Struggling with self-doubt or loss of identity? Kate Longhurst helps professional women find clarity, confidence and support.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Kate Longhurst, the founder of Kate Longhurst Coaching, gets it done like a boss.
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
For over 15 years, I worked as a chartered accountant in public practice and government. Despite positive ratings and feedback from my colleagues and clients, two things troubled me. The first was imposter syndrome and a lack of confidence in my own abilities, and the second was frustration that I wasn’t directly helping people in the way I wanted to. Both were impacting my enjoyment and satisfaction at work.
In 2017, my family moved from London to Singapore with my husband’s career. I decided to take a career break to look after my young children and re-assess. Whilst this was a great decision for many reasons, stepping out of the workforce also came with challenges – loss of identity, purpose and dwindling confidence. After volunteering and taking courses to clarify my next steps, I came to a realisation: I wanted to help smart, capable and inspiring women get what they deserve out of life.
Training as a coach and being coached gave me the skills and tools I needed to make changes for myself. Now, I’m passionate about helping other women do the same.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
As mentioned, one of my greatest challenges has been confidence in my abilities and a fear of putting myself out of my comfort zone in case of failure. This has held me back from what’s possible. In training to be a coach and being coached myself, I’ve learned a few things.
Keep a learner mindset, acknowledge where I am and accept what I need to learn. Joy and success come from getting better. Also, say yes to things that put me just on the edge of my comfort zone, and find that sweet spot where things are a challenge but aren’t overwhelming. In all of this, I proactively read, listen and use my coach to support me.
How do you stay motivated and energised?
Exercise, get out in nature and pay attention to my energy levels. Take regular breaks. If I’m completing a task and it feels like a chore, I take a break or switch to something that’s more appealing but also needs to get done. I worked long hours in my previous career and burned myself out. I’m in this to make a difference and enjoy myself along the way.
How do you deal with self-doubt or criticism?
I talk it out. I have my own coach that I work through my feelings with and they help me re-frame. By myself, I also try to call out and label any negative self-talk, it’s a technique that I learned training in Positive Intelligence with Shirzad Chamine. Acknowledging and disassociating my feelings about myself from my identity helps me reduce their power and quieten them.
Favourite places to work?
I’m generally okay to be by myself for a while but I like variety and social check-ins. I follow my mood – I love working at home with my dog at my feet but also enjoy the buzz of a cafe or social club with friends or a co-working group. If I need inspiration or I’m getting stuck, I take a walk.
Can you share a work mantra that you use?
My current mantra is ‘Embrace the learning’. I love that my journey as an entrepreneur is exposing me to so many new skills and experiences. By embracing the learning, I’m okay with not knowing. This mindset is helping me grow and enjoy myself.
One thing you can keep talking about for hours?
I’m actually more of a listener than a talker, which is why coaching is such a great fit for me. However, I feel very passionate about helping women understand that self-care isn’t selfish but necessary for yourself and those you love.
Your go-to self-care activity?
Listen to yourself. Your intuition can be felt in your body and mind. Be in tune with what you need physically and emotionally and find ways to meet that need.
One piece of advice to your younger self?
Embrace being a learner. Don’t stress about being perfect at what you’re doing – you won’t be perfect and neither should you be. You’ll be better and happier for identifying yourself as a learner, not an expert, and finding learning in all that you do.
Get in touch with Kate Longhurst online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!