Welcome to another Saturday business chat. Today we’re talking to Helen McPherson who runs a Hypnotherapy practice in Northampton. I think hypnotherapy is brilliant – I went to a local place a few years ago and they pretty well cured me of my fear of needles, which was becoming a problem for me – and I had gone in thinking that I couldn’t even be hypnotized! Helen’s been running her business for a few years now and had had business experiences before that too; her varied career path shows once again that there are so many paths to business success – in her case she’s moved from a huge organisation to a partnership, to working for herself, and it’s not uncommon for people to move around within different business areas or set-ups before they find the one that fits. Don’t despair if the first attempt doesn’t work out: pick yourself up and carry on! Like Maxine in last week’s interview, Helen is tailoring her business around her family, demonstrating yet again that, as entrepreneurs and business people, we don’t have to push family and friends aside in the rush to make money, unlike the traditional idea of an entrepreneur, perhaps!
Let’s meet Helen!
What’s your business called? When did you set it up?
My business is Helen McPherson Hypnotherapy, and it was set up in 2008.
What made you decide to set up your own business?
I was leaving the Armed Forces and had always been desperate to run my own business. I have always been looking out for opportunities.
What made you decide to go into this particular business area?
It has more synergy with being an Army Officer than you could possibly imagine! It also combined my interest in complementary health and my skill at coaching and motivating and helping people change their lives.
Had you run your own business before?
I had been in partnership with a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He was like a millstone and eventually welched out on me. We parted on less than amicable terms.
How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?
I am still part-time! I have a small son so I work school hours. My Army pension has kept me going.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
That it takes far longer to get established than you expect. Never go into a partnership!
What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?
Borrow some money early on and spend it on marketing, and don’t be afraid of the competition – you are going to be better.
What do you wish you’d done differently?
Not had a business partner early on who sucked the life out of me and prevented me moving forward.
What are you glad you did?
Joined a friendly networking group.
What’s your top business tip?
Use social networking intelligently and develop a passive income stream. Don’t be afraid of competition
How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?
I have grown hugely and branched out into new aspects too.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?
Moving away from pure therapy and more into coaching and corporate work, with a web-based income stream.
It’s great to see people who are ambitious, switched on to the new technologies, yet striking a balance between business and family. I look forward to finding out how Helen’s doing in a year’s time! And find out what she WAS doing, here!