PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHY – CLAIRE O’HANLON
Every so often, you meet someone who just does your heart good to be around. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Claire for some time, right back when I was starting out in my photography career. She helped me pull together my business plan as part of the Go For It Programme. I recently worked with Claire to provide her with a personal branding portfolio for her business over the next six months.
She has such an amazing attitude to life and she is a true inspiration. Having a strong business background, she worked for Dungannon Enterprise Centre for many years before establishing her own coaching business.
In her business, Her On Purpose, she provides personal and business coaching as well as personal development, resilience and confidence training, workshops and merchandise.
Tell me about yourself Claire …
I am a mum to 2 boys, Luke who is 10 and Coen who is 7. Life is pretty hectic for us as Luke has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive and life shortening muscle wasting condition. This brings with it plenty of hospital appointments and personal care needs. Even though I’m quiet, I love meeting new people and pass my ‘free time’ listening to books on Audible (it’s an addiction at this stage lol). I’m a bit of a daredevil and like to do things that scare me. This has led to me jump out of a plane twice, scaling a building, complete a 30 feet free fall jump (way scarier than it sounds) and training as a Firewalk instructor to name a few.
I’ve spent the last decade and a half helping people to start and grow their own businesses. In October 2019, I launched my own coaching and consultancy business. Since the pandemic, I decided to change direction. I loved the coaching element of my previous job and decided to cement my informal experience of coaching with a certification. I am now a certified mindset coach, NLP coach and practitioner. Also a qualified Time Line Therapy practitioner and Hypnotherapy practitioner. I couple my life-long experience, work experience and coaching certification to offer practical and mindset support to female entrepreneurs.
When it comes to business, I’m very much the scientist. I love to try new things to see how they work. I see every failure as an opportunity to try something new or to try again but slightly tweak how I do it. My motto is: ‘I win or I learn but I never lose’. Every day is a school day around here!
I’m also a charity trustee, run a fundraising group and Chair of the NI Council of MDUK, leading the charity’s priorities here in Northern Ireland. Life is busy and fascinating in equal measure.
Tell me about your business …
I am The ShyPreneur Coach and I help ‘quiet’ women overcome their fears & limiting beliefs. I also help them develop business know-how so that they can stop shying away from the success they deserve.
My business exists because there are women who are shying away when they could be changing the world. I believe in inspiring others to believe in themselves so that we can change the world together. There’s a one liner from the movie Schindler’s List that I have never forgotten: ‘To save one life is to save the world entire’.
My business changes the word ‘save’ to ‘change’! By inspiring even just one quiet woman to embrace who she is and what she is capable of, I can change a little bit of the world. Inspiring her to love herself, to go after her goals without shying away is invaluable. Maybe she doesn’t feel worthy or doesn’t know how. Maybe she lacks confidence. When I help that woman, then it’s not just her world that changes.
She inspires her family and her friends to do the same; then we really do have a revolution. The world we live in is perfectly balanced, but as young girls we’re taught that success is only available to her who shouts loudest. I don’t believe that. I believe that the world we live in is perfectly balanced and that means that success is available to both the loud and the quiet.
Tell me the type of work you carry out as The ShyPreneur Coach …
Right now, I work one to one with women to help them start and grow a business that is meaningful to them. Together we work on creating a vision – the success of every introvert I’ve ever met, and even those famous ones (who I didn’t meet lol) happened because they had a dream that was bigger than their fears. They believed in something!
I work with clients to discover what that is for them. We close the gap between where they are and where they want to be, working on conscious and unconscious beliefs. I help my clients to understand their behavioural preferences, looking at how they can change those preferences where necessary. We remove old beliefs and decisions, working together to implement practical steps forward. Then it’s on to business strategy. This is where I help my clients work on their business model, their ideal client, their communication strategy and their product/ service creation. It’s definitely not a one size fits all programme. The women I work with are all so different and I love helping them crate their perfect business without sacrificing the essence of who they are.
This Autumn, I am launching my first ever group programme which will give women the confidence, know-how and accountability to start and grow their businesses.
Why do I do this work with this particular group of clients?
I have always been ‘the quiet one’ in all my groups of friends. A little awkward, a little clumsy. In school, I wouldn’t say boo to a ghost but yet, I’m the only one in most of my groups of friends who finds it easy to deliver a speech to an audience of hundreds. I have no problem delivering training. I’m on the board of trustees of a UK wide charity that means so much to me. I’ve raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity and travelled thousands of miles on my own to join fellow patient advocates in changing the rare disease drug landscape.
Despite doing well in every subject in school, all my school reports focused on my quietness rather than my academic ability – probably with the best of intentions. I was insanely shy and quiet but when I was 24, I decided that I would no longer give in to my fear. It was time to affirm that I was worth more, that I could do more, be more and have more and I’ve never looked back. I firmly believe that if I can do it, then so can anyone. I’m on a mission to help as many women as possible overcome their fears so that they can create their dream business without sacrificing who they are.
Why is this so important?
Imagine a world where Eva Parkes gave up her seat that day in Alabama (it would have been the easy thing to do after all)! Imagine a world where Eleanor Roosevelt never spoke out or never took her seat at the UN! Imagine a world where JK Rowling gave in to her shyness and never asked anyone for a pen that day on the train from Manchester to London. She may never have come up with the idea for the character who would make her a millionaire!
All of these women were described as shy, introverted, retiring, soft spoken or timid. And yet, all three of them changed the world and none of them changed who they were in the process. I’ve never met an introvert or shy person who was shy and quiet ALL the time. We all have preferences for how we show up in the world. We show up differently depending on where we are, who we’re with, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Even the time of day or the time of the month can make a difference.
There is no right way or wrong way, there’s just your way. Many of the women I work with don’t want to ‘pretend to be someone I’m not’. They don’t want to ‘go live every day’, they don’t want to say ‘ok honey?’ to complete strangers. They want to launch a business that helps people! They want to stand on a stage because they have something to say and the world needs to hear it.
They want to provide for their family so that their kids can go to college. Teach their daughters that it’s ok to be strong independent women. Raise awareness of issues that matter to them and they want to do it as themselves. That’s world changing and that’s why it’s important.
To every woman who had ‘performs well in class BUT is very quiet’ written on her report card. To every woman who has been asked ‘why are you so quiet?’. To every woman who’s been looked over for opportunities because she seemed too timid. I can help show them that the word quiet does not mean failure. We can be quiet and roar at the same time. Quiet is powerful and should never be confused with timidity.