“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.