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Hello

It has been quite the journey to get here.

 

It wasn't a linear road, there wasn't one magic pill that made everything better. It's taken grit, resilience, hard work and quite frankly tenacity I didn't know I had.

What I did know was that I needed a new life, I needed direction and I needed purpose. I wanted to be a positive force for good after failed IVF and divorce had knocked me down, once I'd risen up and created a new life for myself I wanted to use my experience to help others design fulfilling lives too.

That was the plan. Then COVID-19 hit. And I suddenly needed something different, for myself, that I hadn't needed before - I needed people. 

 

Where that need led me was unexpected and unplanned. It led to building businesses that believe in the power within people to create new lives, to make the best of life and to live it fully, embracing community and connection along the way.

Quite simply, it changed my life.

My Story

Recovering from Infertility & Divorce

My journey might be similar to yours, we may have travelled different roads but we’ve ended up in the same place. Wanting more from life than we have, knowing we are worth more, not wanting to be defined by the hand we’ve been dealt but unsure where to start and how to make meaningful change.

That was how I felt after failed IVF in 2013 and then the end of my marriage in 2014. Feeling utterly left out of my peer group who were all married with children. I did not fit in, I stood out, for what felt like for all the wrong reasons. And I felt like a life failure. Now what?

For two years I just existed and kept busy, busy grief is incredibly productive and I didn't stop. Then 2017 was a pivotal year for change. I had bought my now ex-husband out of our house, rented it to a lovely family and set off on my “Snack, Nap, Hope” tour in ode to ”Eat, Love, Pray” where I ate and cried my way around North America and Australia. Processing the grief of the last 4 years of infertility, divorce, losing my best friend, social circle changes, loss of identity, loss of purpose and total overwhelm at what life was going to look like now.

 

I had gone travelling as I was lost. Lost in grief, lost in life and lost on where to begin. I wasn’t where I had expected (or wanted) to be in my mid 30s and I needed time to process who I was now - single, infertile and unhappy at work - and I needed time to work out who I wanted to be next.

That trip was a life changer. I met amazing people who let me talk, cry, sob and scream. Who just listened and didn't try to fix me, which was what it had felt like back in the UK. Friends and family desperately wanted me to be ok but I was stuck in a grief vortex and couldn't get out, the failure feelings just compounded.

 

But here, away, I was a new version of myself, who didn't have to please anyone. I could just be me. And I liked being me.

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Discovering Coaching

I had started to write a blog on Instagram that documented my trip, my healing and my processing. I called it Not The Blueprint (@nottheblueprint). Because that's who I was now. I wasn't what society expected, I had no partner, no children and I was working out what a new life could be. I was the opposite of where I was meant to be and I stood out. I definitely was not the blueprint and my tag line summed it up - "when you don't fit the blueprint - break the mould".

Writing was (and still is) so cathartic. Being honest, raw, vulnerable and authentic. Talking about taboos, being the role model in the infertility space I wish I had had during my fertility treatment. I gained a following and starting to explore how I could help other people stand out and be true to themselves.

 

Because I knew the cost of not being true to yourself.

 

I had gone through the trauma of IVF even though I hadn't wanted children because it was expected of me, I had a broody husband and a social circle that talked about when were we all going to have a family all the time. It dominated the conversation in our early 30s. But I had never wanted children, now I was trying for children, it wasn't working and I was suddenly lying in an IVF clinic hoping this would save my life and my marriage.

It didn't. Instead it broke us, him and me in the process.

 

I hadn't been true to myself, and I paid the price.

The pull to help others came from that feeling of frustration at myself for following societal norms, and not my instincts. What stops us from just living life by our rules and no-one else's. Why do we feel we have to conform? Spoiler, we don't!

 

My confidence was growing as I was building Not The Blueprint, and I could see hope in being a positive example to others, but how could I make the impact I wanted to help people like me? I looked at a variety of options before finding coaching.

 

I remember being sat in the taster day for the Coaching Academy, learning about what coaching is and isn't. And realising I'd been coaching for over 10 years at work but we hadn't called it "coaching" and I felt an instant rush of adrenaline knowing this was my path.

 

My coaching journey began, and I loved it. I was coaching people at work, fellow students and local entrepreneurs. I got so much joy from watching their journeys, achievements and breakthrough moments. This was the career for me.

Starting a business at the worst possible time

Then the 2020 Pandemic hit.

I was in a relationship that was breaking down, in a big corporate job I didn't feel valued in, barely getting a chance to coach, about to get made redundant and feeling lost, again. Since 2017 I had qualified as a coach, got myself a beautiful house, climbed the corporate ladder, dated but I was still unfulfilled. Something was missing.

What was missing was a social circle of like minded people. I was lonely. My friends were in families, couples, not accessible to me and I needed a network. The pandemic had shifted key relationships and as the lockdown was lifting I realised I didn't have evening friends, and I wanted to go out drink cocktails, have fancy dinners and support my city.

Deciding I couldn't be the only one in this position I created Connected Brighton, the Social Concierge service. Helping professionals over 30 meet new people through bespoke experiences that support local businesses. From here I started to collaborate with a local matchmaker on singles nights and we now have a sister brand, The Single Sessions.

Connected Brighton has gone from strength to strength, I won RWC Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 and nominated for the Dynamic Women in Business Awards in the category of Community Hero.

I never saw myself as a business owner. Never. Now I have three!

And it has been the most fulfilling, empowering, purposeful work I have ever done.

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Realising my Authentic Power

Realising that I am my niche, that my best superpower is being Lyndsey Clay, that has led me here.

 

Doing the work on myself, using the right support network, tools and coaches to help me to design the life I wanted - becoming an Authentic Power Coach, founding an award winning business and discovering my worth.

Being true to myself, finally.

I now have my own podcast through Connected Brighton, I co-host The Brighton Business Show on Radio Reverb, I deliver key note speeches on my experience and I write for magazines on my journey and about business.

I work with people who want to find their Authentic Power in their personal or professional lives, or who want to start a business and need a hand. My clients are typically drawn to me because I've not just survived the dark days, I've thrived because of them.

Life is truly incredible, and my life now is amazing. It still has all the ups and downs, I still invest in my own coaches to keep me on track and focused. Because I truly believe we aren't meant to walk this path alone.

I am so excited for comes next, as this is just the beginning.

Relatable? Get in touch and let's chat over a virtual tea.

Join me on this journey, book a coaching call, sign up to stay in touch and follow me at @lyndseyclaycoach

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