As we are a blog for parents BY parents, we have gotten into the regular habit of highlighting various entrepreneurs, and specifically m@mpreneurs, who have established themselves and are working in Western Switzerland. We’ve mentioned Jessica, Tanya, and also talked about the project run by Katharine. We also regularly post blogs on parenting in the great outdoors from m@mpreneur Charlaine, and posted a blog with great photography tips from Michelle P. Some great tips for businesswomen have also been shared by Natalie W. And of course the administrator behind MiV, Michelle W, is also a m@mpreneur.
So today we focus on Debbie (whose programmes we have highlighted here before).
Tell us about yourself and about your time in Switzerland
I live with husband John and our 2 girls, Olivia aged 7 and Alexandra aged 4 in Bursinel (between Gland and Rolle). We moved here just over 3 years ago and I still pinch myself with the lake, the mountains and all this area offers! We had been living near Oxford in the UK, spending several years slowly renovating our old house (my husband being the technical, practical one and me a good ‘labourer’!) but we always had this dream to move to a French speaking country. When the opportunity arose to move here, I left my part-time job as a Project Manager & Facilitator at IBM, to concentrate on looking after the girls and making the whole transition as fun as it could be.
Were you happy as a full time Mom after being a career-woman?
Yes! I truly enjoy being a Mum and being the best Mum I can be is really important to me. It’s about:
- enjoying and appreciating time with the girls each day;
- laughing about some of the ways they will test each and every boundary without feeling like I am going to explode;
- bringing them up so they are self-confident without being arrogant, so they try new things and are not scared of failure, so they embrace life and people; and laugh a lot!
Debbie pushing her two kids on the swings
After a few years maternity leave, I realised that to be that Mum and role model, I needed something in addition to the title “Mum”, something that fed my sense of identity, purpose and self-belief. On one of the many occasions when I was pushing swings in the park in Rolle, during our 1st summer here, I kept asking myself “what else would I love to be doing, in balance with being a full time Mum?”
What else DO you love doing that enables you to find the right balance?
I love helping people! Friends/colleagues often gravitate towards me for guidance, so on that sunny day in Rolle, I decided “I’m going to train as a Coach”! I had been coached at IBM and it really was a turning point for me. That day, I stopped concentrating on what was not possible and started exploring what I loved & valued. So I was going to do this for others too.
Was it easy to train as a coach and put this idea into practice?
Once I had committed to this idea and goal, the rest fell into place! I completed a full training programme with the Coaches Training Institute in the UK, 5 courses of 3 days each. Two and a half years on, I am working and love working as a certified Coach. I work both here and in the UK (over skype/phone).
As mentioned, balance is so key to me. It enables me to enjoy work, play, motherhood, family, friends and sports. Of course, it takes organisation and juggling at times but the bottom line is, I have the variety, stimulation and challenges I craved. Now, I am incredibly passionate about helping others do the same.
Tell us about coaching (what is it?)
Coaching is chiefly about discovery, awareness and choice. It is a way of empowering you to identify and articulate your needs, your dreams, to understand what drains you and what energises you. It has the emphasis on moving forwards in one’s life and taking actions to create and sustain a balanced & fulfilled life.
I see your practice is called “Brownehour Coaching” Why Brownehour?
My maiden name is Browne. From an early age in my family, if you took yourself away for an hour, to re-charge your batteries, be it before studying, having a big night out, or preparation for a key meeting, we called it a “Brownehour”. In the last two years, it has become so evident that the hour of coaching my client receives, does exactly that – re-charges them. It energises individuals to wake up to what is possible, evoking their inner strength and empowers them to make the changes they are seeking.
Putting aside an hour a day to think, to meditate, relax is something a lot of people will connect with a “Brownehour” what a great name! Lots of families have these little sayings and family-isms and yours fits right in with what you are doing with your life and for others! Where can a parent go to take advantage of your programmes?
In addition to individual coaching in a variety of formats (phone, skype, walks, coffee, etc.), I run a monthly Career Transition workshop with another certified coach, as part of the Geneva Coach Alliance. The goal is to help individuals who are facing changes in their working life, be it through redundancy or looking to return to work, after a break.
As a mother, of course, another passion is helping other mothers and women, be it to establish a better work/life balance or to dedicate some time to their own growth. The theme of a programme I run is empowering Mums and self-care, enabling women to commit to taking some time to focus on their sense of purpose and identity, outside their role as a Mother, and overcome confidence or self-belief barriers.
I have run three sessions in Western Switzerland to date and each time it has been a great pleasure to witness several Mothers become very clear on what is important to them and then make the changes they want to make to lead a fulfilling life, with no regrets. The next programme starts on Monday, 3 June 2013 in Nyon and finishes just before the start of the summer holidays!
So there you have it Moms & Dads, another blog that focuses on a local m@mpreneur. Click on the links above to read the other posts about others. If you’ve used Debbie’s services, feel free to comment below. To learn more about Debbie’s programmes and to contact Debbie, her details can be found on our blog from earlier this year.