Today we hear from Catherine Tapponnier, the owner or Magical You. Since March 2011 Catherine has been giving women the tools and information to help them organise and simplify their lives.
Her aim is to support women to free up time and energy for them to enjoy more of the things they are passionate about.
1. What drove you to start your own business? What was the turning point?
I co-authored and edited a self-help book for sufferers of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that I also suffered from, for almost 10 years. Through it I found my passion for writing. At the same time, I also realised that I organise and handle the practicalities of my life in a way that lots of women I know, don’t. I began by starting to write about the things I do to organise my life. Then I thought about the fact that as women we like to talk and so my information could be best shared through small workshop style groups or individual 1 to 1 sessions with women. That was the point I decided to set up my business.
2. Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?
I admire Richard Branson who has succeeded in a diverse range of businesses and at the same time ensures he lives life to the full. I also admire his willingness to speak out about what he believes in.
3. What are your goals for your business?
I would like to have Magical You workshop groups and 1 to 1 sessions available to women all over the country. I’m also working to offer an online place where women can access my information and share in a community. My grandmother told me about the support and fun she shared with women in her local community through getting togethe,r or simply chatting over the garden fence. I think that much of that has been lost. I have a vision to create places for women to come together and grow from each other, as well as from the information I have to share.
4. What would you do differently next time around?
I would spend more time and money at the start of my business on getting my message out through networking groups and local publications rather than buying lots of stationary and printed information that I still have boxes of.
5. What difficulties and challenges have you had to overcome and how did you keep going?
The biggest challenge I experience is working on my own, doing something that will only happen if I put in the time and energy to make it happen. Through connecting with other women who have their own businesses, I have found that old adage of a trouble shared is a trouble halved is true; of course it doesn’t have to be a trouble. It can be just talking something over and getting clear on it. Also my husband has run his own business for many years and he supports me to just get on and have a go without worrying and imagining all the things that I’m scared might not go right. He supports me and encourages me to believe in myself.
6. What legacy would you like your business to leave to the world and your family/friends?
I would like my business to have created a place for women to come together and get tangible benefits from the information I have to share and also for women to benefit from being part of the Magical You community.
7. What support did you seek out and what difference has that made to your business?
I wanted a strong brand and identity for my business that reflects me and what I’m about. I found Graham Foster at Foster Creativity who I worked with to come up with my business name, logo and brand that are centred round Alice in Wonderland images. I’m passionate about living life to the full and enjoying every moment and Alice in Wonderland is all about going down the rabbit hole and discovering the magic that’s there.
8. How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
I have definite plans through to the end of this year and over the first half of next year and also an outline and on going strategy. I’m motivated by growing Magical You into the future and beyond.
9. What has been one big success that you have achieved in your business?
One lady I worked with was so in fear of her finances that she didn’t open her bank statements when they arrived in the post. She was scared of what they would tell her. After completing my money workshop she went away with a strategy and practical tools for managing her money each month. The unknown and fear of what her bank statements would contain was gone, meaning she felt confident to open them. It may seem like one small success but, to that lady, it was life changing.
10. What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business?
To trust myself and, at the same time, be willing to make mistakes, learn from them and move on.
11. What are your top 3 tips for someone who would like to start a business now?
First, I would tell them to just go for it and do it and at the same time to not to expect to have all the answers and for every thing to work perfectly right from the start. Second, I would tell them to constantly test ideas before over committing their time and money to them. Third, I would tell them to be open to feedback, support and information from other people whilst trusting their own instincts about any advice before acting upon it.
12. What are 3 books, websites or resources that you would recommend to other business owners?
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattle.