After a chance discussion, Sue Thomas found herself changing careers and setting up her own business in the health and wellness industry. Sue talks to The Industry Leaders about why she made a career-pivot and why finding your target audience is key.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
Back in 2003, I was on maternity leave and really did not want to go back to my old job in PR and communications, which I just did not enjoy. A chance discussion with someone already in the wellbeing industry lead me to a eureka moment for how I could apply my passion for nutrition and fitness and make a business from it.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I empower women to break their addiction to sugar!
This doesn't mean that we should never consume sugar again; it's just that sugar, when consumed in large quantities, is so detrimental to health. So many issues like sleep, hormones, weight gain, brain fog and lack of energy are easily solved if we just break the cycle of sugar dependency.
It is possible to have good quality sleep, lots of energy and be hugely productive every day without sugar as a quick pick me up.
I now run group programmes that focus on improving women's health by being specifically sugar-free.
What gets you excited about your industry?
The opportunity to help as many women as possible take back control of their health. It is so fulfilling to see someone who has had a compromised quality of life for so long reigniting their love for life again. I love combining my passion for nutrition with movement and mindset and really helping someone make a huge change in their wellbeing so that the joy comes back into their life for the long term.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
To find a seam an inch wide and mine it a mile deep, i.e. find your target audience and focus on that audience only, don't try to spread yourself too thinly when communicating with your audience. Otherwise, the messages will just be confusing, and no one will buy.
What, or who inspires you?
My clients inspire me every day. I believe strongly in walking the talk, so I need to be an example to my clients. So their actions encourage me to keep upping my game and being an example to them. I want to keep learning more so that I can help as many women as possible regain control.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I read lots of books on nutrition and mindset, follow key figures on social media, listen to lots of podcasts, and do online courses on a regular basis. With technology today, learning and keeping up to speed is really quite easy!
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
In 2016, part of my business suffered a huge blow, which virtually destroyed my whole business. I had to rebuild the company from almost nothing.
This experience taught me a lot of lessons!
Not to have all my eggs in one basket and to always be in control of the outcome. When the pandemic struck in 2020, I already had multiple income streams in place, and I was able to keep growing my business through difficult times.
I believe the experience of 2016 helped me to navigate March 2020 with greater confidence.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I love what I do, so I wouldn't change my business for anything, and neither do I think I would stop doing it.
I might employ a few more people to help with day-to-day tasks to take a bit more time off. I would spend more money on marketing to reach more women, but I still want a purpose and focus each day.
But what I would really love is a house with an office that has an amazing view!
How do you switch off after a day at work?
When you work at home, it can be hard to do that. But I always make time for the children when they come in from school and often take a walk with my eldest daughter for some fresh air and catch up on her day.
I try to be disciplined and not open the laptop in the evening - but that's not always a given...
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
Actually, I have a few:
That the food industry stop marketing processed food as 'healthy.'
That people realise quick-fix solutions do not work for health and weight management long term.
That processed and junk foods are no longer sold. Period.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
Dr Rangan Chatterjee - 'Feel better live more.'
Kristina Karlson 'Your dream life.'
Book: 'Spoon fed' Tim Spector.
How should people connect with you?
My web address is www.suethomaswellbeing.co.uk.
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