After having suffered an almost fatal collapse a few years ago, I started to challenge traditional thinking on what it takes to succeed in life and what it takes to be a leader. After years of overwork and several highly traumatic life events in close succession, it all caught up with me and knocked me flat. That's when I knew things had to change.
It was as a result of that collapse and learning that it happening to several other thousands of people each year, that I started to write down the ideas that now make up the concept 'Leadership for the Stressed Out over 40's'
I was born in a place in the middle of the UK called Coventry. It has a cathedral that was bombed in the war and the phrase "being sent to Coventry" is a well known saying in the UK for someone who you'd like to send away!
My dad worked in the Motor Industry and my mum is the longest serving employee in a supermarket chain :)
They both taught me a good work ethic that has served me well.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Apprenticeship in Engineering which I started when I was 19. I was only one of four girls in the group but it was great fun. After I finished my Apprenticeship I was sponsored through University to do a Manufacturing Engineering Degree. My favourite subject was Solid Mechanics. Not sure why but it was lol
A friend of mine suggested I apply for a place on the TV Show The Apprentice. I was thrilled when I found out I'd beat 10,000 other people to be one of the twelve candidates in 2006. After that I seriously lost my way but that's a story for another time. Since then though I have also been on The Weakest Link (and won it), Loose Women, BBC News and The Politics Show so it's all been really good experience in that respect.
I've been running my own business since 2004 after I chose to take redundancy from my career in the motor industry. I was really unhappy in my job and was suffering from various ailments so I knew it was time to move on. Since then I have set up series of Women's Awards Events, A Women's Professional Development community and most recently have established the RedMane Leadership and Managment Development Centre in Warwickshire where we do Leadership and Team Building events for Corporates.
Inside myself I think I'm a frustrated academic as I love writing and learning. I've got an Engineering Degree, a Post Graduate Diploma and a Masters Degree. My most surprising moment was receiving a Distinction for my dissertation from my second marker at Oxford University and receiving the course prize from my tutor especially because half way through I’d wanted to give up.
In 2015 I was approached to do more radio work which I was thrilled about. I spent just over a year covering on local BBC Radio and had my own show on a local radio station too. Typical of me, I took on too much with the excitement of it all and the radio career had to come to an end.
Over the years I have worked with many charities including SANDS the Stillbirth Charity which is a charity that has a personal connection, The Princes Trust when I was a mentor, Birmingham Children's Hospital (seen in the picture abseiling) and my team and I helped raise thousands of pounds through our events for a range of independent charities. When I won the Weakest Link I secured just over £11 000 for my chosen charity which was a very special moment in memory of a very special baby girl who would have been 12 this year.
My favourite things in life are waking my daughter in the morning and putting her to bed at night. What happens in between isn't always plane sailing but every day there's something new to learn in being a parent.
Yoga is my self discipline. I find it challenging, rejuvenating, calming and strengthening all at the same time. I practise at home each morning and I attend three formal classes each week. Not once I have ever heard anyone regret taking up yoga.
There's nothing better than striking a nice golf ball. It's pure magic. Playing with my partner is an absolute privilege too because he is a PGA Professional. We are very fortunate to be based at a Hotel and Golf resort so frequently (when the weather is good) we are seen practising our swing or out on the course doing something designed a new module for our Leadership course. One of my favourite days was when we played with my dad and daughter. Three generations out on the course. That was cool!
I love food. Full stop. I get that from my dad who eats absolutely EVERYTHING in sight. That's part of the reason why I abstain from meat because over 20 years ago when I stop eating meat I found I could eat more lol.
Years ago I took up meditation and have not looked back. I practice it religiously at least twice a day because there are so many benefits that I get from it.
This is my daily target : to start the day without an alarm whatever time I need to get up. I absolutely hate being woken by the alarm so sometimes I'm ahead of it and sometimes I'm not. It's not quite spot on yet but I live with the ambition of not needing an alarm.