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Helen Jane Campbell - Getting to know members of The Best 90 Days Ever

This week's interview with the members of The Best 90 Days Ever is with the amazing Helen from Coaching By Helen. Helen and I first spoke after we connected over local Pride events. Helen set up the first Hay Pride and we had a chat about what it was like to organise Barry Pride in 2019. After that I asked Helen to be on my podcast and as they say - the rest is history! I love Helen's advice for other business owners in this blog and I really hope you enjoy reading it.

Photo credit - Billie Charity

Tell us about you and your business

I'm a coach for creative people. I work with artists, actors, writers, PR experts, photographers and more. I believe everyone's creative and I support founders and freelancers who are ready to make brave changes in their work and lives. I love working with teams as well as 1-2-1. I'm also an author.

Why did you start your small business?

I began freelancing in 2009. It was less of a trend back then to work for yourself or work remotely, and at times it was rather lonely. Other creatives would often come to me for support and ideas and I'd help them in my spare time. This went on for almost a decade. Eventually I realised that was the actual business I wanted to run — inspiring and supporting creative founders and freelancers. So I re-trained as a life and business coach.

How long have you been a member of The Best 90 Days Ever and what made you sign up?

This is my first round and I love it so much I've already signed up for the rest of the year! I particularly enjoyed the face-to-face co-working as I'm an extrovert: I top up my batteries by being around other people.

What has been your favourite prompt from The Best 90 Days Ever so far?

There was a piece about listing your skills and what you're known for. I realised I've never publicised my facilitation skills, even though running and chairing meetings and events is a core skill people have hired me for, throughout my career. I've now created some content around that which has attracted positive client feedback.

The general vibe of the group has helped me think differently too. So I wrote an article about what to do if a client ghosts you and instead of just posting it, I hand-made two cute Pac Man ghosts to be the illustration. I don't think I would have done something like that before, but the sparky energy of the group inspired me to have fun with it. The ghosts took longer than the article to create, ha! But I had fun. I've started having fun with my marketing again.

What do you enjoy the most about your business?

Clients' transformations.

I have a long-term client who just got her own radio show on Heart and recently had her first book published by Harper Collins. I have other clients who started off solo and now run big, happy, teams.

I worked with one woman who got her dream job in the House of Lords after a 6-part coaching programme focusing on career-change. I would never take credit for the powerful changes my clients make but I love cheerleading and supporting them.

I'm also motivated by my client's bravery when it comes to those really hard conversations and going deep into mindset work. It's not always about the obvious wins. If a client, for example, learns how to put healthy boundaries in place and stick to them, or maybe they used to feel anxious in meetings and now they don't, I'm as pleased about those sort of wins as I am about the 'shiny' outward results.

What is your favourite and least favourite way to market your business?

I enjoy doing podcast interviews, writing long-form articles and sharing photos. In fact writing long-form blog posts was how I got my book deal.

My least favourite way to promote my business is via Twitter — I used to love it when it first began and I actually trained charities how to use it for part of my job at one point. However, when I did a press interview about setting up Hay Pride (a voluntary project I did outside of my work), the Telegraph tweeted the article as a thread and I received hundreds of tweets back, many of which upset me. There were tweets criticising my appearance and other rude and upsetting remarks about me, about how I look, comments about my sexuality and so on. I never thought I'd get upset about random online trolls but I did and it put me off sharing for a long time.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to another business owner?

The biggest learning for me has been to stop trying to be someone I'm not. Over the years I've pretended to like a lot of things I really don't care about in order to progress my career. Instead of realising that just wasn't the job for me, I'd transform myself into some kind of chameleon. These days I've realised that there are people who would love to do those things I don't find interesting and to focus on what I do like and feel fulfilled by. I think it's hard if you work in an agency for someone else, like I did for many years, because they'll win a new client and expect you to get passionate about something like cranes or software or a certain brand of crisps. It's a bizarre life, but one which gave me incredible experiences too. I had a very glitzy glamorous existence for a long time, lots of red carpets. It was incredible but these days I'm happier on the pebble beach with my shoes & socks off than on a red carpet in sparkly heels. I'm glad I've got to do both.

What would be your dream project/client or what is one of your big goals?

Every month I enter at least one creative writing competition and I'd really love to see my fiction in print. My business book, Founders, Freelancers & Rebels came out in 2021, so I know I have the ability to get a publisher's attention and write a book. I think fiction feels a bit more daunting but I'm fairly determined!

Give us your favourite recommendation for another independent business!

One of my clients has just started making these gorgeous natural cleaning products: Lavender and Lemon. I love everything about them. The eco packing feels luxurious, the products smell great and I love how effective they are. I promise you I'm not just saying this, I was already buying these products before we began the coaching programme!

What is something exciting coming up that you want to shout about?

I'm really excited about my group journaling workshops at the moment. I run them monthly and the aim each time is to create a safe, informal space for powerful reflection and thinking. I've had so much great feedback on them, and clients return month after month. Anyone can join and I offer pay-what-you-can for those who need an affordable option. I like being able to make my coaching accessible: no matter what stage your creative business is at, there's a space for you.

Find out more about Helen on her website here -


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