Hello, I’m Lea…pronounced Lee-UH and not Lee 😉
I’m an Intuitive Strategist and Operational Troubleshooter – though I usually try and avoid labels like the plague! I help business owners see, think and act more strategically – to be less reactive and more proactive in how they guide their company, as well as identifying and resolving the things currently causing the most pain and stunting potential growth.
I started my career as a management consultant and in 2004 branched out on my own. I have run multiple businesses and supported 100s of fellow business owners over the past decade. Here you’ll find more about how I work and how I might help you…
Core Values I Live By…
You don't have to live your life the way others think you should.
What you do when no-one's looking is what matters most.
Done is better than perfect; if you're going to do it, do it well!
How I Work…
I work strategically – which essentially means that I pull up a level from where most folk are – and focus on the BIGGEST picture stuff. I ask stretch questions to help you figure out where you really want to be, then help you put a plan in place to get there.
Values-Based Business Planning
A high level approach to business planning that ensures your core values stay at the heart of everything you do – captured on one page – and which adapts and grows as you do.
Customer Lifecycle Planning
A different way of looking at the way your customers and clients experience your business – from before they even know about you, to becoming a customer, to considering whether it’s time to move on.
Below you’ll find a list of most of the ventures and projects I’ve brought to life since 2004. Not all of them have been huge successes but each one has taught me something useful or led to something valuable other than purely financial success. And while I’ve never explicitly called myself, qualified as or sold myself as a ‘coach’, throughout my entrepreneurial career I have coached numerous business owners and those aspiring to be, in one format or another!
Rescue Desk (2014-2018)
Sometimes DIY’ing your own tech stuff doesn’t cut it and it’s time to call in the professionals. I ran the Rescue Desk – with a small team of 4 – as an online technology help desk for complementary health practitioners. My team took care of keeping clients websites up to date, troubleshooting all their online tech woes, and helping set them up and use online tools more effectively.
Better Business Boundaries (2016-2017)
Frustrated by the cost of relevant (not just ‘template’) legal documents such as Terms & Conditions for solopreneurs and small businesses, I created this short-lived but hugely insightful joint venture with a UK lawyer. We produced customisable contracts to provide a range of businesses with decent legal documentation which could be tailored to their business.
Pioneer Collective (2012-2015)
Long before the millions of groups that currently proliferate Facebook, I offered a private group mentoring service called the Pioneer Collective, run via a FB group. This was quite possibly my most successful offering ever, in terms of the relationships that were formed, the foundations created by members of the group, and how much I and the members enjoyed participating. Although 100% online, we had a number of in-person meet-ups with members travelling cross country (and globally!) to join us.
Along with my then-husband, Jonathan – at the time an aspiring illustrator himself – we organised and held the first national UK conference for illustrators in 2012 (while 10 weeks pregnant with my second child). We hosted almost 100 illustrators and some of the biggest names in the illustration industry at a very successful inaugural event, followed up by an even bigger and better conference, held at the Nottingham Contemporary, a year later (then with a 4 year old and 5 month old baby in tow!).
Startup Training School (2011-2014)
Annoyed at the exorbitant fees charged by most web development agencies and having taught myself all the online tech I needed – including how to build and customise WordPress websites – I decided it might be useful to teach others how to do it. So I started an online tech school which included holding an event to teach almost 1,000 women how to get a WordPress website up and running in just one day.
Dot Net Connector (2011)
I spent an entire year doing not much else but writing About pages for other solopreneurs and small businesses (and a couple of fairly large businesses). By the end of the year, I was pretty good at writing about pages and capturing the unique essence of the folk I wrote for. Why focus on About pages? Because they’re usually the 2nd most visited page on a website so they’re pretty important. How is your About page currently looking?
Then There Were None (2010-2011)
As a first foray into running an ecommerce store, we sourced and sold custom-branded goods that were eco-consciously produced and branded with custom wildlife illustrations. We donated 50% of the profits to charitable eco causes.
Shine & Glue (2007-2010)
This was the web design and development agency (with personality!) that I founded with my then-husband as we travelled the world, providing affordable branding and websites to freelancers, solopreneurs and small businesses, globally.
Having realised I was much better at coaching fellow fitness professionals to better market and run their business than I was at coaching people to lose weight and get fit, I founded and ran an online marketing agency for health & fitness practitioners, providing white-labelled animated exercise graphics, self publishing support services, branding and websites.
Location Independent (2007-Ongoing)
After accidentally embarking upon and living a digital nomad lifestyle in 2005, I started blogging about our adventures and what we were learning. I coined the phrase ‘location independent’ to describe the lifestyle and grew the Location Independent blog into a community of over 25,000 members. The site has been featured on the BBC, in the Guardian and other worldwide media.
Get Better Abs (2006)
My first experience of self-publishing was producing this co-written ebook on how to get a flat stomach, the healthy (read: long!) way. The ebook came bundled with access to a range of tailored online workout programs illustrated with animated graphics.
This was my first and only ‘offline’ business located in Nottingham (UK) – providing fitness training, holistic health coaching and corporate wellness programs to 3 of the main law firms in the city, as well as individual support to their partners and solicitors.
What Others Say About My Work…
Talking about working with me directly...
I’ve followed Lea for more than 10 years and have worked with her several times in a few different ways. She is always insightful, understanding and full of ideas and inspiration, while at the same time striking just the right balance between pushing me out of my comfort zone and supporting me to take the next step.
My business has progressed immeasurably over the last 10 years, and crucially, it is now a great fit for the real me. I wouldn’t be where I am and have the lifestyle I have (and love) without Lea‘s help and encouragement.
There is still a lot I want to do and I hope Lea will continue to be part of my journey for many years to come.Ali Marsland
Talking about the Location Independent Lifestyle Guide...
I found this book to be incredibly inspiring.
While I've been working towards similar goals myself, reading just the first two chapters of this book caused me to take a couple of hours out of my day to really look at my life, what I want out of it, and what I can do differently to achieve that.
In fact, I called my wife and we had a great discussion about it! It's well written, interesting, informative and beautiful.Leo Babauta
Talking about working with me directly…
Lea has the ability to wade through all my objections, hidden fears and gaps in knowledge to get to the heart of where I truly want to go and crystallise a plan immediately.
She knows when to prod, when to be firm and when to just be still. Sessions with her are considered, nuanced, strategic, fun, intuitive and future focused. There is no time to sit it the ‘I don’t know how/I can’t/But I’m not sure I have…’ state.
One of my biggest hurdles is maintaining my location independence goals. Whilst I love my work, I felt like recently I’d compromised myself and my desires somehow and couldn’t see what to do next.
Our last session completely rectified this. I left with structured key directional goals, methodical steps to achieve them, a peace of mind and lightness in my mindset and a warmth in my heart that comes from having a good conversation with a friend.Samantha Clarke
Talking about the launch of Location Independent Business Course...
This is the first joint venture I've done in 14 months of publishing AONC. The reason I decided to do this now is because Lea's awesome project (the Location Independent Business course) is directly related to what a lot of people want to do. If you're one of those people, I feel very good about recommending this to you.
I can easily say that it offers great value. I give it four stars out of four. If there were five stars, I'd give it five. You know what I mean – it's not really about stars, it's about creating a life of freedom that allows you to work anywhere. This will help.Chris Guillebeau
Talking about Startup Training School...
When I launched my business, I decided to go all out with an online marketing plan to reach my market. I thought of delegating the website design to an outside agency. The costs would have been thousand of dollars in a start up year. I tried to learn how to create websites alone and with online materials. The cost in time was frustrating.
Then one day, a noted web entrepreneur suggested I register for one of Lea’s classes. The formula was perfect. I enjoyed the course so much that I registered for the inaugural Startup Training School Course.
The future of business is evolving so rapidly and technical skills are a must to stay relevant tomorrow. As a lawyer, I now know to actively manage my online marketing. If you know this as well, look no further than StartUp Training School to get ahead.Suzanne Leclair
Talking about being a member of The Pioneer Collective...
I can say without a doubt, that the monthly cost doesn’t come close to the actual value I’d put on what I’ve learned.
I started unsure of what I wanted and with the general feeling that I’m just not a business person. By the end of my first month, I felt far more sure of myself than I’ve ever been.
Skip two months later: I have prioritized and have a clear plan of what I want for my business. Oh, and I designed, launched and marketed a new product that already has customers. That was the first three months.
What I love about Lea’s approach is that she takes personal and work into equal account. We not only talk business but all parts of our lives and how they fit together. It’s about creating a life with all the elements that are most important, and becoming a successful entrepreneur is one part of that.Leigh Shulman
Talking about Startup Training School...
I knew just enough about building a WordPress website to get myself in trouble! Since I’m building a business on a shoestring budget, I figured I could read articles and figure out how to do my own site. But the pitfalls of building a website from scratch were many – and I was exhausting my resources trying to find solutions. The result was hours wasted and a website that fell flat and lacked the design elements I wanted.
Enter Startup Training School. A godsend that offered a solution to all of my tech conundrums! I wanted to design the look of my site, rather than use a pre-designed theme – and the Startup Training School course offered all the training and references I needed to customize my branding and the site itself.
The training materials are clear and concise, but best of all is the personal support I received when stuck on some little problem. Those ‘little’ problems can hold you up for hours if you don’t have the skills and experience in website design!
Lea is brilliant, and she really knows her stuff! Being a member of Start Up Training School is like having your own personal web design consultant – one that truly cares about your business and your success.
Without Startup Training School I would have had to resort to shelling out thousands of dollars for someone else to create the site I envisioned. And then I wouldn’t have known how to make updates and changes.
Instead I have a site I can be proud of and I have a working knowledge of the underpinnings of what makes it all tick. I am so thrilled that I discovered Lea and Startup Training School. Can’t recommend this enough!!Sarah O'Leary
Talking about Values-Based Business Planning...
Lea’s secret strategic planning weapon is brilliant in its simplicity but really forces you to get clear on your strategy and future planning for your business.
If you’re struggling to generate a sustainable income from your work, this is a “must have” to hone your focus and turn things around.Marion Harrington
Talking about Values-Based Business Planning and working directly with me...
Using Lea’s approach has made one of the biggest goals for my business suddenly feel achievable. And I don’t need to feel afraid of not being able to do it.
I found Lea’s way of asking questions and conversing very useful for stretching my boundaries and overcoming a fear of presenting my ideas to others.
The value of Lea’s experience really shone through for me, and receiving personalised business advice at an affordable cost has been invaluable.Anne-Marie Springer
Talking about working directly with me...
You know you’ve been given some good advice when you get off the call and immediately start plotting the changes you want to make in your business.
It was such a joy to be able to talk through the systems and plans I’ve been working on and get more clarity around what I need and what I can let go of.
Lea really knows her stuff and if you’re a solopreneur like I am, no doubt you often wish you had someone to brainstorm with — Lea is that person. Recommended!Susannah Conway
Talking about working with me directly..
Startup Training School has been invaluable in the process of starting my website – every time I had a question about anything related to bringing a business online I only had to ask and the answer came usually within minutes. It has been magic!
The training videos are clear, short enough that I don’t feel overwhelmed with the information and complete enough that it gets things right the first time.
It feels a bit like having Lea sitting beside me at the desk.Catherine Cabrol-Schulz
Lea offers a powerful combination of personal and professional guidance.
Her intuitive nature means she gets to the bottom of mental blocks and limiting beliefs.
I’ve experienced immediate results and I always leave our sessions enlightened and energised.Keith McGuinness