Who are you and what business did you start?
I’m Emma Gilmour, the founder of Hope Rising Coaching. I’m a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist and a certified This Naked Mind, Gray Area Drinking & Tuning in to Teens™ emotionally intelligent parenting coach for parents who want to model a healthy relationship with alcohol for their kids.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I began drinking at the age of 13 and, as an adult, partied as hard as I worked. Ultimately it ended in total burnout. But the alcohol stayed, until the day my 11-year-old asked me to leave the wine behind at bedtime.
It struck me I was using the worst possible tool to escape the pressures of my life. And it wasn’t just the kids paying the price, it was me too. Physically, mentally, emotionally.
I’d had enough. And on my own journey, I realised that I wasn’t an isolated case – far from it. It’s an epidemic. And alcohol makes a terrible bedfellow for women in middle age. So, I made it my mission to support women, like me, to redefine, reconfigure and reinvigorate their lives.
Describe the process of launching the business.
My USP was immediately clear, my credentials were there, and I had developed solid connections with my peers. It was just a case of understanding my customers, developing offerings that met their needs, and getting up to speed on the platforms necessary to deliver.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The best way to gain and retain customers is to be your authentic self and deliver a high-quality service. And, to that end, being a genuine, active presence within the sober space has naturally engendered connection and brought customers to my door. Podcast appearances, sharing high-value content and being an advocate and ally.
From there, I’ve focused on developing clear pathways – in other words, layers of services when, where and how my clients need them, and in a way that suits their individual trajectory. Essentially, it’s not a ‘one and done’ situation – I’m on a journey with people, and the service has to evolve accordingly. Each point of interaction creates a layer of scaffolding for their new life.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Having reached my authentic niche – connecting with people I can really relate to and serve effectively – my business has developed a solid rhythm. I have great confidence in its continuing growth.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Discipline is everything. Something I’m not naturally inclined towards! I’ve learned to get better at planning – taking an upstream approach rather than always responding in the downstream. That’s also meant continual self-improvement, which benefits me as a business owner, practitioner and human being.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
I use Kajabi for service delivery, as well as Zoom.
And in the background use Acuity, HelloSign and Quickbooks.
For marketing, I’m active across Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram – as well as cultivating Facebook communities.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I’m a huge fan of Brene Brown’s ‘The gifts of imperfection’, Laura McCowan’s ‘Tell me something true’ and Glennon Doyle’s ‘We can do hard things’.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Identify the life you want and build the business that will support that. Your authentic self is your best tool, and by delivering a service that is aligned with your skills and your values, you’ll find your niche and deliver the best possible customer experience. If you try to shoe-horn yourself into a perceived gap in the market, you’ll always be climbing uphill. And, advice I’ve always loved is, ‘make them hate you faster’ – don’t waste time or energy on people who are not your ideal customers. Be your big and bold self so you’re a magnet for the right people and keep the tyre-kickers far away.