Interview with success coach Ruth Kudzi
Read how Ruth Kudzi turned her back on a career in teaching to follow her true passion – helping other women start successful businesses.
What’s your career background?
I’d always been involved in businesses and started my first venture at 15. I have had various businesses, including events, blogging, developing an app, property and a tutoring agency and I have studied and taught business up to postgraduate level. But I never really found my passion, and I lacked confidence to make the move full time.
I have already had two successful careers. I started off working in the city in recruitment and helped open up new offices in New York and Europe. The money was brilliant but I was unfulfilled and the champagne lifestyle didn’t make me happy.
So I moved into education and quickly moved up the ladder before completing a fast track leadership program to become a head teacher. I pushed my business dreams to the back of my mind, and told myself that maybe one day I’d make them happen.
I knew that becoming a head teacher wasn’t my career path and I wanted to do something different, something for me where I could lead on my terms. I was coasting, and merely getting through the days and weeks.
I got a coach, and working with her made me admit to myself that she was doing exactly what I wanted to do. That seed that was planted all those years ago, those courses I had done were because this was my passion.
How did your career change after having children?
My wake up call was having a family. My career just didn’t work around them so it forced me to make a change.
Having kids changed my outlook on lots of things and made me realise life is too short to spend working in a job you don’t love. My priorities shifted and I wanted to work in a more flexible way; I wanted more balance.
Setting up a business worked for me as I can effectively choose my hours. It means I can be there for the girls every day and it means I can do things like go to the park and eat cake during the week.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I had fallen in love with coaching years ago and had been working with some people on a pro bono basis and studying coaching qualifications so it was obvious what my path was.
I began as a general coach and soon found that I was attracting lots of mums who were in a similar position to me so I started to offer more business coaching.
As my business became more successful I then switched to success coaching, and moved to work with female entrepreneurs as these are who I am passionate about helping – you don’t need to be a mum!
How did you move from idea to actual business?
I completed a business template as I used to get my students to do and then went through it with my husband. I have taught business and studied it for years so I understand how it works. It was just all about transferring these skills into my own business.
What do you do?
I am a certified success coach, speaker and blogger for female entrepreneurs who want to start up and grow their businesses.
I work with professional women on business strategy, confidence and mindset on a one to one basis and through group programs, workshops, training and online courses. My focus is on supporting women in the early days of entrepreneurship and helping them develop solid foundations for growth.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
Trusting my instincts – I made some decisions early on as people told me to do things and I wish I hadn’t. Somehow you always know what’s right if you learn to really listen to your heart rather than looking at what others are doing. Paying too much attention to your competitors is not always the right course of action.
And your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment is every time I help other women build businesses. I am passionate about empowering women to start up and develop their own businesses that give them fulfilment and flexibility.
What does success mean to you?
To me I think success is having a positive impact on others, of building something I am proud of and of having flexibility so I can have more time to spend with my family.
How do you balance your business with your family?
I have two children who are in nursery part time and I work evenings and weekends around them. I get up an hour earlier every morning to work – it does mean I am knackered sometimes but I love maximising my time with them.
Building a business on maternity leave meant I sacrificed maternity leave, I didn’t have the long lunches and coffees with friends I did the first time round. I now sacrifice a few evenings a week to work on my business – I don’t go out as much as I used to and I don’t watch TV.
Sometimes I get the balance wrong and it can feel like I am too focused on my business, other times I don’t give it enough time and energy (admittedly rarely!).
What tips do you have for entrepreneurial mums?
Outsource – build, grow and scale your business you need to be strategic about what you’re good at and find people who you trust and are aligned with your values who can support you. Think about what you can outsource and start acting like the CEO of your company. Know when to ask for help. And be authentic, always.
You can learn more about Ruth on her website.