There is an argument to say that launching a new company at the start of a pandemic might not be the wisest move. But that’s exactly what we did. Neither I nor anyone else had the slightest idea what was to come beyond March 2020, or that we’d still be in the throes of it now.
I launched my wellbeing company, Northstar Therapies in 2018, armed with a hunch and some actual research that it ‘might have legs.’
What allowed it to flourish was feedback, reflection and constructive criticism, gained only from those I truly valued personally and professionally. Listening to advice from people who wanted it to take root without egos getting in the way. It’s that cliched phrase of nurturing a seedling but clichés exist often as they’re true. I needed a variety of elements around me to enable it, I simply couldn’t do it on my own.
I’ve now launched Zipporah & Northstar with a like-minded individual, Katy Holliday and I continue to learn enormously. I’m an experienced psychotherapist, supervisor, coach, assessor and spent nearly 20 years in advertising. So, some actual skills.
I’ve also learnt I’m absolutely shit at numbers whereas Katy is shit hot. Other things; I’m almost conservative in that I work safely, ethically and responsibly. I tie up the loose ends, I’m a ‘do-er’. Katy is more visionary and one of those annoying mic-droppers; ‘here’s a great idea make it happen’ *flounces off*. I make it happen. This is how we work best together, we know our roles and we’re happy with them.
I have to be totally connected to the purpose and with GetZeN.io I feel very excited. I ‘know’ it’s right for me. What I’ve had to relearn or unlearn is that it’s OK not to please everyone all the time, something I’ve struggled with historically. By this I mean turning a blind eye to unprofessional behaviour from contractors. By being firm with what I want versus what others want from me, I’ve realised I’ve earned the right to challenge where experience tells me.
I’ve learned my core beliefs anchor me. That the client is at the heart of the process and if it doesn’t feel right, I shouldn’t do it but also when I don’t understand something, the more I am clear, the easier it is to move forward.
We see GetZeN as a living, breathing entity. Whilst the purpose remains the same, shifts and changes happen all the time. And so should we.
There’s nothing else out there quite like GetZeN – you’d think Katy and I would be punching the air – it’s quite the opposite. We know we’re in unknown territory; there aren’t any benchmarks and there’s no room for arrogance. We need to build on what we have and keep exploring and assessing before we make any decisions that move us in any direction.
The unknown can stop us appreciating the present, constantly projecting ourselves 5 years into the future and worrying. We’ve too much choice. I’ve learnt to take it back to the basics and stick to my core beliefs. Let it grow, with the help of those you trust with your life. Keep it simple.
In the pandemic we’ve launched a wellbeing platform, onboarded 60 different practitioners from many disciplines with curated programmes. We’ve developed a prototype for a wellbeing diagnostic with the University of Hertfordshire to provide a business case for HR and wellbeing leads to invest comfortably. What’s next? Currently fundraising. We have interest. Do I know what I’m doing? Not really but I’m learning from my mistakes and learning is all we have.
Knowing where to start