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From Stress to Startup...

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by Startacus Admin

Denise Devlin is the Founder/CEO of Positive Parties® which is an inspirational, motivational & transformational coaching company delivering fun workshops, and promoting a ‘positive mental attitude,’ in a unique ‘party style’ environment. Denise's vision is to grow a global business network of individuals (NLP Practitioners, Life & Business Coaches etc) delivering the service & selling the brand products in their respective regions. We were delighted that she took a little time out to share her story with us!

positive partiesSo Denise, what’s your story? Why did you become self employed?
The seed was planted in Jan 2003 when I got tired of my career in management in community development & education. Basically, I realised that it wasn’t about working with people any more but filling in forms for funding applications and the massive administration that went along with that, not to mention the financial end of things and for one who is very ‘right brain’ thinking, this part of the job was an awful chore. So while still employed, I completed a course called ‘Exploring Entrepreneurship’, despite not having a clue what I would do to start up on my own.

denise devlinIn March 2003 I had my first baby and 6 months later I came back to work in my post as the co-ordinator of a voluntary organisation. The atmosphere in the working environment wasn’t at all harmonious and everything started to get on top of me. 5 months later I was signed off work by my doctor due to post-natal depression, triggered by stress at work. The rest is history. At the time, it was such a low part of my life. Although I was so happy with my husband and 1 year old daughter, my self esteem and confidence hit rock bottom and some days I could barely make it to the post-natal depression group and I couldn’t drive past my old office for about 6 months without having palpitations.

Having made the decision to leave the job and be a ‘stay at home mum’ for a while, we put the building of our new home on hold and then a friend told me about a Life Coaching course she was on and how she felt this type of work would really suit my personality. Although I was in still quite a low place, this appealed to me and I knew it would be the key to give me a chance to start up on my own.
So, I enrolled with Europe’s Leading Coaching Company, Nobel Manhattan, and began my Coaching Diploma course, which I thought would take 1 year, but actually took me 4 years. The benefit here was that it could be completed at the student's pace and this suited me as I had my second daughter in between, so took some time off from studying after she was born.
Also, this course was fantastic for my own personal development as I got to read, research, be coached and coach on topics that were going to move me forward with my life. I also found Reiki (Universal Energy), and TCM (Transforming Cellular Memory) and these 2 holistic healing methods tied nicely into what I was doing with the coaching and helped totally change my outlook to life. I was able to regain my power in so many ways and start really believing in me and my own uniqueness in the world, especially what skills and strengths I had to offer. I was definitely ready for self employment. I also joined Women In Enterprise (and after 6 months became a committee member) my local support and networking group for enterprising women. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made as the support, networking opportunities and friendships have been invaluable.

So you gained the qualifications you needed to become self employed, what happened next?
I stated to deliver personal development courses called ‘I Believe In Me’ for Surestart’s and Community Development & Healthy Living Centre’s and working with one to one clients. I was doing Reiki treatments too, so the self employment was happening and it fitted in with family life of 2 young children. This first year of testing the water of self employment gave me a flavour of what I preferred to do. I knew I loved to work with groups and after about 12 months I discovered that being a Reiki Practitioner and charging for it wasn’t for me. When I began to NOT look forward to clients coming, mainly because I would have to be silent during the treatment, I intuitively knew that it was time to give it up. As a communicator I am ‘in my element’ when I am facilitating groups, I am meant to talk, listen & interact. I still give Reiki healing when someone asks or needs it but not for payment.

So where does Positive Parties® come into the story? – All will be revealed in Part 2 of Denise's interview next week!

Interested in finding out a little more about Positive Parties®? Why not check out the Positive Parties website or of course on Facebook or Twitter...

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Published on: 9th July 2013

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