The Modern Career Coach - Sophie Clyde Smith.
I caught up with Sophie on her transition to self employment, how she can help you and her advice for anyone thinking of starting out! Sophie will be announcing something very exciting soon, hit the link in the photo to follow her & watch this space! Enjoy the read!
Hey Sophie, Let's kick off with you telling us a little about yourself.
I have a Transformational Life Coaching Diploma (ICF accredited), a Degree in Biomedical Sciences, over 400 hours of coaching experience and nearly 10 years of experience in the Careers & Recruitment sector. Over the last ten years, I have done the corporate thing, transitioned industries (twice), been a consultant, worked for a fast-paced start-up and, after side-hustling for 9 months, set up my own lifestyle business, Sophie Clyde-Smith: The Modern Career Coach. I now coach individuals one-to-one, run workshops, host events and speak and write about how to build a fulfilling career in the modern world. I have also set up a successful consultancy where I help businesses translate their important messages into impactful online courses. My mission is to help modern professionals who are disengaged and unfulfilled to reconnect with who they are and build a career around their true beliefs and passions. A career in which their wellbeing can flourish. I am Jersey-born and live in London with my husband and dog. I am a yoga-loving, nature obsessed, plant-eating Life & Career Coach who thinks life is too short to stay in a career that doesn’t make you happy.
What was the deciding factor for you to go self-employed?
Rather than it being one deciding factor, it was an accumulation of factors over a long period of time that ultimately gave me the confidence to make the leap.
Back when I was 17, my interest in human health and disease led me to choose Biomedical Science as my university degree but once I graduated, I felt lost and fell into a recruitment job. Over the next 5 or so years, I worked in this space and genuinely enjoyed it but outside of work, in my 5pm - 9pm, I was spending all my time pursuing wellness interests. So in 2016/ 2017, I transitioned my career into the wellness space by picking up my job from financial services recruitment and applying it to the wellness industry.
It was during this time, when I was heading up the careers function for Welltodo Global, that I truly felt that I was able to thrive. I was working in an industry I loved and alongside likeminded people. I developed into a Career Coach and decided to invest in myself and study for a Transformational Life Coaching Diploma.
If there were any specific ‘deciding factors’ mine are related to this qualification. Firstly, I had
never truly invested in myself and with the course being about £5k the act of believing in myself enough to spend that much money really shifted my perspective. Suddenly I was taking myself seriously. The second ‘deciding factor’ came halfway through the qualification - the course involved a lot of coaching, both coaching others and being coached myself. It was during these sessions that I saw the true value of coaching as I was able to strip away all my self-limiting beliefs and see, for the first time, what it was I really wanted. I wanted to be a coach and I wanted to have my own business.
I already knew, deep down, that I wanted to run my own business but I had been blocked by so many fears and a lack of confidence. Being coached and digging into all these misplaced beliefs helped me to build my confidence back up and to make a plan.
But without having spent the last 10 years nurturing my curiosities and listening to my inner voice, it wouldn’t have led me to the point where I felt strong enough to take such massive action. I allowed my curiosities to develop into passions and then I used that as fuel to help drive the tough decisions I had to make to go self-employed.
What do you love most about having your own business?
I love the creativity of owning my own business. I’m not one of those individuals who had a 5-year business plan when I quit. I side-hustled for about 9 months, slowly building up the business on the side, and invested a very small amount of my own money. I, of course, did have goals and a plan but I have allowed myself to also be open to ideas and creative inspiration which has led to some really interesting developments. For example, I never really planned on setting up my online course consultancy but, due to demand and me allowing space for this to grow, it has now become a major revenue stream. I also love the sense of control I have over my life. I have never been a ‘controlling’ person and I still wouldn’t describe myself like that but I just love the feeling of being the captain of my own ship. Sure, there are definitely really tough times but I always know I made the consciuos decision to be in this situation - I’m not being dictated to by others. I’ve built the life I want and I’m working hard to live it.
What advice would you give someone considering going self-employed?
The advice I would give is to believe in themselves. To know that they are capable. That they have the skills and abilities to make this a success. The main thing that will hold them back, however, is themselves. Their mindset and beliefs. If they can master their mindset, get familiar with their self-limiting beliefs and work through these, they will put themselves in such
a stronger position. Being coached transformed my perspective on both myself and the world around me. I suddenly went from wasting precious headspace and energy worrying about if I was good enough or capable enough to instead believing in myself and using that newfound inner power to support my development into a businesswoman.
Being self-employed isn’t for everyone and it takes energy and effort to both get to the position where you are able to quit and then also to maintain it. But, in my experience, the pay off is huge. The pay off is that you get to experience one of the most creative and fulfilling life adventures that are out there. Your business can be an expression of yourself and you get to make an impact on the world in your own unique way. Who wouldn’t want that?!
What services do you offer?
I work with a range of clients but I describe most of them as modern professionals who want more. They’re either getting some major signs that something needs to change - burnout, really negative emotions related to their career, redundancy - or they are getting more subtle signposts - a dull sense of something missing, boredom, lack of energy/ drive/ passion. Whether they want to change jobs, change industries, completely transition their career, set up their own business or even if they have no clue what it is they want yet, I help them gain clarity and then support them through the change itself.
I blend my transformational life coaching skills with careers coaching to ensure people have a holistic and thorough experience. I help people to strip it all back, figure out who they are and what's holding them back and then I support them through the transformational process of change. I am really passionate about educating people on the actual steps they need to take to create the career change they want. So as well as the self-reflection and mindset aspects, I also make sure I arm my clients with a practical guide on how to make sh*t happen.
Whats your favourite quote of all time?
It’s really hard to choose just one! I also tend to have favorite quotes at certain times, right now I am loving the quote from Marie Forleo ‘clarity comes from engagement not thought’ - so many of my clients are stuck in their heads. They describe themselves as over-thinkers, perfectionists and they’re experiencing analysis paralysis. This quote is all about getting out of your head and getting into the world. It’s all about engaging in the career transition process in order to get real-time feedback. It’s only when you get real-time feedback that you can truly make well-informed decisions about what to do next or realise who you want to become.
Whats your me time moment?
A year ago we got our first puppy and moved right next to Tooting Common, a huge amazing park. Every day I have to walk her (sometimes twice or three times a day!) and the headspace this gives me is incredible. I don’t ever listen to music or podcasts on these walks, I just enjoy the park and nature. I even enjoy it when it's raining. It’s during these walks that I’ve had some of my best business ideas, been able to reflect on any negative emotions or just simply allowed myself to be playful. Highly recommend spending lots of time in nature if you’re considering some sort of change transformation your life - it’s another amazing way to get clarity.