Formidable Over Forty ~ Meet Karen Martin

Over 40 and Fabulous?  Sadly not everyone feels that way.

In my role as a 1 to 1 Life and Business Breakthrough Coach I meet many women who have reached midlife and are feeling stuck, at a crossroads, and in need of some inspiration, motivation and support.

Understanding they have possibly more time behind them than in front of them they want to break free and claim back some time for themselves. They are tired of making do, they want to realise their potential.  Does this resonate with you?

They want to be free to live a life they truly love, not just a life that conforms to facilitating every other persons’ needs.

It is time to reframe their goals!

With this in mind, I thought it would be wonderful to interview a number of women who truly are "Formidable Over Forty" - women who can offer inspiration and show that you are never too old and it is never too late.

I am now delighted to introduce Karen Martin and share with you her inspiring interview with me!

Getting to know you!

Name - Karen Martin

Inspiring age - 46 

Where is home - Hartlepool

What is your day job - Marketing Specialist, providing remote marketing manager service to SMEs.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I’m not sure really. I used to organise sponsored walks for Greenpeace and was a Brownie, so I always knew I was going to be organising something!

Lessons in Life/Business or both!

Many of my female 1 to 1 coaching clients share with me that they hit a block in their forties, they feel that they have lost a sense of purpose, often when their children grow up and become more independent, or they find themselves stuck at a crossroads, many suffering from imposter syndrome which has been a key factor in their selflimiting beliefs. They now realise they are getting older and want to break free. Freedom is a word they crave. 

What is your inspiring story? How have you come to be doing what you do now?

Having worked in Marketing for 16 years and to a Head of Marketing level, at 42 I found my position redundant. The company I worked with were centralising their operations in a location 5 hours from my home in Hartlepool where I live with my husband and 2 children. Relocation was not an option, so I started looking for a new role. Unfortunately opportunities in my area at the time were few and far between and none provided the income which I needed. 

I had dreamed of running my own business but never thought it would become a reality. After working from home for 2 years managing marketing for 48 sites, I realised that this is something I could do as a business, becoming an outsource, providing a highly skilled marketing manager service for SMEs for a fraction of the price. A facility which smaller businesses could benefit from expertise without the cost or commitment of a full time member of staff. 

So I set upon a creating a website and started to promote myself on Linkedin. Within  2 days I had my first client and by month 3 I had my second. The rest is history. 

It was scary, but I had a plan and I had to be focussed. 

Was it worth it? Definitely. I am now master of my own destiny. I have flexibility to do things with the kids in holidays, attend school events without having to beg for time off or be made to feel guilty. It is a challenge in school holidays, but again managing my time effectively I can spend time with the kids and ensure my clients continue to benefit from my skills.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome on your journey?

The biggest obstacle is fear. But fear is often just a mindset, just like Imposter syndrome. Working alone, you don't have the sounding board of colleagues providing reassurance, so imposter syndrome is a bitch and a persistent one at that. 

You just learn to recognise the signs coming and adapt – switch off social media is a big help! It doesn’t help to compare yourself to others! 

How did you overcome it?

I’m not going to lie, I flew by the seat of my pants for those first few months. I had to pitch, quote and prove myself. Being consistent, tenacious and determined, I achieved what I set out to do

What is your greatest strength?

Persistence. I will always see a task through and if I have a goal, I will make it happen eventually.

Who inspires you?

I see many people on Linkedin and quietly watch journeys unfold. I’m lucky to have a supportive husband, but I see many single parents who are holding a job down or running a business whilst bringing up children. I’d say each and everyone of those people are an inspiration. Juggling can be draining but those children are watching you. 

My son, who was 7 at the time, was asked to nominate his most inspirational person at primary school. He chose me because I had set up my own business. A heart bursting moment!

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Just say Yes to every opportunity, it might not be an obvious move but you never know where it will take you. 

I sometimes have to remind myself of this. 

It’s easy to say no to something that doesn’t appear to be of any benefit, but its often the least obvious move will take you to the places you want to be. 

Finally .....What advice would you give someone who is reading this who is stuck and believes that it is too late to follow their dreams, to grab that freedom in order to live a life they love?

If you have a passion and a belief that you can do it, then go for it. 

To reach Forty, you have gained a lot of experience, don’t worry if you don’t know everything, there are always people that will help and support you.  

If the girl from a council estate in Hartlepool, can set up her own business and it continues to be a success after 4 and half years. Then I am sure you can too. 

It’s really liberating to follow your dreams. You’ll wonder what held you back for so long!