Finding empowerment in my business.

Written by Natalie Doyle

March 21, 2024

Natalie Doyle at Wembley Stadium

I caught up with a really interesting webinar hosted by IPSE this week (in the car whilst the kids were at football training, because that’s what the juggle is like!) The presenter, Kate Horwood, talked about the work she did coaching and mentoring, and something she said really resonated with me. She talked about how it’s important to remember you have the power in your own business, and how you can use this to be empowered and in control. It sounds so obvious, but it really made me reflect on the work of Sport Sister. I think it’s important as a business owner to take time to reflect on what you’re doing and the direction you want to head in.

The way I’ve approached this in the past has been to look at where I think we can add the most value, where there are opportunities for us, and what we should be doing. Strangely, I’ve never approached it with the perhaps more selfish approach of what I enjoy, what lights me up, what I want to get out of life and out of the business. I think this probably comes from having been employed for twenty years and having a limited amount of autonomy. Sometimes it takes time to get yourself out of your old habits.

So what have I done as a result? Let me take you through the process:

  1. I’ve made a conscious effort to recognise when I’m really enjoying something. The things that make me feel like I’ve achieved something, that make me feel positive and empowered. These are the parts of the business I’m really leaning into and trying to do more of.
  2. I’ve reflected on any things that I do because I feel like that the business should be doing these things. It’s like I see that the business has a certain purpose and therefore should be focusing on certain areas. Although the business does have a purpose and that’s what led to me setting up Sport Sister in the first place, I’ve learned that it’s my choice what the business does and this is really empowering, and means I can stop doing some things that aren’t where my passion lies.
  3. I’m also looking at how I take full advantage of being self-employed – adding more flexibility to my day, building in more time with the people that are important to me, working in different places, spending more time on other passions outside of work.
  4. I’ve identified some key areas that I love but haven’t fully explored yet so I’m going to focusing much more of my time on these, and I find that really exciting.

Kate talked about how some people can become beholden to their business, feeling like they’re not in control and not enjoying their work. Fortunately, I haven’t reached that point yet but I think it’s important to have these reflections before it reaches that point. You probably won’t notice much difference from the outside because fortunately the Sport Sister Podcast and these blog posts are firmly in the ‘things I love’ list, as is working for amazing clients that want to increase women’s and girls’ participation in sport. Behind the scenes there will be some more work in other areas, some of which will hopefully lead to something new that I think lots of you will find really helpful so watch this space!

And I encourage you to find time to reflect on how you can empower yourself, either as a self-employed person or an employee. It’s a liberating exercise!

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