Guiding Heroes

Employee or Entrepreneur: How to Succeed in Both (Guiding Heroes UK)

July 08, 2021 David Patterson, Certified Executive Coach & Chief Alchemist Season 2 Episode 9
Guiding Heroes
Employee or Entrepreneur: How to Succeed in Both (Guiding Heroes UK)
Chapters
2:05
The Road to Disneyland Paris
4:36
What did Pluto Teach You?
7:25
The Path to British Airways
11:39
Jane Becoming Coach & Confidant
17:35
How to Create Safe Spaces as a Confidant
22:20
3 Attributes of Successful Professionals
24:02
The UK Definition of Redundancy
26:40
I EXPECTED THIS!
33:07
Jane's Redundancy Story
37:17
My Sign From Pluto
41:04
From Employee to Entrepreneur
45:00
The First Steps in Starting a Business
48:13
Grasp Your Life By the *****
Guiding Heroes
Employee or Entrepreneur: How to Succeed in Both (Guiding Heroes UK)
Jul 08, 2021 Season 2 Episode 9
David Patterson, Certified Executive Coach & Chief Alchemist

“Don't wait for somebody else to create the next part of your life”

In this episode, host David Patterson is joined by Executive Career Coach and HR professional, Jane Ferré. Just like her job at Disneyland where she played the role of Pluto, Jane challenges listeners to step into the role of their authentic self by identifying characteristics, experiences, challenges, and triumphs that make them unique. 

As a previous HR executive at British Airways and LEON Restaurants, Jane has faced her share of challenges in the workforce prior to and during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, she shares how her previous career steps prepared her with the knowledge and oversight to make the jump into private coaching. Listeners will walk away feeling empowered to take control of their life with intentionality and confidence.

Listen to Discover:

  • The importance of efficiency in order to effectuate change in both personal success and in business
  • The biggest challenges to overcome to move forward towards your dream
  • How to step into the role of your authentic self
  • Questions as a catalyst for trust
  • Separating your personal value from your career
  • The transition from emotional denial to rational decision-making
  • What true action looks like in ownership of your business, especially during a pandemic

Resources:

Connect with Us:

Follow David:

Connect with Jane:


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

“Don't wait for somebody else to create the next part of your life”

In this episode, host David Patterson is joined by Executive Career Coach and HR professional, Jane Ferré. Just like her job at Disneyland where she played the role of Pluto, Jane challenges listeners to step into the role of their authentic self by identifying characteristics, experiences, challenges, and triumphs that make them unique. 

As a previous HR executive at British Airways and LEON Restaurants, Jane has faced her share of challenges in the workforce prior to and during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, she shares how her previous career steps prepared her with the knowledge and oversight to make the jump into private coaching. Listeners will walk away feeling empowered to take control of their life with intentionality and confidence.

Listen to Discover:

  • The importance of efficiency in order to effectuate change in both personal success and in business
  • The biggest challenges to overcome to move forward towards your dream
  • How to step into the role of your authentic self
  • Questions as a catalyst for trust
  • Separating your personal value from your career
  • The transition from emotional denial to rational decision-making
  • What true action looks like in ownership of your business, especially during a pandemic

Resources:

Connect with Us:

Follow David:

Connect with Jane:


Jane Ferré:
So I was at Uni at the time. So I was studying hospitality management and retail management and it was coming to the end of my degree. And then I suddenly realized I haven't got a job. So kind of cue that panic when everyone else is talking about all of that, all of the, you know, I'm going to go off and work for Hilton and I'm going to work for ACORE. And I was like, oh shoot, I haven't got a job.

Jane Ferré:
So it was the year I graduated. I'm giving my age away now. The year I graduated was the year that Disneyland Paris opened. So they opened on the 12th of April, 1992. And they were looking for people to go and work in their, what is now called the resort. So there's a whole resort of hotels and they were looking for kind of hospitality graduates.

Jane Ferré:
So I went to the interviews that they were doing like a ... they call it a milk round in the UK where they just come around all the universities and I got offered the job. So I went over to Disney on the graduate program for the hospitality scheme. But when Disney on Paris opened in Paris, when Disneyland Paris opened, it was a real disaster because what the Disney company had done is kind of taken this American thing and put it in France and it didn't really work. So there was a lot of learning to be done.

Jane Ferré:
So our graduate program kind of died a death with it on the vine. And at the same time they were auditioning for the parade. Because one of the things they realized was we need to kind of up characters in the part, the quality of the shows, the parades, the guests experience. So I went and auditioned for the parade and I got in and I just, that was then my job. So I know we're on podcasts right now, but you could see my little Pluto thing in the back because that was my height.

Jane Ferré:
So everything is on height size. So I was Pluto's size. So I was dancing sometimes, sometimes I was characters. Sometimes I was in shows. Sometimes we were doing special events, TVs. TV recording for all the Disney clubs all around Europe. It was just like the most incredible thing at such a great foundation in terms of how you do stuff because the Disney company does stuff well.

Jane Ferré:
Everything is about process. It's about efficiency. It's about show. Taking all of that on the age of 21, that is just such a great foundation that I have taken through my working life. And even today in terms of running my own business.

David Patterson:
When you see Pluto, when you see him behind you, or if you see something on TV that has Pluto there, what's the lesson that you have been reminded of the most from that experience that you've carried on in your personal or professional life?

Jane Ferré:
I think there's a way of doing, and there's a way of being, so, you know, when you are, oh God, I don't know if I should be saying this, all these secrets. There's a way that Pluto walks, for example, there's a way that Pluto kind of science signature, there's a way that you pose in photographs. So there's almost that thing of if you're playing this particular character and then you behave in this particular way.

Jane Ferré:
And I think that, that's the thing that I have kind of taken through my life. So right now I help people with their careers. And there's a way that I do that. There's a way that I show up for people. And likewise, when I was in other jobs, there was a way of being, there was a way that I showed up for people.

David Patterson:
There's a lot of people that don't get that per se. There's a way that you show up. There's a way of doing things. There's a way of mentally being, and that has an impact on people's success. What do you think is the biggest challenge when it comes to the clients that you coach that don't get that? And how does that impact their ability to move forward towards where it is that they say that the desire to be?

Jane Ferré:
I think there's something about they feel that they need to behave a certain way. And the thing about, when you're playing Pluto, you're playing a character and one day it could be Pluto. And the next day I could be Lumiere in the Beauty and the Beast show that they're different characters. And my job was to step into those characters. And I think the challenge is, it's almost like when you're at work, you're not playing a character, you're playing yourself, but actually most people think that they have to be a certain way.

Jane Ferré:
There's a certain way of behaving that comes with a certain job title or I mean, there is a kind of cultural way of doing things in an organization and I've worked for very different organizations. But I mean, in terms of people, it's like the role that you're playing, the character that you're playing is you. So it's like figure out who you are first, to figure out if you were to write the character description of you, how do you sign your name? How do you pose for pictures? Just like you do, how do you walk? It's like all of those things that I described with Pluto, it's like, how do you do that for you? What does that look like for you?

David Patterson:
How did you get from Disneyland Paris to British Airway?

Jane Ferré:
I mean, the irony it's like, okay, I need to get a proper job now because obviously the story that I was telling myself at that time was if you're having this much fun, it can't be a proper job. And the words I used was you need to go and get a proper job. Now, if I like the, 50 year old Jane talking to my younger self would be like, if you're having fun and it's paying the bills, then carry on doing it.

Jane Ferré:
There's nothing wrong with what you're doing. You're making dreams come true every day. But I actually came back to the UK and I thought, right time to get a proper job, time to get serious. I've gone and got a degree and I need to be doing something with my degree, which by the way is not true. But that was the story I was telling myself at the time. And I actually I was living with a boyfriend at the time on a place called the Isle of Wight, which is a small island on the south coast of the UK.

Jane Ferré:
So every time you had to go somewhere, you had to get on a ferry. And I was on a ferry going for a job interview. And I was flicking through this was before the days of everyone had a mobile phone, I was flicking through the newspaper and I saw an advertisement to go and be a holiday rep. And I was like, oh my God, this sounds like such fun. So what that means is when British people go on holiday, they go on these package holidays and there's somebody from the holiday company in the resort.

Jane Ferré:
I spent three seasons working as a holiday rep. So I had a summer on Mallorca, which is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. I did a ski season in Andorra, which is a principality in the Pyrenees. And then I went back to Mallorca for another summer. And then I was like, okay, I was completely burnt out because you party hard and you work really hard because you know, we're in Spain. So you don't go out before midnight and you don't get home, I was literally getting home at six in the morning, having a shower and going to work and then having a siesta in the middle of the day and that took me so long, you can do that.

Jane Ferré:
And you can do that when you're, you know, 20, 25. I think I was at the time. There's no way I could be doing that now, living that lifestyle. But again, after sort of three seasons, I was like, okay, back to the UK. Right now, I really have to find myself a proper job. I saw I was actually looking for roles. And again, I saw this advert in the paper. And it was for somebody to go into revenue management in cargo. So there's a whole cargo team at British Airways that I didn't even know existed, but the clever thing about this job advert it was the questions that it was asking.

Jane Ferré:
So it's like, do you like problem solving? Can you make sense out of complex situations? Are you afraid of making decisions? If the answers are yes, no, yes, apply for this job. And I applied and I got the job and it was almost that, that was my foot in the door. And what that role did for me was, I was playing this game of Tetris with the belly of an airplane, like, here's, we've got this much space and this much cargo now figure out how are we going to get this into this. I had to learn all about, you know, the inside of airplanes and the size of freight. And I got a bit geeky for a couple of years, but that gave me a great foundation into the airline business.

Jane Ferré:
And the cargo side of the airline, it's something that we don't really talk about a lot. And then from there, it was just like a a stream of opportunities that either I open myself up to, or put myself forward for, but I was always kind of like eyes open, like hungry for the next job, the next job to grow, to do something different and to learn.

David Patterson:
We encourage the listeners to actually go out to Jane's LinkedIn page, because it is impressive. And actually, we're also going to put in the show notes for those of you that might be interested. Jane actually has a video out there on how to put together a quality LinkedIn page. And we'll put all the information in the show notes because she really did have a an awesome journey at British Airways where I wanted it to land in that organization. When you came into the coaching world into the coaching bin. You were trained and accredited by the Azure business school, and you became the internal executive coach in January, 2011. However, you were very skeptical about that role at the beginning.

Jane Ferré:
Yeah. I mean it's kind of interesting because by this point I was in the role of HR business partner and the role of a HR business partner is really as a somebody sitting at the table of their client. So it's, even though I'm officially reporting into HR, I have much more affinity with my client areas. So one of my roles was to really be the kind of coach and confidence, the senior leader and their team. And when the opportunity came to kind of get some formal accreditation, I kind of jumped at the chance.

Jane Ferré:
I think because I always knew that I was going to leave. I wasn't quite sure when I was just building my toolbox. And interestingly, I always look at it as actually what we were doing was trying to cook, it was a way of cutting costs. So what we're going to do is we're going to train some people up internally because it's cheaper than hiring external coaches. But that concept doesn't always work because what people want to do is they want to talk about people in the organization. And it was very hard for me as an HR person, because there was never that complete trust that I was going to keep everything confidential.

Jane Ferré:
It was a real struggle. Some people did get it, but other people were like, I get what you're trying to do. I understand that this is a confidential relationship but deep down, I don't have that hundred percent trust in the process, not necessarily me, but in the process. So I actually then started to coach a lot of people who were coming into the organization. So by the time I'd moved into my last role, with HR, as head of talent, one of the challenges that we knew as a business that was that people were joining us externally and leaving quite quickly. And we knew that a lot of that was because they couldn't figure out how to get things done in the organization.

Jane Ferré:
So yes, we had lots of processes, but there was almost this subculture of you get stuffed on through your network. So I actually kind of transitioned into first 90 day coaching for senior leaders that we had recruited externally. And that helped us to reduce our turnover in that in that group, which cost us a lot of money.

David Patterson:
Jane, I want to stop there for a second because there's something I want to ask you regarding building a relationship to the point where you become, someone's confidant. Now, you and I get the importance of playing that character taking on that role when we are coaches. There's a book called The Five Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell. And he talks about, position one is basically just because you are who you are, people give you a certain level of respect, right? How do you get someone's permission to start the process to becoming their confidant?

Jane Ferré:
Yeah. This is a really interesting one. And I think it depends not on me as the sort of the HR business partner, coach, what mentor or confidant. I think it's more about them and what works for them. So some people, I mean, organization like BA, people work there for a long time. They have deep relationships across the pap. So you know, that they will have asked about you from someone else in the business.

Jane Ferré:
So there is that thing of, you always need to be mindful of your reputation at any one time. And that always needs to be good because it just takes one person to kind of diss you. You know, it's like show's over. But I think it's more about starting to have some of those conversations and some of those tricky conversations and, or it's very hard to kind of put into words. There's almost something kind of organic that happens with it. You know, some people it's about, maybe it's just sort of a word in their ear about some of their teams, some of the behaviors that you observe, it could be that, you know, sometimes what I've done in the past is I've asked permission to give them feedback, or before a big meeting, a big session.

Jane Ferré:
I've said to them what role do you want me to play here? How can I help you? Because we need to get this message across. Usually it would be a lot of stuff that was around people. So it would be a reorganization or a shifting of team roles. So there would be a lot of conversations with me anyway, because of the role that I played. And then it's about building that trust and saying, okay, so we're going to present this to the team, what role do you want me to play? Do you want me to have an active part? Do you want me to chip in when required? Shall I wait till you invite me to the conversation? And just really take the lead from the other person in terms of how they want you to support them. Because ultimately it's about me making them look good.

David Patterson:
One of the sayings that we say a lot in the states is no one cares about you until you show that you care about them. And for me, I really work to be intentional about asking questions about the person. And I feel like that in this hemisphere, there seems to be not a lot of concern for the neighbor, for the person that you are quote unquote in a circle with, or you have interaction with.

David Patterson:
And so I find that questions are so powerful where you are asking things of individuals that has never been asked of them and you having the body language and the listening skills to actually look someone in the eye and be in their space and make them feel like, Hey, you know what, David is really interested in what I have to say and where it is that I want to go. And there's a certain level of emotional intelligence that we have to take on in our toolbox for us to be able to expedite that organic process.

Jane Ferré:
What are some of the good questions that you asked then David, in that sense?

David Patterson:
What motivates you to be the best you can be in this role or opportunity? Why is this important to you? What even prompted you to even get into this role? When I asked the question about Pluto, that was a different perspective for me, because as someone growing up watching the Disney characters, I never thought about the business side of Pluto and the significance of the walk, the talk, how you sign your name.

David Patterson:
When you learn aspects and attributes of the character that's in front of you now, you really get into what made them who they are. So now becomes coming from curiosity. What was it about Pluto? What was it about the signature? How did that make you feel? Getting into their emotions because emotions has a lot to do with how someone shows up in a particular character and asking them, was there something in the past that triggered how you kind of wall people off per se from building that confidant relationship organically.

Jane Ferré:
Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, in, in the BA sense, certainly it was almost like a focus on the mission, what is it we need to achieve here? Generally that'd be a financial task is the word that we'd always used for it. A task we need to achieve. And you know, actually talking through some of those options. And I think kind of back to that thing about cargo, because I knew, I could talk their language. So I, wasn't just an HR person who, sits in their ivory tower and tells you what you can't do, because you know, this policy says this and this policy says that I'm actually there having a business conversation with the business leader, but looking at it from an HR perspective.

Jane Ferré:
So I think that kind of that confidence about having a conversation using business language, not HR language, I think really helped to shift the leaders view of what hate HR was. Usually it was, in the past it had been, you know, we're going to make these decisions then we'll come to HR to figure out how it would work. This time, it's like, this is what my role is here. You know, I'm here whilst you're having the conversations and I'll talk about the business stuff, but then I'll also talk about what that means from a people perspective and tell me what you want to achieve and I'll keep you legal.

Jane Ferré:
So it's always like, yeah, because people want to do things as quickly as possible and I'll go, okay, so, this is how you can do it the quickest most risk averse way. If you do this, this will happen. If you do this, that will happen. And I think just the leader, having that kind of confidence that I'm there not to go and tell tales on them, but to help them to deliver what it is that they need to deliver to get an app performance rating that triggers their bonus, as soon as they get the, I'm there to help them to be successful, that there's almost like a switch that flicks.

David Patterson:
I wrote down three things that you said that I find that is really helpful in your progression through British Airways, problem-solving dealing with complex situations and decision-making being able to make quick decisions. In my opinion, us having a conversation for the first time, I believe that, that is something that really helped you have the opportunity to become the head of talent at British Airways. Would you agree?

Jane Ferré:
Oh yeah. All of those together. And certainly if you look at the world of work, as it's moving, it's not about technical knowledge or technical ability, it's about how do you solve problems, whether that's from the HR perspective of it's a kind of people problem or a people challenge to a kind of operational problem, which do you know what is also involves your people. So the problems are so much more complex now than they even were, 10 or 20 years ago. And I think as we move, today is one of our big stages in the UK of our roadmap out of lockdown.

Jane Ferré:
What that means is yes, on one hand, it's like, yes, I can go inside a pub and have a drink at a table without my coat on. But what that also means is there's a whole load of complex problems that we're talking about that we weren't talking about 18 months ago. And this is what we're kind of expecting of business leaders and business leaders need a safe place to talk about some of their concerns and some of their ideas as well.

David Patterson:
For the listeners that are here in the States. One of the things I wanted to make sure I clarified before we moved forward, because I didn't want you to get stuck about David. I lost you at minute X about redundancy. And so all this other stuff didn't even make any sense. So we're going to hit and establish this foundation right now. Jane, I've done a lot of research for redundancy. So that is my word for the month. I really have embraced it and understand it now. Give you have your definition of redundancy as the UK sees it.

Jane Ferré:
So I think if we were to do a translation into American English, we'd say getting laid off. One of the interesting things that I talk about with my clients is people very often say I was made redundant. And one of the things I learned at British Airways when we were having those redundancy conversations with people is, you were not made redundant. Your role became redundant. So whenever we were having conversations, when we were launching a redundancy program, we were losing so many roles because the roles are no longer needed.

Jane Ferré:
And there just so happens to be people associated with those roles. And I think when people can get that straight in their head, if they can just change their language from, I was made redundant, which if you think about the definition of redundant, it's useless, no longer needed. It's like, no, you leave an organization with all of your knowledge, all of your skills, all of your experience, no one can ever take that away from you.

Jane Ferré:
They can take away your job, but you can walk out with, bags of stuff that you carry around that no one can ever take away from you. So the kind of technical HR version of it is your role is becoming redundant. So that could be because of, if you think about it now in an airline scenario, most people check in online, so you check in on your mobile phone, therefore you don't need as many check-in agents at the airport because people are doing that for themselves.

Jane Ferré:
Now, those people could be redeployed elsewhere in the business. So it could be actually we need more people in the business lounges, or actually what we're going to do is we're going to have more people not sitting behind a desk, but much more like rooming around the airport, providing much more of a proactive customer service to our people. So in terms of redundancy, it's like the role no longer exists. So therefore you may be exiting the business.

David Patterson:
I have heard you say a few times I expected this. I expected redundancy to happen. What was the first sign that those symptoms started to become more of a reality?

Jane Ferré:
Do you know what's really interesting? So a lot of the work that I did as an HR business partner was leading reorganizations, which would always result in redundancy because that means we can cut costs on people and in an airline, the people is usually your second biggest cost after fuel. So certainly in British Airways, that was how it was. So it was if we could remove as much cost as possible, that was great. Because the thing with the airline industry is that they are impacted straightaway because of stuff that happens in the world, that's completely outside the industry's control.

Jane Ferré:
I remember, right back to, 9/11 straight away stopped flying airplanes. After that there's things like SARS, there was the volcanic Ash incident, bird flu foot and mouth disease there's always something that impacts the, the industry. So redundancy was almost this thing that was always there. I think the surprise for me was, you know, BA is this big behemoth of an organization we used to describe it as an oil tanker. You change direction and then three weeks later, the, the ship actually turns.

Jane Ferré:
I think the surprise for me when I was told that I was at risk of redundancy, was that, oh, so, oh, it's actually happening to me because it's something that was always there in the background. And as someone in HR that I was always dealing with it, but never kind of myself. So I think the shock for me, and there's always a shock whether you're expecting it or not was actually now my term, that's how I felt about it. It was now my turn.

David Patterson:
You kind of had a mindset and approach to that, just understanding it is what it is, right. That this is part of the game. Being in these types of roles and, and how business operates, is it healthy to stay vigilant about redundancy? And if so, what would you advise people to do to not get in the weeds about it? Because sometimes we can suffer from paralysis from analysis because we're focused so much on the bad thing that could happen. So there's got to be a balance between those two things, right?

Jane Ferré:
Yeah. I mean, I think, the process in the UK is you have the, what we call the at-risk conversation. So we're telling you that your role is at risk of redundancy. Now I knew that, yes, my role is at risk. And I looked at the roles that I could have been redeployed into and either I'd done them before, or I was really not interested in doing them. That was my signal, that it was kind of time to leave. And I think, the things that I was that was kind of going on in my head was I can't control the fact that my role no longer exists in this organization.

Jane Ferré:
What I can control is how I respond to it. So there is a kind of natural process of denial and you get emotional, but then the quicker you can move through to rationalizing it and accepting the decision the better. Because once you've got through to accepting the decision, then you can make some decisions about next steps. If you're still in the emotional denial stage, then everyone else is going to make that decision for you.

Jane Ferré:
So for me, it's about taking that power. So it's like, I can't do anything about the fact that this role does not exist anymore, but what I can do is determine my next step. So do I put myself forward for some of the vacancies that are available? I don't want to do that. I was at an age, I was thinking it was like 45, 46. And I was thinking if I don't leave now, this is going to happen again in two years time and two years after that and two years after that. So what I can do is I can almost take the control of my life into my hands, or I can let somebody in this organization decides what's going to happen to me.

Jane Ferré:
I chose the first thing. I was like, no, do you know what as risky as it is, if the longer I stay here and I could see some of my older colleagues who were kind of in their mid fifties, they were kind of resigned to the fact that this is where they're going to be for the rest of their career. And they're holding out for that pension. And actually they were just kind of existing rather than living. And I was like, I don't want to be that person in a few years time.

Jane Ferré:
And I look at it now and think my God, if I hadn't of gone then I'd be going now because I think BA at the beginning of COVID lost 12,000 people, which was about 25% of its workforce.

David Patterson:
Wow. That's a lot.

Jane Ferré:
Yeah. And a lot of those people were HR people. So the HR people were managing these redundancies across the business whilst themselves being at risk of redundancy.

David Patterson:
Wow. That's crazy.

Jane Ferré:
Can you imagine that? That's messed up.

David Patterson:
Yeah.

Jane Ferré:
Both messed.

David Patterson:
It's almost like the analogy that comes to mind is I know that we're going to bury this person, so we're going to go ahead and start digging the grave. And while I'm here, I'm going to go dig my grave too, because I'm going to be next.

Jane Ferré:
Yeah. And also, I mean, this is like classic of HR people. They kind of spend a lot of time thinking about everybody else. And I actually had a couple of people, ex colleagues come to me for coaching, just some kind of quick hit sessions because they realized that they'd been busying themselves with everybody else in the organization. And then suddenly they were without a job, but they hadn't had the support that they'd been giving to everybody else.

David Patterson:
Your redundancy period, during British Airways and that transition that happened around the holidays that happened around Christmas. Did it not?

Jane Ferré:
That was the, well here's how quickly BA works. So I had my initial at-risk conversation in June and I left the following March. So that was how long that conversation that period took. Which is actually, I thought it was really cruel when I went to Leon and that redundancy there, that was a few weeks before Christmas.

David Patterson:
And so Leon though, was you volunteered redundancy at that point, right? Did you not step out of that on your own?

Jane Ferré:
I stepped out of BA, so I kind of decided, the package was great. The package was great. The time was great, this is never going to happen again. We had a new CEO who was kind of lifting up all the rocks and I thought he's going to lift up the rock on those redundancy packages soon. So I'm going to take mine and run for the hills. So it was a kind of, you know, what the time is the time is right. There's nothing else here for me now show's over, let's move on to the next stage. And that's when I went to Leon.

Jane Ferré:
Leon it's great. And it still is. And when I was there, they actually had some venture capitalist money. And obviously they, they looked through the business and said, you need to lose some costs from head office. And of course the cost of from head office always go first, it's the training. It's never finance. Have you noticed? It's always training. So me as head of training was, your role no longer exists. So was like, okay.

Jane Ferré:
And that was, yeah, a couple of weeks Christmas, which was actually much more of a shock than leaving British Airways, because it was a, completely different process. It was come to this meeting on a Friday went to the meeting, your Monday is your last day. Please go home, write a handover, come back on Monday with your laptop, phone and keys to the office. And that was it very, very different experience.

David Patterson:
Quote, sometimes you just have to wallow and lick your wounds and just hibernate. And it's okay. All you feel like doing is sitting on the sofa, drinking wine, binge watching Netflix and eating chocolate buttons. That sounds familiar?

Jane Ferré:
That [inaudible 00:33:30]. That was my life. It was, you know, it's this weird thing where, you know, so some of it is the story you tell yourself, because you go, oh, it's just a couple of weeks for Christmas. No one's recruiting, but you know what? I was still, I think in shock. It was one of those things where I can't believe this has happened to me again, this is the second time in 12 months. Oh my God, what am I going to do? I'm useless. And all of those that, those kind of mind monkeys. And then I thought, you know, what, I had a trip to Paris. So I used obviously, because I used to live there. There was a Christmas party, so it's like, do you know what? I'm just going to go to the Christmas party.

Jane Ferré:
I'm going to extend my trip. I had a trip in January to Italy and a friend of mine used to work as cabin crew for BA and I still had my tickets. So I had new year in LA and in Disneyland and I had in February we went to Hong Kong. And that was like on my bucket list was the only Disney park I hadn't been to was Hong Kong Disney. So he too is a Disney fan, he and I met and in Disneyland Paris. So we kind of went, do you know what, so my reaction this time is I'm going to have some fun, right? So let's go to France. And I went to Italy and then, LA and Hong Kong. And it was in Hong Kong and I was, again, it's kind of this funny thing and it's back to Pluto weirdly.

Jane Ferré:
It was coming up to Chinese new year. We were entering into the year of the dog and we were in the middle of Hong Kong Disney. And there was a like a garden, a serenity garden. And I don't know if this is there all year round or just because it was Chinese new year. They have all of the animals for each Chinese new year as Disney character. So the year of the rats Ratatouille, the snake is the year of the snake is the snake from jungle book. And I was like, oh my God, I'm the earth dog. It's my year who the dog thinking it would be goofy and no, it was Pluto.

Jane Ferré:
And I was like, this moment of like the clouds clear the angels sing. And it was like, oh, here's your sign. It's your sign that I've been thinking about saying that my own business I'd sort of been looking at jobs, sort of thinking about our business. And it was just like, just do it, just take that leap of faith and just do it. And what's the worst that can happen. You know, here's all the science, you need this, this magical moment, it's your year, it's the year of the dog, take this opportunity and just run with it, go for it.

David Patterson:
You've been quoted as saying, I am the mistress of excuses.

Jane Ferré:
Yeah.

David Patterson:
Tell me what excuse came up in your mind. Because right? Something that you've been consistently saying, the story that I was telling myself, the story that I was telling myself, you have the sky opened up, the clouds parted, everything seemed to be bright and sunny. And now the mistress of excuse in your head starts talking, what was she saying?

Jane Ferré:
I think it was almost at that point, it was like, right. No more excuses. So I think before that, it had been like, oh, I'm not sure if I'm ready. I don't really know what to do. It's too scary. Oh, can I really be bothered at this age? You know, I'm kind of want to sort of slide on into retirement. Like, at some point you just think, even though like I own now 50, I kind of was like, this is like in my heart, I'm still 21 and dancing down the main street USA. It's like, come on Jane, you're not even like, you're nowhere there yet. You've still got this like you've got a whole other life.

Jane Ferré:
And I think one of the things I was thinking about was, if I retire at 60, I still got, like at the time I have 13 years, that's almost as long as I worked at BA. So it's like, you have this other, you have this like other life now that you need to step into an embrace. And I think it is that kind of right. No excuses, you've made all the excuses and you've sat and you've wallowed and it's okay to sit and wallow, but you have to put a time limit on it. And that's what I did. It was almost like right, January, Christmas you know most things closed down have some fun go and travel.

Jane Ferré:
That first kind of Monday in January, you start, you get back to your desk and you start, I was applying for jobs and I was thinking about business. It's like the jobs thing is a destruction. So stop applying for jobs. That is not what you want to do, what you really want to do, where your true passion lies is in setting up a business. And if you don't do it, you're going to regret it because you'll be ending working for someone who could just let you go in the blink of an eye. And that's what I didn't want to be in that position again.

David Patterson:
I believe that this conversation is so well timed for us in hopefully the final stages of this worldwide pandemic. I came across an article while I was doing prep for the interview with you. And it was on bloomberg.com. There was an article that was posted on February the 18th of this year. And the article was entitled, 100 million workers may need to switch occupation by 2030.

David Patterson:
We've already talked about redundancy. And we've talked about how COVID probably expedited a lot of those situations. Many of these 100 million people could choose the same path that you chose which was I'm going to go out and build a business. Talk about that transition from being what we would call in the States, a nine to five employee to my name is on the building now and the mindset and the approach that has to change to become successful as an entrepreneur.

Jane Ferré:
Yeah. I mean, I think this is a gradual process and I'd say I'm still on the learning curve for it. One of the things that's really clear is that your time is so much more valuable. When I think about some days you go into the office and yeah, especially on a Friday because there was a lot of people didn't work Fridays and you kind of have coffee and you chit chat and then you get distracted and it's four o'clock and you think my God, what have I done today?

Jane Ferré:
Now, that's okay in a big business because, you just pack up your stuff and you come back in on Monday. Whereas in your own business, it's like, if you are not focused on value adding activity or money generating activity, it is kind of time wasted. So it's that real shift of, sometimes those things happen, you kind of drift off and you kind of get distracted and you get phone calls or you've been scrolling through TikToK a bit too long and you think, oh my God, what have I done today?

Jane Ferré:
That time you kind of never get back. And I think there's almost this shift in terms of everything that happens in your business is down to you. And that is like, even today, when it just saying that loud, I kind of got a bit of a shiver because it is. And as frightening as it is, I still find it exciting as well, because again, it's like, nobody else has got ownership of this. This is all down to me now. And that's as equally exciting as it is scary. It's never stopped me.

David Patterson:
What makes it scary? What makes it scary Jane?

Jane Ferré:
Because I think it's like, if you stop or if you're not doing stuff, so I've had some family distractions lately in terms of my mom's been sick. So I've actually been physically not in my office, helping my mom, so a whole load of stuff. So now it's like, there's almost like a lag and clients and a drop in interest. So it's almost like I have to build that back up again. But I know actually that, deep down it's like my time needed to be spent up north helping my mom so it's okay.

Jane Ferré:
But I can decide what I can decide that. So it's kind of embracing that as much as kind of going it's okay, but now I can, how active I am on social media, for example, has a direct correlation between how many clients or how many potential clients, send me a message and say, can I work with you? You know there's a direct correlation with that. And it's about what is the stuff that I can outsource to other people.

Jane Ferré:
So I think one of the first big steps in saying I'm a business is outsourcing some of that work. I've just started to do that because it's like, my time is not well spent on again, the sort of the non-value adding activity so I have a VA, a virtual assistant who helps me with some of that. What I need to get better at is giving her more stuff to do so that I can focus more on making some money. So, but that's a struggle for me because I'm a bit of a control freak.

Jane Ferré:
Actually, what helps me is having my processes written down, my standard operating procedures. So that gives me confidence because I can actually hand that to my assistant and go this, so when someone gets in touch, this is what happens. You know, if someone downloads something from my website, this is what happens. And that's the kind of ongoing iterative process. And it's okay if it's not all done, it's like chillax about it, Jane. I'm not on an oil rig here drilling for oil. I'm just, I'm a coach, right? So if something isn't written or something isn't done, it's okay.

David Patterson:
For the listeners, we're going to put it in the show notes and article that Jane wrote on her website and the article is entitled, What I learned from my first year in business. My question is, what did you learn about building or maintaining a business during the pandemic?

Jane Ferré:
I'm kind of thankful for what happened to me when it happened, because I feel that I was ahead of everybody else. So when everyone else is kind of trying to learn Zoom, it's like, yeah, I've been on Zoom like a year now>

David Patterson:
Yeah. Right. Welcome.

Jane Ferré:
I was like yeah, I know how to use that. Where have you been. You're using Skype. God, no one uses that anymore. And it was me, the person who was creating the Saturday night quiz with my friends, because I've got the premium version of Zoom and we don't have to stick to 45 minutes and then we'll log back in again, you know? And I just think I was trying to put as much of my coaching sessions online. I still liked meeting people in the real life. So one of the things I would try and do is meet people at least once in the flesh.

Jane Ferré:
I kind of knew this wasn't sustainable longer term. So that's a good thing for the pandemic. It's kind of moved people to that place. And I think from my coaching business, that wasn't necessarily, I liked meeting people, but I think when people are investing a huge sum of money in a coaching relationship, I think they wanted to feel more reassured in terms of who is this person, can I trust them?

Jane Ferré:
So I think from a customer perspective, they're much more content or assured to have to go straight into a coaching session online without having that someone first, I think people are much more comfortable about that. So in terms of the pandemic, I think what I'm seeing is that there's a lot of people who are kind of suspended. They kind of know something's going to happen, but they're not sure when, and they're waiting for other people to make a decision.

Jane Ferré:
So a bit like the redundancy conversation, right? You know, I'm just thinking, don't wait for somebody else to create the next part of your life. This is your life. And you know what companies, when they want to get rid of you, they don't give two hoots about you. You are a cost to them and they want you out of the business. So just take it, grasp your life by the hands. And so I was going to say something else, like grasp your life because it's yours. And you've only got one.

The Road to Disneyland Paris
What did Pluto Teach You?
The Path to British Airways
Jane Becoming Coach & Confidant
How to Create Safe Spaces as a Confidant
3 Attributes of Successful Professionals
The UK Definition of Redundancy
I EXPECTED THIS!
Jane's Redundancy Story
My Sign From Pluto
From Employee to Entrepreneur
The First Steps in Starting a Business
Grasp Your Life By the *****