The Online Business: Hilary Thomson, Business and Mindset Coach

“It doesn’t matter where you start or end; you can run your own race and still be successful.” says Hilary Thomson. She talks about what her typical workday looks like, panicking about Zoom calls and her sources of inspiration… 

Hilary Thomson is a straight-talking business success and mindset coach for new and aspiring entrepreneurs. She is married with two young adult children, loves travelling and exploring food culture, is a cancer survivor, a vegetarian, and makes a badass curry.

What time do you wake up in the morning?
I am usually up between 6 and 6.30 am.

What’s the first thing you do?
I go for a long walk – I find if I don’t do this, I don’t find time to do it in the day. I make it part of my morning routine as it clears my head ready for the day.

When’s breakfast?
I am not a breakfast person and normally fast from 8 pm till lunchtime the next day. I usually come back from my walk and have a cup of tea and take time to journal, which is a new habit I started in lockdown.

What time do you start work?
I usually start work at 8.30 or 9.00 am. The night before I list out the three most important tasks for the next day. These are the things that will move my business forward. I then work on these three things first thing before I get into anything else. 

Where do you work from (home, studio, office etc.)?
I am lucky that I have a spare bedroom upstairs that I have set up as an office. With so many Zoom calls, I had a mild panic about my background. I started out appearing on calls as if I was hiding out in a basement. Then I learnt a Zoom trick to give your appearance a makeover – genius.

Tell us about the work you do, including the online side of it…
I am a straight-talking business and mindset coach. I work with online entrepreneurs and small businesses to get them out of their own way and taking action in their businesses. I use coaching to unlock their potential and move them forward from a place of being stuck.

Do you break for lunch – and if yes, what’s on the menu?
Yes, if I need to be quick, I will have a sandwich, or for a more leisurely lunch, I will have leftovers from the night before or a bowl of warming soup.

How do you lift yourself from the afternoon slump?
I usually have a cup of tea after lunch which seems to save me from the afternoon slump. 

Do you incorporate exercise into your workday?
I used to swim every day last year and have really missed it. Nowadays, I try to get out once a day for an hour’s brisk walk although I did see some women swimming in the Thames recently, with snow on the ground, so maybe I’ll be brave and try that.

Where do you go for inspiration?
I am obsessed with personal development, and podcasts and books are my favourite way of getting inspiration. I love Mindset by Carol Dweck, Playing Big by Tara Mohr, Free Range Human, and many years ago, the Freelance Mum.

What tech could you not live without?
I couldn’t live without Canva, and I think a lot of people couldn’t do with Zoom at the moment. 

Finish this sentence: The Internet is…
a noisy place.  A lot of my clients suffer from comparing themselves, which then brings up imposter syndrome and the questioning of their self-belief. My phrase for 2021 is ‘Focus and stay in your lane’. It doesn’t matter where you start or end; you can run your own race and still be successful.

What time do you finish for the day?
I usually finish around 6 pm, but I will finish earlier if it has been a day of coaching calls. Coaching can emotionally drain me as you tend to give and get a lot of energy transference. 

Are the evenings for rest, work or play?
I try and switch off every evening. I am a morning person, and working in the evening can make me grouchy.

What are you reading/watching at the moment?
I am reading the Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell and Atomic Habits by James Clear, and dip into Playing Big by Tara Mohr, Mindset by Carol Dweck, Get. Rich, Lucky B*tch by Denise Duffield Thomas. 

How do you switch off from work nowadays?
I love a good hot soak in the bath. 

Screens in the bedroom, or banned?
Never, ever, ever have screens in the bedroom as the blue screen is disruptive to sleep.

How do you sleep?
I sleep really well and go to bed at about 10 pm with a good book. 

Finish this sentence: This time next year, I’ll…
have launched the podcast, Fearless and Fabulous Entrepreneurs and I will have written a book. I will have created a thriving community in the Fearless and Fabulous entrepreneurs Facebook Group and will be an ICF PCC accredited coach. 


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