Noomi is an Executive Coach who works with leaders and business owners to overcome the blocks to high performance. For the past eight years she has worked with leaders in 15 different countries to improve their leadership skills and help them develop truly high performing teams. Some of her clients have been smaller companies you might not have heard of – others are organisations like Mars, Boots, British Gas, Tesco Bank, NBCUniversal and LEGO Education.
Q: What is your background? Why are you doing this?
A: I originally studied Journalism and worked in Marketing. Coaching just used to be my hobby until I met an Executive Coach who told me that I could do it for a living. It was one of those conversations that change your life. After that I couldn’t go back to doing a “normal” job. So I started retraining to get professional qualifications and gain experience.
Q: What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
A: Taking initiative and making things happen. Working to shape your reality and the world you want to live in.
Q: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
A: I was only 27 when I started coaching. I was so excited that I had found a way to make my passions and skills come together in a profession. But because of my age and lack of experience no one would give me a job I wanted. So I decided to create my own opportunities. Eight years later I can say it worked out well even though it was rough at the start.
Q: So what would you say are the top 3 skills that needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?
A: Passion for what you are doing/working on – there will be tough times so you have to really love it. Lots of self starter energy. You have to keep creating opportunities for yourself and follow-through to make things happen. Perspective and healthy judgment. You need to keep the big picture in mind all the time and make sure you are working on the right things for long-term success. It is easy to busy and end up doing lots of stuff that doesn’t have much impact.
Q: What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
A: Most of the time work doesn’t feel like work. I get to do what I love, make a difference in the world and make money. On top of that I have a flexible life style. I can choose my hours and how much I am willing to work.
Q: What individual, company or organization inspires you most? Why?
A: Angelique Rewers of The Corporate Agent. She had just had baby twins when she started her business and in a few short years she had built a million dollar business.
Q: If you could have 5 minutes with the above indiv/company/org, what would you want to ask or discuss?
A: How did she manage her time when the twins were young so as both to have time for them, her business and enough sleep to keep her business mind fresh.
Q: What has been your most satisfying or successful moment in business?
A: Realising that I can be paid for doing what I love.
Q: What would you say have been some of your mistakes, failures or lessons learned as an entrepreneur?
A: Trying to create a job for myself instead of a business. Forgetting to work “on the business” and just working in the business. And I have learnt that you never know where the next client or project is going to come from, so it is good to develop connections with everyone you meet.
Q: What is good about being an entrepreneur in Oxfordshire? Bad?
A: It is such a beautiful place to live and work, full of intellectual stimulation and interesting people. There is a lot going on and I am just starting to learn about the many entrepreneur initiatives that are taking place here. On the downside I do have to go to London frequently as a lot of the business clients and networking still happens there.
Q: If a new entrepreneur or startup came to you looking for entrepreneurship information or resources in Oxfordshire, where would you send them?
A: The Oxford Launch Pad is a brilliant place to start. And for me The Oxford Wine Café in Summertown is my second office.
Q: Any last words of advice?
A: Make sure you find some like-minded self-starters to hang around when you start your business. Being an entrepreneur can get lonely and it is important to have others to bounce ideas of. I also recommend getting quality coach or mentor. We all have blindspots and you can overcome challenges much quicker with some expert support.