Launching a business with a brain injury
By Jade Gooding, Founder of No Mum Is An Island
Reframing Adversity with Jade Gooding from No Mum Is An Island
In this article, Jade Gooding entrepreneur and mother of Silver, aged 7 shares how a random fall and a consequent brain injury a month before launching her business, No Mum Is An Island, has changed her life.
It was all carefully planned… and then life happened.
Jade explains how she reframes her situation to find the positives.
What were you doing before you set up your own business, No Mum Is An Island?
Since 2005 I have managed social media accounts across multiple platforms. In the early days Myspace and Bebo when they were the dominating platforms I managed accounts for the likes of Now That’s What I Call Music, Hannah Montana, Empire of the Sun, David Gilmore to mention but a few.
As Facebook became the dominating platform over the next years I worked with Paloma Faith, The Temper Trap, Grace Jones, UB40, Biffy Clyro and many more.
As new platforms including twitter and instagram became popular my skills evolved into these areas. Over the last few years, I have worked with big brands like Pacha, artists including the Ting Tings and Joss Stone, businesses including Bambuddha, Wistla, Bleep, and Amazonia.
My main income for the last couple of years has been training people to run their own instagram accounts. Something I love and still do.
What inspired you to create your business, No Mum Is An Island?
As a teen I myself was lost and unhappy, my hippy free-spirited parents argued a lot, I had learning difficulties and was overwhelmed. I tried to kill myself at 17. I swore that I would never let my future children have that experience, I would create a perfect childhood for my own children.
Then, at 32 years, I got old divorced after a 10-year relationship. He was a great man but our paths were going in different directions. 18 months later I found myself 6 weeks pregnant with a boyfriend I had been with for only 8 weeks and I was inevitably was a single mum by time my daughter was one year old.
‘How the hell has this happened?’ I remember thinking. I was a businesswoman, earning great money, with my head on my shoulders who liked to party occasionally but I was by no means irresponsible and I was in a single mum mess.
This was a very difficult time for me, I went from living a luxury life to being on the breadline trying to support my toddler alone. Quickly I realised that no matter what our best plans are for our children, life can come at us at all directions. We can’t always protect our children from our own situations, be it problems with our partners, work issues, family problems, illness, drink, drugs, social challenges and whatever stuff life throws at us and the people around us.
It is how we handle these situations that teach our children how to handle life. Our internal voice becomes their internal voice, our behaviour becomes their behaviour.
The best way we can support our children is to first to support ourselves.
If you study proven research techniques that support kids through depression, anxiety, insecurities and comparisons you will see that we need to be learning this stuff for ourselves and then living it so our kids have a chance of being well rounded human beings in an increasingly f*cked up society.
No Mum Is An Island, has been born with the understanding we do not need to do it alone, that there are incredible toolsets out there that we can use to upgrade our lives and in turn, our children’s lives too.
What challenges have you experienced in trying to launch your own business?
I have been a freelancer for 16 years so I am used to spending hours at a computer, balancing finances etc, but more importantly, I have managed so many other people’s social accounts and always felt frustrated thinking ‘if only I had my own platform to promote’. I’ve watched what works and what doesn’t work for years. Now I want to put that all to use in my own platform.
Everything was running pretty smoothly until I lent to put a glass of water on my daughter’s bedside table and slipped. I did a 180 degree flip and smashed my head on her bedside table. Concussion and whiplash have evolved into a long term traumatic brain injury. I have developed light sensitivity which means I can’t look at a computer for more than an hour at a time. That really ground my website progress to a standstill. I also have 24 hour nausea and headaches, alongside motion sensitivity.
How have these challenges impacted you and how have they made you feel?
At first it was hugely overwhelming and disappointing. A huge part of the site is interviews. Each one takes an hour to research and an hour to load the reply. Suddenly this was almost impossible.
I feel like I am moving forward at snails pace. I have done in 5 months what I hoped to do in a few weeks. I still have so much to do but really, pacing myself is the only way my brain will heal.
I feel surprisingly ok about it all. I have done so much personal development work over the years, I’ve studied Positive Psychology and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy so my mental health game is pretty strong, despite this incredible unexpected setback.
How have you reframed these set backs and how has that changed your mindset?
Oh, I am the queen of reframing. This experience has given me an opportunity to take a wide view of the website and that’s been invaluable. How many people get the opportunity to just to really sit and think about their future business? We can get so little free time as we work towards launch so it’s incredible that I’ve had that opportunity.
I also think this experience has given me the viewpoints of millions of mothers with fatigue, be it MS, Brain Injury or a host of other illnesses. I have a real understanding of how life is when you are not in normal health. That gives me great empathy, understanding and a wider target audience.
It’s made me release control a lot. I have a great guy on Fivver who is doing all my listings and lots of interview loading, which reduces my screen time and ultimately gives me more opportunities for scalability.
Most importantly it’s meant I reached out to an incredible graphic designer to create the art line that I was in the middle of creating. I am no graphic designer and finding someone who is not only the best designer I have worked with (and that’s saying something when I worked in a design agency for years) and who will work on commission, has taken one of my products from being middle of the road to exceptional. That would never of happened without the head injury.
I think my mindset changed a lot as it went from being alone, to daring to ask for help, even on a limited budget.
It must be deeply frustrating to be limited by your injury.
What do you do to after your well-being?
How do you keep yourself feeling mentally resilient?
As I said I have done a lot of personal development work. I really believe there is no bad or good, only challenge and support.
Having a brain injury is a huge challenge. I also know that life demonstrates that we grow through our challenges. So I see this as a sh*t shaped gift. I am able to listen to audiobooks and reading books like ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Micheal Singer, seems to be perfectly timed. That book was a great reminder to keep me mentally buoyant.
With a brain injury, self-care is EVERYTHING! I wrote a self-care practice when I was in Bali two years ago and then forgot about it. It was obsessively researched to give me the best results for mind, body, and soul in the shortest time possible.
Remembering that was like a gift from my past self! I just did a test with a group of mums who loved it, so I will give it away on the website as a 15 steps to Self-Care as a freebie to share with others who need some self care. If anyone wants to sign up for it (it’s called ‘Miracle Self Care Morning Routine for Mums’ they can here. It’s a great way for me to give back now I have found something that really works mind, body, and soul.
What one resource or exercise or tip have you found most helpful?
Meditation. I’ve meditated since I was a child. My mum was a hippy and had us listening to meditation tapes as kids (haha showing my age) and I spent time in a Buddhist center in my late teens. I lost my practice for many years and just rekindled it in the last couple of years.
I had been especially interested in how Steve Jobs and other entrepreneurs swear that meditation aids their success so my practice had deepened. After attending an amazing meditation course in Bali and studying a lot of Joe Dispenza’s materials I was more focused in this area than ever. I was reaching that lovely out of body stage regularly.
The first tool people with a head injury like mine are told to use is meditation. My meditations are shorter now as the headache does make you distracted. However they are more in body, which is new for me and very grounding. I am really enjoying Deepak Chopra’s mediations at the moment.
What key lessons have you learned that could share with others going through set backs and challenges?
Really as I said before in life we grow through our challenges. My husband and I learned a great skill from a great teacher called Gal Stiglz , which is basically to create a benefits and drawbacks list for every scenario. To really search for equal numbers in both columns. At first, this task feels impossible but as you practice it, the world’s best business offer can look as unappealing as the world’s worst business offer and vice versa.
Now when the sh*t hits the fan or in my case the head hits the bedside table, we can say to each other,
‘Wow! Lucky you, this is a massive opportunity for growth. A real sh*t shaped gift.’
The annoying bit is you won’t always know what the gifts are until a few years down the line, but I can guarantee that there will be many.
With many thanks to Jade for sharing her experiences and what she has learned from set backs in her life and business.
Did any of Jade’s lessons resonate with you?
Can you use her techniques of reframing and self-care to help you in your life and business?
Let me know in the comments 👇💕