how she did it

Case Studies // I needed the flexibility to ma...

I needed the flexibility to manage my career and the children

Female Entrepreneur of the Week 7th May 2012

This story is about…

Female Entrepreneur: Lynne Copp

Location: UK

Company: The Worklife Company

A little bit about her: Lynne Copp, is an internationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, coach and author who presents on The Future of Work, Worklife Balance and ‘Lipstick Leadership’ Career Development for Women.

She has appeared on TV and Radio and writes extensively for many publications and has recently launched her new self development book, ‘Dancing ‘Round the Handbags’, which won the 2011 Brit Writer of the Year award for non-fiction!

She has worked with companies like Google, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Government and Public Sector. Lynne is an internationally recognised expert in worklife balance, wellbeing and gender communication; an inspiring speaker and coach who not only creates motivation for change, but also delivers solutions relevant to today’s business, people and customer environments.

Age range: 50s

What was your main motivation behind starting your business?

I started my business in 1998 after leaving a senior role on HP where I headed up Learning & Development and Communication. At the time, my 2 daughters were 6 and 5, and I needed the flexibility to manage my career and the children. At the time, I was motivated by anger and passion – so many organisations did not provide flexible working, worklife balance and working environments that engaged employees – especially women. Since then, I have lobbied government, spoken at conferences, written books and coached and trained thousands of people to change the way that work works. It is my purpose to do so, and I am passionate about it. Writing my first book for women entitled ‘Dancing Round the Handbags’, is a goal that I set 18 years ago. The book is a paper coach to support hard working women to stop dancing to the tunes of others and start dancing to their own music.

My next book, Lipstick Leadership – My Brand! My Career! My Way! Has now been started and hopefully will be out next year.

What’s a day in the life of you like?

I love to write, and generally wake up with a head frull of words, and ideas. So the first stop after the loo and to fill my coffee cup, is to empty the words onto my Mac, and fill pages with ideas! Three or four things get me out of my home office: Speaking enagements – I am apparently an inspirational speaker, coaching clients and training. I also spend some of my month attending women’s networking events; I have eaten a lot of rubber chicken, but met some amazing women.

What challenges have you faced?

Money is a continual challenge, as is the fact that the business is me, and I have no one to delegate to. I therefore have to be completely focused on what I do and do not do.

How have you overcome the challenges?

As above – focus, saying no, spending wisely – time and money

What is your biggest achievement so far?

I won the Brit Writers Award for Non-Fiction in 2011, before Dancing Round the Handbags was even published. I am very proud of that. From a life perspective, my biggest achievement is being a spectacular mum to my 2 daughters – now 20 and 19. Both are wonderful young women, intelligent, beautiful and emotionally intelligent; I am so very proud of them both.

How have you raised the awareness of your business?

Writing, speaking, social media…and a lot of rubber chicken networking!

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

I am working on my purpose. I love what I do and I do what I love. I have learned to say ‘no’ to that which may not fit with my purpose. It may make me money, but it will be a cost… I make a difference, I don’t just make money.

Who inspires you?

Women – we juggle multiple roles, we are super smart, we are intuitive, loving, supportive, intelligent and brilliant leaders

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Be authentic, work with uncompromising integrity, honesty and respect for difference. Do what you love, and love what you do – if you ever wake up in the morning, not looking forward to what you are going to do, then change your life, or change your attitude.

What’s your favourite quote?

“It is easier to get forgiveness, than it is to get permission.”

I love this! It helps me to take risks.

Do you have a business philosophy?

My philosophy is that people come to work to do a great job, and if you create the right environment of love, support, flexibility, correct values and happiness, they will excel.

What’s your goal for the next year?

To write the book that is the result of 2 years of research to model excellence in female leadership.

 Get in touch…



TW: @DancingHandbags






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