As part of my series about the “How Business Leaders Plan To Rebuild In The Post COVID Economy,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dee Burrowes.
Dee launched her coaching career after a major career transition and life changing events that led her to live life on her terms creating a space for individuals to be their utmost best. Dee worked extensively in the hotel industry then later awarded an honours degree in Accounting and Financial services.
After years of dedication as a high performing individual Dee became aware of the symptoms of burn out as acknowledged that if she continues running on empty without refueling would have a long term negative impact both mentally and physically. She strives for excellence with impactful results of being extraordinary at what she does. At this pivotal time in her career Dee knew there was more to life and becoming more passionate about her career than just a means to an end as it later felt.
Dee delved into the personal development sphere, read all the books, listened to podcasts and attended the conferences. Dee registered for a women’s conference in Virginia, USA and unbeknown to her this event would have changed her life for the better. She witnessed living colour women who were changing the World in their own rights, authors, speakers, life coaches, business coaches, mentors and entrepreneurs. Dee added that there were many light bulb moments that started to be experienced from the knowledge gained to the community of women that she now belonged to. As a result, Dee found that last piece to complete her puzzle that took her years to have located. Upon return to the United Kingdom where Dee resides she resigned from her role and enrolled in a coaching course on her journey to solidify her quest in becoming a life coach.
She’s developed a reputation as an insightful Mindset Strategist supporting individuals to gain work life balance and solid personal results. She constantly declares that your life begins with a positive thought by changing the way you view the World.
A skilled and inspiring life coach, Dee has a lifelong passion for bringing out the best in others for which she later trained as an NLP and Mental Health practitioner. She is known as a thought leader in her field which ultimately brought opportunities of becoming an author, spoke on the same stage with Prime Ministers, President of a professional body, podcast guest and regular contributor within printed media outlets.
Dee credits her continuous personal and business growth to her resilience and authenticity to never give in and always being a lifelong learner which equips her to be the best version of herself.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
As a Professional Coach, Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner, Speaker, Author, Professor and Mental Health Advocate I support individuals to gain more confidence in being more effective at bringing happiness into their life. I strongly believe that life is too short to not to live authentically within your true purpose. My mission is to help individuals to unleash their full potential in every area of their lives. My supportive manner elevates clients to experience an increase in productivity, time management, goal setting, stress reduction and work life balance.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Depending on your sense of humour, the determinant factor of funny, I leave that up to you. Similar to finding one’s better half, a popular belief is that the knight in shining armour will magically appear at the door and live happily ever after. When I first started my business I thought my particular niched clients would just miraculously find their way to me even without a magic wand. Instead, I sat back and hoped clients would show up as I have literally told everyone I knew about my business, especially my network, community and business connections. I was heavily reliant on the industry sector I belonged to in addition to my personal credentials and superb skills but neither proved effective enough to guarantee that clients would be frequent.
First take away, that my mindset played an important part in finding and retaining clients, the most important factor I learned early on. In addition to being proactive by getting out there and getting clients I joined a few professional bodies and strategically networked in getting comfortable in telling perfect strangers about my business. People sell people and I gained trusted clients as many resonated with my personal stories and was eager to also find their passion in life. I would have secured the services of an effective business coach earlier on before the trials and errors set in that would have guided the journey much smoother. With every mistake come some great life lessons nonetheless.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to, that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
I have always been an avid reader with a particular fondness for self-help and emotional education books.
I am convinced that written words change lives, one of my favourite books is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield was a great tool and reference point in developing both personal and business growth. It was originally published in 2004 for which I found it highly educational in crafting self-confidence and how to deal with challenges which helps to transform conscious thinking and taking control of your own life. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (also a movie) encapsulates the power of positive thinking as thoughts can become things and as such can create your very own reality. The quote ‘If you can hold it in your head, you can also hold it in your hands’ pretty much sums the book up as you hold on to your dreams.
I would highly recommend reading both books.
The miracle morning podcast directed by Hal Elrod was essential to dominating my days with enthusiasm, creating habits and maintaining them. It also kept me on track when it came down to challenges that I experienced that I was not going through challenges and there were tools that supported me rocking the day despite the road blocks.
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
Since the inception of my business, I have always believed that having a vision and mission for my life coaching business would be paramount in everything I do as a business entity.
As I am involved in the business of personal development, I am therefore inspiring and helping others to live their highest dreams. My values are steeped in personal visions and missions as a life coach in transforming clients to realizing their own visions as well.
Vision: To provide an inspirational coaching community for guides, motivates and support others to reach their full potential through dedication, knowledge and passion so that they can live a purposeful and abundant life.
Mission: To facilitate coaching through heart centred engagement that gives clarity and focus with positive change for their defined goals to gain freedom and move forward in every area of their lives.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
Dealing with changes are inevitable in this journey called life. At some point, there will be challenges both personally and professionally in varying degrees of setbacks. I believe in order to pull through having resilience is the name of the game for myself. Having that psychological strength to bounce back from periods of stressful situations allows me to tackle the challenges head on to overcome hardship and to adapt well with life changing circumstances. Being resilient, I do not dwell on past failures and challenges but instead I learn from the mistakes and then move forward with profound personal growth.
Thank you for all that. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share a few of the biggest work related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Even though I have in the past worked from home from time to time this has become the longest period of time away from co-working spaces and client’s offices that I am customarily working from. I am considered a social butterfly and I most certainly lack the liberty of hopping on the tube for appointments, networking events, socialising with friends, the gym that works wonders for my energy levels and of course travelling. As I mentioned travel, as a result of this pandemic, I had two major international projects within the hospitality industry that were cancelled and not certain when that will be up and running. This results in a major adaptation challenge for myself and business when working with others face to face and in crowded environments was the norm.
- I deliver lectures in events and hospitality management which had to be delivered in the latter part of the course online as a result of the pandemic. As most of the students are international and travel into the United Kingdom cancelled then the new course which was meant to start in April has now been cancelled until September.
- Time Management, the lack of it can be detrimental. Whilst working remotely at home if not properly organised one can easily get into a habit of procrastination and easily get distracted becoming counter-productive. I adapted the approach that I am in the office and making every effort to block time for each task in staying on top of projects. There is quite a bit to juggle at home as you can imagine therefore being intention in terms of planning your ideal day for both home affairs and work tasks.
- Like most, self-isolation and lockdown in recent weeks have had a direct impact on my client’s mental wellbeing who are finding it severely difficult in coping. Although I have scheduled virtual coaching sessions they are still struggling to even get out of bed. The downside, I cannot meet them face to face as they would prefer due to the lockdown and their job or financial uncertainty worries them. Adding to that, cash flow can be deemed a challenging factor as no new face to face business is being acquired, especially those deliverables that cannot be done online. As a result that source of income has been temporarily placed on hold.
- In addressing the challenges I had to establish a routine and do so very quickly on. Having a fixed time to wake up in the mornings and when exactly I will be in the home office to start the day was key to being productive so don’t get overwhelmed. I also set a schedule of daily tasks the night before to avoid being unprepared which can give rise to being distracted and not achieving intended goals.
- I am in constant communication with international project coordinators. Leveraging technology at hand in keeping abreast of upcoming developments and finding creative ways to deeply connect with existing clients. I have been innovative with tapping into industry summit where I’ve gained added knowledge that have been implemented with my business especially keeping in tuned with new trends.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?
The current pandemic is impacting all our lives and there is more concern surrounding the wellbeing of family and loved ones. First things first, is to acknowledge that there is anxiety, fear and uncertainty.
It is really important to exercise levels of patience with my interaction towards them as I am aware they are feeling completely overwhelmed by their anxious state. More often than not, panic attacks have been experienced or developing a health problem where they are intensely bothered by thoughts of being judged or rejected.
- Staying calm by encouraging the individual to sit quietly and practice relaxation. Relaxation serves greatly to reduce and manage anxiety and fear. Deep breathing whilst eyes are closed is highly recommended as the body and mind relax a bit more. This is suggested to be practiced daily for a minimum of 30 minutes on a daily basis.
- Keep connected is an assurance that you do care about their wellbeing. Reach out by calling on a regular as talking via the telephone is incredibly mind comforting knowing I am available to them. In the absence of being able to visit frequently or at all, a video call has bridged the gap. Make the most of online video calling, WhatsApp or FaceTime in addition to the tradition of picking up the phone and calling.
- Getting sufficient sleep is important to the proper functioning of the mind, immune system and metabolism. It is one thing that supports us to refuel our energy when there is a tendency of feeling lethargic ever so often. A good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours plus a power nap during the day will maintain sleep and reinvigorate the emotional and physical wellness.
- Exercise is what the doctor orders, as maintaining a fitness regime will increase your motivation to forming a habit intentionally. Diarise your workout times during the day in doors then followed by at least 15 minutes of walk. Drink adequate water as the oxygen in water will keep your body oxygen levels at normal whilst having a healthy eating habit as well.
Obviously we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?
Many people have lost their jobs amid the fallout of coronavirus and it is predicted that individuals will turn to a long time ambition of starting their own business. New ideas and collaboration are birthed as there’s a hike in freelancers.
- Flexibility of labour as business models will change to accommodate more employees working from home. Such a way of working plans to shift towards a more remote work force as a long term trend as business owners rethink expensive office space costs.
- Digital format will be transformed in how events space is operated as livestream is suggested for larger events and webinar platforms for smaller audiences. Birthday parties, happy hours and even weddings have been conducted online.
- Online shopping as seen habits and customer demands are now set to expand in front of a device for ease of accessibility. Customer behaviour and expectations have changed therefore online platforms will support their buying power.
- Delivery of education will be transferred to the online spectrum which will give the ease to study a course online anywhere around the World. Teaching has now moved online with lessons on a higher scale never seen before.
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act or live?
There will be a huge shift in the way of life in terms of cultural changes and adaptations to social, large gatherings and hygiene practices. As a result, there will be less social interaction altered by the way of how we now approach work and school. Social distancing will be in full mode in groceries with protective shields between customers and cashiers making interaction very impersonal.
People will take their personal space very seriously by paying close attention to who they allow to approach within their space. A dynamic shift in how consumer options will change in dining out at restaurants as there has already been a decline in typically crowded restaurants. Commuting on busy trains will be a thing of the past in addition to airlines putting more emphasis on hygiene with stricter protocols. Boarding practices will be modified with required new guidelines of checking in up to 4–5 hours prior to departure and each passenger is expected to wear face masks.
Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the Post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-Covid Economy?
Do not assume that customers will automatically return for your services as their spending power and disposable income have changed tremendously. As a result, I have reflected, realigned and reset my priorities as to when products or services are deemed as necessary to take action for purchasing.
A review of the company’s business model would be paramount to ascertain any fine tuning needed in terms of assessing the products and services current to meet target audience in the new normal.
Revisiting personal and business goals in addition to the vision and mission to ascertain if the previous goals are current and achievable. Is there a need to access immediate funding to jump start business operations and will create a buffer to keep afloat for the short term.
Focus strategically on business innovation by ramping up marketing processes optimising your social media platforms through blogs, newsletter and hosting podcasts. Collaboration will be a crucial component for growth with other entrepreneurs for skills, projects and knowledge to share in moving forward. Be current in your industry of upcoming trends as well as connecting with professionals in getting your name out there.
Passion is contagious.
I am completely passionate about what I do is quite evident in every action step especially in this climate. Showing excitement about my business and services cannot go unnoticed in rebuilding after this global climate as I will have to stand out from my competitors. Ultimately this will be translated to a better end result. Passion is vital to be a thriving business post this environment should be very much endless engaging and maintain the drive to grow my business.
Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?
Challenge themselves to always keep improving both personally and professionally as this will transcend the ages. In this ever changing world, to stay current and relevant business will have to innovate despite respective industries. Are you offering new products and services thinking outside the box beyond your comfort zone and introducing advance procedures. Constantly must develop and explore systems to improve client experiences, client relational skills which no doubt will steer towards profitability and rebuilding stronger than before.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style” Maya Angelou.
I am very big on growth and succeeding as such my desire is to do so in every area of my life with humour (I have a massive sense of it) and style (I have been called a fashionista). In living life on my terms and in its fullest, I must in my daily actions go beyond being only ok and create true happiness, meaning and well-being for myself and others. I never want to be in just a survival mode but instead live with being connected with my inner self, celebrate the wins, be purposeful and do so with having balance emotionally, mentally and physically. I strongly believe in paying it forward for which I very often do and extending compassion selflessly as well.
I desire to align my business and personal goals with profound meaning whereby I always give authenticity, confidence and integrity that solidifies my mission and vision. I practice gratitude daily which forms a habit in appreciating the blessings that have been bestowed on me.
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