Tell us about your journey! What led you to this point?
Somehow, I’ve just always known that money is something that we can create, not something we have to “get.” I feel like that knowledge came to me from a past life or something. I even made my first independent money at age three, upselling myself from the part of an extra to a small speaking role, and I started my first business endeavor at eight.
But, in spite of this sense of confidence, I also struggled with life-threatening allergies from birth. Then, later, came repeat abuse. So, I ended up missing a lot of school. From a young age, my life has very much been flashes of empowerment and pits of darkness.
At one point, I turned to religion for answers, but I was ultimately thrown out of the church as a witch. Even in the most supposedly accepting institutions, I faced so much trauma and had to battle with my identity. Somehow, though, I never lost the knowledge that I could create great change.
At 20, after a serious injury left me in debt, that knowledge became invaluable. I used it to take control of all that life had thrown at me, the gifts and the trauma alike, and started remaking myself whole, through self-employment as a stripper. Though it was by no means the end of the trials I would face in my life, I proved to myself that I could do difficult things. This helped me to create a foundation of personal integrity that was removed from what other people thought of me. That foundation has helped to drive all that I have done since.
A year later, with my debts cleared and money saved, I embarked on 13 years of academic study, from undergraduate to PhD level. I continued to be involved in business too, and focused on three different projects over the course of those years.
A big part of my PhD research was pioneering feminist understandings of how reality is experienced, constructed and curated in relationship with knowledge, belief, identity, embodiment, and being. It’s an interdisciplinary exploration of mindset at the personal-cultural level. In terms of theory, method, material and interpretation, I was a creative powerhouse, and my track record could have secured me a position as an academic anywhere in the world.
But, that work changed me from the inside out. My big academic wins like prizes, publications and presentations began to feel empty. There was no joy left in bitter competitiveness for me anymore, once I finally started viewing myself holistically as complete, worthy, and valuable.
Academia is still so driven by masculinity and is, in many ways, rooted in fear. Not to mention the fact that institutionalised notions of race, gender and sexuality are being dismantled so slowly that it’s painful. I realised that the part of academia that I loved, where I felt whole, free, and able to see others, was in supporting postgrads in their creative endeavors. I was able to teach them huge mindset shifts and how to own their genius in workshops and one-to-one tutoring. But, that is actually a very small part of the academic job description. So, in the end, my PhD graduation day in June 2017 was the last day I set foot on campus.
In 2018, having discovered a passion for guiding people on their path to self-empowerment, I decided to start my latest business, with the goal of helping people to understand how identity and reality co-create one another. I wanted to show people first hand that there is no amount of money, no perfect grade or any number of letters after their name that can change their life if they can’t or won’t embody that change. As someone who collected up MA MLitt PhD FSA Scot after my name, I know that external “approval” can only do so much for a person’s personal development.
Unfortunately, though, culture actively works against us in countless imperceptible ways when we aim to truly embody positive change. So, we have to focus on being differently – being as we truly are, without the wounds culture creates and which serve to keep us in little boxes. That’s what my business does, and it has helped people to achieve extraordinary results.
My team and I work with amazing, heart-centered entrepreneurs from around the world, helping them to leverage my research and experience as a way of navigating their personal transformation in a way that’s right for them.
I want to add that none of what I have done has been a clear shot to success. I threw a whole master’s thesis away two weeks before the deadline and started over. I’ve left behind multiple business ventures over the years, as I struggled alone to find clarity about who I am and where I am meant to be. Years worth of doctoral research never made the final 100k words of my thesis. Then, late in 2020, a cowboy ads company got our social media disabled. After many months of trying to appeal with the platform, we’ve ended up having to start up on social media all over again.
Still, I know that if there aren’t failures, the chances are it’s not a journey at all. In the end, failures are a crucial part of the process.
What has been your biggest achievement?
This is a surprisingly hard question – I’ve done so many things!
I passed my PhD without corrections (and while raising two very young kids). I also started a movement founded on the same principles of love and collaboration I spoke about above, which rapidly gained an audience across 39 countries and sold merchandise in 27. Finally, I’ve built a business I am truly passionate about. And, it doesn’t just allow me to make a difference in the lives of others – it also allowed me to retire my husband just nine months in, created its first £30k sales month at one year old, and meant I could extend a full time contract and income to my brother by the time it had hit 18 months.