Mandie Holgate Q and A Interview
Can you share your back story with us, a bit about your childhood?
I had a very happy childhood and because my Dad was literally building his own factory, family time was very precious. And our holidays were very special. We had a boat and weekends away were all about walking the dog, barbecues and reading. Things I still love. My Dad would shut up his business for 6 weeks and take us away, even now nothing gets in the way of my family time. And I completely respect other people’s family time too.
Were you a determined child or has that developed?
I was bullied most of my childhood and so I doubt I saw myself as a determined child. Although similarly to what we get told about our own daughter now I was often told that what I lacked in intelligence I always made up for in determination. I do remember I was always in the top set and despite a back problem since a young age it never stopped me from doing what I wanted to. Having said that I refused to do an overnight “Live in a box” experiment and was the only one in our 6th form not to participate. I think that took real determination not to do that. Especially when you see my answer to question 3. Not giving into peer pressure is something I still don’t do, so I think my parents instilled a sense of worth from a young age.
Can you share something about yourself that is not widely known?
People assume I’m this mega confident person however I’m not. I wouldn’t say it’s an act, however I would say it’s something that I’ve had to work on and that I only felt confident and comfortable with who I was a few years ago. I genuinely do rely on the tools and techniques in my book to get me to raise my game and keep going. We all have that Imposter syndrome moment or that feeling that it’s too hard to achieve, I just never let that be the final result. I used to be petrified of public speaking and now its one of my high lights of my business.
How and when did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
I was one of the UK’s youngest automotive bodyshop managers and at the start the owners of the large independent garage would phone me once a week to check I’d not burnt down their empire, pretty soon I’d be lucky if they check in once every 6 weeks! I realise I work in solutions not problems, people not money. And I think that being an entrepreneur is about being able to do just that. Always concentrating on what people need and you are not likely to be out of work for long and are unlikely to feel like your professional career is work, just fun that you get paid for! I stopped work to be a stay at home mum and loved that, but I knew that when the children were at school I’d need something. Nearly dying from a mental health illness meant I learnt a lot about the way our brains work and how we can take control over our thoughts. This led to me training as a coach and setting up The Business Woman’s Network. In 2015 when the phone rang and the UK’s leading nonfiction publishers asked me to write a book for them, that has to be the cherry on the top, since I’ve been a keen writer from a very young age.
Tell us about your business
I help people increase sales, confidence and success without spending a sack of cash. I like to help people on a deep level that means that from that day forward they think in a new organic way that means they don’t need me for long. It’s powerful work and I love it. The books enable me to help more people and I was asked to write some courses that target certain areas, so I’ve started with Confidence, 60 seconds elevator pitches, marketing, and business growth. More are planned that look at other areas I help a lot with including public speaking success, networking and How to live guilt free. I also facilitate and work on the confidential side of The Business Woman’s Network, called The Insiders. I have seen too many people pay too much money for content that doesn’t work or do what it says it will. So I’m very proud of the results that people get with me.
What did you give up to get to where you are today? What did you have to sacrifice?
I don’t think I’ve sacrificed anything. I know that years ago when I was talking to my Mum I asked “should I go for the coaching or go for the writing?” and my Mum suggested that I start my new career with coaching and add the writing in later. I’m not sure if she is able to see into the future, but its’ basically worked beautifully like that. I think nearly dying from a mental health illness has taught me to cherish every day. I have a bracelet I don’t take off that says “Carpe diem” because I do believe it’s our choice how we live our lives. And I feel I fill mine up with love and happiness. You can’t control what happens in life but you can control what you feel about it. So I don’t feel I’ve sacrificed, maybe because I reframe things to see the challenges as opportunities. I worked very hard to get the courses and book out, but the thought of the benefits they bring to others makes every minute worth it.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?
I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia and 2 other auto immune diseases, the hardest thing I’ve ever done is walk away from business in 2012 for 18 months. I was so ill that I was in bed on morphine unable to move, drive, even deal with bright light. It was very lonely and very tough. But again, I have this ability to reframe and I used my own tools and techniques to keep going. Seeing joy in the task of cutting up carrots because that was about all I could do for my family. When I came back the person that had looked after my business told me that the industry had changed and what I had been doing wouldn’t work anymore. (Basically, sales had drastically reduced) within 3 weeks of being back to work, numbers were where I’d always had them, if not higher and so the hardest time taught me that I can seriously grow businesses and get results, without spending a sack of cash.
What are your goals for 2017 and beyond?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Do you have any big Goals?
Can you share 3 #BizTips for Women in Business
1. That big idea you keep putting off, get on with it. You are right now standing in the way of your success because you are too busy fearing it will go wrong, make you look like a fool or not work. So, get on with it. It’s in your head, get it out and take action!
2. It’s one of the least favorite (and favorite!) exercises in my book. Write a 2-page document (A4 size) of why you are awesome. This becomes a powerful document to make you take action when fear is looming its ugly head, keeps you focused on what you want and helps you believe you can achieve it.
3. Be very mindful of your time online. We not only let other people infect our minds with their own life’s, grievances and worries, we also let untruths impact on us and steal our most precious commodity, time. If you can’t justify your reason to be online, get off and do something more worthwhile for your happiness and personal and professional success.
How can people best connect with you online? twitter, website, youtube?
You can read more from Mandie Holgate – How To Get Asked To Write A Book And Other Secrets To Successful Promotion inside #BizRocks Magazine Issue 52 and What Matters Most To The Busy Business Woman? and #BizRocks Magazine Issue 5 where Mandie shares How You Could Boost Sales Doing What You Already Do!