Niamh Crawford-Walker from #Goals shares her journey and shares her #ChooseToChallenge pledge for International Women’s Day 2021.
Can you tell us a little about your background and work and business history?
My name is Niamh Crawford-Walker. I am a fully-trained ICF coach and founder of #Goals, a business built to help creatives to build the side-hustles and small businesses of their dreams. I do this through 1:1 coaching, workshops and my planner, The Confident Creative Goal-Setting Planner. I get really hyped about helping women to achieve their goals, so much so that I named my business after it - #Goals.
Why did you choose the route of entrepreneurship – or did it choose you?
When I was 19, I made the decision to drop out of university with plans to pursue a more creative path in my life. I learned that those with creative passions and plans that don’t necessarily fit the norm of the traditional working world, often struggle to get the right career support. That really wound me up and lit a fire in my belly to dedicate my own career to changing this, supporting creatives, small business owners and those with aspirations to start their own business as much as possible.
My big focus is on mindset and providing people with the tools and knowledge they need to cultivate confidence and build a resilient mindset to go after those goals. It all starts with mindset - something we’re not taught how to deal with or develop in a positive way. The stories we tell ourselves shape the lives we live. They determine the actions we take and the goals we achieve so I’m determined to show people how to make those positive and empowering beliefs, the kind that will support us during good and bad times and motivate us to go after the things that matter most to us, in our careers and our lives.
Can you please share your personal business and work highlights?
I’m very lucky and grateful to say that there have been many. Some that come to mind are hosting my first events in Ormeau Baths. Myself, Emma Young and our friend, Mollie Drew put our heads together to plan an event called Meet Your Mentor where we hosted a panel of speakers to share their stories and help those interested in entrepreneurship to see that taking the road less travelled within your career is possible.
That event confirmed to me that I did in fact want to build my business on this basis and from there I started running my own workshops incorporating the work I do in 1:1 coaching and all that I’d learned in my training and self-development study to help others build confidence and take action on their career goals. My first event sold out and I loved every second of the process and hosting the event itself. I’m so grateful to Emma and Mollie for supporting me and giving me the push I needed through our joint experience in running that event.
Other highlights include launching my first product, my pride and joy, The Confident Creative Goal-Setting Planner. Having always been service based in my career so far - as a coach and in my past as a freelance content writer - I always longed to have my own physical product. I loved the whole idea of planning launches, designing packaging and being able to ship my product all over the world, knowing the potential it has to really positively impact someone’s life and career. When I launched the product in November, I planned the whole launch on Instagram, sharing daily masterclasses every day and when the product officially went live we sold one third of all of our stock in that first week. I even had orders from the US and Australia! A lot of happy dancing went on in my work from home office that week.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Like many when we push outside of our comfort zone, some of my biggest challenges have come from self-doubt stresses. It used to make me feel like a fraud to say that - considering that my mission is to empower others to overcome self-doubt - but now it motivates me to work even harder because I understand first hand how infuriating and hard it can be when you realise that the only reason you’ve not been able to achieve the success you want is because of your own self-sabotage and lack of self-belief.
When you take the time to understand yourself better, honour your strengths, redirect the negative self-talk going on and overcome the limiting beliefs that are stopping you, that’s when the magic happens. Although it can be deeply uncomfortable to face our fears about success, it can also be liberating. To overcome my own self-doubt, I took time to understand my fears more and got curious about just how true they were (spoiler: they were all in my head) and the impact they were having on the life and business I wanted to build. When we have that knowledge and those tools on hand, it’s so much easier to pull ourselves out of the self-doubt. It’s why I’m so passionate about what I do and The Confident Creative Planner because it breaks my heart when people don’t see how amazing they really are and can’t acknowledge their potential to achieve all that they want in life.
Can you imagine the amazing new businesses and life-changing products that would be created if we all just believed in ourselves?!
Why do you champion diversity and gender equality in businesses?
I see it as a no-brainer. No two people are the same from the skills they have, their values in life, their approach to work, their experience in life and work, their perspective. When taking all of that into consideration, businesses can really thrive. Why wouldn’t you want to champion diversity and gender equality in businesses?
What is your International Women’s Day Choose To Challenge pledge?
I choose to challenge cultural barriers that impact education bias and prevent women and girls from attaining important levels of education to achieve their goals and dreams in life.