There’s nothing worse than feeling unseen and unheard in the workplace. Something that Cressida feels very passionate about, and now runs a successful coaching business. Cressida tells us what's made her leave the corporate world and start on her own.
Hello Cressida! Tell us a bit about yourself!
After 26 years in financial services and making it to C-suite level at a large financial services firm, I decided to make a career change and set up Chryse Coaching. After spending most of my career giving my all for large corporations, I wanted to do something that I felt really passionate about. Something that benefited other women and rewarded me in the process. I am now a personal brand and confidence coach for women.
That's a huge step to make - leaving the corporate space. Talk to us more about your business...
I work with my clients to remove self-limiting beliefs, to build confidence and self-esteem and I help them create a really powerful personal brand that they can use to great effect in the workplace.
For my clients in the corporate space, I build their self-belief, coach them through barriers and give them strategies that they can use to increase their effectiveness and marketability in the workplace.
I have watched them get promoted or get new opportunities in their company. It’s so incredible to see them fulfil their potential and receive the success they deserve and the career they want.
For my entrepreneurial clients I help them build their brand and the brand for their business. We work together on identifying who they are and what they do as well as homing in on who they help, their USP and what really sets them apart.
I find that my years of commercial experience in the corporate world helps me see things clearly pretty quickly. I can identify where they might be going wrong and help them course correct. I have been privileged to see my clients go from struggling to make ends meet to building a profitable business that allows them to live the life they want.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
In my 26 years in Banking, I had the privilege to work with so many talented, dedicated, hardworking women but one thing was very clear. Very few had rock solid self-esteem and confidence and even fewer knew how to project that confidence through a well thought through personal brand. I knew how that felt. Whilst I was very successful at what I did, my career trajectory wasn’t without its problems and more than once I find myself being passed over for opportunities because I didn’t market myself or promote myself more. I learned that having self-confidence and a clear personal brand was more important than anything else and have spent many years learning how to build both for myself and now for my clients.
What have been your biggest learning experiences since becoming a business owner?
That you are learning all the time! Running a business takes flexibility.
You don’t have a playbook to rely on. You have to be your own IT support, your own finance person, your own marketeer, your own procurement to name but a few.
I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent looking up answers on google (other search engines are available) just trying to figure things out as I go along!
If you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?
You have to be resilient. It takes time to build any business and it certainly takes a lot of graft. Be really clear on your product or your service, who you’re serving and then don’t give up. Even when you have days where it feels like you will never generate a lead, believe in yourself and don’t give up. It will happen.
What has your biggest success/accomplishment/achievement been since starting your business?
Getting a female client from a place of despair to a place of clarity and with it, a very healthy 5 figure income. She came to me with an incredible talent but at a complete loss as to how to commercialise that talent. She was trying to appeal to too many markets and had lost clarity on what she was about and who she wanted to serve.
We created a new brand, a new strategy, pivoted her business, and now she successfully sells her product to a market in Asia in particular that is growing exponentially. Watching the delight on her face as she secured her first commission was something that will stay with me forever.
Who inspires you?
My mum who instilled the notion of female empowerment in me when I was growing up and the many women I have met throughout my career. I have seen a lot of women in tough situations and am reminded of Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote that “A woman is like a teabag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water”.
What book/article/podcast really gave you that OMG moment?
‘Postcards from midlife’, the amazing podcast by Trish Halpin and Lorraine Candy. I am going through perimenopause right now which started in 2020 and honestly when it began, I thought I was losing my mind. Listening to these two amazing and talented ex editors in chief of global magazines talk about the highs and lows has been enormously helpful and their advice has been a godsend. It helped normalise what I was going through and made me realise I wasn’t alone.
➡️ You can find Cressida:
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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