I’ve been seeing a few posts about Denise Duffield-Thomas as she’s currently in the UK for a big event and I can’t help giggling about the time when I kidnapped her and took her on an adventure 😂

The year was 2017 and Denise was in the UK on her Money Mindset Tour and I was doing the event photography at the BFI in London.

It was such a good event – I met so many people there that day that I’m still in touch with now.

We were in the green room at the end and all the event merchandise and promotional stuff was coming back, including a life size cardboard cut out.

As Denise was leaving, I noticed she wasn’t taking any of it with her. I asked what was happening and she said she could’t take everything back to Australia, so I took her on an adventure back up north and documented the whole incident on social media for Denise and her fans to giggle at.

We got some funny looks on our travels.

And then she came for a sleepover.

She then lived in my office for a while making a cameo appearance in my videos and trainings, helping me practice my public speaking and regularly making my partner blush whenever he was caught off guard coming out of the bathroom.

And even months later she came to liverpool for a money bootcamp meet up where we played put your money where your mouth is aka pin the (monopoly) money on Denise.

So yeah, whilst I’m a bit sad I wasn’t free to go to the Expert Empires event in London this week, I’ve enjoyed reliving a very silly part of my job.

You get to make the rules in your life and business – even if it includes holding a cardboard cut out hostage for daft social media silliness, don’t forget that x


Hello my lovelies!

This time last year I did the first self esteem and confidence workshop of it’s kind at the Green Rooms in Chester. The memory just popped up on Facebook.

Is she having a hot flush? Is she bursting for a wee? Or is she about to break into song and dance?

Nope, that’s just…

Posted by Marie-Claire Ashcroft on Sunday, 12 January 2020


I remember the run up to the date clearly.

I’d booked it in and in all honesty, the date was coming closer and I really wasn’t feeling it – the second half of 2019 was really hard for me personally. And to put that into perspective, it was the kind of year that made 2020 seem pretty manageable!

I just didn’t have a lot of oomph in me. And in that moment of weakness, the doubts, the resistance and that voice were all creeping in.

It was just after the new year and not many people had booked on for it.

I thought maybe I’d misjudged the timing. Part of me was definitely dragging my heels about it.

But at the same time, those people who had booked on, did want to come to my event. They wanted to learn whatever I had to share about confidence so I went ahead and did the workshop despite all the things I was feeling.

Out of the 5 people who had booked on, only three actually turned up on the day. The ‘business side’ of my brain was trying to chatter away – “you’re barely going to break even, maybe this is a waste of time, this is stupid, who are you to teach confidence when you’re doubting yourself right now, you imposter”.

But here’s the funny thing. I told that bit of my brain to shut the hell up and showed up completely for the people there that day. And I had a great time.

The small number meant the people there really got my attention that day and really benefitted from the work. They left me great feedback after the session and one of them went on to work further with me. The work with me that day made a huge difference in their life – and they tell me this regularly.

The funny thing is that by committing to something that day is that a load of great stuff all came about because of it:

– Despite the low numbers, I noted just how much the people that did show up that day enjoyed it and benefitted. I went on to book further events after that, and they ended up selling out. Now obviously corona had other plans about that a couple of months later so I wasn’t able to continue them but whatever – I know it works, I know it’s popular and very much in demand. I’ve seen first hand the difference it has made for people.

– Someone had seen me promoting the event over social media and was secretly becoming a bit of a fan of my approach to this type of work. The day after the event, they got in touch and asked me to come in for a meeting about possibly doing a talk for their employees and service users at an upcoming event they were putting on.

– I went in to do the talk a month later and again the feedback from everyone there was great. I got plenty of hugs for being so vulnerable and even made a few people cry because they really related to my story. I decided that the talk I gave that day would be my signature talk because of the effect it had on people there.

– Doing this talk lead to an email from their head office asking me if I’d do a team away day for all their staff on confidence and creativity a few weeks later. Again corona has put that on hold but the planning has already been done so it will be super easy to rearrange this at future date.

– I’ve ended up making a great connection with the lovely people at this company and despite postponing the Team Day with them, they’ve let me know about other projects they’re working on that they would like me to get involved with in future.

Now imagine if I gave in to that voice of self doubt when it reared up?


Imagine if I let myself talk myself out of it because I was feeling a bit of resistance?


Imagine if I just thought fuck it after not many people turned up that day and decided not to do any more of these workshops?

I would never have helped ALL of these people…







I wish I could say, after years of doing this work, that the voices and the heavy energy do eventually go away.

They don’t.

They always find that little crack of weakness to work their way in and bring you down.

It’s usually when you’re tired, burned out or feeling a bit vulnerable about something.

You just have to learn how this little SOB works and give it a run for its money.

Obviously listen to your body when it needs rest and recuperation – don’t push when you’re REALLY not feeling it.

And listen to your intuition when something doesn’t feel right or when someone feels off – we ALL know what happens when we don’t listen to that one.

All of this IS a fine line. Your brain can be pesky, but it’s all conditioning and BS and the job here is to tune in to you, your natural state and your needs so you know which bit is you and what YOU need to be doing, and which is the bit that is trying to trick you and keep you all safe and small.

This is the stuff I help people with.


If this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!




Hello love.

It’s no secret that I have a history of anxiety and depression – both of which are symptoms of complex post traumatic stress disorder (cPTSD). And extra cherry on top for me, this all lead to living with low self-esteem too.


Anyway, I thought I’d write something for #mentalhealthawarenessweek – because I know first hand how easy it is to let any diagnosis become an identity or a new label to wear, and how it can all add to feeling broken and unable to do the things in life that you dream of doing.


I know this is post is aimed at business owners but in all honesty, it applies to anyone who wants to sort their shit out and grab life by the balls.


It can feel overwhelming at times when your creativity is your source of income.

The pressure to always have fresh ideas, see the world in a different way, and to come up with new and engaging content and ways to help people with your creations.

There’s also the added pressure of being someone who is often told they’re inspirational and an influence on others so…


What if you’re not feeling it today, this week, this month?


What if you feel like a fraud?


What if you’re not actually feeling very happy at the moment?


What if self-doubt and inner resistance is taking over?


The struggle feels very real as it is when you’re a creative or visionary business owner or leader, and it gets tricky too with the mental health issues running in tandem with this.


To be a business owner, or a creative, or anything that involves pushing past your comfort zone – you need a solid foundation to build upon. Otherwise whatever you’re building will likely topple down – just like a house.

The thing is though, a lot of the solid foundation building is done in childhood, and if you’re living with any of the conditions I mentioned, it’s likely you’re missing the odd key piece or two and it’s up to you to work out what’s making you wobble and put it in there yourself.


That thing for me has been routine. I know, I know – not very rebel that, is it?!


Yes, my rebel nature fights this. Really fights it.

But the thing about working through this is about knowing yourself enough to know what you do need, and how to approach it your way – to make it work as an act of kindness and discipline instead of the shouty and incredibly unhelpful ‘wtf is wrong with you, you douchebag?!’ – which is never going to make any new habits, good behaviours or progress stick.


This is how routine is good for the hand I’ve been dealt with my own mental health:

Anxiety – this helps me by knowing that there’s a set of things that happen each day. Even though I couldn’t bear to have my whole day controlled and regulated, by doing an amount of regular, non-negotiable shit each day, it brings a sense of ‘this is what happens here’ – which feels safe, even though parts of me do try to resist the hairy balls out of this.

Depression – this helps me by giving me a sense of achievement. Even when I’ve been at my very worst, just sticking to routinely making my bed and a cup of tea has been a fucking win in the past. Don’t knock the simplicity when you’re in this mental head space. By pushing through when the heaviness tells me not to really can make you feel so much better. There is a fine balance though – see above about self-flagellation and make sure the pushing and discipline is done in kind parenting voice and not the one of your judgey and shaming psycho grandma.

cPTSD – this helps me by helping me create new habits. New habits eventually become new neural pathways to undo the faulty coping mechanisms my mini me created all that time ago.

Self Esteem – This again gives me a sense of achievement, proving to myself I can do things, even simple things and assists in overcoming the pushback of my old identity (the one that tries to prove I’m a useful piece of shit) in the form of resistance.


So this is my current routine. I’m 1000000% aware that this list is quite a bit longer that most of us have time for usually but I’m doing more during lockdown, because again, this is a time of much uncertainty and change. Plus, there’s not much else to do right now anyway!

#1 – Have a set time to wake up.

I know this sounds simple, but for me this is a huge one.

I have a huge amount of resistance to getting out of bed in the morning. And it’s not just because I’m a lazy bastard.

I first became aware of this unusual pattern when I lived in Berlin in 2001. By staying in bed, I was telling myself that nothing bad can happen to me here. It was my way of self soothing and a way to keep me ‘safe’.

When I went self-employed, my rebel brain tricked me into keeping this in place – cos “aint nobody telling me when to get out of bed and shit.”

It’s taken almost 20 years to spot this sneaky mind trick and try to correct it – so yeah, when I say this one is a biggie for me, I mean it!

#2 – Tea.

Clearly, it’s a fucking warm and comforting hug in a mug on a cold morning – with the added benefit that it doesn’t poke you with a stiffy as soon as you embrace it (not that that’s a bad thing, but you know, this is about productivity and getting out of bed and doing shit and shit 😉

#3 – Journaling.

Empty your brain. Literally vomit out all of your thought loops, patterns, beliefs you didn’t know you had onto that page and out of your head. By doing this you don’t take all of this stuff into the day with you.

I liken this to skimming off the scum inside your brain – doing this helps you find out that you have the solution underneath all the noise, you just have to make space for it to come out instead of looping around your brain incessantly.

The added bonus of this task is that you start to spot ideas you’d not normally notice too. It’s all about making space, making the unconscious conscious and lightening the mental load.

This takes 15 minutes each morning. I do this whilst my tea cools down.

#4 – Reading.

Something positive. Like a biz book or something. Just a cheeky 10 pages before you even dream of picking up your phone and falling into a scroll-hole. Honestly the difference to my day in doing this and the other things above before even picking up my phone is HUGE. My day is much less reactive and adrenaline fuelled. Put good shit in your brain before you put bollocks in there!

#5 – Exercise.

I’ll be honest here. This is a new one for me, but I’ve embraced daily exercise since lockdown.

Typically I go to the gym on occasion and pole dance class once a week but I resist the hairy balls out of doing something regularly. But changing my mindset from ‘go do some exercise’ (never happens regularly) to ‘go do a self discipline challenge’ (i.e I fucking dare you, I bet you can’t stick to it) has really helped spot the way I try to talk myself out of things. It’s also helped me see how you do one thing, is how you do all the things and as a consequence of this simple mindset tweek I’m now exercising twice a day.




Oh and as a reward for doing some exercise in the morning, I come home and have tea number 2 – because some of us can’t function in the real world until tea number two has happened!


So that’s my current routine and it’s helping me loads. There are other things you can do as routine and that I’ve toyed with in the past.

I am a fan of today’s hoorays (gratitude), meditation, dancing and ‘I’ve done lists.’ If you’ve ever done my happiness challenge, you’ll know these well 🙂

Writing this post has made me realise that I do other things to manage mental health which includes what I eat and my self awareness journey. But that’s probably for another post. Maybe I’ll write a part two soon.

I know this seems a lot. To me it did for a long, long time. But as Elizabeth Gilbert said in one of her posts quoted below, the stakes are far too high if I don’t take the time to do it:


“The reality of my life is this: Managing my mental health is very nearly a full-time job. I don’t take it lightly, because the stakes are high. Like many of us, I have a mind that is a very dangerous neighborhood. Left unattended, my mind will fester, rot, and roll me over the brink into anxiety and depression. I have a particularly muscular storytelling instinct — and the world has rewarded me generously for that! — but the dark side of my gift is that my mind is also capable of generating terrible, frightening, life-annihilating stories about myself and about the world. I can scare the living shit out of myself, and—in the process—destroy my life.
The battle begins quite literally the moment I wake up in the morning. With the first moment of consciousness, the insanity begins. The terrorist who lives inside my mind begins bullying and threatening me.
But I’m not powerless.
Over the years I’ve adapted practices to keep my mind flourishing and my life contented.
The first thing I do every single morning is pray. (Specifically, I pray to be relieved from the bondage of self.) Then I meditate. Then I dance. Then I write myself a letter from Love. (This is the most important part of my day, when I connect to Love herself, and ask her what she would have me know today.) Then I do a The Work of Byron Katie Worksheet on a stressful belief. At various times in my life, I have gone (or will go) to therapy, to yoga, to 12-step programs. I’ve taken medication at times. Whenever I see a church door open, I walk in, take a knee, and pray. I try to reach out to somebody every day with a message of Love, which ends up helping ME. I practice generosity, which also helps ME.
It’s an all-day job. It’s why I go to bed so early, so I wake up early, and begin tending to my mental health!
It’s a lot.
But nothing matters more, and nobody else can do it for me. I accept sacred stewardship over this mind.”


Have you got any routines that help you manage your mental health?


If this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!



p.s before I start, normal is well overrated, ok.


Meet Laura.

She’s one of my photography clients and has also become a really good friend.



She recently did a brave and put on an event to bring a few people from the online business space together.

The usual worries were there. I’m certain she won’t mind me saying this but I think whenever anyone steps outside of their comfort zones to do something different, parts of our brains try to tell us all sorts of stuff. I get it myself – no one will come, it will be crap, am I charging the right amount, it’s a stupid idea, blah blah blah.

No one is alone when it comes to stupid thoughts that try to keep us standing in one place wrapped in a security blanky and bubble wrap not doing anything with our lives apart from fester and listen to our own private broadcast of knobhead fm.

On Saturday, she brought together a load of people for a business event.

But not any business event – it wasn’t the whole ‘Hmmmm Kimberley, have you published the annual stock report and written up the minutes to share with everyone’ whilst stiffs in suits hand out business cards and willy whopping about whose profit and penis was biggest.

I used to go to those sorts of events when I started my business.

Proper snoozefests, they were.

But worse than that, those sorts of places made me feel like I was a bit wrong.

Like I didn’t fit.

I set up a business because I didn’t fit in the world of 9-5.

I didn’t expect to feel like I didn’t fit again after busting a move to go and do my own thing.

The thing is that when you don’t fit and you don’t have the best self-belief to own your big bad self, it can make you shrink, hide and actually listen to that knob in between your ears.

You have to find the place you fit.

Or if it’s not there, you have to go out there and create it.

The reason Laura and I get on is that we are similar, we like the same kind of people and we both have utterly filthy minds.

I have to say I am so happy she decided to put the effort in to do something different, push past the head gremlins and bring a whole load of epic people together this weekend.

Laura managed to fill the room with people who used their boobs as a way to discuss marketing reach and online visibility; who drew childish cocks and balls on flip-charts to highlight the point about ‘the knob between your ears’, and whose message was to fully embrace and own all your conquests whether that’s in business or on tinder. Real serious messages, just delivered with love, humour and a bit of inappropriateness.

And those are just my personal highlights from the official running order.


There was also an evacuation in the hotel. The fire alarm went off half way through someone’s talk. It wasn’t a drill.

Clearly instead of just grabbing my coat and leaving all my stuff, like you’re meant to during a fire evacuation, I legged it to rescue my fuck it bucket which was over on the other side of the conference room.

There was no chance I was going to let my business mascot burn up in flames.



As I left the hotel, relieved with big plastic bucket in hand, there was an almighty gust of wind, which sent my fucks flying back towards the building we had just evacuated.

To my surprise, people actually started running from in front of me, arms in the air, trying to rescue my flying fucks.

It was all a bit crystal maze.

Just with added death and danger.

Oh and firemen too.

And yes, I did bother them for selfies once they’d done their job.

Whilst waiting for the building to be made safe, we stood under the railway arches, dressed in space blankets for warmth which then became super hero capes and had a little improv fashion shoot and mini disco.

It was epic.


The point I’m trying to make, in all my colourful and descriptive glory is that it’s so important to spend time with people who are like you, who get you, where you get to be yourself and who remind you why you’re doing it all in the first place.

THE PEOPLE WHO GIVE A FLYING FUCK! – see what I did there 😉

It’s important to fill yourself up with some life too.

Not just sit at a computer screen, a to-do list, or in a place, next to people that make you feel lonely like you’re a bit weird.

You have to go out there and find your fellow freaks and fly that flag together!

By the end of the day, us very professional business owners found ourselves inflating someone’s skin tight latex trousers by sticking drinking straws into their ankles and singing and dancing one of the muppet theme tunes all the way to the bathroom and back.

I wasn’t even drunk!

It was a day my heart and spirit so desperately needed after what has been an utter shit show in my personal life over the past few months.

And I wasn’t the only one who felt like this afterwards.



It’s really flipping important to spend time with people who get you and see you for who you are. I can’t say this enough. It’s why I set up my membership community, the Courage & Confidence Crew. A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!




You are moving.

You are growing.

I know that sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

But you are.

You don’t notice because that’s the way of the world.

We’re taught to focus on all the things we’re not doing.

We’re taught to concentrate on all that we’re not good at.

It’s not your fault.

That was how school worked.

Focus and work harder on the things you struggle with.

We’ve all taken that pattern with us unto adulthood.

I know it gets you down.

I know how hard your heart aches for your potential.

It aches because it’s there.

It’s meant to be.

That’s why you feel it so strong.

And it’s frustrating.

Feeling like you’re moving so slowly.

With it always just out of reach.

Demons from your past clinging onto you.

Pulling you back into the heavy swamps you’re trying to get out of.

Bringing you down.

Feeling like you’re never enough.

Like you want to give up.

And the way to get through this?

Keep things.

Things from your past.

Things that you wrote.

So you can see.

Your dreams are coming true.

It may not be overnight.

But you’re working.

At a pace that suits you.

That suits your nervous system.

And at a pace that is embedding it in.

For good.

So that when you’re there.

You feel like you earned it.

There is no fluke.

No overnight success.

Its part of your journey.

And you’re on your way.

I know it feels hard at times.

But it’s ok.

You’re not on your own.

You have got this.

You just need to document your journey.

So you can see that you are moving.

And you are growing.

And everything is exactly how it’s meant to be.

So stop looking at the things you lack.

Look at where you’ve come from.

And what you’ve brought with you.

Skills. Lessons. Momentum.

And notice what you’ve left behind.

Beliefs, habits, behaviours.

The emotional baggage that weighed you down and slowed your progress.

You are moving and you are growing and you have so got this my love.

Every time that it feels tough and the world feels like it’s been working against you, come back to this message because it’s for you.


Side note:

I wrote this because I was having a little sort and declutter of my office last week and found my old business plan.

Now, I am not a planner – I hate feeling constrained by too much in my diary, schedules that leave no room for creativity and flow, and even setting goals with times and shit on them make me feel constricted like there’s no room to breathe.

I no longer try to fit myself into that box that clearly isn’t marked for me and believe it or not, it works for me. Despite everything ‘they say’ and despite all the ‘rules’ and ‘ways things are done’, just going with my flow works for me and it’s been since doing ‘me’ and my way, that business has just clicked fully for me.

As I picked up my business plan, I had the sole intention of chucking it straight into the recycling. I opened it to have a quick look and at the front of it, was a short proposal, an intention I guess.

And all of it has come true.

Even the bits that didn’t fit me, I did them and corrected course as I got to know myself, what worked for me and whatI enjoyed the most. So I wrote this in case someone needed to hear it. Because sometimes it really does feel like you’re moving so slowly but seeing this has shown me I am moving and I’ve achieved everything I wanted.

Written sometime in 2010, maybe 2011, I have spent the last 8 or 9 years doing exactly what I intended, trying things out, learning about myself, trying on new hats, learning even more about myself and finally nailing what it is I’m about and how I help people.

Sometimes we miss how far we’ve come so I just wanted to let you know, you’re on track, there are bumps in the road, and even if you take a detour, have a little break or lose faith in yourself every now and then, it’s ok and you’ve got this.



p.s. if this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!



So if you’ve been following my blog for a bit you might be noticing a theme at the moment.




Specifically the BS ones. We all have these patterns in our brains, neural pathways, running the same shit over and over – mainly because our brains are lazy. Why dig out a new path in the snow when there’s already one just over there?!


These old pathways though, repeated stories which have created your sense of self, play on repeat like an old stuck record, way more than you can begin to believe. Trust me – I’ve been learning about this stuff for over 3 years now – I’ve practically studied for an unofficial degree in happiness, confidence and self awareness. Actually scratch that – I’d gonna go out on a limb and upgrade that to an unofficial PHD – there’s been a metric fucktonne of reading and learning as it’s my special interest aka obsession.


When these stories on repeat really outgrow us, they contradict our dreams (or our life purpose – whether known or unknown) because their main job is to keep you safe (i.e. not moving or doing anything in some cases if yours is particularly loud and booming) and over time, they dim the little light that shines inside us.


When we have that fight going on inside us for too long, the pressure can become too much to bear… when you don’t acknowledge that spark inside, that feeling in your gut, your inner knowing, or the little voice that wants the best for us (the one we make quiet by listening to the loud one that sprouts all the BS) your body eventually steps up to the job and tries to tell you you’re off track, that can be in the form of depression, anxiety, something nagging away not right. I mean, how awesome is that – all of us, with our own sat nav to guide us the right way… if we only just bloody listened!!!


But it’s the pesky old stories keep that keep us stuck, unhappy, wanting one thing then doing the opposite (think diets and slices of cake, ahem). It’s our habits that keep us doing the same thing day in day out, and it’s fear about stepping out of these safe patterns that prevent us from taking that first step outside your comfort zone. Team up your lazy brain along with the huge part of you that is a fear mongering scaredycat fun sponge and you’ve got a right job on your hands when it comes to making any changes to feel happy or good about yourself.


We can either stick our fingers in our ears whist shouting la la la to the end and numbing ourselves from it all or we can do something about it before it’s too late and we’re all old and regretful and shit.


The thing I learnt is that we have to listen and do those things that mean a lot to us – even if you have to spend some time working out what it is in life that have a meaning for us. Yes it can feel scary, but is it really worth spending your life doing things to distract us and numb us so we don’t feel so out of place?


The thing that stopped me from following some of my own ideas through for so long was my own sense of self – who am I to do this? None of my friends are doing anything like this. What is the point? I’ll only fail. People are going to think I’m stupid/weird. Why bother? It’s not going to make a difference. I’ll look a fool… blah blah blah.

But I was telling myself an old story. A really old one. One that was written when something upsetting happened to me and I was too young to see it objectively and so instead of thinking “I can’t believe people could be so cruel” or “What on earth happened to these people in their life to make them act like that?”, I created a meaning that something was wrong with me and I was unacceptable, that people only really want to hurt you and belittle you even if they act like they like you at first, that I would only be accepted if I acted a certain way etc etc.


As soon as did anything that triggered those old stories off, cue feelings of depression, anxiety, what am I doing with my life, I’m not happy, I can’t do this etc.


I decided that I needed a tool to help me. I was good at finding tools… only once it got too much to bear obviously… but isn’t that always the case? It’s only once we get so tired of our own bullshit that we actually take action.


I’d used photography to combat my memory issues after some sad childhood stuff. I used that in a way to remind myself that my life wasn’t as bad as my head made out to be. Maybe I needed something to remind myself that I’m not as bad as I seem to think too!


I created “The Big Book of I’m Awesome” to remind myself that I was more capable than my head was telling me. And I had to look at it every day to positively brainwash myself so I step into the identity of who I am living life as and being, not as the stories I made up about myself when I was little and feeling hurt by the world.


After stepping out from my first business, FlukePhotography to begin working on Professional Rebel combining photography with confidence and wellbeing experiences, I found it really hard to move forwards with it at times. It was a big challenge, because something inside me was clashing and keeping me afraid and self sabotaging to protect myself from moving forwards so I had to do something to help me be the person who did this.


You see I believe that you have to be ready for when that thing that you want happens so you don’t fuck it up.  You have to believe you are the person that does that, has that, is that. If you want one thing but your head is telling you you’re a sack of shit excuse of a human being, even if you work your lady balls off to get it, you will snap right back to who you think you are and what you believe you deserve. After a few years of smacking your face against your own internal glass ceiling, you either give up or realise you’ve got to do something different.


We wouldn’t have these ideas if we weren’t supposed to do something about them. I know we keep our dreams a secret and it’s hard to share them never mind do something about them.


My ideas have helped many people in all sorts of different situations. And it took a long time for it to really sink in so I could see it and receive it. Creating my Big Book of I’m Awesome helped me do this.





Sometimes we have to get out of our own way. Sometimes we have to know that other people are going through these things too so we don’t feel alone, weird, lost.


What things do you need to do? Do you even know?


What are the stories stopping you? Do you even have any idea? Is it sending you batshit crazy?

p.s. if this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!




Dear business owner,

You’re being so beige; so vanilla; so GDPR.

This recent round of compliance communication has highlighted a mahoosive problem in my opinion.

Eye roll overload indeed.

I bet as I’m writing this, you’re sitting fretting why nobody is re-signing up to your boring ass newsletters.

Jesus, I can’t even be bothered to open your first email, never mind the second, third and final screams of ‘last chance to opt into our monthly… zzzz – sorry, even I fell asleep typing that.

I can’t let you continue like this without at least saying something on the subject. It would be doing the world, and your business, and my inbox a massive disservice (not to mention my sanity, which to be honest, as we all know is… ermmm, questionable anyway haha).

I’m no top notch internet marketer in the slightest. I’m not even offering an awful lot of services right now myself but we live in a time poor, can’t be arsed, f*ck it kinda world where people favour screen to screen communication over talking to someone’s actual face.

We’re overwhelmed by emails in our inbox, the dings and whooshes, and the red notification flags everywhere we look as people choose to do more and more communication and business via not only just email but facebook messaging and linkedin too. And it’s so much less rude and awkward to just casually miss (ahem, ignore and delete) your email cos quite frankly, we’re already operating at maximum ball ache and our friends and families are having to compete with our ever growing to do lists.

Now I might not be your cup of tea. Heck, you may even be reading this and thinking how fecking unprofessional I am but there’s a reason I operate like this.

I’m writing this as an open letter because the world has changed a tad for all of us. We have an internet meaning access to way more people all over the world and biz can be done in your pjs without leaving your house if you want to. People who would never have dreamt of being a business person 20 years ago are now doing bits and bobs in their spare time around their kids and their 9-5 to get an extra few quid in.

With access to this worldwide market and with more and more people doing it, it’s become more about people skills than ever. The old saying that people buy from people is more true than ever before.

My swearing, opinions and personal life sharing lead me to have awesome open rates to my weekly emails. A week doesn’t go by without me getting replies thanking me, telling me they feel like they’re understood or sharing a similar story of their own. My blogs get commented upon and shared – a lot. I even get random people, who weren’t even signed up to my mails finding my words and feeling compelled to mail me to tell me how awesome my website/blog/idea is.


Why? Because even with something as unsexy as european data protection law, I can sprinkle a bit of personality over it and make people act one way or another. My choice in working in marmite mode (i.e. love it or hate it) means I can filter out the fun sponges and really connect with people who not only get me but will feel more than happy to sit and read shit I send them which in the long run is going to do my bank account more favours in the long run than trying to please everyone and losing myself in the process.

So I just want to say, do yourself and your biz a solid and sprinkle a bit more you in your communication and in your brand – your business and clients will thank you for it. You will enjoy it a lot more aaaand you can worry less about your tiny dwindling email list.

You’re welcome 🙂


p.s. if you’re all over this and want support feeling safe to show up more as the real and unfiltered you, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!



So last night, every speaker’s nightmare came true…

Actually, scratch that, last night, every person who fears public speaking’s nightmare came true.

My mind went blank.

That’s right.

I got up on stage, delivered a few lines, got people giggling, then boomph, nothing.

No words, no thoughts, nothing.

I froze.

Rabbit à la headlights.



I’d get it if I were supposed to be giving a talk about Celtic coins or current SEO trends which I would have had to learn about in advance, but I planned to talk about myself and my experiences – something I talk, write and teach about regularly. It’s my own life FFS, not rocket science!

Well the good news is, I didn’t die.

I think that’s what most people fear about the whole public speaking thing. But I’m still here to tell the tale and I wasn’t swallowed by shame either and this is what I’d like to talk about – sometimes the Universe delivers things to show you how far you’ve come.

Last night, I got up on stage, introduced myself and started telling the tale about growing up with low self-esteem and having no confidence and how that can contribute to things like depression and anxiety. I’m guessing the small vulnerable part inside me was feeling, well, small and vulnerable opening up on this occasion, so my protective saboteur hopped right in and took over the controls of my brain.


There’s a part of your brain, your ego (what I call the headcunt at times) doesn’t like you stepping out of your comfort zone so it gathers the ‘protection’ crew to throw in something like shame to stop you making a tit of yourself and as a result, you either do make a full on tit of yourself, or you go and beat yourself up afterwards. Ego loves that:

“Ha, look at you, getting too big for your boots.”

“You made a right fool of yourself. You’re not going to speak in public again.”

“Everyone was laughing at you.”

Except this time, that didn’t happen.


I’m honestly pleased to say that the biggest ‘negative’ feeling I had was disappointment. I had a chance to tell around 100 people that they’re not alone and share the work I do and I messed up, got in a fluster, all out of breath as my lungs are still recovering from whooping cough.

I did feel a pang of shame, but it went away quickly and so, I actually found this whole experience profoundly healing.

I know I’m a fucker for silver linings and sprinkling positivity everywhere but even this took me by surprise.



So I just wanted to share with anyone who gets fed up and frustrated by life, the universe and everything throwing a spanner in the works when things are going well but there’s always a reason – it’s there to show you, you either haven’t fully learnt your lesson and it’s giving you more work to do or, in my case last night, that you’ve come a long way baby.


I didn’t judge myself, I didn’t let the negative inner chatter steal the show, I didn’t give up. I treated myself with respect and kindness, because you know what, we’re all human, we all fuck up and it’s what makes us relatable and likable.


And whilst my nervous system perceived this as a threat, and still threw me into a freeze response, it was so refreshing to see the inner work I’ve done pay off where I not only didn’t think unkind things about myself, but also that I didn’t die of shame afterwards either.


I was kind to myself and will continue to do so until my nervous system catches up to see that speaking on stage is not the same as a big grizzly bear.


I just want to say that most people prefer someone bumbling along but having a go rather than someone all polished who looks like they have all their shit together. It’s much more relatable and shows that we’re all human.


I’m really proud that I didn’t let one whoopsie cloud over all the other successes I’ve had lately – old me would have almost died of shame and gone into hiding. I’ve done remarkably well lining up opportunities and sharing my message since the new year and I guess part of me didn’t feel safe there and wanted to knock me back into my comfort zone. And that’s ok. I see it. I allowed it. I’ve let it go.


TLDR: You won’t die if you fluff up on stage. Pinky promise!


p.s. if this resonated with you and you want support working through this, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!


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Once upon a time I had a photography business.

It was really good. I was really good.

Except I just couldn’t see it.

It all started by accident in 2008.

I never intended to become a photographer.

Not a professional one anyway.

It started as a tool to remember my life.

I was sick and tired of never remembering the wonderful things I did.

My brain just felt like a magnet for negative thoughts.

Clinging on to the bad things and never the good.

So photography became my way to remember.

Good things, good times, good people.

It also became a way to explore emotions I didn’t really know how to cope with.

I never expected events to lead to where they did.

To me – being self-employed and running a business all by myself.

I called my photography business



No one really teaches you how to run a business; it’s something you learn on the fly.

You make mistake after mistake and eventually you find your groove.

The only thing that is certain – you are not cut out for the 9-5.

You have to make it work.

But you don’t know what you’re doing.

Nobody teaches you how to run a business.

So you get yourself out there.

You take advice from every person you meet.

Obviously they know what they’re doing.

You haven’t got a clue.

You go to workshops.

You attend seminars.

You chat to people at networking.

And read oh so many fucking blogs.

Marketing, PR, Book keeping, Accounts, SEO, Time Management, Blogging.

There’s so much to do.

You started out on a shoe-string.

You can’t afford to become someone else’s customer just to get your own.

So as your to do list grows, so does your anxiety.

There’s so much you should be doing.

You can’t do enough.

You’re not enough.

You might as well give up.

You’ll never be good enough.

You start to look to people you admire.

See how well they’re doing.

You mimic them.

You get mentored.

You get coached.

They know what they’re doing.

You don’t.

You don’t trust yourself.

You put your trust in someone else.

You can’t see if they’re the right person to help you.

You just want someone to make it all better.

There’s so much you should be doing.

You can’t do enough.

You’re not good enough.

Suddenly you’re doing things that aren’t right for you.

It doesn’t fit.

It all feels so heavy.

This isn’t what you wanted.

You feel like you’re working for someone else again.

All these things, to do, they’re not what you wanted to do.

It feels like hard work.

You don’t feel like you can do it.

No wonder they say self-employment isn’t for everyone.

Where’s the time to do what you wanted to do?

Over time you start working out what works for you.

You start to listen.

To yourself.

You work out what you need.

What you want.

You do it.

Things are going well.

But then you go ahead and fuck it up.

That cunty voice.

In your head.

Eating you alive.

From the inside out.

You’re not good enough.

This isn’t what you should be doing.

Who do you think you are?

You procrastinate.

You avoid doing things.

You don’t finish things.

You don’t follow up and connect with people you met.

You don’t ask for the fucking money.

You let yourself down when you were oh so close.

You try to talk.

But no one gets it.

You take everything personally.

The price bartering – makes you question your worth.

The well-meaning friend or family – clouding you with their fears.

It’s like none of them believe in you.

The head cunt is having a feast.

Lapping up your anxiety, your doubt, your fears.

It’s a cycle.

You get yourself back up.

Everyone else has got it together.

But you haven’t.

You’re a useless failure.




I had no fucking idea that setting up a business would be the biggest.personal.growth.tool you could ever possibly imagine – taking you to the heart of who you are and what is possible.

You have to listen to yourself, at long, long last. You work out what’s bullshit – all the lies you’ve been telling yourself and the invisible force fields you’ve knocked up around your super hero shaped ass, just to keep yourself safe and small – shrinking down because god forbid you shine, unintentionally pissing people off as you go about your day.

You have to work out where it came from and let it go. Master the art of forgiving yourself and those around you. Regroup. Refocus. Take some time out if you need and come back to what you want. Pick yourself back up.

FlukePhotography was never my purpose, my end goal. Photography as an entity, not just a business, has been my tool – taking me on an introspective journey towards valuing myself, shining a light on old wounds and learning to express myself and finally dropping the mask, coming out of my self constructed shell and learning to connect to people.

A journey. Full circle.

Back to me.

And I’ve realised I can inspire, help and empower others, just by being my honest, messy self.

So here you have it, this is how low self esteem killed a perfectly good business.

And it’s ok.

It was meant to be.

I’m a completely different person today than I was back then.

I am me. This is my business.

And it sure as hell ain’t no fucking fluke.

p.s. if this resonated with you and you want to do something about it, Professional Rebel’s Courage and Confidence Crew is just what you need!

A community for unconventional, creative and rebellious women who want to develop the courage and confidence to live life unedited – find out more here!


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