Like so many, Becca Sandler (now a successful wellness coach) was affected by the pandemic in an incredibly disruptive and heart-wrenching way when being made redundant. At the age of 24, she faced something she would never wish upon anyone; to have your stability, purpose and financial security ripped out from beneath you.
It is a bitter pill to swallow, seeing your previous employer’s LinkedIn only three months later, recruiting a new Chief Development Officer (whose salary has a 0 on the end of yours).
Becca has turned her life around and now shares her story from corporate headhunter to holistic wellness coach with us. Over to you, Becca…
The turning point
With my self-belief and confidence trampled and the job market looking bleak, I was in free fall; I turned to yoga and meditation for some clarity and to get out of my mind and into my body. I knew that I wanted to work in the Wellness industry and loved the personal and professional development elements of HR. So got to work applying to the biggest names in the industry, often reaching out to their Chief People Officer’s directly if I couldn’t see live vacancies on their websites. Nevertheless, I was met with a barrage of rejection.
I then thought, what is it that you really want to do, Becca? What lights you up and gives you butterflies? Who do you want to spend two-thirds of your life with? What impact do you want to have in the world?
With a pot of Earl Grey tea, a jug of oat milk, an A3 pad of paper and some sharpies… I got to work.
Once I had answered these questions, I thought I would have landed the jackpot. In a way, I had, as I finally knew that I lit up at the prospect of making a difference in people’s lives. I discovered that I wanted to support their change, and I got butterflies from the possibility of doing this full-time. I knew that I did not want to be at a desk all day every day, looking at spreadsheets or PowerPoints. I knew I wanted to be active and agile. I was confident that it would be in the Wellness space, having been fascinated and enthralled by the industry on a personal level for so long.
I wanted to collaborate with like-minded, strong-headed grafters and work with inspiring and intelligent people who might feel the way I was feeling, having been made redundant or had a considerable life change thrown at them. I wanted to change lives, one person at a time, by connecting with people on a personal level.
From dream to reality
How could I achieve all of the above? What corporate role would fulfil all my genuine and heartfelt desires?
I didn’t know.
So, a crazy thought floated in my consciousness… Could I set up my own business, providing bespoke Wellness packages for individuals and corporates? Could I retrain in disciplines that would support others to create change? The answer was YES!
I got to work retraining with YogaLondon and Animas Centre of Coaching in the Autumn/Winter of 2020, launching Balance with Becca in September 2020 and began my career as a wellness coach.
Almost a year on, it has been an exceptional journey so far. From completing 200hrs of Yoga Teacher Training in a month-long Intensive to studying for a Transformational Life Coaching Diploma to becoming my own boss (the most demanding boss I’ve ever worked for, might I add) to learning how to really effectively manage my own time, to navigating the edge of burnout, to securing and winning pitches, it has been extraordinary.
I am still a newbie and still have so much to learn. However, I currently class my business as successful as I can afford London rent and lifestyle. It has been one of the scariest yet most rewarding years of my life, and as the year’ anniversary’ of my redundancy passed me by, I feel that it is now something to celebrate. It is the marker that set me on my new, inspiring course.
Top tips for starting afresh
My three top tips to anyone starting on a personal brand or small business from my journey to wellness coach, are:
Don’t run before you can walk:
Things take time to build. Time that is often out of your hands. Whether you’re working towards a qualification, building a website or cultivating meaningful relationships, it will take time, often more than what we’d accounted for. It can feel painfully slow, but know that the hours you’re putting in now will pay off in some way, whether that be a week, a year or five years from now! I have had to learn to be more patient whilst keeping my foot on the gas. It sounds counterintuitive but continue to make the micro-movements forward, and you’ll have travelled a long way before you know it.
Acknowledge, celebrate and reflect:
This journey brings me nicely onto my second tip: Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your wins. We can often get tunnel vision when we build something we are so passionate about and close to. We must take the time to mark milestones and commend ourselves on how far we have come! Once we have acknowledged and celebrated, we need to reflect. This reflection is as critical as the other two but far less sexy, but it is here we can learn from our experiences, building and crafting how we can improve or adapt for the next time.
Remember that you are not your business:
This one is for the service based professionals out there. You are NOT your business! If a client decides to go in a different direction, this is not a personal reflection. It would be best if you remembered this when you suffer a ‘loss’. It has taken me quite some time to acknowledge and make peace with this, and even now, my logical brain understands, but my emotional brain still gets a little bruised. Delivering my ‘product’ in the form of teaching and coaching equates to delivering “me”. This mindset can make it difficult to separate the self from the service. Still, it is important to make this separation to maintain healthy relationships with your business, previous clients, and prospective ones!
Often in life, we hear the adage, everything happens for a reason, and as a yogi and holistic coach, I really do believe in this. Although we cannot always see it at the time, if we take the time to zoom out or reflect in retrospect, everything that has happened to us is what has brought us to the point at which we stand today and without it, we’d be standing in a different spot.
Becca Sandler is the Founder of Balance with Becca, a Holistic Wellness Coaching Business based in South West London. You can find out more about Becca and her work as a wellness coach on her website and her social media.