Starting a business seemed like a nice idea, being my own boss, making the rules and having flexibility, but it was something other people did. I wasn’t good enough.
Before January 2019 I didn’t know I thought I wasn’t good enough. I was generally confident; I was successful in my management roles and had recently taken a new 12 month contract with a training company. However I also had an eating disorder and my belief of ‘I’m not good enough’ meant that the idea of starting my own business was a ridiculous dream.
But then my world was transformed. In January 2019 I attended a 7 day intensive NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) practitioner training course. For those not familiar, NLP is all about how we communicate, with ourselves and with others. It was the first time I was introduced to my unconscious mind. As someone who had used coaching (or as I called it ‘effective conversations’) for a long time this was a real step up for my skills. Along with the NLP practitioner and coaching certification I also received the TimeLine Therapy™ practitioner certification. This was something I had never heard of before and was intrigued and possibly a little sceptical. TimeLine Therapy™ is the process of releasing negative emotions and limiting beliefs. I released my anger, sadness, fear, hurt and guilt and I removed the limiting belief of
'I'm not good enough'
My mindset shifted immediately and so did my behaviour. That eating disorder that I had held onto for 20 years? Gone. I haven’t demonstrated those old negative behaviours around food since. I believe this shift was because I removed the limiting belief of ‘I am not good enough’ – I now knew I absolutely was good enough to achieve my dreams. I was starting that business.
I began excitedly making plans with the fellow delegates; what could I call my business, what area would I specialise in – training? Coaching? Hospitality? Something else? I was even starting to look up domain names and had lists of ‘things to do’ before I start. The 12 month contract I was currently working in ran out in September and I thought this was the perfect time to get all my ducks in a row and launch my business then!
I returned home from the course absolutely buzzing – I had already signed up to study NLP, coaching, hypnosis and TimeLine Therapy™ at master practitioner level. My husband was really supportive and shared that he too wanted to start his own accountancy business –
‘Go for it!’ I declared!
4 weeks later I woke up at 4am on a Monday morning knowing something was quite different. I tried to be patient but within 5 minutes I was in the bathroom awaiting the results of a pregnancy test. Positive! I was absolutely delighted, and so was my husband when he had got over the shock of being woken up at 4 in the morning! My body, because of the mindset transformation work I had recently done, because I had removed ‘I am not good enough’, was ready to carry this baby and take part in this next adventure.
The baby’s due date was 28th October 2019. This was about 6 weeks after I planned to start my business. ‘Not ideal’ I thought. I did not want to stay in the job I was in, even if they did extend the contract, I didn’t think that job hunting at 8 months pregnant was going to work (despite the fact that it shouldn’t make a difference at all) and I also didn’t feel particularly keen to be starting a business at that stage either! I jumped onto Google and typed in ‘Starting a business when pregnant’ expecting some fabulous guidance and inspiration. What I got was: ‘don’t do it’, ‘it’s too hard’, ‘you must be crazy’ and the implication that I would be a bad mother or even woman for prioritising my career now I was pregnant. So, I quit my job and started my business. I have always been quite a determined person but now I knew I was good enough to do it, nothing would stop me, no one would tell me I can’t!
I decided then that I was going to make a success of this business and I would write a book so that other women in my situation could have inspiration and permission to follow their dreams too. I knew that book was going to be called the Expecting Entrepreneur.
I called my business Lemon Tree Coaching and Development. LEM are my initials but also, we called our baby, before we met him, our little lemon, the lemons were growing together.
I am not going to pretend it was all easy. It wasn’t. But by understanding my mind, setting clear goals – using my goal-den rules which I lay out in the book – and offering myself self-compassion I remained positive throughout. It was in September of 2019, a month before my due date that I was reflecting and looking through my finances with my accountant – also my husband. I had the ‘I’ve made it moment’. I was making more money in a month than I ever had before! It was then that I decided that I was going to take all of October and November off to birth and enjoy my baby.
My little boy, who we named Oak, arrived a few days early and he is wonderful. In January 2020 I decided the time was to put pen to paper and start the book! The Expecting Entrepreneur was born! – a book to support the development of a successful mindset for pregnant women and new mums as they start or grow their businesses, draws on all my experience as a master practitioner while using my story as a backdrop to provide inspiration and permission to the next generation of women who may be met with similar negativity when they want to follow their dreams. The Expecting Entrepreneur was released via all good online retailors on Friday 16th October, just a few days before Oak’s first birthday.
If you would like to learn more about me, The Expecting Entrepreneur or ways of working with me, which includes a number of free Facebook communities, check out my website www.lemontreecd.co.uk or follow me: Facebook: www.facebook.com/lemontreecd Instagram: www.instagram.com/laurenmalone_ee
If you would like to purchase Lauren's book, The Expecting Entrepreneur, you can do via The Super Mumma Book Club at Bookshop.
(please note this is an affiliate link, Bookshop helps support local bookshops and I receive a small commission if you purchase through it.)