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ISSUE 13 • JULY 2021


Grace Abell Owner of Abell Design

How to Implement Learning Through Play at Home

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome GRACE FRANCIS Friendships, Envy, and Success 1


Parents in Biz Hub Templates, checklists and workbooks Expert workshops Accountability Guest Experts Network with parents Support and guidance A supportive online community that supports you to grow your business! 2


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Parents in Business


magazine is available

How to implement learning through play at home

6 BOOK REVIEW How to fix meetings





Friendships, envy, and success

Duncan Grierson






CeCe & Me

How to successfully launch a new product






You must look after your wellbeing – really?

Charlotte Olivier co-owner of Napton Cidery





Overcoming imposter syndrome

Parents in Business directory members

Jennie Brown - the success story


Cover image photo credit Robert Harrison

in digital and print.



Jennie is a barre instructor, food enthusiast, women’s advocate, mental health ambassador, girl boss, wife and mother of four. *Photo credit Sophie Mitchell Photography.

SHONA CHAMBERS, MARKETING CONSULTANT Shona Chambers is a Marketing Consultant and owner of Shona Chambers Marketing, a Marketing Agency based in Nunhead near Peckham. Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing. *Photo credit Portrayed Photography

GRACE FRANCIS, GRACE FOUNDER OF DRAMED Grace Francis, with a background as an actress, performing in theatres ranging from the Battersea Arts Centre to The National Theatre. On Channel 4 and again on BBC. In 2019 Grace founded DramEd, a creative education company, which delivers pre-school clubs and schools workshops to advance education and nurture the development of young children through Performing Arts. From the stage to your classroom, DramEd prides themselves on being a company of highly skilled performers who turn everyday learning into a magical adventure.

NICHOLE HUGHES , TEACHER, PRESCHOOL & RECEPTION SPECIALIST Nichole Hughes is a qualified primary school teacher with 10 years experience. She specialises in Preschool and Reception education, with a passion for Early Years and learning through play. She works with parents by providing tutoring sessions, bespoke consultations and preparing your child for Reception.

JESSICA WALL, COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL AND NLP MASTER COACH Jess Wall is a Cognitive Behavioural and NLP master coach, specialising in children and families. She works to ensure that every cog in the family machine is working smoothly to ensure that everything runs together. Through her techniques she helps to uncover the unconscious blocks which face us all at times and in doing so, she helps her clients create new choice of behaviour and thought which, of course, results in more contentment and fulfilment throughout the whole family.

BHAVINI LAKHANI , GRAPHIC DESIGNER Bhavini is an independent graphic designer specialising in branding and design for print, and is a mum of 2. She’s based in Milton Keynes, with a client base that spans global brands such as Conti Espresso, Barclaycard and British Gas, as well as local businesses across the UK.

Do you like what we do? Why not become a guest contributor. Let’s collaborate contact Magazine designed by B81 Designs Disclaimer views expressed in the articles are those strictly of the authors. Every effort is made to ensure that all information given is correct but Parents in Biz limited accepts no liability for inaccuracies, errors or omissions that may occur or their consequences. This publication is copyright and may not be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publisher. Copyright includes (and not limited to) the content syndication of the RSS feed of this publication. The content and images used in any of the articles of this publication. The Parents in Business Magazine logo and any of its derivatives.


EDITOR’S WELCOME Welcome to the 13th issue of the Parents in Business Magazine Summer is here, and as quick as you can blink, the children will be breaking up from school. In this issue, we have an article on learning through play supporting children to explore, be imaginative and creative. There are many ways that you can implement learning through play at home. However, where do you start? Nichole Hughes has you covered on page 4.

Discover what wellbeing looks like, what it means and how you can achieve it. We have a Special Feature on overcoming imposter syndrome 4 parents share their experience.

Shona Chambers reviews How To Fix Meetings by Graham Allcott and Hayley Watts. On page 8 Jennie Brown shares her Success Story We have interviews with Grace Abell, Designer and Studio Owner of Abell Design. Duncan Grierson, the Founder of Clim8, who is passionate about tackling climate change and Charlotte Olivier, the Co-owner of Napton Cidery. Can success make you lose friends? Grace Francis answers that question on page 13. We shine the Small Business Spotlight on CeCe & Me, a mobile kid’s shoe shop based in South West London.

Happy reading


Bridget Daley Editor

We are a Work for Good Partner and give a proportion of proceeds to charity.


How to implement learning through play at home Learning through play supports children to explore, be imaginative and creative. There are many ways that you can implement learning through play at home. However, where do you start? When I became a mother 5 years ago, I found myself at home during maternity leave thinking, I must ‘entertain’ my son and support him with his development. So, I did the usual mother and baby classes, went to the park and organised playdates. But there were days that I did not want to go out. On occasions, I preferred to be snuggled up at home and relax with my son. This was when I realised that I had to use my expertise and knowledge as an Early Years teacher to implement learning through play at home. I would like to share 5 easy tips to support your little one to enjoy their play at home.


Create an area at home where your child can play Look around your home, is there a space that your child can access their toys and resources. Is this their room, a playroom or living room? Creating a space for your little one encourages them to identify where they can play, where their resources are and what they can use. As your child grows, this area should grow also.



What does our child enjoy? If I asked you this question, can you name at least 3 things? If so, then you are on your way to implementing learning through play at home. When you have identified what your child enjoys, you can fill their play area with their interests. For example, if your child enjoys cars, you can provide a range of resources relating to cars, such as toy cars, pictures of cars, books about

cars and writing resources. This will provide an opening ended learning experience, as your child will be engaged in their play as it's focused on their interest in cars.


Be creative

Arts and crafts is a fun way to support your child’s creativity, resilience, problem solving and generating ideas. Arts and crafts will enable your child to have their own ideas and think about what they want to create. This will help them to think about the resources they need and how they can build and attach the resources together. You can encourage your child to use their imagination and roleplay different characters. Children love to dress up and act! You can provide your child with dressing up clothes, costumes, accessories and see where their imagination takes them.


Sensory play

Sensory play stimulates children’s senses to explore the world around them. This is implemented by touching, tasting, smelling, moving, seeing and hearing. Now, sensory play can be messy, but messy play is fun! There is a range of resources within your home that you can use to implement sensory play. For example, you can create edible paint with yoghurt and food colouring, make playdough, water play.


Enjoy playing with your little one

Nichole Hughes Teacher, Preschool & Reception Specialist

Now that you know what your child enjoys and likes to do, you can enjoy playing. It’s great fun to be part of your child’s play. As learning starts at home, you can model to your child how to play and use toys and resources. For example, if you play a board game with your child, you are teaching them to share, take turns and listen to the instructions. Playing at home is fun! With learning through play, you are creating memories and supporting your child’s early development.


Book Review

How To Fix Meetings by Graham Allcott and Hayley Watts. How To Fix Meetings is a really useful book. It’s just under 200 pages and packed with tips that you can easily read in a couple of days and then begin to take action on. The first thing to mention is the topic. Meetings. We’ve all had them. In some companies, they seem to be an alternative to work. But, unfortunately, meetings run poorly are horrible, especially when you are busy and need to be doing other things. During the pandemic, there have been many headlines about Zoom burnout. This book is truly the antidote. “Attention - not time- is our most precious resource. It’s the key to high performance and productivity in both work and life” - Graham Allcottt & Hayley Watts How To Fix Meetings acknowledges that meetings are


necessary. But preparation is the key to having a good one. Firstly, make sure that people bring their attention, continue to focus during the meeting, and then commit to getting done what has been discussed. One of my favourite tips was building in 10 minutes extra time at the end of every meeting so that any action that takes less than 2 minutes can be done then and there. If you run meetings and want practical suggestions on how to make them better for attendees, there are lots of suggestions, from making sure that everyone gets

a chance to speak to the idea of silent meetings to encourage introvert’s input. We all have a finite amount of time each week. How To Fix Meetings will help anyone wanting to protect their energy and be more productive. We all have a finite amount of time each week. How To Fix Meetings will help anyone wanting to protect their energy and be more productive. Shona Chambers Freelance Marketing Consultant


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The success story Meet You At The Barre came as a complete surprise - I always felt that I had more in me, but every time my career started gaining traction, another baby would come along, and work would be sidelined again.  Never in a million years would I have predicted that success would arrive in the midst of a global pandemic, with all four of my kids, aged 11, 9, 4 and 2, at home in lockdown.  After my first baby was born, I retrained as a personal trainer,  focussing on women’s health, specifically pre and post-natal exercise.  Fast-forward a decade, I was on the hunt for a new way of working out and came across Barre (a fusion of pilates, ballet and more traditional strength training exercises).  One class in, I was hooked. So I retrained and set about planning a new business.  Until March of last year, my story would have been the same as thousands of other women.  I


absolutely love being a mum, but I also absolutely love my job. Finding the balance was extremely difficult, so we built a studio in our garden and tried to make it work. When Covid struck, I was teaching five barre classes a week, during term time only.  When the gym doors were forced shut, I offered to teach some classes on IGTV for my existing clients and word spread – a little bit.  I was getting about 300 hits per class.  As each day passed, I learned a new trick – how to do

a story on Instagram, how to reply to a DM – to say I knew nothing about social media or how to run an online business is an understatement.   One morning I came downstairs to find my phone going berserk, and the Mail Online had run its first article on The Best Lockdown workouts and named me in the number one spot.  How they found me, I’ll never know, but just like that, my life, and that of my family’s, changed overnight.  My IGTVs were now getting thousands of hits each class,

and after a couple of months, I decided to take a leap of faith and move onto a fee-paying platform.  Launching a successful online fitness business during a global pandemic with no prior experience is not for the fainthearted.  So my husband, who has a full-time job, became my tech-man, and we invested in some decent kit.  We juggled home-schooling with looking after the little two (who weren’t in school) and our jobs.  Luckily our au pair was locked in with us, and she was utterly brilliant.  So it became a real team effort. When the dynamics in any family shifts, there has to change.  There was already a huge amount of change because of the pandemic, and we were all feeling our way through the new pattern of having seven people in the house all the time. 

individual sessions. As a result, I have been featured in Tatler, Loose Women and the Daily Telegraph. As a family, we have started to come up for air.  My job is now a given, and we have recalibrated our lives around it.  I now have two people working for my business which is starting to ease the load, and all of us are excited about what the future might hold. Why did the business take off?  There was, and still is, a yawning gap in the market.  The fitness industry has not served midlife women well.  No forty-plus woman wants to work out with a 20-year-old whose body looks nothing like their own.

Then we added in me working in every spare second we could free up, and huge adjustments had to be made. So it would be a lie to say that it’s been a breeze.  It really hasn’t.  It’s been exceptionally hard work.

Moreover, the way women exercise needs to change after about the age of 35 as their bodies begin to adapt to hormonal shifts brought about perimenopause. The traditional fitness industry does not cater to this. Barre fits the bill perfectly. It is low-impact, sustainable and nourishing.  It also has incredible effects on mental health and mood. 

Fast-forward a year, and I now have an online platform with around a thousand members worldwide paying a monthly subscription.  I release four new classes each week, and many more choose to purchase

Lastly, Instagram has worked brilliantly for my business. This time last year, I had about 400 followers on Instagram, I now have nearly 14,000. I am completely and utterly myself online; there hasn’t been time to


pretend to be anything else - and being honest about all the trials, tribulations and triumphs that come with being a working mother in her forties seems to resonate with lots of like-minded women.  Would I change any of it?  I don’t know.  The whole business has had to be entirely reactive, and I think that’s part of its appeal.  It might have been nice to have had a plan, but would I have been as adaptable and flexible if I had a set idea of how I wanted things to go?  I suspect not.  Both my husband and I are delighted that our children (two boys, two girls) get to see what a family looks like where both partners work hard, both inside and outside of the home.  I’d like some more sleep and a chance to properly reflect on the madness of the last year, but no, I don’t think I would change any of it. 

Jennie Brown Barre Instructor *Photo credit Sophie Mitchell Photography

In Conversation with Grace Abell, Designer and Studio Owner of Abell Design

Designer Grace Abell founded Abell Design in 2015. She creates beautiful brands that make sound business sense and generate profit for her clients. Grace is a senior-level designer with a decade’s experience designing for brands, products and publishing. She won the Business Innovation category at the Women Mean Business awards. Grace has one daughter, Genevieve, who is three years old. 10

Tell us about your journey. How did you get here? In 2015 I left my job as a magazine designer to go freelance. I worked two part-time jobs on the side, to begin with, including managing an escape room. My daughter was born in 2017. I returned to client work when she was one month old. I’m grateful that I have always been able to work remotely. My business is borderless. I have worked for National Geographic, Royal Mail and the World Health Organisation from my studio in York.

How did you move from idea to actual business? The business started accidentally. While I was employed, a friend who worked for a charity asked me to design for them. As she was a friend, I felt obliged to say yes. It was a year before I took the plunge and went full time. I dived in at the deep end, made every mistake possible and somehow survived!

What are the biggest pain points that you have been dealing with in your business these days?

My motto is ‘do good work, and good work will come’. The right clients will understand that my skills are transferrable to their brand.

What was the last thing you did that made you really proud? I recently designed branding and packaging for a new brand of cycling apparel. The element which makes me proud is how the client has fully embraced the brand and applied it to the jerseys, social media and videos. Businesses that take responsibility for their branding always multiply their revenue by doing so.

How do your values show up in the work you do? I believe in clear, concise communication. If a customer doesn’t understand a businesses product or message clearly, I’ve failed. On the other hand, values are often noted in the work we don’t do. Recently, I turned down work related to healing crystals. I don’t believe in it, so I can’t design for it. I am all about giving the world quality products and brilliant causes.

My business is borderless. I have worked for National Geographic, Royal Mail and the World Health Organisation from my studio in York.

I’m wrestling with niching. It’s what every business coach advises, for many good reasons. But I’m only as skilled as I am because I’ve worked with so many sectors. Business strategy isn’t necessarily helpful in making me a better designer.


How do you manage your time between family and business? Like many parents of young children in business, I take Wednesdays off to spend time with my daughter. Working means that I’m not always present, but I am always available for her.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I run a few times a week for both physical and mental fitness. In March 2020, I lost work and childcare due to the pandemic.


Running saved me from that emotional slump we all felt. I’m not an athlete by any means, but it is one of those inexplicable things which makes life worth living.

Who or what inspires you? Industrial designer Karim Rashid - he’s a big personality whose talent is sought after. When Method soap was a startup, the founders saved up for him to design their bottles. They understood that excellent design is profitable.

In contrast, the pop artist nun, Sister Corita Kent. She was a contemporary of Andy Warhol’s. Her work is upbeat and passionate. She was an activist for love and joy. We all need more of her attitude in our lives! Grace Abell Photo credit to Robert Harrison

Friendships, envy, and success “Can success make you lose friends?” Why did I find myself googling this question after a break-up with a friend who I thought I would be on a cruise with at the age of 95? An ending that felt unresolved, no fight, no apparent distaste for one another, just drifting apart, apparently never to speak again. Why do endings like this happen? I asked the question on a social platform. As a result, several women who had experienced a close friend distancing themselves, or exiting the relationship with little communication, came forward to share their experiences. In some stories, there were similarities, the ditched friend being at a point in their lives where they were evolving in career or family life when the loved friend withdrew. Grieving my broken friendship was behind me, having written a book on Friendships, but the stories of other women posed the question, “In some cases, could

we be dealing with the human emotions of jealousy and envy?” If so, what is our own relationship to these emotions, and how can we make them work for us? First of all, what is the difference between envy and jealousy? Many people perceive the words to mean the same thing, but the Cambridge dictionary definition of envy is “to wish that you had something that another person has,”

while jealousy is “a feeling of unhappiness and anger because someone has something or someone that you want.” To me, they appear to summarise quite the same emotion, but let’s break them down. Envy is when you feel you lack a quality or achievement that someone else has. Jealousy is when you compare yourself to someone else’s status or possessions, and it makes you feel insecure enough to make you want it or wish they didn’t have it. As a result, these emotions tend

Friendships, envy, and success to be quite taboo, and we don’t like to admit we experience them. Psychologists from The Center for Brain and Cognition in the United States performed an informal survey to explore the evolutionary purpose of jealousy and envy. Asking their participants:

(1) Are you more envious of

(a) someone who is similar to you in most respects but is a bit wealthier (say 50% wealthier),

(b) or more envious of Bill Gates? The answer was almost always (A), which surprised these researchers as they thought, in theory, we ought to – logically – be more jealous of Bill Gates because he has more resources. This led them to conclude that the evolutionary purpose of envy may be to motivate you into action either by trying harder (envy) or by coveting and stealing what the other has (jealousy). Using envy to motivate you into action is something we don’t always do consciously. The emotional discomfort shows us


elements of life that we want to experience, and most times, the core essence of your envy and jealousy – the thing that you desire – is possible. The freedom is possible, the confidence is possible, the self-love is possible, that kind of relationship is possible, starting and making a success of your dreams is possible. How do you know? You recognise it within another human being. Instead of harvesting these uncomfortable feelings, what happens if you frame the person

triggering them as a teacher, a role model, an expander? Personally, the negative emotion may make me feel like I cannot stand being in someone’s presence any longer because I don’t feel good enough, and it may be uncomfortable, but now I explore what happens if I sit with it. Eventually, it shifts. The next time you experience jealousy or envy, what happens when you ask, “What is this person showing me that I want?”

This question is helping me to recognise great mentors and self-discovery. An exercise I like doing, which has been adapted from various books like The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford and The Energy of Money by Maria Nemeth, is, to be honest with yourself and make a list of all the people that trigger envy and jealousy within you. They could be close, distant or on social media. Next to that list, write down


exactly what it is that triggers you. Be honest. Now, make a list of the things you like about these people. The theory is that everything you have listed, you recognise because these qualities reside within you. What can you learn from these ‘expanders’?

----*The Evolutionary Psychology of Envy and Jealousy, published by The Frontiers of Psychology. *Definitions from the Cambridge Dictionary, www.dictionary.

Grace Francis Founder Of DramEd

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SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Sam Chetwood, CeCe & Me. I’m Sam, founder of CeCe & Me, a mobile kid’s shoe shop based in South West London. My aim is to make shopping for kids shoes more convenient, more enjoyable and far less stressful! I work mostly with preschool children, who are growing and developing at a

rapid rate! Parents are often unsure what’s right for their little one’s feet, and working on an appointment basis, I can take time to talk through the options and answer their questions. I want everyone to walk away happy, feeling confident the shoes they buy are just right

to protect and support their children’s feet through all their adventures! What inspired you to start your business? This had not been my plan, running my own business was never an ambition of mine. I graduated with a business degree and took my time deciding on a career path. I discovered financial & corporate PR in my mid-20’s and started to work my way up the agency ladder. By my early 30’s I was a Director, running a team. I felt happy within this structure and really enjoyed my

job. Then two became three, and things started to feel different. I went back to work when our daughter, Cecily, was 9 months old and while there was much about the job I still really enjoyed, I constantly felt pulled in different directions, my priorities had changed. So when I went on maternity leave 18 months later, I felt pretty certain I wouldn’t return. I had another girl, Meredith, and around the time she turned one, I started to think about what else I might do. I needed a new focus, separate from children and family, to give me a bit of independence and occupy that part of my mind that craved a challenge! But it needed to be flexible, to fit around family life, and once again, it took me some time to settle on what this would be.

Like many parent-run businesses, it was my children who eventually provided the inspiration, or more specifically, several frustrating shoe shopping trips with them. Blimey, it was such a hassle! Not one of us enjoyed it, and why could the shoe fitters not answer my questions about what was right for their feet! It often felt their priority was making the sale, not making sure the shoes fitted well. (Before I go on, let me say I know this is not the case everywhere, if you are lucky enough to live close to a good independent children’s shoe shop, hurrah!) Once I started talking to friends, it quickly became apparent I wasn’t the only one feeling frustrated. My brain began to buzz with ideas. How could I make buying children’s shoes a more relaxed, less stressful experience?

How could I make shoe shopping more convenient? And how could I make it work around my own children? While I have a business background, I knew very little about retail and even less about shoe fitting! So I started to do my research, visited trade shows, met with shoe brand reps and spent six months training with the Society of Shopfitters, determined to have all the answers to parents’ questions about children’s feet and footwear. My initial concept was for shoe fitting parties, along the lines of the 70’s style Tupperware parties. I was surprised not to be able to find anyone pursuing a mobile business model for children’s shoes, but this didn’t put me off, I had every faith this idea was a good one.

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT However, there was no blueprint for me to follow, and I spent many hours deliberating each and every detail of how the service would work. A new approach in a traditional industry comes with its’ own set of challenges. I had to seek out brands able to supply me on a more flexible basis and soon learnt not everyone is open to supporting a new, unfamiliar proposition. Fortunately, my enthusiasm was enough to persuade the two brands I really wanted to work with, Bobux and Ricosta Pepino, and they still form the core of my range. As it turns out, the parties concept didn’t work as well as I had hoped, there was too much onus on customers to arrange the party and invite their friends. So I started approaching playgroups, and family-friendly cafes with the intention of taking the service to the places parents hang out with their toddlers. Of course, I was at the bottom of a steep learning curve, the start of six years of analysing, learning and adapting. CeCe & Me looks quite different today, and I’m sure will look different again in another six years.

Tell us about your niche? At the heart of what I do is my commitment to help parents make confident, informed choices about


what their children wear on their feet and keep little feet healthy and happy, this will never change. There are times you don’t want to rely on a Google search to find the answers! Instead, you want to talk to an actual person, someone you’re confident has the knowledge and experience to answer your questions. I’m immensely proud to have built a reputation for excellent customer service and trusted advice. What might the future hold for CeCe & Me? I’ve carved out a niche in our little corner of South West London and still see plenty of opportunities to continue growing and expanding within the area.

At the same time, I keep hearing of independent shoe shops closing down around the country, a situation only made worse by the pandemic. I know there are many areas where it can be difficult to buy children’s shoes and even harder to find good advice. I’m convinced a mobile kid’s shoe shop would be a welcome and valued addition in these communities. So I have been working on plans to share my knowledge and experience to develop a network of CeCe & Me shoe fitters, ensuring lots more happy, healthy little feet! Sam Chetwood CeCe & Me *Photo credit Palmer Photography

You must look after your Wellbeing – Really? Running my own business, running my family and trying to be a good citizen to boot - all too often, I am told to look after my wellbeing. ‘OMG, it’s my job to look after others’ wellbeing, I don’t have time to look after my own! I should probably take some days off and veg out – or should I? Is there a way to wellbeing anyway? Do I have to do it? If you are self-employed or building a business, it can seem all go: it’s not the time to turn down new leads, not the time to let the energy drop. At home too: it’s never the time to turn attention away from your family, there is never a let-up of things to do. If you’re like me, now more than ever with the


hyperconnectivity levels, it really does take some discipline just to have an hour to veg out in the evening. Is there another way to look at this, though? Fascinated as I am with language and almost obsessively repulsed by cliché, I really don’t find phrases like ‘3 ways to look after you’, ‘you need down time’ helpful, and even the word wellbeing is a tad overused for my liking. So instead, I prefer to dig down to find my own definition of MY wellbeing. Sure, resting feels good, but I have built up such a habit of tasking my way through my days, resting and sitting still can also lead me to the feeling

that I am not doing anything and thus frustration: not good for my wellbeing. So, instead of just following guidance or at least hearing it, I find it much more useful to discover out what my wellbeing looks like, what it means and how I can achieve it.

Let’s find out what your definition of the following is: You must look after your Wellbeing.

Voilà, now I have more answers and more specifics to work with.

Here are some questions for you to answer (my examples in brackets)

For me, to look after my wellbeing, I need to laugh and be active, that’s my way to my wellbeing, not the media’s. Of course, if I really wanted to, I could dig down into where I learnt these thoughts and beliefs, challenge them and eventually find alternatives. But, for today, I am going with acceptance of what makes me feel well and make sure I build that into my day. What’s does yours mean to you?

How do you look after something? (I get it active) What does being well mean for you? (being able to do activities and move) Whose voice is telling you that you should take time out and do nothing? (media) How would something look when it’s well?(active and laughing) Why does this mean wellness for you? (if you can do things, achieve things and be independent, it fills me with a sense of achievement)

If, after doing this activity, I still find myself not prioritising this method of attaining wellbeing, I could always use a reframe. Here, my habit of completing tasks could help. I can simply

change the thought to: Taking time to be active, laugh and move is a task, and I can challenge myself to achieve it daily. If you love routines, use your answers above to add to your routine; if you prioritise setting a good example to your children, remember to show them you are taking time for yourself. Making things make sense for you and then giving your brain the correct linguistic message will help to embed a habit that you want. You can do it all, work, family, wellbeing, not because you are being told to but because you choose to! Jessica Wall Cognitive Behavioural and NLP Master Coach

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome If you’ve ever had a day where you feel like a fraud, you don’t deserve the successes you’re enjoying, or perhaps you think you’re not that talented or clever as people seem to think you are, you may be suffering from impostor syndrome. You may not realise it had a name and when people discover impostor syndrome, the penny drops, and there is immense relief that they are not alone, and hundreds of people feel just the same way. But unfortunately, it can be quite challenging to recognise impostor syndrome because you believe these feelings of doubt. Therefore, instead of realising it is impostor syndrome, you start to think you are no good.

The Signs of Imposter Syndrome Generally, more women feel impostor syndrome than their male counterparts, primarily where they work in a predominantly male environment. Ironically, the higher achieving someone is, the worse it can hit them. That’s not to say that men don’t suffer, so if you’re a bloke, don’t stop reading because this may be relevant. One of the standard features of impostor syndrome feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy. I don’t deserve this is one of the most common things I hear when dealing with

impostor syndrome. So naturally, over the whole of our lives, there will be times when everyone suffers from a crisis of confidence, but it could be a sign of impostor syndrome when it’s constant and ongoing.

Fear Meets Perfection Another characteristic of imposter syndrome is a constant fear that you will be discovered as the fraud you believe you are. The realisation from someone you know, like an employee, that you’re not that good. It can create the need to be perfect, which means those who suffer from imposter syndrome get stuck in a cycle of trying to be perfect by setting unrealistic goals and then feeling deflated and ashamed when they can’t meet them. This kind of lifestyle is exhausting, and it also damages your selfesteem to be pushing yourself so hard and constantly berating yourself for the results; even if they are good, you believe they should be better. It’s common in business, especially among small business owners who tend to be multitasking and juggling all over the place and are pretty remarkable.

Even High Achievers Can Suffer In turn, this can lead to a strange

SPECIAL FEATURE paradox where you suffer from fear of success and fear of failure. Many people who have spoken out on the subject of impostor syndrome also acknowledge that self-sabotage comes into play. Katarina Johnson-Thompson is a 2019 world heptathlon champion who has bravely spoken out about impostor syndrome. Still, even when she was winning and smashing such an elite level of sport, she felt chronic self-doubt, unworthy, and generally an impostor. Now, of course, when it’s someone else, it’s easy to think that they have nothing to worry about; you can see their success, you can see their strengths but changing the mindset and helping someone who has impostor syndrome can be much more difficult.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome So, if all of this sounds incredibly familiar and you’re beginning to think you have impostor syndrome, or you already knew this was your issue, what can you do to get past it? Well, starting by admitting it and acknowledging it is a significant first step. It’s time to brave speaking to other people about it, your best friend, a colleague, someone you think will understand and help rather than judge. You’ll be surprised how many other people begin to


Overcoming Imposter Syndrome admit they, too, have suffered or are currently fighting impostor syndrome. The more we talk about things, the smaller we can make them become; in our minds, we can build them up to being massive and insurmountable. Talking can help reduce them in size and make them into more manageable bite-size issues we can tackle.

Write it Down One of the critical things about imposter syndrome is that it becomes self-fulfilling unless we stop and challenge it. So, we’re going to begin by journaling. When you feel your self-belief slipping away, or feelings of self-doubt overcome you, write this in your Journal. Take time to explain how you felt and precisely what happened. For example, perhaps you made a pitch to a new client, and they said they were very impressed, but your feelings were their faces told a different story. When you reflect on this and go back over it in your head, the aim is to see how unfounded your fear was. Imagine how it would feel to tell the people involved that you believe you’ve conned them, but you’re not what you say you are. How would they react to that?


In a professional capacity, people are likely to judge your work, and they would be surprised to learn you felt this way. Try and reverse the situation and imagine a friend has come to you, she’s an artist, and you adore her work; how would you respond to her saying that you only bought a picture of hers because you felt sorry for her, for example? Of course, it’s easy when it’s someone else to see how unfounded this fear is, so now you have to work out how to transfer that clarity of thought to yourself. Writing it down means you don’t have the embarrassment or fear of actually talking to people, but it becomes much easier to see it in the third person to gain that much-needed distance.

Learn to Take Compliments If someone congratulates you or compliments you, own it. They’re not saying it because they have to or because they’re being paid, it’s their opinion, and you need to learn to accept it and work it. When you achieve one of your goals, you can acknowledge that it’s significant cause you put the work in; your skills and talents made this a reality. As long as you keep your goals realistic and challenge that need for perfection, this will become a

much more regular occurrence. Turn your Journal upside down and start from the back, writing down positive feedback that you receive and positive things you feel inside. Before the two sides of the book meet each other, you should be starting to see that you are certainly not an imposter but a deserving success.

Read how these parents overcame Imposter Syndrome.


Rhiannon Birch

Father of 3

Mother of 3


Cheshire Cat Marketing

For me, running has been a key to improving the imposter’s syndrome. Space and exercise have allowed me to reflect and figure out the issues around why my self-confidence may be so low, especially when working on a start-up. When it comes to imposter syndrome, I often think of a virtual high street with two pubs, one is calledav ’The Linked Inn’, which is full of self-confidence, almost to a narcissistic degree. The pub opposite is “The Imposters Arms” and arguably one frequented by many more PLM (people like me). Ultimately neither is where one wants or can be for a lengthy period of time—far better in the middle of the road, going for that run


I had always daydreamed about starting my own business, but the fear of failure always held me back. I knew that I was hard-working, but I didn’t believe I was good enough to actually run a successful creative marketing agency. I was worried people would laugh and think I made a bad choice leaving my comfortable 9-5 position, or that I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills and my kids would end up with a worse quality of life due to my failings, but while on maternity leave with my youngest child, I realised I couldn’t go back to the high-pressure and unrewarding position I had. So, after countless pep talks from my partner, I finally took the leap.

In just 3 and a half years, my self-funded agency now employs 14 in-house staff, has helped countless SMEs and Start-Ups, has all five-star reviews, has partnered with global marketing tools and has been nominated for awards. But even with all this positive feedback and impressive growth, it hasn’t eliminated my Imposters Syndrome. When I first started to grow my team, I often battled with the fear of them judging me or thinking I wasn’t good enough. I found that I got tongue-tied and nervous before training sessions as I was unsure if my guidance was good enough, and I was probably more nervous during interviews than the applicants. I also struggled to get myself out there on social media, and I was turning down speaking events and consulting opportunities as I was scared of being laughed off the stage or being told that my guidance wasn’t good enough. Eventually, my partner in life and business sat me down and explained that we could achieve so much more if I had more confidence. I’d known it wasn’t good for my mental health, but to be told in black and white that I was slowing our progression as I had no faith in my abilities was a wake-up call. But, of course, it wasn’t an instant fix at all. I’m still constantly working on overcoming


Overcoming Imposter Syndrome the syndrome - it took me months of affirmations, rereading positive feedback, coaching and reading self-help books before I was even confident enough to start posting Instagram Reels. Still, I am on the right path now and already seeing a positive impact on my business. For me, I find taking some time out every day to practice mindfulness, read my company reviews, look at competitors (and seeing where I would improve things) and talking to my family makes all the difference. I believe my anxiety and Imposters Syndrome stem from having my first child at 17, struggling financially as a single mum and working 6 day weeks in a warehouse whilst studying for my degree, and then losing my biggest supporter, my mum, suddenly to cancer at I was 22. So as I can pinpoint what impacts my confidence, I focus on turning it around and reminding myself what I’ve already overcome and achieved. If I can get to where I am now through hard work and determination, I’ve earned every bit of it.

Lisa-Marie Tonelli Mother of 1 NEIFF_Official

Jo Bevilacqua Mother of Jo Bevilacqua Mentoring

I set up my business, the North East International Film Festival, during my maternity leave last year with my son, Teddy. However, I’m not sure that i have overcome feeling like a total impostor yet, this is something I still need to work on and is a feeling that is only enhanced when I fail to secure last-minute childcare in time for a Zoom meeting and have to position myself between my child’s TV and my laptop! However, although I am still trying to overcome my insecurities, I wanted to ensure that the people I worked with would never feel this way. As a


result, we are the first festival ever to be awarded the Raising Films Ribbon for our efforts in providing an inclusive space within our team and also other parents/caregivers in the industry.

Imposter syndrome is definitely something that I had to overcome when I was first starting out in the business industry. It was something that was completely new to me, so of course, it brought about a lot of different feelings. These feelings weren’t necessarily unusual to me, but it did cause me a lot of stress, as well as a lot of questioning and second-guessing myself—feelings

SPECIAL FEATURE of doubt, guilt, and general insecurity. I just couldn’t shake the thought of ‘is this really me?’ and wondering whether I was allowed to do this for myself or if I actually deserved success at all! I wondered, are these feelings real? Am I actually good enough? Is it actually justified? It was definitely difficult for me, especially as I started up my first business, ‘Hallmark Carpets and Flooring’, whilst on maternity leave with my first daughter! I found that it did hold me back to start with, which was tricky to overcome. When you’re feeling like this, it’s hard to be able to think rationally or logically, but what I realised is indecision is a decision! So whilst I was sitting worrying about making the right decision or wondering whether I was good enough to be doing this, I was making the choice to NOT choose. What I had to do was find my inner strength and overcome those anxieties and fears I had. It was about being able to build up my backbone and start building resilience! I had to push myself to make a conscious choice to shove those thoughts to the back of my mind, which was easier said than done, but it definitely paid off. That being said, it’s not like one day i just decided to do this, and then from there, it was

plain sailing. I still had down days, I still do! It’s completely normal and valid, but as I progressed, personally and professionally, and actually TOOK ACTION to change my life for the better, I noticed more and more changes, and through hard work and dedication, my business took off. I later went on to build my second business, ‘Serenity Loves’, a hair salon with an onsite crèche, as it was definitely something I needed myself, following the recession in 2009, whilst pregnant with my second daughter. My business went on to win a variety of awards. And in 2018, I started my third business under the name ‘The Unique Mumpreneur’, which has now been rebranded to ‘Jo Bevilacqua Mentoring’. I’m currently in the process of building my team and creating new and exciting things for my audience. So times were tough, and like I said, I still struggle sometimes, we all do! But now I’m a successful mother of two, wife, and business mentor with three thriving businesses, my own blog, and my own book, No Longer Last on the List, which I wrote to help empower other women in the same situation I was in, and help them put themselves first, and change their lives for the better.


In Conversation with Duncan Grierson, Founder of Clim8

Duncan Grierson has spent the last 20 years working in sustainability and building businesses that could positively impact the climate. He has two children, aged 6 and 9. Like every parent, he wants to leave a better future for them. So Duncan decided to build his venture, Clim8, with the mission of making it easier for everyone to fight climate change. 28

Tell us about your journey. How did you get here? My passion has revolved around tackling climate change in different ways, having built and invested in a range of companies that positively impact our environment in sectors such as biofuels, plastics recycling, solar batteries, and wind turbine composites.

How did you move from idea to actual business? A couple of years ago, I had the idea for Clim8 - the light bulb moment was realising that there was no existing way to invest easily into great companies that are making a difference on climate change. We have been head down since building our digital platform. We’ve built a fantastic team of 30 professionals, and we have recently launched in the Appstore.

We aim to build our community to millions of people who are making an impact on climate change with their savings.

What are your biggest pain points that you have been dealing with in your business these days? We think that for many people, the area of investing is confusing and full of jargon, something that is only accessible for the very wealthy. At the same time, over the last months, we have seen a lot of news about greenwashing.

As a result, a lot of new jargon like “ESG” has emerged, and understandably many people feel overwhelmed. So for us, it’s been both a challenge but also a great opportunity to start a meaningful conversation with our customers who are interested in the topic. We want to make sure our customers feel safe and secure when they invest, so we are spending a lot of time and effort to help them make an informed decision about their savings.

Clim8 Invest is the first app that provides a simple way for people to invest in their future and the future of the planet. It is the only investment platform to select exclusively companies and funds that are focused on tackling the climate crisis and bringing about positive change. Our goal is to give anyone the tools to take climate change into their own hands and have a positive impact with their money. Sectors we invest in include clean energy, clean technology, sustainable food, electric mobility and recycling.


What was the last thing you did that made you really proud? This has to be finally launching our app in the app stores in March! This was 2 years of hard work and based on 20 years of experience in sustainable investing.

How do your values show up in the work you do? My love for nature and the outdoors, combined with my knowledge on how fast climate change is now moving, with the world a different place from my own childhood, means I am very focused on trying to make an impact so that my little boys can share the same experiences with their own children.

How do you manage your time between family and business? I have breakfast and dinner with the family each day and make a point of spending some time with each of them, individually, each day, even if it’s only 15 minutes for a game or a bedtime story or bathtime. I love what we are building at Clim8 but these moments with my kids are gold.

What does a typical day look like for you? Hugging my kids and a good cup of coffee are the best ways to start the day! If I am not dropping the kids at school, I try to squeeze in a morning run which is a great time to think or to listen to a


podcast. I then spend my days on calls with my colleagues, working on strategy, funding and hiring new talent to the team.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? As a family, we spend a lot of time outdoors. My wife is Danish, a culture very in tune with nature and the seasons, so we love to be outdoors for family events, birthdays, and holidays. With two little boys full of energy and our new puppy Cosmo, we explore London parks and gardens through rambling walks every weekend.

Who or what inspires you? My kids are a great inspiration, I try to see the world through their eyes. I have always been a very curious person interested in understanding different things and how the world works. Now that I have small children, it’s fascinating to try to see things from their perspective, in a very different world to the one that I experienced. Duncan Grierson

How to Successfully Launch a New Product Do you have a fantastic idea for a new product? If so, you are probably keen to get it launched and on-sell but may be unsure how to transform your initial idea into a successful product. Everyone has heard the doom and gloom stories of how many new products fail, but that does not mean that yours will suffer the same fate. To give your product

idea the very best chance of success, it is essential to prepare as best as possible before you go ahead with the launch. Carrying out plenty of research will help you avoid many of the potential pitfalls involved in successfully getting a product to market and selling well. Here are the tips that you need to help you successfully launch your new product.

Know Your Target Market To sell your product, you need to understand precisely who your customers will be, so identifying your target audience is essential. This can be achieved by determining the problems that your product solves and who would gain the most benefit from your product’s features. Once you have identified your target market, you will need to carry out research to decide on the best ways to market your product to your target audience and to make it appeal to them. This research will include looking into the best channels to use to promote it and the most suitable outlets to stock your product.


Research Your Competitors As well as identifying your target market, you will also need to familiarise yourself with your competitors. Researching competing products is vital to understand how your product compares with similar products already on the market. Once you have identified these products, you will be able to determine how to differentiate your product from your competitor’s to establish its unique selling proposition (USP) to help it stand out from the crowd. It is also crucial to understand the price points used by competing brands so that you can work out the best market position for your product.

Calculate Demand Before your product goes into mass production, you need to Predict demand as this will have a large impact on the success of your launch. Manufacturing too many units will see you incur high costs with minimal profits, yet not producing enough will be a missed opportunity. To help your product realize its full potential, you need to forecast demand as accurately as possible by taking a research-based approach.

Raise Awareness Even if you have just designed a revolutionary, life-changing product, you still won’t sell many units unless you make people aware of its existence. In marketing terms, brand


awareness is the process of generating interest in a product and making people aware of it and its features. Many tactics can be used to build brand awareness, but your starting point should be building a website and gaining an online presence. Tailoring your online marketing activity to your target audience will give your product the best chance of getting noticed by your intended customers.

In Conversation with Charlotte Olivier – Co-owner of Napton Cidery

Charlotte Olivier is the co-owner of An award-winning family Cidery in Warwickshire. Charlotte co-owns Napton Cidery with her husband, Jolyon. They have two young children. 33

Can you tell us what your business is? What is it that you do? We run an award-winning independent cidery - harvesting, pressing, bottling and distributing more than 90,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards.

Tell us about your journey. How did you get here? We were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday to Cornwall nine years ago. Returning home with an apple tree, we started experimenting in the back garden. “We made our first batch of cider, as most do, from the apple tree in our garden. Turns out

we were born to be cider makers! We started Napton Cidery several years later with the sole mission to collect unwanted apples from our village and surrounding orchards to create amazing ciders.

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome? I find that there are always obstacles, big and small, constantly as we do the whole process from picking the apples to getting them in the bottle to selling. It takes a lot of planning for production and having a team to keep everything going.  This year we have taken on more full-time staff to make things run smoothly, but it has not always

been this way. You have to learn to take the bad times and keep going and stick to your values.

What are the best bits of advice ever received? We are very lucky to have received great advice from the beginning from other business directors who have helped us, from making cider through to selling it. We would not be where we are without family, friends, business acquaintances and investors. Production and selling always have to go hand in hand, from making enough cider to selling enough. It’s a balancing act!

What was the last thing you did that made you really proud? I am proud every day I walk into the cidery as we have come a long way from a table in an old dairy unit to a lovely taproom for people to enjoy. I am proud of the dedication and passion our whole team put in!

How do your values show up in the work you do? Central to our business ethos is sustainability, from harvesting through to packaging. All of our apples come from traditional unsprayed orchards, organic

and biodiverse growers, so no unnatural chemicals are introduced into the ecosystem. The cider is also naturally fermented using only wild yeasts and packaged in recyclable materials and all ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

How do you manage your time between family and business? Family and work time are always tricky to balance, but we have learnt how to do this over time. My children are very understanding and help out, and I find emailing my husband work related things works better rather

than always talking about it in our spare time. But we are very passionate about our work, so we like talking about it too and how we want to make each step in our business.

What does a typical day look like for you? I look after the marketing, always thinking of new ideas, running the shop, cleaning, delivering, and organising the tours. We have new staff, and we all chip in and do what needs doing.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I love nature, and I have just finished working on a project to create a wildlife pond across the road from the cidery. I love walking and spending time with my kids. Music is also a passion.

Who or what inspires you? Nature inspires me and reminds me that things are ever-changing and beautiful and to take the time to appreciate each thing you see and do. Charlotte Olivier


You can find these businesses and more on our online directory

Joy Foster TechPixies

Salihah Spoken World Productions

Vee Roberts Insight2marketing

TechPixies is an award-winning CPD accredited online learning platform with a social mission to help women leverage the power of modern technology (Social Media, WordPress and MailChimp) to improve women’s access to employment or help them to start a business.

Spoken World Productions are a Theatre in Education organisation operating across London and the globe (virtually!) to bring fun, educational and enriching Drama lessons to primary aged children. Their sessions are designed to work in line with all subjects and can be tailored to the individual curriculum, so if you are a school teacher, home educator, enrichment officer or parent seeking a drama package for your child to enjoy, they can help.

Insight2marketing is a Full-Service brand & Marketing agency led by Vee Roberts, an award-winning Brand & Marketing Coach.

Services offered

Social Media Management and Event Services

Services offered Free training Workshops Podcast Courses

1-2-1 coaching sessions Online drama sessions Podcast Courses Handmade hats Handmade sunshine products and more MockingbirdMakesCo


Services offered Strategic Planning Campaign Design and Implementation Brand Development Web Design Leaflet Distribution

Michelle Molyneux MJM Virtual Solutions

Louise Worsley Worsley Training

Nadene Martin Format Services Limited

Your everyday virtual admin solution providing personal assistant support to conquer general admin tasks, so consultants and small businesses can focus on growing their business.

Worsley Training is run by Louise Worsley, a professional teacher with an instinctive ability to make learning First Aid memorable and enjoyable. She has over fifteen years of hands-on First Aid experience, both as a global expedition leader and as a parent.

Baby and Child First Aid

Format Services is a Virtual Assistant Company taking care of all of your administration needs. Offer various services which can support you to grow your business, and you can view them further in the Services section. There are many benefits of outsourcing your administration, which you can discuss further as every business is unique.

Paediatric First Aid

Services offered

Mini Life-Savers (first aid for primary school children)

Email Management

Services offered General administration Research Proofreading and editing Virtual personal assistant

Some of the courses offered

Teen-Aiders (First aid for teenagers & secondary school children) Basic Life Support with Defibrillator First Aid Training So many other courses are on offer so be sure to check out the website.

Transcription Project management Venue Bookings And so much more, be sure to check out Nadene's website



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Welcome to the 13th issue of the Parents in Business Magazine Summer is here, and as quick as you can blink, the children will be breaking u...

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