We talk to Lola Hoad, the founder of One Girl Band. As well as founding One Girl Band, Lola is a writer, podcaster and creative business coach!
Lola figured out that 'busy doesn't equal success' and rest and balance were key, so she decided to create a community of like-minded female entrepreneurs and creatives who felt the same. In 2015 the One Girl Band space was born in Brighton, a place for the community of bad ass women to meet up in real life!
Hi Lola! Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what got you into coaching?
I’m a creative business coach, writer, podcaster and the founder of One Girl Band; a collective/co-working space for self-identifying female entrepreneurs and creatives. I’ve just moved to Glasgow after living in Brighton for 7 years but before that, I grew up a small town called Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. In terms of what got me into coaching, it definitely wasn’t planned and I didn’t set out to do it, but it stemmed from the work I was doing with my first business, LH design (a paper goods design studio) and with One Girl Band. I was writing these Weekly Letters that went out to my newsletter subscribers and they seemed to gain popularity pretty fast, with people saying they made them so much better about their work and themselves. I’d had a coach myself and they mentioned I had the right approach and message for it, but it wasn’t until a few people asked if I’d ever thought about mentoring/coaching small business owners that I realised I might be able to do it! It took a lot of talking myself round the idea of calling myself a coach (hello, impostor syndrome!) but now - I adore it.
You've worked for yourself, as both an illustrator, and currently as a coach, what advice would you give to someone who is wanting to set up a creative business?
Things are going to go wrong and things are going to change drastically to how you’ve planned them but having your own business is truly the best thing in the world. Keep going, keep going, keep going.
On your website you talk about your values as a coach, they are all spot on! What advice would you give to anyone who's self employed who's feeling a bit overwhelmed and unmotivated?
Take it all a task at a time and simplify everything. Also, try not to force motivation or productivity. It’s like when someone says ‘don’t think of elephants’ and all you think of is elephants. If you push for order, it’s only going to get more chaotic. Busy doesn’t equal success, so work on not feeling guilty about taking a break. We’re not designed or programmed to be ‘on it’ constantly and consistently- we have to have down time.
What have you found is the best way to set achievable goals?
Breaking them down into quarters, months and weeks so they’re not so scary and overwhelming is key. Say you have a ‘big’ goal such as to start a podcast and you give yourself a quarter to achieve it. So you have three months, and in those three months you’d spend the first one prepping, the next one recording and the final one launching. You can then break those monthly goals into weekly tasks such as ‘Week 1: research and buy recording equipment’, ‘Week 2: research and book guests’ etc etc. It makes it less scary and shows you that those small tasks are actually pretty easy and not too time-consuming.
In, and out of the office, what helps to keep you motivated?
A good album, lots of tea and a phone call with a pal (usually telling me to get off my butt and do some work).
You take part in lots of speaking events, and also create your own podcasts, what's next for One Girl Band?
Our aim last year was to acquire investment and grow in terms of opening up new Spaces but we’re pressing pause on that for a little and seeing how far we can get by bootstrapping (which is exciting and also incredibly daunting!). I’ve also got a personal project coming up this year which is again, exciting and daunting, but I’m going to be one of those annoying people who act all mysterious and say ‘keep your eyes out!’. Sorry!
We can't wait to see what you get up to this year, thanks Lola!