Let me tell you a story.
Being able to listen to music without feeling overwhelmed has taken me over 5 years to achieve - and this is coming from someone who started my photography business for the love of music 20 years ago.
Years of operating at maximum capacity, always being ‘on’ and going for more led to me waking up one morning after very little sleep to find that I could not walk up the stairs. It was like my breath had been taken from me. I just couldn’t do it; I couldn’t keep up for one more day.
I burnt myself out by being stressed for far too long. In fact, I burnt out so badly that I had chronic fatigue for two years. And healing from that has been the biggest challenge of my life.
The events that had led me down this path were setting up a business - and life - in a foreign country, hustling to make money when it was running out fast, doing whatever it took to succeed and never giving up. But sometimes our bodies have different ideas - and they make us stop.
Realising that I had reached burnout and coming through the other side has been a huge life lesson for me. For many of us, burnout just creates a cycle that we come to know and accept. And we actually think it is normal, as though being on the brink of burnout is a badge of honour.
Let me tell you that it is not. As a business owner, I was on the edge of quitting, my passion had gone and my creativity had vanished. And I had to learn the hard way, exploring every healing method under the sun while my competitors were growing their businesses.
The key to this was completely changing my lifestyle, letting go of the endless expectations that we face as female business owners, overcoming negative self beliefs and managing my stress to become the very best version of myself.
With Be Well in Business, I want to help women heal, to end suffering in as many peoples’ lives as possible and to have a positive impact. Everyone deserves to have a beautiful life and a thriving business, and these two things can exist together.
Well-being is possible for all of us. And the journey to healing can be the most incredible experience.
In the spring of 2013, I sold everything I had and left England with my camera and a single suitcase and headed to Paris in search of adventure. I had always dreamed of moving to France, I was borderline obsessed with it. But never thought I would.
However, when I found myself single, in my thirties, bored and craving something new, I thought to myself, if I don’t do this now, when will I? So off I went. It is the single best decision I have ever made.
Paris had been popping up on my radar for a while. Perhaps subconsciously I had been searching for it. I got my sign when I heard that an ex-student had moved to Paris for love. I immediately felt the urge to contact her and pick her brains about living there: she made it sound so easy.
I had nothing holding me back except fear of the unknown. I had nothing to lose, but it still felt like a wildly risky move. I had two choices: stay in England and forever wonder what could have been or take a leap of faith into the unknown.
In the end, I chose adventure and I’m so very pleased I did.
Moving to Paris changed my life in many ways. I’ve found a place where I feel totally at peace.
A place that has taught me everything there is to know about love, life and – above all – myself.
*Update: In 2019 we re-located back to the UK and still have an office in Paris.
+ I found love
I’m British so it’s not really that surprising.
I love to grow my own vegetables. Organic all the way.
We have homes and offices in both Bath, UK and Paris, France
I love hiking. I’m a nature baby.
I photographed Queen Elizabeth doing a private investiture (knighting) ceremony. Crazy doesn't cover it.
I was once in the Air Force Cadets (for under 18s). I wanted to be a pilot.