Who’s that behind the mask?

My mouth should sometimes come with a character limit.

Take it off! Take it off! Take it all off! That is one of the most important things that I have learnt in life, and it only took me nearly 39 years.

Nope I’m not talking about how to undress to impress, but how to completely unmask myself and , to use a phrase a client of mine uses, show up fully!

I had written a whole newsletter/article about the wonders of no and low code that small businesses should embrace, but that is not for this week. Something has clicked this week and something is comforting in sharing how I feel.

Some of you might think this a bit self-indulgent, (maybe it is a little bit of self therapy and reflection) but I’m hoping that just one of you will actually take something useful out of it and enjoy having a little bit of a sneak peak into Hayley world and how and why I came to be where I am.

In a week where we are allowed to not wear masks in the UK anymore, I have realised that I’ve actually lost “my mask”.

Earlier in the week I was catching up on some of Rachael Botfield’s The Virtually Inspiring Podcast and I decided to listen to mine. Normally I would stay away from ever watching a video or listening to myself like my life depended on it, but for some reason I thought it was time.

It has been time for a lot of things lately.

It made me realise how much I had changed since speaking to Rachael and also how much the business had changed. How The VA Lounge membership dropped and bombed because it was never to be a paid thing and that I should have listened to my gut with this and how that little niggle of self consciousness had really reduced when speaking about my journey- or over speaking I should say!

My mouth should sometimes come with a character limit.

It is one thing to spend time looking at feedback and reviews from others, but it is another to actually look at what your thoughts are of yourself as an individual and to self congratulate on not falling apart and succeeding.

Giving yourself feedback isn’t always easy, but actually it is the most important feedback to listen to!

I’ve struggled a lot with personal loss, with putting the brave face on – when really I’m a bit rubbish at that – and I’ve struggled with running a business. I am only human after all. And somedays it is very very hard!

But then something in the past few months has happened. I’ve had time away, time off and I mean really off.

I’ve started to feel comfortable. Comfortable in the person that I really am and (to quote a client again) being my version of me.

I’ve finally managed to surround myself with people I feel comfortable being the total train wreck I am somedays, they don’t care if I rock up with my hair in a messy bun or in my bright orange tiger jumper. They don’t care if I overshare or mumble my words because I’ve been up all night with the kids.

What they do care about is that I’m ok.

My clients care that I am ok. That my kids are ok. That my husband is ok and that makes running a business so much easier and joyful!

Them caring has made me make sure that I am caring that I am ok and if I actually really am.

And I am – promise!

2020 kicked me right in the bum, and 2021 pretty much too!

Writing the birthdays on the family calendar at the beginning of this year is where I noticed my shift in mindset first. It came to May and I skipped writing a birthday and then it came to August and I said out loud “It’s time”. I was quite shocked that I said it and then I realised that it was time to make sure I was ok and to move – not on – just move.

I’m moving in a direction I want to, not being an idiot on the way , but also making sure it is my direction that I want to go in, with the people that I want to be with.

There has been a fair few posts on LinkedIn this week about making sure you are working with the right people and it is very true.

Working with the right people not only fills your soul with happiness but totally ups your game when it comes to pushing your business forward.

To my famous five that I work with on a daily/weekly basis, I really am so grateful to where you have helped me get to. Each of you has helped me be true to my values, be confident in myself, remember my roots, uncover some talents and embrace my story to show up fully.

If you are working with clients that don’t make your heart sing – ask yourself if they should really be your clients.

Embrace your inner marmite – Rory Berry

Embracing my inner marmite was my main goal in 2021. It is ok that people love me – obvs – and it is ok if people don’t. I don’t like Turkish Delight so I don’t buy it and that means there is more for the others that do.

I’m not sure if there is any point to this waffle this week, but just a message to say ,


thanks for stopping by,

I like you just the way you are.

H x