Hi Cate, it's lovely to speak to you. Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
Hi! Well, I created PUSH almost 7 years ago having spent 16 years working in media previously, which culminated with me being signed off with stress. Why? Well, for a start I wasn’t looking after myself anywhere near well enough to cope with the high demands of my job. And, with the benefit of a good dollop of hindsight, coupled with a lot more self-awareness, I’ve realised that much of how I was feeling was down to the fact that many of my values, which were previously so aligned with media, had started to change and that alignment was no longer there.
As the gap between personal and professional work values widened, I became more lost.
Indeed, it was hard to say what was specifically wrong, just that I felt like I was simply ‘going
through the motions’ rather than being driven or genuinely feeling any joy within it. That was a
very hard place to be – as I didn’t understand why or indeed what I could do about it.
When my mum was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2014, to put it simply, I had nothing
in the tank to be able to deal with it.
I was broken. In the end, I was signed off for 3 months and, whilst I was off, I knew I couldn’t face going back into that old world. I just knew that I no longer wanted life to look like that and, if I did, more than likely wouldn’t survive it very well.
I could also see around me that more and more people were in similar circumstances. Everywhere you looked, the words ‘stress’, ‘burnout’ or ‘breakdown’ were being bandied around. I just felt that I wanted to do something about it – I knew there had to be a better way of living and working and, quite frankly, I didn’t want anyone else to go through what I did. That is how PUSH started being formed and has since grown into the beast that you see today.
PUSH has become the greatest love of my life. My core values are love, humour and ambition
and our work beautifully satisfies all of them and I know that I can bring them into every area of
our work and business. Knowing that we are changing lives alongside how businesses run,
genuinely lights me up.
Talk to us more about PUSH, what's in it's core?
PUSH is all about people feeling and working better. We understand how to help people reach
their potential and, consequently, companies operate at peak performance. We do this by
focusing on four core areas: wellbeing, mental health, leadership, and personal and professional
development, all of which contribute to achieving work life brilliance.
mental health sessions for teams who are now working-from-home and feel ‘Zoomed out’, to
running an assortment of virtual group party events to ensure offices are still able to come
together in a year of unsettled and unusual experiences.
At PUSH we live by the rule that change is inevitable, but growth is intentional.
Let's rewind a bit here, can you go into a bit more about how PUSH came into formation?
I worked in media as an executive for over 16 years. I loved everything about it, especially the ‘work hard and play hard’ mindset that came with it – it gave me such a buzz. However, towards the last year of my career in media, the enjoyment was gone, and I quickly realised that what once gave me a buzz, was taking a heavy toll on me and my mental health.
Following this realisation, I decided to create PUSH, which at the time required a lot of planning,
learning, cajoling, developing, and training on my part. I studied to become a coach at the
Neuro Leadership Institute and following this incredible course, I now bring everything that I
understand about neuroscience, human behaviour and organisational development into the
work we do with individuals and organisations across the UK.
I strongly believe that no one should go through what I did, and PUSH was born from a genuine
desire to give people the tools they need to excel, not only in the workplace but also in their
personal environment, which is what I was missing.
After all, a strong and stable sense of work-life brilliance plays a fundamental role when it comes
to creating happier, healthier, and more productive businesses and individuals. Very often
organisations will need someone to steer them in the right direction, and that someone is PUSH.
What have been your biggest learning experiences since becoming a business owner?
Trusting myself – understanding the power in intuition, self-belief, self-confidence. As I grow
older, I realise that I can, and do, get myself through everything and anything that is placed in
front of me. Life might not always turn out as we hope or plan but, once we know we can get
through anything, even the most terrifying situations lose their sting.
Cate, if you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business,
what would it be?
The only thing limiting you is your own brain and beliefs. If you take a step back and
look at the big picture, it will help you to understand that all situations are fundamentally
neutral, and you make what you will of them.
Three rules I have always lived by are:
Identify your passion and work out how you can turn it into a business. Like Mark Twain said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Determination and resilience are also key. Doors will close when you first start but don’t let that knock you down, instead learn from your rejections and keep pushing forward.
Look after your team, no matter how big or small it is. If our work with business owners has taught us anything, it’s that nurturing a happy environment for your teams will reap the rewards in the long run.
What has been your biggest achievement since starting your business?
Without a shadow of doubt, creating PUSH has been my greatest achievement to date. I often
comment that whilst I’m so proud of making this company, actually, it is this company that made
However, somewhat closer to home, I am particularly proud of how my awesome team
completely pivoted the business at the start of the pandemic, from entirely face-to-face
operation to one that is completely delivered online.
Despite the constant challenge of running a biz throughout a pandemic, we have tried to
consistently look for the opportunity and approach every situation with a growth mindset. What
we have achieved in the last year is nothing short of phenomenal.
A particular highlight for me was our event ‘What’s Your Story?’ on World Mental Health Day
when we interviewed 16 people about their mental health journeys over 2 days. It was the most unbelievable, authentic and magical event bringing to life these individual’s unique and awe-inspiring stories. It became clear that there is a collection of tools that every person
managing their mindset uses, and led to the launch of our new e-book, 2021 High Potential Hacks.
OK Cate - a biggy; who inspires you?
Rather than one person, I am particularly inspired by my team whose collective awesomeness
completely shifted our work with clients from an entirely face-to-face operation to one that is
completely delivered online. I’m not sure if I would have kept my sanity over these past few
months, was it not for them – their dedication and tenacity is unparalleled.
Finally, what book/article/podcast really gave you that OMG moment?
50 Cent’s Hustle Harder – it was when I realised I was Bournemouth’s version of 50 Cent!
Emma Downey | Founder, Women Who Do
Emma can be found glued to her laptop/kindle or embarking on her next favourite hobby. Avid cake-eater, Disney-superfan and passionate about female empowerment, Emma founded WWD in 2017. She's currently travelling around Europe in her converted camper van and eating far too many croissants.
You can contact Emma: email@example.com
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