Firstly, tell us a bit about you?

Hi, my name is Portia, and I am a Mum that transformed my life after hitting rock bottom. Rewind 10yrs and I was a 30yr old Mum completely lost in duties, responsibilities, and the pressures of running a business. I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and then depression. My life was spiralling, and I found myself crying with my 2yr old on my lap whilst watching Pepper Pig ( I laugh at that bit now) I was so ungrateful and the only part of my day I looked forward to was a glass of wine, or 3!

There it was my wake up call! So off I went on a voyage of self-discovery and found yoga and meditation. It was a bumpy journey, and I found some dark places on route, with the final part of my transition being leaving my 20yr marriage to my husband last year. 

So here I am now 40yrs old, fitter, happier and healthier than I’ve ever been, with a wonderful relationship with my ex.

News of my transformation spread and I qualified as a coach and yoga teacher myself. As people started asking me to share my story, I decided to build a YouTube channel. I get involved in many different projects now, offering online coaching and support. Most recently I self-published a children’s mindfulness journal and am also looking for sponsorship towards a new video campaign I am looking to put together, for children to work with mindfulness and movement at home or in school.

I’m a single Mum that’s striving every day to make people realise that happiness is a choice and to make changes we have to make waves.

What was the moment that everything changed for you? 

After going through my own journey, I wished I had found it earlier in my life, particularly through my teens. This lead me on to working with children, and after qualifying, I started teaching children in schools and running my own clubs. As these developed, I started talking to parents about my journey, and they were quick to ask me how I made the changes. I went off and started teaching adults classes and running retreats and most recently building my online presence. In 2018 I published a mindfulness journal for children, and I’m keen to create one for parents next!

Although I have been teaching for the last four years in studios, it is only more recently that the business has really built momentum online and I am now collaborating with people to a much winder audience. I struggled at first to understand where I was going. It was through talking to people about my ideas, believing in myself and keeping a record of what people were more interested in that I was able to see a clearer path and more opportunities have opened up for me.

What were the initial challenges you came up against and how did you overcome them?

Initially, the biggest challenge was believing in myself, could I really help others? Why would anyone want to listen to me? I had to work on building up my confidence and throwing myself in at the deep end, facing my fears and offering classes was a huge turning point for me. Yoga and meditation have been amazing in building my confidence and self-belief, I now make videos focused around these areas to help others, as this is really where my transformation came from.

What was the first win that made you feel you were onto something? 

Getting my book published was one huge milestone for me; I am so happy to see it reach more children. Every time someone reaches out to me to share my story with them or ask me to run sessions for businesses, I feel a huge sense of personal achievement. I hit 1k subscribers on YouTube last week, and that was amazing!

Did you take the investment route for your business or are you self-funded? Can you share some insights on your decision and the process?

I have self-funded everything I have done so far. People have recently been helping me towards a children’s mindfulness campaign I have been running, but this is the first time I have had financial help. I am keen to build on this now to take my plans to the next step. 

What has been your best investment?

The best investment is definitely self-publishing my book. To know that more children are working with mindfulness is amazing. 

Have you made any mistakes or faux pas? If so, can you share with us?

I wouldn’t call them mistakes, but I have learnt lots of lessons along the way. For me understanding how to reach people and get them to take action is a big one. Lots of people want to make a change, but equally, they fear it. I know from experience, it can be daunting. I had to learn to trust in my instincts and listen to what I really wanted; now I find that’s my biggest hurdle, getting others to do the same and keep it up.

What’s your experience of being a woman in the start-up ecosystem and what in your mind needs to change?

In this area, Women’s support and advice have been crucial to me. I really want to reach more men and women have also been influential here with giving me advice and support on how to reach them. I have met some truly inspiring women on and off the yoga mat and feel honoured to have had them come into my life. Having a group like this is fantastic to give us the chance to help one another in different areas, and I hope you will feel you can reach out to me for anything you think I can bring to your life. 

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learnt since starting your own business?

The greatest lesson I have learnt is that it is small steps, to have a little goal each day and week is essential. I have also found having a voice essential; you need to reach out and speak to people about your dream. It will not come to you; you have to go and grab it!

Have you had any role models or mentors along the way?

I have been able to work with some amazing people that have their own yoga businesses, YouTubers and coaches. Learning and growing as a team is very important. Sharing what works and what doesn’t and just having people there to pick you up when you need it.

With the future in mind, where would you like to be/where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years, I will have grown my online presence and have built an online platform for children’s mindfulness and movement. I would love to see this being used in schools.

What’s your biggest learning from 2020 so far?

2020 has taught me so much. It is because of Lockdown that my online presence became essential. I think it has made more people take a step back and evaluate what they want in their life, and this has been the same for me and my long term goal. I didn’t really have a clear plan at the end of 2019, but 2020 showed me the way with more time for personal reflection.

What can our community do to support your business?

I would love your support! If you would like to become a subscriber, spread the word about my channel or help me on my mission to raise the funds to create these videos for children, I would welcome your help. All my social media links are below. Equally, if you would like to just send me a message and hear a voice, give me a shout. Together we are stronger!

What books, podcasts or resources would you recommend? 

My journey started with books from Wayne Dyer, how he talks about our minds and overthinking is amazing! I had so much to learn here, to begin with. I went off on many different routes after this to find what suited me best and have just been like a sponge to all kinds of online resources. 

What advice would you give anyone about to start a business?

If you are looking at starting a business, then I would say build your confidence up first! Believe in yourself. People buy from people, so unless you believe 100 per cent in yourself and your message people will not want to listen. Whatever you have chosen to do is calling you, so believe in it and think big! 

Where you can find Portia:

Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Youtube

Leah Williams

Leah Williams

About your author

Leah Williams is the Blog Editor for Found & Flourish, working with Founder Lara Sheldrake to ensure every piece of published content is empowering, inspiring and well presented, just like the women we work with.

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