I’m Jo – a woman on a mission to change the world of work.
We’re told that work has to be Monday-Friday, 9-5, we’re told it’s hard, it’s sometimes dull, we need to be focused, well-rounded, determined to get ahead.
But that doesn’t work for those of us with mental health issues, with chronic illnesses, with wonderful neurodivergent brains.
I had my first breakdown in 2017 and my second in 2018 – I clearly didn’t do the first one right!
To be honest, it had been a long time coming and I had been developing a wildly unhealthy relationship with work for….ever.
Two breakdowns, three therapists, countless books, podcasts, pills and walks later, I had spent two years trying to manage my mental health alongside my Head of Communications job and was exhausted.
After 11 years bashing my star shaped beg into a resolutely round hole, I quit the traditional world of work and set up mad and sad club in 2019.
My mission is to change the world of work. Join me chum.
Screw ‘professional’ (ick), this is how I do business.
I share this as an act of professional self-regulation. I do not have coaching specific qualifications – I personally don’t feel these are always necessary – but I commit to working in line with these values.
I also have regular supervision with a therapist to make sure I’m doing right by my client pals.
This is my most important value. What it means in our work is:
- I will tell you, lovingly, if something comes up in our calls that you should seek therapeutic or clinical support for (don’t worry, this is a regular, totally normal occurrence!)
- In this instance what we’ll do is remain aware of this topic or issue and note where it’s coming up in our work, but we won’t unpack it together – as it wouldn’t be safe for me to do that work with you
- I will always be honest with you if I think you are *ahem* bullshitting yourself – I will kindly, and with love, challenge you in those moments
- If I’m not feeling well mentally I will tell you. I’ll probably rearrange our sessions in this instance – more on that below…
What I do is a mixture of mentoring – using and sharing my own experiences to help you navigate similar situations – and coaching – helping you to find the answers to your own questions and concerns.
This means that…
- We will work together on finding thought patterns that negatively affect your relationship with your work – I will highlight when these thought patterns are coming up and suggest ways to help shift these
- We will also work through The Heartwood Way to look at what practical steps we can take to make your business work better for you
- There’s no set approach here and I will be guided by you, what you feel you need and what comes up during and in between our sessions
This is one of the cornerstones on which I run my business. I need my business to be flexible to allow me my basic needs. What that means for you is…
- If I’m having a bad mental health day or week, I will rearrange our session – I am not able to be at my best for you at these times. Sometimes that will be with short notice, but that’s the nature of the mental health beast!
- If I’m really unwell and need more than a week or so off, I’ll let you know as soon as I do and we will either pause our work or if you need support right away, I’ll have someone step in for me to support you in the interim
- This flexibility is also available to you – there is no 48 hour cancellation policy here. If you need to rearrange, you can do so up to our session time – just let me know on Voxer and you can re-book easily through Paperbell
- If I don’t know that you’re going to be late or need to rearrange, I’ll wait for 15 minutes after the start of our session time, then I’ll drop you a note to rearrange
- If you’re a bit late, I’ll always try to make up the time at the end if I can
- To give myself the flexibility I need, some areas of my business need to be strictly boundaried – this means that my appointment times are on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10.30am and 4.30pm
I know that the ‘coaching/mentoring industry’ does not always feel open to everyone. Therefore, fairness, equitability and accessibility are really important to me in my business. This means that…
- I will always offer Pay What You Can places on my courses and programmes (take a look at the info here)
- I have worked with an accessibility mentor – the wonderful Kat Cuthbert – to review how I work and how I use my website, social media and business systems to make sure they’re as accessible to those with sight and hearing impairments as well as beautiful neurodiverse brains
- This work is ongoing and – in the spirit of my top value of honesty – this work has to be balanced with the financial sustainability of my business – it has to be affordable
- I always seek out, listen to and act on feedback from those whos brains, boodies and experiences are different to mine – pals of colour, those who have different trauma experiences to mine, neurodivergent chums and those with chronic illnesses or disabilities, as well as trans, non-binary and non-gender conforming pals
- I set my prices based on what is sustainable for me energetically, and for my business, financially
as seen in
A guest blog for CIPR Inside, digging into the CIPR State of the Profession report, showing increased levels of mental health issues in the comms industry.
A piece commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Building to help their members consider the mental health of their staff and what can be done about it.
I shared my story with phenomenal creative agency Alive with Ideas, exploring the link between creativity and mental health. In writing this piece I realised that as my mental health improved, I have discovered previously unknown sources of creativity.
want to find out more?
I’m always chatting about all things mental health on