Our, ’Ten Minutes With,’ series of interviews gives businesses the opportunity to tell us how they’ve adapted in response to the Covid-19 crisis, what their experiences have been, and as we learn to live alongside the virus, what their business plans are in the future.
This week we’re talking to Nicky Bartley, owner of two businesses, both of which are designed to help people feel less overwhelmed and more in control of their lives and we all need that at the moment!
Describe yourself in five words:
- Excited (about life)
- Love (I love love)
Tell us about you and your business?
I’ve got two businesses. One comes under the heading of Thrive and Shine and offers consulting and training for businesses and their teams around mental health and workplace stress. It also offers one to one coaching to help those people who want to make a change to their life. In partnership with Keele University, we’re also looking at workplace stress in a bid to help support businesses in the area on a subject that’s vitally important, now more than ever.
The second business is split into two arms. The first is aimed solely at women and is called the Female Leaders Membership. Its aim is to help women in leadership positions to become better leaders, to stop compromising, and to get more but do less. It involves online support, group coaching, and one to one sessions.
The second is for absolutely anyone who feels anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed by life. It’s a thirty-day program called: ‘Striving to Thriving,’ and the sessions are aimed at helping people take back control, make life effortless and less burdensome.
What did you do before launching your business?
I was a social worker for 25 years working in the Youth Offending Team.
Much of my role was supporting those offenders who had troubled backgrounds, were in care, or were on the fringes of the system.
It was an incredibly rewarding job, giving them the support needed to aspire to a better future, whether that was back into education, a life free of crime or addiction, or into employment.
But I was working 70 to 80 hours a week and lived and breathed every minute of it. It wasn’t the kind of job you could leave at the front door and it started to make me ill.
At that point, I decided to make a change in direction and joined the NHS for a while, but it wasn’t long before I went back to social work on an interim contract.
While I was there, I decided I wanted to use what I’d learned, and the experience gained to help other people who wanted to make a change to their lives. I got a coaching qualification and left to launch the business. I can honestly say I’ve never looked back.
I’m still in touch with many of the people I helped in Youth Offending on Facebook and I’m so glad I can follow their journeys and see how well so many of them are doing.
What’s the first thing you ordered on-line during lockdown?
Probably something glamourous like my supermarket shopping or some new books from Amazon. I’m a bookaholic and love reading.
How did you cope in lockdown?
I made the transition fairly easily to be honest as a lot of my work is done virtually anyway.
I live with my partner and my daughter so always had company if I needed it, but I loved the peace of knowing I had to work from home.
As I work with people who suffer with anxiety it was very busy at the start taking calls from people who felt they needed to talk in what was an emergency situation. As people adapted it has settled down now.
Are you going to do anything differently?
I’m going to make sure that I continue to dedicate time to working on the business, as well as in it.
I’m always going to make sure I stick with exercise. I started the Couch to 5K during lockdown and I’m determined to finish it.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m writing a book based on my work and my own experience of life (that’s a whole other story). It’s got the working title: ‘How Not to Die Before You’re Dead,’ which I’m aiming to get published by the end of the year.
I’m also about to launch the second cohort of my thirty-day, ‘Striving to Thriving Programme.’
It’s aimed at people who always feel like they’re behind and can’t catch up, those that are anxious or stressed, suffer panic attacks, are angry, frustrated and feel like they overthink everything.
The virtual group sessions I run will help people take back control, build their confidence, enable them to support each other and make their life more meaningful.
And finally, what was your dream job when you were at school?
Working at the Youth Offending Team was my dream job and my heart was fully in it at the time. I’m still living my dream job – I get to help others live a more positive life and that’s the most important thing to me.
If you’d like to be one of our, ‘Ten Minutes With,’ interviewees find out more by dropping us a line at email@example.com