Elevate With Ellie
This Start-Up Story comes from Ellie Lloyd-Jones, a Strengths and Leadership Coach. She is a mum of 3 primary aged children and runs her coaching business Elevate with Ellie to help develop confident, authentic leaders.
Tell me a little about you & your family, what your business is, and the inspiration behind getting started…
I was a coach before I even realised it. People used to say how natural I was at developing others but I didn’t really understand what they meant. It turns out I made a career out of it in various guises throughout my 15 years of leadership in large corporate organisations.
I am a mum of three little hurricanes aged 6 to 11 years and set up my coaching business Elevate with Ellie in January 2021. I’m on a mission to change the face of leadership from a “One size fits all” approach to building team cultures that foster everyone’s unique strengths and potential.
Through my leadership experience and coaching qualifications, I help leaders to better understand themselves and their teams so they can bring their whole selves to work.
I set up on my own because I am passionate about helping people recognise the uniqueness they bring to the world and help them to use these strengths to perform at their best and be happy while they do it.
I have always felt like the one size fits all approach doesn’t work for me and have a passion to uncover what makes people tick, what makes them great and help them to make their mark on the world with that understanding. We live in a society where too much emphasis is placed on what we “can’t do” and that’s very much reflected in the workplace. But when we celebrate what we are capable of doing it opens up a whole world of new possibilities and leaves people feeling happy and fulfilled.
How did you make the leap from idea on paper to reality with your business idea?
I was becoming more disengaged with how I was being told to lead and develop people with the emphasis being placed on fast results rather than sustainable engagement and development.
This led me to look into formalising my natural interests and talents so I enrolled on a course to become a qualified NLP Master Practitioner and gain my ILM Level 5 in Effective Coaching & Mentoring.
While I was studying for these, I hired a coach – the wonderful Lucy Green – to help give me advice, accountability and encouragement as I made the first scary steps into putting my business idea out there.
I would argue that those first steps were the hardest. To admit that I had an idea and a gift that could help people on a larger scale and have the faith to put it out into the world. Lucy encouraged and supported me through that process, without which it would still just be a pipe dream.
How did you get your first sale or client?
I put a lot of content on Instagram and Facebook to see who resonated with my message. The first 6 months of my business were focussed on helping busy working mums get balance in their lives so I launched my Balance Bootcamp.
I hosted guest lives in other facebook groups and secured my first 2 clients. Those first 2 paying clients meant the world to me!
What ‘lucky breaks’ or helping hands have you had along the way that have really boosted your progress?
My friends and family believing in me has been a massive boost to my business and my confidence. Seeing them believing in me, supporting me and generally being cheerleaders helps me on the days where I question “What am I doing???”.
What do you LOVE about your business and working for yourself?
I love the freedom and autonomy of running my own business and the results I see my clients gain as they work with me. One of my clients last year received a pay rise because of the progress she had made in the first 6 months of leading others – that was AMAZING to see her dedication and passion rewarded.
On a personal level I love that I have the freedom to be there for my children while they’re still developing. I always thought that the children would need me most when they were babies and toddlers but actually as they get older I would argue that being there for them to listen to their worries and fears as they embark on their gradual move to independence and being there to support their wins is equally if not more important.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve had to do since setting up on your own?
By far the scariest thing was putting myself out there under a business profile on Instagram. I felt so exposed and vulnerable! Quitting my day job felt scary too and actually starting my business full time with no-one else to answer to was quite surreal.
But the more I stretch my comfort zone, the less scary things become. And because I run my own business, I get to choose which of the scary things are worth my time and energy and which ones are just not for me.
What impact did Coaching support have on you and your business, in the short and longer term?
Having a coach for my business is invaluable to me. Having someone else challenge my way of thinking helps to open up new ideas and perspectives that I would have struggled to find on my own or would just have taken me a lot longer to figure out.
I think there’s a lot to be said for just talking your thoughts out loud too. When you give them air time they either become more powerful when there is a lot of energy behind them or lose their power if they’re holding you back. Plus having a coach who is trained to ask you the right questions to expand your thinking helps you to take your initial thoughts deeper.
Having a coach also helps to keep me accountable. I can’t just pay lip service to my ideas, once I’ve aired them and my coach has heard, there’s no going back!
In the long term, having a coach gives me structure and direction and also helps to form an invisible safety net. When I know I’ve been able to do something big and scary with a coach by my side, it gives me faith that I can do it on my own too.
Who else is in your support network, that you simply couldn’t manage without?
I am a member of two amazing communities. The Kindred is a community of female business founders who have really kept me going during the more challenging times and are also there to cheer me on and celebrate those amazing wins when you hit a business milestone or client success.
I am also a member of the Better Bolder Braver coaching community where I have made some truly nourishing friendships with people who challenge, support and empower me in a way I have never experienced before.
What exciting plans do you have for your business over the next 6-12 months that you’d like to share?
I am really excited about Elevate with Ellie in 2022. After 12 months of running my business, I am finally getting some real clarity around what and how I can offer my experience and expertise to leaders who want to build a culture that celebrates and encourages bringing your whole self to work.
I will be running goal setting and review workshops and rolling out my 1:1 programme for new leaders who need support in their first 12 months of leading others.
You can see more of what Ellie’s up to online over at her website.
On your own start-up adventure?
I’m Lucy. I’m a Business Coach helping women who work for themselves to create brilliant businesses that make a positive impact on the world – sharing their skills, talents and creativity in a way that feels good AND makes great money, too.
I offer free 30-min Consultation Calls to enable you to get a handle on where you are now, gain clarity on your goals for your business and figure out what you need to do to get there, too. You can book your complimentary call with me here: www.calendly.com/Lucy-Green/30min
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