Meet Tommy Ludgate, Founder of Brightly Imagine

by | Nov 22, 2018 | Founder Features

In this interview series, we want to feature amazing and inspiring women who are company founders. Our goal is to share experiences and insights so we can learn from each other, and inspire the community to take action to create the businesses they dream of. Hello Tommy —

Tell us a bit about you.

Hi, I’m Tommy.  I am a Life Coach, but also a Singer, Songwriter, Vocal Coach and all round creative!  I moved out of London 5 years ago and live with my husband Mike and our son Isaac. I love everything the city has to offer but also love seeing the stars in the sky at night, whilst breathing in some seriously fresh country air!

Tell us about your business.

I have always been my own boss and this means my work is very varied.  My career so far has been as a Singer and Vocal Coach, which means I have been generating my own work from the beginning.  Teaching led me to train as a Life Coach, and I have just launched my business, Brightly Imagine. My coaching sessions are all about taking your next step – figuring out what that next step is and making it happen, now.  I am an advocate for saying yes to the thoughts and ideas in your head! The business is centred around creativity, honesty and passion. Living creatively, being honest with yourself and executing everything with true passion.

What inspired you to start your business?

I learnt about Life Coaching in some teacher training I did.  We only explored some basic ideas but it really resonated with me.  I could see how getting my students to take ownership of their ambitions and goals would make them progress more quickly and effectively.  I also understood how important coaching might be to all of my peers working in a creative career, or for those who are self-employed and their own boss.  It is hard to be motivated when there isn’t anyone giving you a deadline, or when you are the one to judge your successes. I began to explore coaching more and got so fired up about it, I decided to train and qualified with Barefoot Coaching.  

How has the experience been for you?

Well, it is all quite new.  My experience as a Coach spans the last 10 years of my career, as I have always coached on a personal level with my singing clients.  But my experience as Life Coach with Brightly Imagine is only just beginning! I am really excited for how it may develop and grow. I have lots of ideas for projects I’d like to deliver and I look forward to all the people I will meet and get to work with.

What have you found the most challenging?

I became a Mum this summer, so the most challenging thing has probably been being away from work, knowing that I wanted to launch the business before the year was out!  I found it tough to be kind to myself and give myself space and time to settle into motherhood before rushing back to work. I realised I was ready once my brain started dreaming up ideas whilst I was doing the night feeds!  Now I am doing a good job of juggling it all. I am writing this as my son naps – it’s all about the multi-tasking!

What has been your best investment?

Me.  Investment isn’t only about money, it is also about the time you put in.  I have worked hard at the things I enjoy and it has paid off. Studying singing, figuring out how to build my own website, making time for friends, not feeling guilty about doing something for me, investing in training as a Life Coach, having a Life Coach, and so on.  People say I am lucky to do what I love but actually I have made choices to work towards doing what I love. Investing money, time, care and commitment is all worth it, if it is for what you truly want in life.

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

Definitely! I learnt how to teach from my best teachers, including Vocal Coach, Juliet Russell. Juliet has been a fantastic mentor for my career as a Singer. Then I’d say my current role model in relation to coaching is the wonderful Brene Brown. I’ve almost read all of her books and love the way she writes about relationships, emotions and life.

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

Slowly but surely.  I just looked this phrase up to make sure it is what I meant and it 100% is – ‘achieving the desired results gradually and reliably rather than quickly and spectacularly.’  I think so often when we are working towards something we are really passionate about we can be impatient. I want that something to happen now and to feel the gratification now!  But actually, true satisfaction comes when you build up to something gradually and can stop to appreciate the joy it brings.

What does success mean to you?

Answering these questions is really getting me to reflect – it’s great!  If I’m honest, I think I am guilty of falling into the trap of thinking, ‘I will be successful when…’ and always striving for the next thing.  It is all in the noticing, and every minor step is a success if I think about it. If I have ticked a goal off my list, however small that may be, that is success.  All the small steps that lead to the next result, not the end result as there is no end!

What books or podcasts would you recommend?

Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Big Magic’ and ‘Magic Lessons’ podcasts.  She is an author of stories but has written this great book on how to live a creative life.  Her way of thinking about creativity and how to function within a creative life is spot on.

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

Just start.   Don’t wait for the right time.  Don’t hesitate in order to make things perfect. Just get on with it and you’ll figure it out as you go along!

How can readers get in touch with you? Thank you! — Lara & Frankie
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