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

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!




The way I felt about myself fuelled my anxiety and depression.

And depression and anxiety fuelled how I felt about myself.

I’d brave it and make some big changes in my life, like get a new job or move house, and it helped for a short while – like as a nice distraction and something to focus on for a bit but then this empty feeling would eventually creep back in.

It went on for years.

Little did I know that picking up a camera would be the start of putting this life long cycle to bed.

You see I never planned to become a photographer – it just sort of happened… a happy accident, a fluke.


Due to childhood trauma, my little yet awesome brain developed a little differently and the connections to my memory kinda got jumbled up. This left me unable to remember huge parts of my life – not only the bad bits but also the adventures, the experiences, the stuff worth living for.

As well as being an epic tool to remind myself of all the good things in my life, like a visual gratitude diary, I started using photography to explore emotions, like spotting patterns in my thinking or using it as a way to express how I felt, like when I was going through a painful break up. I wasn’t really a ‘talker’ back then.

I never expected the camera to take me on an adventure escaping the 9-5 and setting up my first business (FlukePhotography) – it was a success… well, for a few years anyway.

It wasn’t until I realised I’d slipped back into feeling deeply unhappy again that I knew I had to work out what was going on.

How could I be unhappy again? Was there something wrong with me?



I worked out that I didn’t trust myself.

I didn’t believe in myself.

And I couldn’t see myself for who I really was.

When it boils down to it, the truth was that I didn’t accept myself.

I thought by stepping out of the into the world of self employment that I’d be taking life and stuff more into my own hands, but that couldn’t have been further away from the truth.

You see when you do a thing, if all of you isn’t aligned to that thing – your words, your actions, your beliefs, you soon find yourself bumping head first into walls and you won’t know why. It will start to drive you insane.

Taking the plunge and doing a brave to follow my heart only highlighted just how bad I felt about myself. I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t believe in myself enough so I just starting doing what I thought I should. No one teaches you how to run a business, so I looked at what everyone else was doing.

And then it hit me smack in the face.

I had slipped back into exactly the same cycle I thought I’d broken free from.

Doing what I ‘should’ be doing – what was expected of me.



This is probably why most people stick to the path mapped out for us. It’s less uncertain. It’s less likely to have us rejected and questioned by our loved ones. The thing is though that this path also fills us with so many thoughts, possibilities and anxiety about all that we have to do to keep up.

We can never do enough, be enough – there’s always something we should be doing to lead these perfect lives expected of us. Everyone else around us seems to have it sorted.

By following this path we loose touch with ourselves. We get crippled by the things we think we should do and stop listening to ourselves and what we, as individuals, want and need in life.

We have stories playing in our heads, some almost as old as we are, clashing with what we dream of and stopping us from getting to where we want to go. We keep looking on the outside for acceptance and approval that we’re doing the right thing. We keep pushing and pushing, losing touch with who we really are and what we need. Doing what we should until we don’t know who we are any more – this is what’s fuelling our depression and anxiety.

I realised that when we hop on the should train, it causes us anxiety. Our heads go into overdrive.

And when we keep doing what we should and not what we want and need, we get depressed.

It’s the body’s way of telling us something is wrong.

But we don’t listen.

We keep going.

Until we don’t know who we are any more.

We try and fit ourselves into roles and boxes. But what good is it playing so small, squeezing ourselves to fit and live false lives?

We stop feeling. We listen to our heads instead of our bodies.

Picking up a camera initially to help me remember things lead me to on a path to really reflect upon my life and the lives of those around me..

When I realised what was happening to me, I wanted to step out of it. I wanted to stop listening to the voice in my head and start living from my heart so my life would mean something to me.

You see, I believe the world we live in today tries to make us feel bad about ourselves.

When we feel bad about ourselves, we keep looking for something to fix it – something outside ourselves to make how we feel go away.

Constant messaging about not being good enough keeps us inside our own heads, beating ourselves up like there’s no tomorrow, comparing ourselves to other people, feeling like we’re never quite where we should be.

The longer we stay in our heads, do as we’re expected and ignore our true feelings, the more pain we cause ourselves leading to things like anxiety, depression – but it can become too much to bear so we do things to numb out, activities, more thoughts, more doing what we think we should.

And repeat.

It’s madness.

Honestly, if anyone actually heard the utter bollocks going on between our ears, we’d all be living in a mental hospital.

And nobody talks about it.

Which is why I DO talk about it.

I want to help.

You see I’ve realised that stopping all these behaviour and thought loops, we give ourselves a sense of freedom. No longer are we too worn out by our thoughts and trying to do everything we think we should. We get the headspace to live more purposefully and do more things that have meaning for us.

So I’m on a mission to do help people feel good – about life, about themselves, about who they are so the can send ripples of awesomeness and joy out into the world and make it a better place.

If I can help people feel better about who they are and do more things that matter to them, then so can you. It’s bloody life changing. And you don’t have to move to the other side of the world to do this… unless you want to ovbs!


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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I never planned to become a mentor.

Well, except for that one time at Uni when me and my friends signed up to every society meeting that had free food at the meetings.

Yes, I left pockets filled with sausage rolls and biscuits and no shame whatsoever. And a couple of weeks later I had a CB check through. Nothing ever came of it though – they must have realised we only came for the food and not the mentoring.

Anyway, I digress.

So, this mentoring stuff – it sort of happened by accident, which in my experience is always the best way. Creative flow at it’s finest. Its whenever my life works best. And with the gift of hindsight, Ive been able to see just how much Ive always done this for people – I even recently came across an old letter from one of my teachers praising me for giving up my time to help younger pupils at school. Cheers Miss Fry.



Anyway, about a year or so ago, I received a call from one of my biz buddies, Joanne who works at Chester Voluntary Action – about a girl who had just dropped out of 6th form and was looking for some volunteering opportunities. She was interested in photography so Joanne asked if I would take her along on a shoot or two to build her confidence. 

We met for cake and tea and to have a chat. 

I saw a very lovely, yet totally unsure and timid girl. I saw a lot of myself in her – the not feeling quite like you fit with everyone else around you. Except this girl had bigger lady balls than I did at her age – she actually had the courage to drop out of 6th form because it was making her unhappy.

First thing I did was say how awesome she was for actually listening to how she felt and taking action. Some people go through their whole lives knowing something isn’t right but they don’t have the strength to do anything for themselves. They don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to stand out and be different. They don’t want to be judged. So they carry on regardless.

It felt like this was music to her ears. After all, there’s a set path after finishing school and some adults haven’t really cottoned on to how the world has changed since they were in that position.

I gave her a couple of dates to come on shoots with me and off we went.

In the car we talked about life, the universe and everything.

I felt really wise! She would often say, ‘oh my goodness, that makes so much sense’ or ‘wow, I’ve never really thought about it like that’. I’d remind her that I had many more years under my belt, had made enough of my own stupid mistakes and have also spent the past few years working on myself, working on personal growth and healing many years of shitty thoughts and trauma, as well as judgement from others about wanting something more for myself.

Since coming on to do a couple of shoots with me, she went and made a heck of a lot of connections around town, set up her own meet up group for other teens with self confidence issues and is soon to be jetting off to Australia for a few months. We still meet up every now and then for cake and tea. I still help with new perspectives on dealing with parents and boys but mainly it’s nice to know that in a way, the ups and downs of my life and my own issues with self confidence have been able to help someone else so much.


“When I dropped out of my A-Level’s-due to being completely unhappy – I thought I had totally lost my way. I felt as though I had failed at life! Marie-Claire helped me to see that it was only the beginning of the journey to my happiness and it definitely wasn’t the end of the world.
It’s been about 8 months since I met Marie-Claire and I am the happiest I’ve ever been! She has a wonderful positive energy that when I leave her presence I feel as though I could take on the world. She helps you to see the important things in life and to fulfill your potential. She is bouncing with self confidence and has helped me and many others to feel the same way about themselves.
She just has an overall gift for making people happy. I feel honoured and privileged to know her and I don’t think I will ever be able to thank her enough for the huge impact that she’s had on my life. “
Gaynor B. January 2017


I fell into this by just doing what I’m naturally good at and have helped hundreds of people since mentoring Gaynor. Sometimes all we need is someone to see us for who we really are. To validate us. To encourage us. To know we’re not alone.

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!