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Yes, that's right, we've jumped onto the 'Blog-Wagon'! Here you can expect a little digital marketing, a few tips for breaking from the 9-5 and going self-employed. Mainly, though, we'll be using our blog as a platform to champion some of the incredible women in business we are privileged to know and the stories behind their brands.

We hope you enjoy reading!

HerStory 6 - Kat Horrocks @ Put Yourself First

This weeks guest is someone I've been really excited to speak to for a while. Her instagram feed is one of my faves to scroll through for a gentle motivational kick up the bum! She's women's life-coach, blogger and podcaster Kat Horrocks

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Hey Kat! Thank you so much for joining us. I know a lot about what you do, but for everyone reading - tell us a bit more about your brand?

I setup KatHorrocks.com a few years ago now, after years of blogging/vlogging (with various embarrassing names!)

My ethos is empowering women to put themselves first and make time for themselves. This involves lots of actionable resources, inspirational stories from the women on my podcast (aptly named..Put Yourself First!) and honest insights into my story. I also offer 1-on-1 support via coaching for women in my community who want to invest in their personal growth in work or life.

Alongside my own business, I also help my friend Holly out with her business WeBlogNorth and have been doing so since January 2018. We support bloggers and content creators up North via a supportive community, helpful resources, exclusive brand opportunities, workshops and more. I’m so passionate about championing the North and everything that goes on ‘up here’! That is so much fun to be a part of, and juggled with my own work, makes my working week full of variety.

I love what you do and amazing seeing you doing so well. What were you doing before you started your own life coaching brand?

I originally set out to train as a makeup artist after college. After training I spent years trying to figure out my ‘niche’ and eventually built a client base around bridal makeup. I love working with a bride and her bridal party on a wedding day, it’s so rewarding. That will always be my first business, but unfortunately I have less and less time for it nowadays so am really selective with the bookings I take on.

I think working with weddings is SUCH a rewarding role. I'll always love my time as a wedding coordinator years ago. What made you take the leap and start working for yourself?

In my 2nd year of college, I was all set to go to uni and one day something just clicked. I just knew that a degree, the 9-5, sitting in an office - it wasn’t meant for me. Years on, I now know that was my gut telling me to go it alone and start my own business. It was my first taste of really trusting my gut despite what everyone else thought.

I’ve followed my gut in every business decision I’ve made since - from offering 1-on-1 coaching to starting a podcast to saying yes to Holly when we discussed WeBlogNorth expanding.

I really love that journey of really just listening to and trusting yourself. Such an important lesson and one I'm certainly learning a lot more in running our own business. You're so busy, with so many things going on - how do you make sure you've got time for self care?

I’m lucky I’ve come from a background where rest is encouraged. My Dad lives with chronic illness and I’ve grown up seeing him take time off work when he needed it. I think that’s one huge reason I’ve never felt guilty for making time for self care, even when I’m super busy.

As I grow, things do get more difficult. I have to be really strict with boundaries and what I know my self-care needs are. Making self-care a part of my work routine, as it’s just as, if not more important, really helps me stick to it.

I think making it a routine and being firm in setting boundaries is key. At the beginning of starting RRD I was handling the start of my journey with CFS so I was really gentle in taking clients on and strict in the hours I was working. A few months on, I've found that slipping a little and I'm rubbish at making sure I'm eating well. I guess it's all practise and really making it a routine as much as any other parts of my business. Now, working for myself has had hugely positive impacts on my life - What impact has working for yourself had on you both personally and mentally?

When I think back to who I was before I left college and became self employed - it feels like a different person. I was really quite shy around anyone new, hated meeting new people, struggled in groups and just lacked a lot of self-love and confidence (as most young women do sadly). Forcing myself out of my comfort zone, making tough decisions, having to suddenly be a ‘business woman’, working hard even when I didn't see results - it developed my confidence, my resilience and my self belief.

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It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. Starting a business introduced a lot of negative self talk into my life. From imposter syndrome, to undercharging or bending over backwards for people and getting nothing in return - there was a lot of resistance along the way that I still continue to work through as it comes up.

I think I'm pretty similar. Although my shyness was before my previous career in hospitality; I very much had a 'work persona' and was confident there, and not so much in real life. Now I'm consistently at that level. I do still get the odd bit of resistance trying to weasel it's way in but it tends to be when a struggle happens with the business. I'm currently working hard on coping strategies and working on those tricky situations.

As someone, who at the moment has let self care slip a bit - whats your biggest self care tip?

Listen to your body. So many of us want ‘the formula’, ‘the morning routine’, ‘the exercise class that’s gonna change your life’. Self care is self prescribed.

Sit and listen to your body and choose your self care based on that conversation. Self care looks different everyday. From rest to movement, yoga to Cross Fit, work to play, cake to salad, meditation to cocktails with the girls - it’s all self care if you know deep down your body (or soul) is calling out for it that day.

Just make sure you’re choosing to feel your best every day, whatever that looks like in your self care rituals.

That's absolutely perfect and totally what I needed to hear. Been berating myself for having had a lazy weekend and not doing any exercise, but it really was what my body needed to be able to handle what I have coming up. Thank you - amazing tip!

Looking to the future, what goals and vision have you got for your brand?

I always say this, but world domination? That would be nice. If every single woman who came across my content chose to put herself first.

Apart from that tiny goal (haha) - the podcast is a real focus for me in the next 6-12 months. It’s a real passion project, it’s become such a valuable conversation between myself, the women I admire and my community, and I know given the podcast industry is booming right now, it just makes sense to put my all into it. So creatively, that’s a focus!

HA! Love the small world domination plan! If you could have anyone as a guest on your podcast who would it be?

I’m really happy I created a ‘dream guest list’ at the start of 2018, as I’ve already worked to manifest most of those ladies on the podcast!!

However, if I’m thinking out loud about women that it would be INSANE to interview - obviously I’d have to say women who I’ve admired for years. Oprah (duh), Michelle Obama, Marie Forleo, Reece Witherspoon, Jillian Michaels…erm, BEYONCE? Wishful thinking! #lawofattractiondoyourthing

I am ALL about the law of attraction right now! Just getting started in my manifesting journey. I'll start manifesting for you too ha ha ha! So many INCREDIBLE women there too - Oprah's podcast is a particular favourite of ours.

Backtracking a little - you've mentioned it's not been all rainbows - what's the biggest struggles you've faced so far?

Imposter Syndrome. It sucks SO bad. Telling yourself you’re not good enough, you’re not ready yet, you’re too young, you’re too inexperienced, you don’t have enough Instagram followers…and on, and on. That “who are you to do this thing?” voice. That’s the hardest voice as it crops up at any new step you take. You have to tell it to STFU and do it anyway.

Yup. It really is HORRID. Being completely honest, it's been our biggest struggle the last few weeks. Just shaking it off now but it's been a horrid learning curve I wasn't really prepared for dealing with. The timing has been less than ideal!

Moving on from the shitty stuff...what's your proudest moment so far?

I have a few. I think over the years my parents have rightly been confused by this whole online world - blogging, online business, coaching, it’s all so new and definitely wasn’t the ‘norm’ when I was growing up. So those small moments over the years that they just ‘get it’, and support me 100% makes me so proud of what I’m doing.

Interviewing Mel Wells has been a personal career highlight. I’m not exaggerating when I say she’s changed my life with her work. To have that conversation with her was an honour.

Apart from that - I think being shortlisted for the Blogosphere Awards in their Business Influencer category was pretty insane as well, and totally unexpected.

To be able to interview someone who's helped on your journey must be so powerful and to be shortlisted for such a big award is HUGE! So inspiring how well you're doing! And that parent's thing is SO true - when they 'get it' it's magic!

Looking back on your journey, is there a bit of advice you wish you'd had before starting your own business?

Stay in your own lane. The only concern you need to have is with your own path. Not what other people are doing. Not what success they have. Not what other people think or have said. What are YOU doing today to take that next step? That’s the only thing that matters.

Such good advice, so many get caught up comparing to others. Your own path really is all that matters. What's one bit of advice you'd give someone else thinking of breaking into self employed life?

I’d say spend some time and sit with your gut before making a decision - so often we rush into things, but often the conversations we have with ourselves in those quiet moments are the times that count.

If you’re 100% committed and you know what you need to be doing, then you need to figure out how to do it and get started. Take the first step, research as much as possible, lean on the support you need and get going.

I think there is that eagerness to jump in and not do ground work first. Social media is covered in "success stories" but there's very few obvious journeys. I think it's really important to take time to have those conversations with yourself and lay those foundations first. 

Final question - what's your go to song for getting you motivated for working for the HerStory playlist?

Kesha - Woman

Thank you SO much Kat! It's been great speaking to you!

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I really encourage EVERYONE to go check out her website, blog and podcast. And if you need some nice calming and aesthetically pretty to look at, head on over to her Instagram. All links are below

Website https://www.kathorrocks.com/

Put Yourself First on Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud (also available on most Android apps) 

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/put-yourself-first-podcast-self-care-personal-growth/id1326787126?mt=2

https://soundcloud.com/putyourselffirstpodcast

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/kat_horrocks/

Photography http://georgieglass.co.uk/

jen eastwood