Entrepreneur Friday – Dawn Thomson
Time for another Entrepreneur Friday where we interview female business owners. This week we have the fabulous Dawn Thomson, an energy psychologist, neuro-linguist and hypnotherapist who helps people get more of what they want out of life.
Entrepreneur Friday – Dawn Thomson
Tell us a bit about your business
For nearly ten years now, I have been working with people who struggle with self-confidence, anxieties and feelings of low self-worth. I show them how to release the emotional blocks and beliefs they’re holding about themselves and their life situations in order to claim the love, purpose and happiness that they deserve. I practice Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Emotional Freedom Technique and Non-Trance Hypnosis, and using a tailored combination of these, plus coaching and support, I have helped hundreds of people of nearly every age live the life they want, their way.
What inspired you to start it?
I had an epiphany as I was sitting in front of my computer, pulling another 17-hour shift. I was freelancing at the time and rocking my new-born daughter with my foot whilst pulling together designs for an annual report and I suddenly thought: ‘There has to be another way’. The next day I was in a herbalist’s shop and there was a leaflet about training in NLP. I signed up as soon as I got home. I had always been the agony aunt for everyone I knew, so why not try to make a business out of it?
What is your career background?
I worked in advertising and design for fifteen years before I retrained, creating brands, campaigns and print for many blue chip companies and charities. After working for a few companies here in Edinburgh I set up my own design agency when I was 27, which I ran with a partner until we split seven years later. I then went freelance before deciding to retrain. Interestingly, the way I work with my clients now is quite similar to the way I worked then: listen carefully to what the client needs or desires, but use the mind as the tool to create the outcome instead of a mouse
What is your vision for your business?
I am working on becoming known as one of the best people to come and see if you want to change your life. I would love to work with as many people as possible in as many different ways as I can, so the vision is to give motivational talks and workshops, run group programmes as well as individual ones and offer online courses too.
You’ve balanced being a successful business woman with raising a family. Any advice for other women?
Balance is key, so don’t try to do too much at once. Break things down into small, manageable chunks, and ask for help when you need it. Your work, your kids and your partner are all important, but you have needs too. Look after yourself. You’re the best asset your business and your family has.
How do you maintain a good work/life/family balance?
I have to schedule everything to the nth degree, otherwise I fall into the trap of thinking about work when I’m with the family and vice versa. I even schedule in downtime, so that if the urge to do something with work comes up and it’s my morning off, I can remind myself easily that work is for another day!
What was your light bulb moment? When did you realise you wanted to be an entrepreneur/business owner?
It came when I was sitting in a planning meeting with the partners of the design agency that I worked for. I realised then that I’d always thought like an employer and not an employee, and was desperate to have more control over the way things were run.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
Trust yourself; listen to your gut and not your brain. And never ever accept a job/project just because ‘the money’s good’. It always comes back to bite you in the end.
What has surprised you about owning your own business?
How much I enjoy being the mistress of my own fate.
Who and what inspires you?
I adore Oprah, and the way she has made therapy and self-confidence mainstream. And I have to say, my clients inspire me all the time — their bravery, their willingness to take a punt on themselves never ceases to impress me.
Do you have a daily routine or rituals you do?
I always make sure that I connect deeply with myself in order to do the best for my clients, and I find drawing deeply meditative — plus it’s something I can do with my daughters.
What obstacles have you had along the way?
The only obstacles that I have had have really been of my own making: not taking opportunities in the early days because I wasn’t confident that I’d do a good job, or not standing up for myself when I was challenged. On balance though, I’ve had a pretty smooth ride.
What is one thing you wish you’d known when you first started?
That not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay. I don’t need to convince them or justify my position, because plenty of other people do — and will.
What is your favourite quote?
It doesn’t matter where you go, you always take you with you. My mum used to say that a lot and it’s only now I’ve grown up that I realise how profound it is.
Dawn Thomson is an energy psychologist, neuro-linguist and hypnotherapist who helps people get more of what they want out of life -— and less of what they don’t. A native Londoner, she came to Edinburgh to study at Edinburgh College of Art and what was meant to be a three-year adventure became a nearly thirty-year one, as she collected a home, a husband, two daughters and many, many pairs of shoes along the way. A lifelong Helper, Dawn founded her coaching business in 2008 and has since helped hundreds of people rediscover their authentic selves and celebrate their innate gifts, working with men, women and children from 8-80 years old.
Dawn has delivered a TEDx talk (see below), worked with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and is enjoying living her purpose — changing the world, one person at a time.
Thanks for sharing your story Dawn!
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