I am thrilled to share my next interview with fabulous Bryony Williams a life, career & well-being coach, an HR consultant and founder of The Glass Female. Her passion is helping women smash through the glass ceiling – whether that’s their own or in the workplace, working to unblock barriers, remove limitations and connect with their calling through clarity, confidence and communication! Just from her energy you can tell Bryony loves her job and she is amazing in what she does!
What career did you have before you set up your own business, and what made you start?
I’ve been in HR for most of my career, 16+ years in professional services working with lawyers, accountants and partners of those businesses. I started the glass female because I’ve seen lots of women with potential, who like me, got stuck trying to connect how they could bring their potential into the workplace with passion instead of reactive emotion. I’ve also got a small human at home and wanted something that would challenge me intellectually but fit into a flexible lifestyle. This is the most excited I’ve been in my career to date!
What was your main source of motivation when you started your own business?
I’ve had a very happy career to date learning my craft, often focussing on teams and leaders within different firms and at times felt I didn’t have the true freedom to help the people I wanted to due to other business priorities. Now I get to choose what those priorities are! So this was my chance to work with women that want to move forward, offering a service that I’m passionate about and feeling super satisfied with the results. I can also dictate my hours, so after years of mon-fri 9-5, I now have a very agile schedule that meets my clients needs and fits into my own life.
How long did it take you to go from just having an idea to actually starting your business?
Well I’m a just go for it type of person, so as soon as I signed up for a qualification in coaching I think the wheels were already turning with building a possible business and brand. I’d say all in all around 6 months from idea to a brand name, online profile and handful of clients.
What did you find hardest?
Definitely working solo, and starting out solo, I’ve always loved working with people but hadn’t anticipated the gap I would feel of being without an employer to back me up! Initially I sought a lot of help and support from friends and ex colleagues, I needed reassurance in the early days, but I now see this as part of what builds our confidence – having the right cheerleaders in your corner when you need them!
If you could go back and do it all again, would you do anything differently?
I’ve no idea how I would change it, as you learn something new everyday from content to fees to new apps that support what you offer, so no I don’t think I would change anything. Once you start you start to learn.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Your energy creates your reality. I think I actually came up with that with you on our branding call! I love it and when I feel low energy I give myself permission to go slow, and you do have those days.
How was your experience with the personal brand photoshoot?
Incredible and I was terrified! I’m not a huge fan of others even taking selfies, I blame the “instant” world we live in, but you made me feel so at ease and relaxed. I started off a little frantic but once we got into the session I really enjoyed myself and it reminded me how much I love dressing up. I’m so so pleased with the end result as I do feel they have captured who I am.
How have your clients/ potential clients responded to your new branding photos?
I’ve had so many compliments on the photos from friends and family, I’ve also had professional kudos for how well they fit with my branding and bring my messaging to life. It’s great to rely on image stock instead of faffing with a very unprofessional self portrait each time I need an image.
Do you have any pearls of wisdom for other women who have just set up their own business or are thinking about it?
The very lovely thing about us women is we’re happy to share and collaborate, so rely on your network, don’t be afraid to ask for help, reach out to people you know as well as people you don’t for advice, because we all started small and we’re all here just doing our thing.
Who would be your 5 ideal dinner party guests?
Eek! Hard to pick just 5 but if I must… Michelle Obama, Dame Judy Dench, Maya Angelou, Joanna Lumley and my Nanna, Joy – sadly no longer with us but if she were round that table I’d just want to sit and listen to them all!
If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?
I’m actually plotting one right now… watch this space!
If you’re in HR and want to recharge the batteries, make sure you follow Bryony and get in touch, she run bespoke programmes that help reset, reframe and energise – the next group starts in September 2023!
Insta link: @theglassfemale