Friday interview | Kelly Gaston on following her dreams to set up her own business out of a passion for helping others
HLN met Kelly, a well-balanced powerhouse who actively promotes the benefits of living life to the full, whilst also living a life full of gratitude.
By Beverley Park
After 17 years at the North East Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Gaston, founder and owner of Aspirational Living left the comforts of full-time employment to embark on a new journey that would see her not only set up a successful business out of passion and love but also dedicate her sparse spare time to retrain. It’s fair to say Kelly is full of ambition. In addition, she is a wonderful mother to two very active young boys. This sounds demanding and all-consuming but not the Aspirational Living way. Kelly has mindfulness and meditation to keep her work-life balance at the perfect tipping point.
Well, mostly… did we mention Kelly is also renovating her dream 1950’s forever home?
How would you describe Aspirational Living?
We are a training, coaching and wellness business that helps organisations and individuals to move from where they are now to where they want to be.
What was the turning point in you setting up your own business?
1.I felt like something was missing. I had a job I loved but I felt slightly lost and stuck. I decided to enrol on yet another course and trained to become a Life Coach and Personal Performance Coach, I wasn’t quite prepared for the journey I embarked on. I learned so much about myself and coaching strategies, I knew then I wanted to help others in the same way. I’d moved from feeling lost and stuck to feeling focussed about what it was I wanted to do. All my background and career had led me to this point.
2. During my last year of study I fell ill and was diagnosed with M.E. I was shocked, scared and overwhelmed. I learned more about the condition and felt lucky it was mild and I could still go about my everyday activity. I turned to mindfulness and meditation recommended by my GP. I gained so much from it. I learned strategies, techniques and tools that helped me to relax and take some time out for me. I loved it so much I then trained as an Advanced Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher.
3. As a Mum of two I felt overwhelmed by life, I was trying to do it all but, something had to give. I’d always dreamt of having my own business and I knew it was time.
I didn’t feel confident about starting my own business at first. I was scared to give up a role I’d been in for 17 years but I took a calculated risk. I made sure my finances were all in order and then took the leap of faith and I don’t regret it one bit!”
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Being confident in my own ability. In the past I used to feel inferior to others but, through my own self-development, I’m much more confident in my own ability and no longer feel like less than others.
Promoting other products and services is much easier than promoting or selling your own. Nowadays I’ve changed my mindset, I no longer sell what I do, I simply share my areas of expertise and knowledge and to date, I’ve had 100% conversion rate as people buy into my authenticity and honesty. I may not be for everyone but, I’m okay with that and I never take on anything that isn’t within my specialism.
How do you stay motivated when working for yourself?
This may sound like a cliché but, I never have a problem getting motivated because I genuinely love what I do. I’m so passionate about helping others, it keeps me motivated every single day.
What’s the one bit of advice you would go back and tell yourself?
Have confidence in your own ability. Don’t spend time worrying about what others think of you, this is your journey, have confidence in your conviction.
How do you measure success?
This has changed over the years, prior to children it would have been to progress in my career, have a fantastic job earning a decent salary. Nowadays it’s maintaining a good work/life balance and having work I love and I’m passionate about. The most important role in life is being a good Mum and wife and building in quality time with my family. That’s my measure of success.
What’s been Aspirational Living’s greatest achievement?
When I started, if I could help just one person in the same way that I have been helped, that would be a great achievement. Now nearly four years on I’ve worked with over 1000 people and I’m pleased to say many of them have moved forward with their own lives too and are living a life they love. That’s what gets me out of bed in a morning and that’s my greatest achievement so far!
What techniques do you use to switch from work to mum?
Patience, kindness and compassion – life is a juggle and a struggle at times. Living in the 21st century can be hard and as adults, we take on a lot so I try to practice patience and kindness to the boys and I try to remember every single day that we’re all trying to do our best!
What are the company’s goals for 2020?
To work with individuals and organisations, introducing coaching and mindfulness into their businesses to help educate others the importance of looking after your health and wellbeing.
To produce more online products for our community to help them move forward with their own lives.
To finish a book I have in draft! Now I’ve shared this I’d better get on with it…
If you’d like to join the Aspirational Living community, visit the Facebook page ‘Aspirational Living,’ or subscribe to the newsletter at www.aspirationalliving.mehttp://aspirationalliving.me