I’ve always joked I’m rich in name only, but that’s not entirely true. I’ve also lived a very rich and full life.
Originally from the States, I moved to the UK in my twenties, and this is where the big things have happened to me – I started a company, I married and had a family, and I overcame cancer.
The company was Long Tall Sally – long clothes for tall women, like myself.
When I came to London I found it virtually impossible to buy trousers that came down past my ankles. I decided this had to change. I opened the first Long Tally Sally outlet in 1976.
Today the company has over 30 retail outlets and thriving mail-order and web businesses. I’m very proud of its success – not just because it became a flourishing business, but because it was so innovative.
At 42 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. By now I had a young child and it was a shattering experience. I quickly realised that I had to take some responsibility for my treatment and recovery myself.
I read everything I could about the disease and explored alternative therapies – homeopathy, relaxation, counselling, nutrition. This opened up invaluable knowledge that I still draw on today.
I also helped to launch a new charity – Breakthrough Breast Cancer – that became an important part of my healing process. Today it’s the leading breast cancer charity in the world.
In 2005 I decided it was time for a change. I sold Long Tall Sally and trained as a life coach with The Coaches Training Institute – the recognised leaders in the field.
Life coaching seemed to me a brilliant way of putting my experience as a businesswoman and entrepreneur to use – as well as the life lessons I’d picked up along the way.
I’m now a certified life coach, specialising in retirement coaching and creative business coaching, and I coach from my home in Primrose Hill, London, NW1.
I’ve logged nearly 1000 coaching hours and have had the privilege of working with and empowering more than 100 clients. I’ve worked as a programme advisor for CTI (the company that trained me) and have mentored many aspiring coaches.
I love my work – and my play is equally important – so I schedule time with friends and family, get out for lots of walks, draw, play bridge and participate actively in the local community.
It’s thrilling to watch people re-discover their passions and start to make the most of themselves. I love it.
It’s really important to have dreams – and it’s even more important to make them happen.
One of my own dreams is that everyone who retires from their life’s work is given three months of coaching – instead of that gold watch!
More about me
Sidebar photo by Victoria Obolensky - www.victoriaobolensky.com