time to go exercise, they don't have time to go to the gym. And they they can't possibly they can't possibly, you know, get through it. And those types of things that there's some of the things that I get told a lot and in my head, even if you just go for like 30 minutes a day, or you do a home workout for 30 minutes. So even if it's just something like there's so much research coming in about the whole, you know, like the the endorphins and all the neurotransmitters that are all there for, for mental health and that mental resilience. So here's something else that's really interesting is that exercise and when you do hard exercise, so like high intensity interval training, or you know, weight training and things like that, you actually do release, like a protein in the brain that actually helps increase resilience is called BDNF, which is brain derived neurotrophic factor. That's why we're here. We're all here to learn something. Yeah. That protein is actually directly showing to actually help increase neural pathways in the brain. So it actually helps you take on challenges physically and mentally. So one of the biggest things, what I'm hearing from you is that, you know, you've had a lot of challenges like you've had a lot of, you know, you had the kids when you were young, you had, you know, you had kids when you were young when it was a time when a lot of probably a lot of your friends having kids at the same time. Yeah, so you were having kids, you and I are around the same age. So actually, like all my friends were kind of the same, right? So you, you took on a challenge. You had kids when you were young, that's challenging enough anyway, and then your son getting sick having an eating disorder, you're really leaning into that, that discomfort and that and those challenges. And so I would imagine that you're you're very resilient, and you're really good at it. But it's interesting that you then use the exercise, probably you didn't even know about the BDNF, right? You didn't know that that was a positive thing to actually help with that resilience piece. But it sounds like, you know, you do have those moments where you're like, Okay, I'm just gonna battle this, I'm a warrior, I'm gonna be the pink Power Ranger, and I'm just gonna go for it.
I'll tell you something, if I actually got cancer myself, I will do everything I can to make me fit and healthy. I'd probably go into gym if I can do it like guidance. If you've got the energy cuz I've seen it, people do it. I've seen people going through that and coming out the other side or after they've got cancer and the strongest they've ever been because they feel why I'm going to do something for me. And will it strengthen me up and it does, something like a shock can change your whole life. You have a different direction. But I've always been to health and fitness and obviously that was always there anyway. But I was I was scared to go to a gym and so don't know what made me just try it. I think I read up on stuff and I thought you know what, this is going to help me mentally as well because you need it.
Yeah, I I've always been into to health and exercise and nutrition. Obviously, I started nutrition at university. But I've always been into the fitness stuff. You know, I used to do CrossFit. Yeah, I I'm kind of competitive. So like, I don't mean to be competitive, but like, I like to beat people. So yeah, you know, Dan Brown. So Dan Brown and I were doing a fitness. I think last February, I was like my goal was just to make him cry, because I wanted to beat him. So I am competitive, like CrossFit was something that was quite like natural for me to do. You know, I've done strength training, and I've done all that kind of stuff. And I do think there is an element where I know I'm at my best when I exercise and don't get me wrong. I find ways to find excuses. Like trust me. I still I this actually something I do want to ask you because I do get that voice in my head was like, You know what, I really can't be bothered today. (Yeah, I do get) Okay. Yeah. So tell me how you get out of that. Because, you know, I think that I look at you and sometimes I'm like, do you ever have those like, I think people have you heard this about me? It's like, Do you ever think that I won't do that as well? No, I do get that voice in my head. But how do you overcome yours?
I just, I just straight away say to myself, you'll feel good after. That's it! Get up and do it.
Yeah, it's like you're gonna feel good after.
Yeah, because you don't regret a workout. You regret not doing it. So many people wish to see my posts the round wish I should have just exercised this morning. I talked myself out of it.
That's something thinks, you know what, like, I was doing that for a little bit like I actually got into a bit of a bad habit. I think it was in between the lockdowns, I think there was a couple of weeks before we went into lockdown. I don't even know which lockdown it was, it was one of the locks. Where I kind of got a little bit lazy going into the gym. And I think here's the thing, if you do not have time to go to the gym, do a home workout, there are so many really good, like high intensity interval training sessions you can do just on YouTube, and it's gonna make us feel so much better. Like you don't have to go to the gym for an hour. You don't have to do that if you don't want to. But you're right. You always you never regret a workout, you always regret not working out. And I think that that's something that's huge. And you always feel better for it. Like this morning, I had no time. Like I was really busy. I've been in back to back meetings, and I've got back up meetings after this. So I was like, Alright, cool. I have like a quick 20 minutes, I'll do a 10 minute workout or a 15 minute workout. And just to get that, that blood flow going and and that to get those endorphins going. So I felt a bit more energetic, so I was feeling a bit tired. And that's the other thing, right? Like I do what you do, if I haven't slept well, the night before, I will still do something, some type of exercise, because I know it's going to make me feel better for the day. So I'm going to have more energy for the day. And then that night, I know I'm going to sleep a bit better, even if it's just going for a really long walk or whatever it is.
I go for a walk in now. I can't believe I didn't have a step count before I bought this stuff. I dunno, six months ago if that, like that I don't think I love it. I didn't realize how many steps I didn't do.
I know, I'm actually wanting to get one myself. I want to get the Fitbit one because it's got the stress, the stress, stress monitor one. I want to get that one because that's obviously--
It's, that would be a negative thing for me, I think. Because-- it'll put pressure on you.
Because I'm super curious about analytics about how much I'm sleeping, how much rest I've gotten, because like I'm one of those people. So I think you could be similar just like correct me if I'm wrong. I'm one of those people that half the time I have to rein myself in, like I have to rein myself in. Because I'll burn out like I've burnt out twice in my life. I always go if I'm into something, I'm really into it. So I will naturally want to work really hard or naturally do a lot of stuff. So and but that's how I burnt out. So when I was 26, I could barely walk up and down stairs because I was burnt out. So for me, I want to know like I'm just curious about that stress element, like but you think you're stressed, you think it will stress you out?
I don't think so I started looking at the sleep pattern. And I soon gave up because it's not the real thing. And I think wander looking at that. Because it's pressure on you best to get the seven to eight hours, the more you're relaxed about it, the better I'm sleeping now.
So true, your body will get back into it. Even if you have six hours one night, you will get back into it, but you don't want to be sleeping in. It's just having that bit of routine.
So I'm pretty good with being able to look at I've had a bad night's sleep. I don't really care. I'll catch up the next day because I used to be an insomniac. So I actually think for me, I've kind of gotten used to like I understand that I will get back into it. So when I got out of being an insomniac, which was in my early 20s, because I was around the same time I had my eating disorder, they kind of went hand in hand. Once I got over that, like a kind of got to the point where I'm like, Ah, some nights you're gonna, you're gonna have a shitty night sleep, it's just the way of the world right? You're not going to be able to always have a great night's sleep, but it's what you do the next day and I always know I'm gonna have a good night's sleep the night after that. So I think for me, if you're hyper focused on it's giving you stress then don't get the Fitbit that going focus on your stress levels and the sleep quality but if you can do it like I'm just curious for that like that's what I want. But how many of you out there that are watching this, do like, watch your steps you know you focus on, focus on that because that's something that I'm always curious about. I think a lot of people have got like little pedometers and stuff.
Yeah. Clare, she agrees the focus our attention on something we notice that we notice it more then we can end up thinking there's something wrong and it's true.
Yeah. I had I had sleep anxiety it was so disruptive became obsessed. So I like I actually completely relate with this because I like like I said I had insomnia so like I and told me a few years. And you would remember watching the clock being like, okay, I've only had like, you know, two hours sleep over only had one hour to go to sleep now then I'll only have had like three hours of sleep and it was really stressful right? So, I definitely can relate to that. So, completely. All right, so let's, um, let's have a bit of a chat. So now you've got these really positive things that you put on LinkedIn. Which it's a breath of fresh air. Because my God, is this some crap out there on LinkedIn, especially with the whole, I call them Motivational Martins. I'm like, oh, come on--
I don't really see too many of that anymore? Suppose, yeah, I don't--
You've got wicked people there, ya know your LinkedIn feed's surrounded with all the right people, but, you know, you actually do put out realistic, sustainable advice. Well, not advice. It's not, you don't necessarily give advice, you actually just saying, Hey, this is what I'm doing. It's quite possible. And something that I'm always talking to, especially small businesses, right, I think, you know, I put out a poll this morning, which was, you know, if you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, you feel busy, you know, what are the three things that you drop off, which is diet, sleep, or exercise, or all of the above? And so many people like they're pretty much equal? Like, everyone's just like, Oh, yeah, I dropped my diet, or Yeah, I don't really, I sacrifice my sleep, or I don't exercise because it's, you know, I'm too busy to exercise I'm to get a good night's sleep on the weekend, or whatever it is, but you don't do that. You actually like wake up and you're like, I've gone from my morning walk, I've done my morning exercise. At the moment, you're doing a no sugar thing, or you've sort of--
At the moment. Deficit, I have had sugar. So last night, listen to this stuff, for stress, I walked to the office to do my Facebook Live. And someone had bought us chocolates to say thank you for getting out of some rubbish flat work for her. And I thought, you know what, I'm gonna have a couple of them. And then when I got back, I opened a bag of Cadbury Nibbles. And I just thought, No, it's fine. So we all do it, don't we. The diet. But I'm really good 70% of the time anyway. So I'm pretty. I'm trying to just let go of it really being a big factor.
To be fair, though, like, I think that when it comes to the diet element, there's it you've got to have balance, right, you've got to be able to eat what you want, like, in a certain, like, in a certain, in a certain, you know, with a good relationship. Clare, I think you actually mentioned it before, you were saying that, you know, we're kind of all intuitive about what we want to eat. And when we want to start and stop and things like that. Some people are better at it than others, obviously. But I think that, you know, for you, it's like, you can sit there and say, let me guarantee you like, I'm not going to a sugar for this month. And then within the next day, I just like, really want some sugar, like you would probably you're probably going to eat more of it. If you're trying to like say, you can't have it right. It's like you turn into a child, it's like you tell a child, you can't have that. And the last one is that. You never get out of that; we never get out of that!
It's about balance. So I'm not going to go mad on on it every single day for a long, long time. But a Christmas I'm literally first of December, I'm like a monster. And then January, I was amazing. But then Feb came this year, I was rubbish again. But to be honest, in the grand scheme of things, what in our heads that we think we're eating that bad, we're not because we're so trained to eat well. It's like small habits. So to me, compared to the us that eats differently, that more bread and whatever else. I'm actually alright. And I've not really gained that much weight, probably a bit, but nothing major.
Yeah. So I think that the I mean, to be fair, it's natural to be gaining weight, like, you know, you gain weight, you're gonna lose that there is a balance where, you know, I always sit between like three to four kilos, like, I'll fluctuate between those, though, and I just don't care. It is what it is. Like, I'm the same as you the minute christmas hits, like, I don't really care. I'm just gonna eat whatever I want. Like, I know that I know that I'll get back on a cold start again in January because I feel so crappy that I'm just like, oh, I've gotta, I better to get back on to eating healthy. And it's not necessarily a diet. It's just what I do normally, right? It's like what's normally in the house and I don't like I'm not somebody that craves a lot of like, salty and sweet foods. But I always have chocolate in the house. Like I've always got dark chocolate. I have dark chocolate every day. And that's something that I'm just like, that's great. That's delicious. I call it mousy food. Because whenever my fiance's eating it, it sounds like this little mice in the kitchen. I'm like Do you have mousy food? But yeah, it's when you actually say you can't have something. That's when when it becomes a huge a huge issue. And I think that one thing that I would tell people when it comes to the diet, it's not necessarily like, it's not necessarily about what you're eating and things like that. It's how you're eating and the relationship you have with that. That food, right. It's your relationship with food. It's not necessarily what you're eating.
Yeah, a lot of it's in our heads.
Yeah, and like, you know, there is that whole movement of intuitive eating and being able to tap into your own intuitive eating is important. It can take time though. It can take time to get to that intuitive eating, speaking from somebody that has had an eating disorder, and I did fitness modeling, as well, which I don't know how I like it's interesting. So people have asked me about that. Like, oh, you know, well you had an eating disorder? Was that not just another eating disorder? Kinda? Yeah--
I started doing bodybuilding for even if the bigger and stronger, muscley, it's a disorder because you've always restricted with what you can and can't eat. Yeah. What's he gonna with what foods you're havin?
Yeah, I gotta say I love the challenge of it because again, yeah,
But I will never do it again. Like, I'll never I'll never do that again.
I--it I got asked to do it-- like my friend turned into a PT and she says, I'll do a bodybuilding show. I'll do it with you. You'd be amazing at it, no.
To be fair, it's, it's, it's tough one, right? Like, I like I loved the challenge. But I didn't love the I didn't love the restriction of it all. It kind of brought back, you know, some bad memories. But anyway, so. So now that your business, you launched, and I'm just gonna bring it back to the business. In 2019, you launched you had, had you ever really run a business before? Was it just something like, you know, I want to run my own business? I'm gonna go get it started.
Never haven't. Well I have, sorry, in 2017. I took off Body Shop From Home. So you know, if you heard of Arbonne and all that type of stuff. (Yeah) But it wasn't, I didn't do it, to; I did it just for a short period of time. So just before Christmas, I ended for five months. And in that time, I made 1000s of sales. And I mean, ridiculous. But I was study with it. So I went to have that party and did the party's at home. I didn't like doing it though I didn't like going into people's homes and not knowing where I'd end up. I didn't like that bit. So I didn't do it for long, I was good at it and I love Body Shop products. And, but yeah, I was not top seller very quickly, I could have had a team to six people joined in the five months. And I brought it to Newark where I live. So you know, it's still going now where this, you know, people joined on, did make a noise of it, to be honest. And I was very savvy with the way the business was and how to grow business. So do you think that had some element of helping, but to me, I know, I just know how to grow businesses and what they need to do. And I put all the theories that I said I was gonna do in videos and prove it with Future Cloud.
So hang on a second. So you hadn't really, you'd run like The Body Shop business, the body shop at home, which I know that this you know, I've heard of that before, which is really cool. I just do think it gives you a really good base. So you went and researched how to grow a business what to do. And then was just like, I'm going to go do this and just implemented everything that you learned.
Yeah, I think I learned from people over the years, it didn't didn't happen in a couple of months. It's over the years. So I ask so many questions in my job. How do they do that? What will they do in that for? What if they did this and just really thought about it? And to be honest, a lot of it's to do the finance function. You know, if you don't know what the numbers are, what's happening? How are you, how are you ever going to grow? And also the fact that I'm with my business partner is very hot on during the forecast. And we work together on that and and you visualize your numbers. It honestly. So for example, we did our forecast. So to March 2020, from April, when we started, a year later we checked out and to the actuals to the forecast. It's probably a groundout. That's how close we were to our forecast. We were shocked. And this is honestly she looked at me and was like really that's weird. I know. It's not always going to happen. And I bet that was worn off. But how weird's that? It's not that we did, because some people might put oil grow by 200 a month. Obviously we didn't do it like that one month was better than the other month probably. (Yeah.) It kind of did happen like that. And everything I said, we wanted another office by that time. And maybe another employee by that time, it does kind of go in place. Because you're planning, you've got a plan.
Well you got the direction, right? So here's what I always say to like, I'm not so much outcome focused on process driven. So like when what you're like, it sounds like you know where you're going, you know the outcome that you've got, but you seem to know that the process that you need to execute to make sure that you're going to get there.
And Charlotte's good at the process as well. She's probably more process driven. I'm probably more of the creative, forward thinker of the business.
Yeah. Okay. Okay. So you match really well, right?
Oh, honestly, it's funny. And she has to rein me in, though.
Yeah, that's, that's Wolva for me. So Wolva, who's my fiance and business partner, he has to rein me in a lot. I'm always like, I've got a great idea. He's like, you've got 10 right now, why don't you focus on one. So let's create that. So no, I can understand that. So when it comes to getting clients and things like that, I know you've been very you've had a lot of success over on LinkedIn and, and this is what I love about your LinkedIn. You don't talk about business. You just talk about human first. (Yeah.) How have you, how have you build your business so quickly?
I did a lot of networking before the business even started locally. So myself out there. So a lot of local people know who I am, what I'm about. So that very much helped. That took years, it's very uncomfortable networking, I don't even like the word. So that helped. And then obviously, on LinkedIn, my very first video went out in March 2019. So I think it actually went out just before the company had set up officially with Charlotte. Or it might have gone out the week after well, just saying, I've gone self employed, this is what I'm going to do to grow because this is what I think you should do to grow business and grow who you are. And I said the steps I was going to take, and then it went out and a few people watch it, not masses, and then I just kind of gave weekly updates from their on. And that's--
And did you do that through LinkedIn and email lists? Like Is that how you did it as well?
Some, not really on Facebook, either. So no it's just LinkedIn on the journey's real I post on my Instagram or personal some fitness stuff, and, you know, business stuff. And then Facebook is yeah, business bits, but nothing. Nothing like LinkedIn.
Yeah, okay. So I mean, to be fair, your LinkedIn is I like that's why I reached out to you because you really do focus on the human element. I frickin love your videos, they're hilarious. One this morning about coffee was very, very funny. If you haven't gone and seen her. Go check it. Actually, for anyone that is watching. I want to know you the most awkward networking event that you've ever gone to because my god, there's so many things that happen in networking events, and that it is uncomfortable, right? Like you've got to go in there, you got to meet people, and then people just sell and you straightaway and you're just like---