Paula Gardner

Oh, no I had a horrible boss, absolutely horrible boss. And, PR is quite a stressful industry and you can be promised like a front page or an article on your client and then something happens and it's taken out or a two page article becomes two paragraphs and it's not your fault cause you don't have control.

 

And if that happens, our boss used to let rip in the office, take it out on us. So in the end, I just thought, I don't want to live with this. And I remember a potential client had arrived at the offices. And for some reason, my boss and this person didn't hit it off. And it was really obvious that she wasn't going to take him on as a client.

 

And he left the meeting about five o'clock in the afternoon and I was going home. So I just got my stuff together really quickly, ran down the street after him and said, "I'll do your PR!" And that was it. In that moment, I had decided to leave. And he was my first client.

Paula Gardner

 

Paula-9494-SQ.jpg

Our 79th episode is with Paula Gardner.

 

Theme: Being more visible and taking that step.

We talk about: 

💙 A date that led to her changing her thinking about studying business psychology.

💙 How being impatient can help you with achieving your goals.

💙 And how she literally chased her first client down the street.

 

Bio

Paula Gardner is a Careers Psychologist and coach who uses psychometrics to help those who are contemplating a mid-life career change or facing redundancy and wondering what to do next. She began her career in the music business, doing PR for clients such as George Michael and Bananarama, and then went on to found her own PR and marketing company, helping business owners learn how to do their own PR. In her forties she went back into University to do a Masters in Business Psychology, and from then specialised in careers using her own midlife career change as inspiration.

 

Paula's secret ingredient as a career coach is her previous background in PR and marketing which means she can help her clients raise their profile within their workplace or industry - visibility brings credibility!

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Michelle:

Okay Paula, thank you ever so much for joining us.

Paula:

Thank you for having me.

Michelle:

Yes, you've been on the list for ages!

Paula:

Finally made it to the top. Fought my way up.

Michelle:

You did. You did. So, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Paula:

When I was little, it was always a detective, so I grew up reading Secret Seven, Famous Five. And Saturday mornings my parents used to drive to some big supermarkets and take two trolleys in and fill it up. It was in the days of when freezers were new. So, they used to do big, big shops. So me and my sister would sit in the back of the car and we'd Secret Sevens. And I think there was a little bit of psychology in there. You know, that maybe, probably started my interest off in psychology. But by the time I was a teenager, psychology was on the list at school.

 

And then one day I went to a careers officer and she asked me what I wanted to do, this was to do at uni. And I said, psychology. And she went "ooooof." If you do psychology, you'll end up either working in a prison or a mental hospital. So, I went home and told my parents this. Well, we're not paying you to go to university to do that. To end up there. So I was veered off course, and I did English literature at uni, which I loved. So it was no bad thing, but it's interesting how that one conversation sort of took me off of a path that I could have been on a lot earlier.

Michelle:

It's bonkers, isn't it?

Paula:

Yeah. The power of careers advisors.

Michelle:

Yeah. Danger of careers advisors. I was told that because I was a girl I couldn't do chemistry. You couldn't be a chemist. Not a chemist in a shop, but like, you know, mixing potions together.

Paula:

Scientist chemistry, yeah.

Michelle:

And so I was almost like psychology is quite science-y. Go down that route. Yeah. It's interesting.

Paula:

Yeah.

Michelle:

Cool. So English literature degree, where did you end up with that? Not in a prison...

Paula:

Not in a prison no. I ended up, my first job was as a journalist for the local government Chronicle. I had pictured myself working for Cosmo in New York in a lovely, streamlined white office with lilies and lots of perfumes and stuff. I ended up working for this council, local council, it was a national newspaper for local councils, going to conferences on how far litter bins should be apart.

Michelle:

Wow.

Paula:

Yeah, it didn't quite live up to what I'd been imagining.

Michelle:

Not very glamorous then.

Paula:

No. Not really. But, it was a good grounding and I learned all about proofreading, sub-editing. I mean, in those days editing was cutting it out and sticking it down on paper it wasn't on the computer. That came a little bit later, but it was a good grounding. Then I went to live in Australia for a couple of years. Couldn't get a job in journalism in Australia. It was in the recession and those sort of jobs were really hard to come by. And that's how I discovered PR. Never heard of it before but very similar skills. And that's how I fell into PR over there. That's what I did for 20 years before getting into psychology.

Michelle:

How long were you in Australia for?

Paula:

Two years. Yes.

Michelle:

Ok. So you were quite young when you set up your own business?

Paula:

Yeah. When I came back to here when I was about 23, worked in PR over here for about a year, that was in music PR. Then basically set up my own business and I haven't really been employed by anybody since, so yeah. Over a quarter of a century working for myself! Do I have to work it out precisely?!

Michelle:

Bless you. You've got some really good stories about PR in the music industry.

Paula:

Yeah. I mean it was brilliant at that age. Very glamorous, lots of interesting, or so I thought at the time, people. Lots of money being thrown around. It was pretty much a dream lifestyle for a few years. But it was one of those jobs, it's so glamorous but paid hardly any money.

Michelle:

Yes. Looks really glamorous, but I'm really poor.

Paula:

Yeah. One of those ones. Yeah. So you couldn't really sustain it for long unless that was all that you cared about. Yeah.

James:

PR, I find it's an interesting one. I like to play the sort of don't know attitude on podcasts is how would you describe PR? Because it's something we often hear about. But what actually is it?

Paula:

Okay, well, I always compare it to marketing and advertising. So advertising is basically where you are spending money and you're saying something about yourself and usually this is great, and this is reliable, 8 out of 10 cats love it. And marketing is where you are spending money, but it's a little bit less obvious. So you might be doing it through direct marketing, letters coming through, emails. And PR is when actually....well with marketing again, if you're doing that, you're still saying, we're great, reliable. The point of PR is you're trying to get other people to say it, to add that credibility. So you're trying to get journalists to try out and review or to interview you and tell your story. So it's all about getting that third party endorsement.

James:

Brilliant. That's useful. So when you went to set up your own business, was that because it was more of circumstance and the job market or salaries, or was there always this burning passion of just saying, do you know what, I'm going to work for myself?

Paula:

Oh, no I had a horrible boss, absolutely horrible boss. And, PR is quite a stressful industry and you can be promised like a front page or an article on your client and then something happens and it's taken out or a two page article becomes two paragraphs and it's not your fault cause you don't have control. And if that happens, our boss used to let rip in the office, take it out on us. So in the end, I just thought, I don't want to live with this. And I remember a potential client had arrived at the offices. And for some reason, my boss and this person didn't hit it off. And it was really obvious that she wasn't going to take him on as a client. And he left the meeting about five o'clock in the afternoon and I was going home. So I just got my stuff together really quickly, ran down the street after him and said, "I'll do your PR!" And that was it. In that moment, I had decided to leave. And he was my first client.

Michelle:

That's amazing. Very brave as well for somebody so young.

Paula:

Yeah. I mean it was brave, but it was also desperate. And I was trying to find a way out of there and I hadn't been there that long. So it wasn't the sort of thing where I could go to other agencies and it be seen as a career move. There'd be questions asked, but setting up on your own is a nice answer to that really.

James:

So you've got your first client, you've chased this person down the streets. They've said "Okay." Do you then have a realisation of sort of, Oh crap. I've now just ventured out into the world on my own. What do I do? How do I go about it? Is it that kind reality sets in?

Paula:

Yeah. I didn't charge him hardly enough. So then I had to find other clients to bring enough money in. I had to spend out on office essentials. So I remember my boyfriend and I going into like a secondhand office warehouse and getting a big fax machine. A really heavy thing. Only thing was we only had a motorbike. So he was there in front, this fax machine and I was clinging onto him with this fax machine in between us. So yeah, it was a very, very makeshift sort of start, but it worked, it worked.

James:

So what came next then? Did you continue that for a number of years or?

Paula:

Yeah. So did that for quite a few years, then had kids and kids sort of changed at all. So pre-kids, I was specialising in restaurants and so it's a lot of going out in the evenings, a lot of wining and dining and schmoozing and when I'd had the kids that wasn't so easy. So I had to find a way to reinvent myself. And I was actually on a call with a money coach. We came up with the idea of do your own PR. So I then went from doing PR to showing business owners how they could do their PR, which was great cause I could do all that from home, one-to-one meetings, but I didn't have to go out and do it. And that inspired me to write two books, Get Noticed and Do Your Own PR. Yeah, it was a really, really good business model actually for me. Yeah.

Michelle:

What changed and drew you into the world of psychology?

Paula:

There was a few things going on at the same time. So one was the do your own PR stuff becoming more psychological. So it's quite easy to teach people how to put a price list together, how to research a journalist. But when they don't do it, you start to have to ask why. And I remember I was running a one year programme with six or seven women at the time and it was like, one of them was flying ahead and doing everything. And there were a few that weren't and they were always making excuses. They'd go, I haven't got time or, you know, it's not quite ready, being very perfectionist about things.

 

And so I decided to dig underneath and underneath all of them that weren't doing, what they wanted to do. It was confidence. So the confidence issues were really holding them back. So I think that's one of the things that sparked my interest in psychology. Another thing was that one of my clients at the time and still is, she's a clinical psychologist. So we were having lots of conversations about psychology and that was, that was sort of growing in the background. And then, I was single at the time. So I divorced my husband of the time, and started online dating. And it was early days for dating. So all my experiences so far have been nice, you know, no sparks or anything, but just nice people, no horrible, desperate stories.

 

And I'd gone out for a date with this guy who had been a psychologist. He had been an industrial psychologist for years. And he was 51 and he was re-training to be a barrister and he had seven years of studying ahead of him. And he said, even if I qualify when I'm 60, that gives me 10 years of doing something which I know I'm going to love to do. And just in that one evening. So, I was telling him about my interest in psychology. And all along, I'd had this idea that there was another Paula who was a psychologist, but in a different life. So have you come across the theory of possible selves?

Michelle:

Hmm.

Paula:

Yeah. So possible selves are all the different selves that we could imagine ourselves to be, and they're there in our head. So, you know, it could be one of the possible selves is a blogger making their living on a tropical Island, sending in all their bits and pieces from the beach. But all these things that we imagine that we could be, and one of those was Paula the psychologist, but I'd always sort of felt, in another lifetime and he challenged me on this. So it was really interesting. And he said, well, why don't you do it?

 

Um, I've got three kids. I'm a single mum. I've got a business. But every time I said something like that, it all felt just a bit hollow. And I was just saying it because I was making excuses. And after that conversation, I just decided to go online the next day and have a look at psychology courses. And it just happened that...I only looked at my local uni, UEL...and I thought, oh, I'll just make a phone call. And I spoke to the head of the psychology course there. And he was talking about me doing a conversion course. I said I wasn't quite sure about this. And when he said, actually thinking about your background, you'd be really suited to business psychology.

 

So I then phoned up his colleague, and it was just instant. Our conversation was like this, sparked so many things I could do my dissertation on and he was telling me what the course involved and actually just by the end of the day, I'd filled in the form. And then I got an email from him saying, Oh, I've put you forward for funding from the EU, 50% funding. So it just seemed to take a life of its own and within a week or so I was there. I was signed up and about to start.

Michelle:

Exciting isn't it.

James:

And I guess having met all these different people and characters in the PR world and different businesses, different organisations that all brings lots of experience.

Paula:

Yeah.

James:

Perhaps, would you say then if you'd done, let's say you'd not had that careers advisor's chat, which diverted you away from psychology, how do you think it would have differed if you'd done it first or if you'd gone into it with all of this, your 20 odd years of experience?

Paula:

Yeah. Good question. I think if I'd gone onto it first, I'd have probably gone down the clinical route. So my business experience led me to go down the business side and interestingly actually on that business psychology, a lot of the stuff we did was careers. And I do have a bit of a bee in a bonnet about that bad careers advice. I'm on a mission to put it right for people.

Michelle:

No it's awesome. So talk to us a little bit about your dissertation, it was really interesting.

Paula:

Well, my dissertation was on sort of altruism. Basically how do organisations attract altruistic people into working with them. And the research that I've come across was that there are three main groups in society. So there were the traditionalists and these are people who basically want to defend the status quo. They are probably the largest section of society just by a tiny amount. And they are keen on typical stereotypical gender roles, traditional jobs, hierarchy. And then the next group would be the modernists, which are close behind them. And modernists are all about climbing that career ladder. I mean, when I say modernists, I imagine like the eighties sort of shoulder padded suits and money is their big motivator. And it's all about prestige and getting on and being productive and making shit happen that sort of thing.

 

And there's a third group which is growing and they're called the cultural creatives. And these are people who make their decisions based on their values. So they are eco-friendly, they are concerned about this world after they die, their legacy. They're concerned about diversity, inclusion, but it's not just, oh, we should be doing that. It is proper, these are how we make our decisions. I actually came across it when I was thinking of me and my sister and I was doing some research into that. So my sister and I obviously same parents, same nurture, same nature just about, very similar. And so, you know, my career choices were PR, glam, newspapers. I suppose I was driven by the actual job itself with a little bit of glam and lifestyle in there.

 

Whereas my sister has always worked for NGOs and charities, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, that sort of thing. And even now she still works for charities or non-profits. And I was just wondering why? Why are we so different? And that's what prompted me to research and write a dissertation.

Michelle:

So you graduated from UEL and then what was next? What was the transition into being a proper psychologist like?

Paula:

Well I was still running the business because I did my MSc part time. So it's been gradual really. Got to pay the bills. I think one of the first things that I did was make that sidestep into, was I set up mastermind groups for business owners where we focus on the psychology behind being successful. So things like growth mindset, looking at psychology around productivity, beliefs, values, lots of things that hold people back. And I've also tied in what I do with visibility. So I did a retreat in Verona, took a group of business people out to a Verona retreat, half it was on the psychology of being more visible and taking that step, and dealing with any confidence issues. And then the other half, I sort of use my PR experience and brought the how to be more visible into it. So I sort of combine the two now really.

Michelle:

It's interesting.

Paula:

And even on the career stuff that I do. So a lot of it is with people who are like me: midlife and changing career. And they don't, even though they might have to start at the bottom, they don't really want to have to start at the bottom in terms of reputation and visibility. So a lot of the stuff we do is around well how do you get noticed, even if you're quite new in this area, so a lot of the stuff is about being visible. Then I'm dealing with confidence issues around that.

Michelle:

It's wonderful.

Paula:

Yeah. It's a nice combination of the two.

Michelle:

Do you want to talk about the Bitch Network?

Paula:

Yeah, yeah. Again, it's that confidence thing. So like I said, a lot of my clients were women who were having issues around getting out there and underneath all these issues were confidence things. So the bitch network is basically all about coaching and articles and workshops, and events. All about building confidence up. So addressing...I mean, it's not do this and do that and leaning forward and like tips and tricks. It's more about like getting beneath. So one of the big things that we have spoken about is people pleasing and boundaries and learning to say no. But also learning how to put yourself first, which a lot of women do find difficult.

 

So it's actually inspired a book that I've just finished. And Michelle knows all about this because we're in this little huddle together, book writing huddle, and the book is called how to be a pushy bitch. And it is all about that. It's about finding that inner strength to push yourself forwards. Cause I think a lot of women find it easy if we're doing it in defence of somebody else. If we get to see somebody else's rights being violated or have to protect our kids we are there straight away, we don't even think about it. When it comes to ourselves we're sometimes a lot less willing to do it.

 

 

And I look at my own story, thinking back to that boss that I had, who was a bit of a bully. I mean obviously now I can see that she was under a lot of stress and pressure and it was just coming out. Seeing with hindsight, I see that at the time I didn't have the skills to deal with her. And I hear that over and over again. There's one of the Bitch Network coaches, Melanie. She had a bullying boss. And she actually, she was in a larger company and she actually went to HR and got bugger all help from them. So, you know, sometimes we have to deal with these things on our own.

Michelle:

That's exciting. And looking forward to reading it. James is like do not read that book!

James:

It will all help the business and the charity.

Michelle:

I remember we were in France when you came up with the name of the network and it was really stressful that you didn't immediately...you like to reflect on things, don't you Paula?!

Paula:

I do. I take my time. I ponder. And when I make a decision, that's it's, it's set in stone, you know? But Michelle was like, do the domain name, do the domain name.

Michelle:

Somebody's gonna have the same idea! Literally, I had a sleepless night about Paula not...it almost got the point of if you don't do it, I'm going to do it. It's been really, really good and really interesting.

James:

I like the name as well though cause it's got a provocative edge to it, but it's not what it's about. Well, I'm saying that, I'm not part of the network obviously. Another one of those I'm not allowed to join.

Michelle:

Oh, you can be a MITCH.

James:

But I do like the concept that, yes, I mean the way society has changed in the last say 50 plus years, everyone could do with getting out of their own way and reaching for that potential. Actually speaking out for whether it's something you believe in or something you're passionate about. But I think perhaps in the UK as well, we're not as good as certain countries, like the US, they seem to be very good at speaking and promoting themselves. So that's a good thing.

Michelle:

Yeah. I think we were taught as children to obviously know your place and...

Paula:

Be seen and not heard. Yeah, and if you do, if you did talk about your achievements, it's like, yeah, you were seen as bragging or being smug. And I remember the phrase someone saying, oh, they'll get their comeuppance.

Michelle:

Yeah. It's almost like we like to keep people down in this country somewhat. Sometimes.

James:

We like the underdog until they're actually successful.

Paula:

Yeah. Yeah. And then the press pulls them down again.

Michelle:

See what's happened with Joe Wicks really. It was all right when he's a little cheeky chappy, but now when he's uber successful and doing lots of good and raising lots of money for the NHS, literally you see the papers gunning for him. And it's an awful trait.

Paula:

Yeah. It is. It's not a nice side of us at all it is.

Michelle:

No. You can go back to sort of cave man days and understanding that the whole people pleasing and fitting in, it was a survival mechanism that people, we've got within us. But yeah, as a society, sometimes the world sucks.

James:

Is that....I wonder....I mean it's a very deep thought for a Wednesday morning, but is it...Obviously, if there wasn't a demand for this sort of news and gossip and bringing people down, is that a way for those who've not strived and haven't gone after their potential and to achieve more, is that a way of justifying, well I'm happy that we've brought this person down because that justifies me then not getting up and doing something?

Paula:

I think you are totally right there. I think it plays into us feeling safe too doesn't it? Thank goodness I didn't do that because I'm nice and safe here and people aren't going to say that about me. But you're right. It keeps us down, or even the fear of it keeps us down, doesn't it?

Michelle:

Yeah. I've talked to both of you about there's certain professionals in our industry that almost play that role of, I'm going to disagree with what you're saying. Where's the evidence? And it's almost, these people are almost stifling the psychology world, because psychologists, I've spoken to so many psychologists that are scared of speaking up and having opinions because just in case what would these self appointed police...what would they say? Well, it is really quick and easy. Just block them. They can't see what you're writing. Go mental, you don't have to receive their feedback.

Paula:

No. I mean, let's face it. Look at what all the scientists putting the things about coronavirus out there, they don't care do they?!

James:

No. As always with science, I can't remember who taught me that when I was younger, was almost any hypothesis you can try and prove is good or bad. One way. I mean, over the years, it's always makes me joke that my mum always talks about things like eggs. They should be kept in the fridge. No, they shouldn't be kept in the fridge. And they're good for you. No, they're not good for you. And it changes about every 10 years, even with simple things like that we can't agree on. So yeah.

Michelle:

I found the whole food when I was pregnant with Oliver and when he was little, the overwhelming advice, arguing both ways, food, sleep, attachment. All that stuff. It was like almost, you know what, I'm just going to stop listening to all of this stuff. My grandparents kept my mum alive and that's before the internet. You use your instinct I think.

Paula:

Yeah. I think there's a lot to be said about instinct actually. Quite often...you must have this Michelle with the psychometrics, you know, when you go into organisations and you're looking at recruitment and so on, instinct still matters, doesn't it? Even with all the psychometric tests, we still need to take instinct into account.

Michelle:

Yeah. And it's difficult, I suppose, when you're talking about selection and assessment because there's the whole cultural fit side of things. And it's like, well, if you don't know what the culture is and you haven't measured the culture, how do you know what a culture fit is? And that, are you choosing...

Paula:

Do you want to disrupt the culture? Yes.

Michelle:

Yeah. Or are you just choosing someone you quite cause you can go to the pub with them? You really have to be very self aware, I think too, to be a hiring manager and having those conversations with yourself. Oh, this person seems like a really good chap because this person is really good at interviews. It's a fascinating world. And I think with some sciences it's really easy - right or wrong. You know, H2O, you can't really argue with that, but with psychology, humans aren't predictable. And I think that's what makes the world of psychology so much fun as well, because there's always a surprise. People are always going to...and you go why did that happen? It's interesting.

Paula:

Yeah. Every time I do work with a company, there's always somebody that has got something new, they'd bring to the table. I have to go and look up. Always learning.

Michelle:

So do you want to go to...can I ask the first one?

Paula:

Are these the quick fire questions? Fingers on the buzzer!

James:

Fingers on the buzzer, it's not answers on a postcard cause it's quick fire, so question number one, Michelle, take it away.

Michelle:

What is the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you while working at your job?

Paula:

The weirdest thing that has happened to me, I think it was when I worked, I was doing some psychometric assessments for an organisation. And after you've done that you have a a one to one with everybody who has done their assessments. And, there was one chap that we were talking about his profile and so on. And I didn't actually say this to him, but you know, he had quite narcissistic traits come up in his profile and we were talking around this and he looked at me and he said, Oh, well, you can tell them what you want about me, but I know where the bodies are buried!

Michelle:

I've never had that one. How did you get yourself out of that situation?

Paula:

I think it sparked quite an interesting conversation actually.

James:

Pressing the red button under the desk...!

Michelle:

Send in the guards!

Paula:

Cause usually people ask well what does it say about me? What does that mean? What does that mean for my job and so on? But he was very calm and feeling it doesn't matter. Whatever you say, it doesn't matter.

Michelle:

It's not who you know, it's what you know about who you know.

James:

So question number two. What is invisible but you wish people could see?

Paula:

Kindness. Actually, I think it's really underrated the quality of kindness. And I think it's modern life. We are so busy that it's not that we are unkind it's that often we don't stop to think about how to be kind. And when I see kindness in people, I really notice it. It'd be great if there was some sort of shimmery thing that showed how kind somebody was, and then we'd all try and be a little bit kinder.

Michelle:

Like everyone could read everyone's auras I suppose.

Paula:

Yeah. Yeah.

James:

I like that.

Michelle:

Awesome. So question number three. What do most people think about you, that's absolutely not true?

Paula:

Ooh. Oh wow. That's absolutely not true? Well, that also supposed I know what people think about me. I suppose it's quite a common one actually is, it works both ways though. So the luck and hard work. Sometimes, so for instance, getting my first book published, getting a publisher is not an easy thing to do nowadays. And I don't think it ever has been. And people said to me, it must've been really hard work to find a publisher, but actually it was luck. I had actually decided that I wanted to publish my first book. And then it was a business networking, Christmas dinner and the person that I sat down next to was a publisher. So she unfortunately had to sit and listen to me pitch to her over Christmas lunch. And I got my publisher that way.

Michelle:

You wore her down. Well done.

Paula:

Yeah. So I suppose it's that as in people thinking it was hard work, but actually it was luck. But on the flip side of that is people thinking, Oh, you were lucky, but they don't see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

Michelle:

Yeah. You sent me a book about that didn't you, that it takes 10 years of graft to be an overnight success?

Paula:

Yeah. And I know on your podcast I was listening to with Wendy, Wendy Kendall, and she was talking about her newsletter, the horses newsletter for the feed. She was saying, if I'd have persevered, then that could have been really big now. And I think that this is what it is, the hard work, the perseverance that goes into things. People don't tend to see that unless you've built up a business or done it yourself, you don't know what goes on behind the scenes, do you?

Michelle:

No. And that's where the comparison comes in as well, isn't it? It's like, you know, I'm never going to be like X, Y or Z, because they've got all of this help and support. We were talking about this the other day, my little boy said oh, you've only got 17 YouTube subscribers to James. And he was a little bit kind of taken aback. Well everyone has to start somewhere.

James:

Even Justin Bieber and your favourite Fortnite streamer Ninja, he created an account with zero subscribers. So a little reminder for him. In your face Oliver. He can listen to this in a few years' time.

Paula:

I think that is the thing about social media though, it is so obviously measurable. You almost define your worth in that arena. And if you start with zero subscribers and after two weeks, you've still got zero subscribers. It's really difficult not to feel a failure, even if you'd been putting things out.

Michelle:

Well I think we've got 20 now woohoo!

James:

Well I think the story of it, it goes back to Justin Bieber is that you never know which of those videos, in his case was seen by a record producer that got him his break in his career. I've almost reached a point of, we get our usual serial fans, our family, close friends, and that's growing, but I'm conscious that it's just consistency. And eventually the general upward trend is there. And eventually someone will pick it up. And then rather than be like, Oh, we've got no content. It's like, crikey, these guys have got tons...

Paula:

Yeah, loads of things for us to catch up on. You've actually identified something that it's another one of my bug bears. So in coaching, a lot of it is about goals isn't it? What are your dreams? What's your vision? What are your goals? And there's all this magic idea, that if you your goals then you will get them. The way will come. Actually, it's the processes that matter more than the goals in a way. They're the things that you're doing along the way. If you don't get those right, you're not going to reach them. And if you don't find some joy in doing them as well, you're not going to keep them up.

James:

Yes. I's very important. So our last question, we can jump in the DeLorean and take you back to your 18 year old self. What advice would you give her?

Paula:

Oh, another good question. I think she was quite impatient, but then actually I'm still quite impatient. What advice would I give her? I think I would, I think I would remind her to enjoy things more. I think that impatience makes you quite goal orientated. So the opposite of what I was saying just now, so I can spot it in myself. And so to give you an idea, when I was 18, I went on an interrail trip. Have you guys ever been interrailing?

Michelle:

No. Well kind of with school randomly. Numerous trains to get somewhere in Germany. Yeah.

Paula:

I can't remember how much it was, but you paid something like it was, in those days, it was something like £160 and you could basically travel around Europe on any train apart from the very, very expensive ones where you paid extra, for a month. It's changed now, you only get a certain number of days in the month. But basically we tried to visit almost every country in Europe and we went over to Morocco, and we caught the ferry to Corfu and we just spent the whole month on a train so that we could tick all these countries off which is ridiculous because I basically spent £160, which was about £500 in those days to spend a month on a train.

James:

But you got the countries ticked off!

Paula:

It was ticked off but the quality wasn't quite there. Yeah.

Michelle:

So yeah. So advice to your 18 year old self is just pick a couple of places. Enjoy Italy.

Paula:

Pick a couple yes and slow down. Yes.

Michelle:

Awesome. So if somebody likes the sound of you and wants to know more, where's the best place to find you on the internet.

Paula:

So my website is www.scarletthinking.com and you can also find me on LinkedIn at Paula Gardner. Those are the two main places.

Michelle:

Awesome. It's been absolutely a delight to have you on the podcast.

James:

Yes I've enjoyed it.

Michelle:

So thank you ever so much for your time.

Paula:

Thank you.

James:

Thank you.