Propeller Spotlight: GLC Resilience Coaching

When working on a business there are many challenges and mental wellbeing is one that is often overlooked. Gemma Margerison, owner of GLC Resilience Coaching, wants to change that with a new book written by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The book discusses mental wellbeing and resilience.

A picture of Gemma Margerison

Who is Behind GLC Resilience Coaching?

A UCLan graduate of Creative Writing and English Literature, Gemma came to Propeller in November. Since starting a Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring at Oxford Brookes University, Gemma has been interested in making her resilience insights accessible to everyone, including business owners. Having started her own company GLC Resilience Coaching, Gemma keeps looking for other ways to reach her audience.

Working with Propeller, Gemma has developed her business model and gained insight into which direction she wants to take her business.

“I am a bit of an ideas magpie; I’m attracted to new ideas and I like to be involved in new things. I’m always looking for something new and exciting and at first I thought a breadth of ideas was good. Since focusing my ideas with a laser, pinpoint precision, I’ve actually found I stand out more. People know who I am and what I stand for, so they’re more likely to approach me.”

With a set of core values, Gemma is still able to offer a diverse offer alongside her coaching. Understanding who she is and what her goal is has allowed her to narrow down which projects to pursue. At current, Gemma has several projects planned that accompany her main offer, including a book and handmade resilience bands.

Sharing the Good

Following graduation in 2009, Gemma’s around-the-world trip led to living in New Zealand for three years, working as a journalist. Although journalism often gets a bad rap, Gemma found herself working for a paper that let her focus on the good news stories. The good in the world can be drowned out, but in that role she got to highlight all the positive stories. This had an impact on her, as she wants to continue emphasising the good in her own work.

Earlier this year, this manifested in a 2020 wellbeing project which entailed posting a blog article every day. If you’ve ever tried writing a blog yourself, you can appreciate how ambitious this was; then, of course, the world turned upside down in March. Refocusing this desire to connect, Gemma developed the idea of a book for business owners to help each other. Throughout her life, she has found that sharing lived experiences have a powerful, positive impact on others, which formed the start of the book.

Connecting with the Local Business Community

The book ‘Connected’ will draw inspiration from 50 business owners, primarily based in the North West. Each will contribute their knowledge and expertise on how to accept yourself and navigate your own personal life journey. Amongst the contributors are sole traders, SME’s, charities and community organisations each with their unique set of circumstances.

All of the businesses involved are part of Gemma’s personal network from her own enterprising adventure. Having left a full-time job to become self-employed, Gemma spent a lot of time networking and met people doing a range of amazing things. Drawing on a community of peers, she wanted to provide the advice and inspiration that she would have liked to have seen at the start of her own journey. Asking for contributions links directly to that time. Sharing knowledge and helping each other is a vital part of networking, after all.

As most of the contributors are from the North West, there’s also a sense of local support within the pages. Certainly, during the lockdown we’ve seen an increase of support to ‘buy local’ and the book will echo this sentiment. An important part of the book will be to provide an insight into the businesses involved and provide contact information to encourage readers to continue the local support.

Finding that ‘Missing’ Piece

In the same way she reached out to her network for the book, Gemma has developed complementary aspects of her offering through a collaboration with ESC Bracelets. ESC Bracelets now offer a resilience band that acts as a physical reminder that the wearer is strong, confident and well, no matter what life throws at them.

The idea was a simple one with a poignant origin. Diagnosed with PTSD in 2015, Gemma felt like there was something missing. She described it as a joy-sucking hole that couldn’t just be fixed, no matter how hard she tried. In one counselling session she was asked, “What do you need to move forward?” and the answer was immediate: “I need to find my missing piece.”

GLC Resilience Coaching resilience band

It was like a lightbulb moment. I went online and bought a jigsaw-piece charm which I wore as a necklace. It was something personal and discreet, which helped me a great deal. Every time I struggled, I remembered that I had my piece and there was nothing missing. Since there was nothing holding me back and from that point on, my recovery really took off.”

Wanting to share what worked for her, Gemma looked around for someone to collaborate with her. She met Terrence from ESC Bracelets through a North West Business Owners forum and was taken by the company’s values. Vegan, ethically sourced and sustainable, the bracelets were an ideal way to create a unisex symbol of one’s inner strength.

The bands have been designed with GLC Coaching branding and £5 from each resilience band sale will be split between Gemma’s chosen trauma support services, many of which will appear in the book later this year. For a full list, check the bottom of the article.

Giving Back to Those that Supported Her

Proceeds from the resilience bands will be going to several trauma support services with which Gemma has some association:  HorseHeardAdvocacy Focus and Breathe Therapies. This is a personal matter for Gemma, who wants to give back to the people that helped her through her own struggle.

“I was working with military veterans when I got my PTSD diagnosis. It was scary and I didn’t understand what it meant. The day I got my diagnosis I had a cup of tea with a veteran who had lived with PTSD for 17 years. It was so reassuring to talk to someone about the symptoms I was experiencing and to recognise that these were completely normal. I’ve found my diagnosis and personality has helped me to connect with that community on a completely different level. I am incredibly grateful to the armed forces and am in awe of everything that they do, it is a great privilege to give back in any way I can.”

Gemma is also supporting the community in conjunction with Recruit for Spouses, offering voluntary coaching to help military partners to return to work. If you would like to keep up-to-date with Gemma’s work, visit her website.