Each month I take time out to get to know and share with you all, one of our fantastic members, in the Thrive Collective Membership.
This month I’m catching up with Georgia Mathieu, a Mama to two big boys, both delivered with hypnobirthing. Following two incredible experiences Georgia knew she had a secret to share.
Georgia is a Birth Coach educating parents to prepare for a positive birthing experience. As a qualified hypnobirthing instructor, Georgia uses these techniques to teach her course – The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme. Couples join Georgia’s course either as traumatised second timers or anxious first timers – they want to feel empowered. And that’s exactly what Georgia does…she educates them, prepares them – both physically and mentally – so they leave excited and confident, looking forward to the birth of their baby.
Georgia’s mantra is “Your birth, Your way”. It’s about taking ownership of your experience and making informed decisions that are right for you and your baby.
So Georgia, what made you decide to set-up your own business?
I loved my births and found them so empowering, particularly my second labour. The first, lucky Lex, was 9lbs 4 delivered in a birthing pool at The Rosie. Then came Sonny, my Breech Bruiser, born with an audience of reluctant doctors, paediatricians and midwives who watched me birth him breech insisting on no intervention and breaking all the rules.
Following my births, I had friends and family asking me to support them with their births. Hell yeah! What an honour!
This is when I realised I can help others too. I believe a birth can make or break a woman. For me, it was the making of me, and has led me down this wonderful path. But I’ve seen first hand how a birth can tear people apart too. So that’s why I’m here; to support women, educate new parents, and discuss birth plans before the big day. There’s also loads of practical tips too, especially for birth partners.
Tamara, my birthing instructor (who is also founder of the Wise Hippo Birthing Program) has always hinted that I’d make a good instructor. And after my breech birth story I felt it was my calling so I booked onto the next available course. I must’ve been mad as I studied long and hard with a new baby and toddler, but it was perfect timing.
I’m here to empower women, empower YOU. I always say never, EVER, under estimate what you’re capable of. It’s miracles Mama, pure miracles!
What does being a business owner mean to you and why you set up in the first place?
I believe the biggest misconception of running your own business as a mother is that you can pick and choose your hours and slot them around the kids. The reality is you work whatever god damn hours you can, late into the night, super early in morning and at any moment you can grab throughout the day – long live the toddler naps!
But saying all that, I’m right where I want to be. Working the 9-5 in London wasn’t something I was prepared to do with two kids. Yes, I miss it, but my kids are only young once, the control freak in me wanted to raise them. This job allows me to work in the evenings and at weekends. And I don’t just mean teaching, that’s not even a quarter of it. The graft is in the branding, marketing, messaging, social media and so on.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I have to say Tamara Cianfini, the founder of the Wise Hippo Programme. She was my teacher (both times) and it was her who asked me to become an instructor for them. She’s had so much faith and confidence in me from the start and steered me through some rough waters with nothing but unwavering support.
What is the best thing for you about being your own boss and running your own business?
Being able to wake up, drop off and collect my kids everyday. At the start of the day they wave to me at the school gates and run into my arms at the end of the school day.
What practical advice would you give to anyone about to start, or in the early stages of owning a business?
Ensure your branding is on point. Before launching I held round table meetings with my target market to fine tune my branding, my marketing and my message. I found it hugely valuable and it didn’t cost a thing – I just bought lots of pastries and juice and held it over a lovely brunch.
What advice would you give to women in business? From your area of expertise or in general.
Surround yourself with people who get it. There will always be those who aren’t so supportive, don’t believe in you or aren’t aligned with your ethos. Don’t waste time or energy on them. Keep your head down and focus on your own shit.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given in business?
People remember you not for what you know, but for how you made them feel.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Email marketing – thank you Sam Dixon! I totally underestimated how important it was and I thought it wouldn’t work for me given that I need to capture my target audience in a small time-frame ie 5-8 months pregnant. But Sam taught me about customer referral schemes, how they will have friends, sisters, cousins and that email marketing is direct and way more successful than alternative, much preferred routes, such as Facebook and Instagram.
What skills were you able to bring over from your previous work experience that you found to be most helpful or practical in your business?
I am a qualified journalist having worked on the news desk of a national newspaper, and without a doubt, this has helped with my branding, blogging, my web content, my social media content and more.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Email marketing has totally changed my game, that and blogging. I’ve become an informant who can inspire through my own experience, my teachings and the experiences of my previous clients.
It’s also great how blog content can steer and lead your marketing content. This is something I’m still working on but Sam’s area on blogging in the Membership area has really helped me grasp this.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I love love love Canva. It is so easy to use, You can be so creative with it and it’s super slick – if used in the right way. It looks so professional. I created my website and branding on Wix and Canva myself.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
Yes I co-head The Baby Chain – a collaboration of amazing holistic practitioners in the Herts & Essex area who have a common interest; to support women through fertility, pregnancy, on their post-natal journey and beyond. There are some incredible professionals in there, I always come away from our meetings inspired and motivated having learned something new. And that’s just me, as a fellow professional, let alone a woman on their journey to motherhood… We have so much to give…
We have a secure members-only group on Facebook where women can go for free support and advice.
We’re planning to host Baby Chain events in 2020 – think massage therapists, acupuncturists, osteopaths, reflexologists, women’s health specialists, myself and many more under one roof. Attendees will leave enlightened and revitalised, it’s an incredible collaboration. So watch this space!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The best part of my job is receiving that message. I cry every time. The joy from the mums saying “I did it!”, knowing that I helped them trust their instincts and have a positive experience whatever turn their birth takes. And that’s what it’s all about, women supporting women, and what better time to help a woman than when in labour?
Did you know we are the only species with the capacity to doubt its ability to give birth? Isn’t that crazy! Ina May Gaskin’s quote hits the nail on the head though: “When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change”.
Need I say more…?
Thank you so much Georgia for taking the time to chat with me today. What a wonderful story – helping women through your own birth experiences, empower their own.
I’m Sam Dixon, founder of Thrive With Sam Dixon, an experienced Marketing Consultant to ambitious businesswomen who want to launch, grow and scale their business with flexible marketing support.
For a free 30-minute discovery call get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org or come join Thrive Collective, my monthly membership community. JOIN HERE.