Interview with a career change mum - Penelope Blissenden
Today I interview the brilliant Penelope Blissenden, Penelope is multi talented lady who I would highly recommend to mums who want to really tune in and connect with themselves and be the best mum that they can, she is amazing!
Penelope Blissenden is a dedicated Healer, Coach and Teacher. She provides 1-1 Reiki Energy Healing sessions and EFT(Emotional Freedom Technique- also known as 'Tapping') sessions that are aimed at assisting people in moving forward in their lives through creating balance in the body, mind & spirit. Penelope is able to work intuitively with individuals and creates unique healing sessions tailored specifically for their needs. As a Reiki Master, Penelope teaches Reiki Level 1, Reiki Level 2 and Master/ Teacher Level 3.
As a mother herself, Penelope is passionate about assisting women prepare for pregnancy and assisting fertility; ongoing support throughout pregnancy and adjusting to motherhood. To allow her to do this, she provides HolisticBaby Massage Courses, Mama Bliss Programmes and Spa sessions and Reiki Energy Healing to support mums to be and new mothers. Penelope now offers meditation classes for pregnant and new mums as well.
Penelope's work is also highly effective through distance sessions on Skype and phone and she has a dedicated client base across the UK and the world. She specialises in issues such as relationships; fertility; creative blocks; life purpose; pre-post-natal care; CFS/ ME recovery, hormone imbalance; anxiety and depression.
I was a secondary teacher and after having my baby, I felt that being around for her was the most important thing I could provide for her as I believe that a solid connection and bond is essential for emotional development in baby. I didn't want to leave her and be back in the classroom getting tired, stressed and run down which would lead to me being a lesser mother than I wanted for my daughter. I also realised that my health and wellbeing was essential in being the best mother I could be, so I used my skills as a holistic practitioner (I trained in this initially as a teacher and whilst I was pregnant) to create courses and programmes based on the skills I used and developed whilst pregnant as a new mum myself.
1. What gave you the idea to start up your business?
I had been a secondary teacher, mentor and behaviour specialist in schools for 14 years and had trained in some holistic practices and coaching courses along the way. Although I enjoyed the pastoral side of my work, the school environment was very restrictive for me as well as the hours and the demands were becoming unreasonable - I no longer felt aligned to what I was doing. I knew once I had my baby that I didn't want to miss out on being with her. I also knew that to be the best mum for my daughter, I needed to work in a way that I felt more aligned to and that had flexibility around caring for my daughter.
I looked at my strengths and my skills to see what kind of business I could create. In my pregnancy, I trained as Reiki Master and Holistic Practitioner and that, along with my EFT training and mentoring experience was the start of my business, that I set up in my front room.
I then went on to train in Baby Massage as I knew I could draw on my teaching skills and teach groups of new mum's. I had witnessed the amazing benefits of the practice in my own baby who suffered with colic. I established my Holistic Baby Massage courses in Stoke Newington and my business has developed from there over the last 5 years to include 1-1 coaching for new Mum's and Healing and Coaching sessions.
2. What did you do to prepare to start up your business?
After my training, I invested in a designer to create a logo and flyers initially. I then sought a space to work from and advertised through Netmums and other sites. I spread the word in my area (Stoke Newington) through chatting to Mums at my daughters’ nursery and ballet etc. Networking and word of mouth was what brought people to my courses initially and this remains a very important element to sustaining my work. I also set up my own website and a Facebook page. I eventually worked with a business coach for a year who helped shift my barriers to moving forward in my business and I could align my mindset with my purpose. It was at this point that my business really grew.
3. Which aspects of your business did you need help with? Where did you get that help?
I needed help with my designing and website construction so I have worked with designers over the years to do my logo, adverts and campaigns. I worked with a business coach too, who helped align me with my purpose and my value. I also needed help with setting goals and have worked with business coaches when I've needed to work towards certain targets for moving forward or launching new programmes.
4. Describe what your business does and who you target it at / your ideal client
I help new mum's get out of their head and into their hearts, which is where we are best placed to tend to our babies and to engage in our lives in the most authentic and positive way. I am able to assist new Mum's to feel more confident in their role as mothers and to guide them through the tricky early months of motherhood. I support them in their transition into motherhood and help them to connect deeply with their baby, creating a lifelong bond with their child. The mums that work with me are guided to set up daily self-care practices such as mindfulness, meditation for themselves and massage with their baby. They become calm and confident in their new role as mother and are also given the space to rethink what kind of mother they would like to be and how they can create a calmer happier life with better work / life balance and positive and authentic relationships.
My ideal client is a woman with a powered job that has required her to lead with her mind and head for some time, someone who has had a lot of success and responsibility in their career. She would be 30-50 and has waited to have children as she has been focussing on her career. This kind of client has neglected her more intuitive and sensitive side to be successful in her career, whether this has been intentional or not, it makes her transition into motherhood more challenging, as babies need a heart centred connection with their mother which relies on getting out of a logical, controlled mindset into a more intuitive, sensitive space. This lady will find it hard to loosen the control she has relied on in the past to gain success and this can result in feelings of being not good enough, lacking confidence in their decisions in tending to baby, feeling 'out of control' or feeling unable to connect to their baby. They could also be questioning whether they really want to go back to that career after they realise that their career may not offer them the flexibility that they desire now that they have their baby to look after.
5. What is the most rewarding thing about having your own business?
The most rewarding thing about having my own business is that I am doing something that I truly love and that I know is my true purpose which means I am emotionally and physically available for my daughter. Being around as my daughter has been growing up has made me feel as if i have been able to offer her the best of me and we have created a deep and lasting bond which makes me and my daughter feel a deep sense of security and happiness. It allows me to create balance in my life, to enjoy every moment of my daughter growing up which makes me a calm and happy mama and makes me more successful in my job as a highly effective coach and healer.
6. What has been the biggest challenge?
I have felt lonely and isolated at times, as I work mainly from home and the marketing and administration components of the business take more time than I would like. I have also had to overcome a lot of insecurities to allow my business to thrive, such as public speaking - which I now love by the way!
7. If you could go back and give yourself some advice what would it be?
Invest in yourself and your business, ask for help for the things you find difficult and create some formal structure to your week. Establish goals and create time frames.... Oh, and if you don't already have one- get a cleaner!
To find out more about Penelope check out her website and social media links