I help women to create their dream business and often the stumbling block to making it a reality is that they think it is normal to be in a job you dislike. To help quash that belief, I have decided to create an interview series with REAL LIFE success stories of incredible women who are living their dream and really have CREATED THEIR DREAM BUSINESS. I trained to be an image consultancy and I'm so grateful that it was part of my journey to the coaching I now know and LOVE. The first women in my interview series is also an image consultant. She and I went to the same training school and we have since become dear friends. I wanted to share her story with you:
Hi Denise, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, I know my readers will appreciated the inspiration! Please tell us what it is that you do:
I run AURA Style Consultancy, which helps both men and women with all aspects of their wardrobes – from wardrobe weeding, creating outfits and helping people understand what suits their body shape, to analysing clients’ best colours, shopping for them and wardrobe valeting.
What do you love about what you do?
For me it’s about helping people. My hairs stand on end when I’ve made a difference to how a client feels, giving them a real confidence boost. It’s great to see how the right clothing brings about such a positive change in someone.
What were you doing before?
I was working full time in a marketing role.
What made you choose image consultancy?
The catalyst was when I booked myself in for a colour and style analysis. My expectation was that it would be a great experience really fun, revealing, colourful and inspirational. Instead it was quite ‘dry’ and factual with an ‘off-the-shelf’ feel to it, rather than being personalised to me. It occurred to me I might be able to do it better... I did it in stages, first learning how to conduct colour analysis, and I introduced styling and shopping later on.
How does your Dream Business reflect your gifts, strengths and personality?!
It fits the bill in many different ways. Ultimately, I am a listener and a doer who loves helping people in a creative, constructive way. I know when an outfit is right and whether the person looks at ease wearing it. I get real job satisfaction out of knowing that I’ve understood or discovered what a client’s looking to achieve, then delivered it. Often people have wardrobe issues that have been bugging them for ages and I like to solve them. I love giving people a renewed sense of inspiration about how they portray themselves.
What was the biggest obstacle/s (physical, emotional or financial) you had to overcome?
Initially there was a mix of obstacles that sort of fed off one another in a vicious circle of wasted time! I didn’t truly believe in myself. Self-belief is something you can’t buy and I didn’t want to fail. The training I needed was going to set me back £4,000 – a good enough excuse to shelve the idea for a couple of years, especially when I asked myself ‘What if I’m no good at it?’, ‘What if the training isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?’, ‘What if I don’t get any clients?’ I think I was moaning to a friend whose response was “Well, at least you KNOW what you want to do – that’s half the battle.” That was a turning point for me – she made me see that it was actually quite wasteful not to do something about it! I knew that if the shoe was on the other foot I’d have told her to get on with it! I started to look at things in a different way – that the financial outlay could actually lead somewhere. But mainly, I didn’t want to look back in the future, only to wish that I had tried it. So I did it and booked myself on the 2 week intensive, very practical training course to learn about personal styling, body shapes and personal shopping.
How different is your life now to what it was before?
I feel like I’m doing what I was meant to do – it’s more ‘me’ and I talk about what I do enthusiastically. Admittedly, I’ve got the security of my marketing job, which gives me elements of creativity but now it’s greatly enhanced by my styling job which also lets me help people creatively. I am pleased to say I am very glad I did it.
If you knew then what you know now what advice would you give your former self, as you embarked on building your business?
I would tell my former self to ‘build on the things you enjoy’. Personally, I have found that if I enjoy doing something, it’s usually because I’m quite good at it, so by doing it more you just get better at it and the enjoyment grows even more. I think you can really tell when someone loves their job – the enthusiasm always shows through. So, instead of thinking it’s all about the money, I think it’s healthier to enjoy what you do, since we spend 5 days out of 7 doing it!
How did you KNOW this was what you wanted to do?!
I knew the moment I started the training. The learning wasn’t a chore, it just felt really exciting and I was looking forward to getting things underway. Then, once I’d passed and started getting great feedback from clients, I knew I’d done the right thing. As I mentioned before, my hairs stand on end and I get goosebumps every time I make a client happy.
What would you say to someone else who is thinking of creating their dream business?!
Stop faffing about with excuses and give it a go! If you don’t try it, you won’t know if you could have loved it and that’s a real shame.
Anything else you would like to share?!
It’s useful to research how everyone else does it in your chosen field and to come up with something that makes you that bit different.
You can find Denise Pentecost here:
Until next time, get inspired to make your dreams a reality.
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