Nayanee Silva  

Founder

Smarter Lives – coaching with advice for careers, education and business including entrepreneurs/startups

What her business does

Smarter Lives provides coaching and consultancy in business, careers and education. My  mission is to help clients plan their goals and  achieve their best potential by accessing strategies and mindsets that allow them to move forward with focused guidance – this includes one to one and group coaching, workshops, talks and training.

Her business journey and how she arrived at the business idea and started her own business

I co-founded a tech and business consultancy before I left full time work 15 years ago. Whilst helping my sons navigate their educational journey through private schooling and exams in the UK, I became interested in how positive guidance and support can help young people achieve their potential. I also had to support my son who had a mild learning difficulty, which meant I had to find new strategies to help him through exams and school. Both my boys have benefited from my support and thankfully, both have done well. Belief that planned support for individual goals can help success, led to my co-founding a business in Education & Psychometric Assessment for students and Corporate Business a few years ago. Working with young people in the areas of career choices, educational options and higher education in the UK and abroad, led to an interest in coaching alongside consultancy. I qualified as a Life Coach in 2014 and founded Smarter Lives to combine coaching with advice for careers, education and business including entrepreneurs/startups. I now combine my tech knowledge from a degree in Engineering, business background from a career in Corporate Finance with coaching support for young people and adults as a business, careers and educational coach and mentor.

What she finds most rewarding about having her own business

The ability to work flexibly leaving time for family, being my own boss and having control over the quality and content of my work. It is also rather wonderful to see my ideas in action and to be able to help others achieve their goals with my support is extremely rewarding! My mantra for my work is ‘Coaching is not just a job; coaching changes lives’ .

How she approaches being a mum and an entrepreneur

The ability to work flexibly leaving time for family, being my own boss and having control over the quality and content of my work. It is also rather wonderful to see my ideas in action and to be able to help others achieve their goals with my support is extremely rewarding! My mantra for my work is ‘Coaching is not just a job; coaching changes lives’ .

The biggest challenges she has faced in her business
  • Keeping motivated to promote the business and online advertising to spread the word about my work and its value; which is harder in a service business. Marketing can be time consuming but it is necessary.
  • Trying to focus on certain services as I have several skill sets – I also offer various coaching/ consultancy services. I see this as a strength – its useful to have a varied approach.
How she overcame those challenges
  1. By using online media promotion via social media and webinars, being in similar business groups for best practice, following training videos online and being in communities to explore effective marketing and business strategies. Also collecting testimonials and references from satisfied clients helps! Posting useful content via my facebook group and blog also helps collect a following. 2. I have defined my service offerings into specific areas on my website and have pages explaining each service. These are also reflected on my business Facebook page (its really important to be consistent). I am now branching into other products in these areas – there is often synergy in creating content from one to the other.
What do you celebrate as accomplishments in your business?

Helping people achieve success with their goals and navigate challenges towards success. The fact that many of my clients recommend me to others (referrals) is for me a confirmation that they are happy with my work. On the advisory side, it is good to be able to help clients through the varied experience and knowledge I provide, so that they are able to avoid costly mistakes and confusion. Bringing focused advice to students, workplace clients and business entrepreneurs; helping them take action and make decisions that can change their lives is truly rewarding and I consider it a privilege to make their goals my mission.

Advice to mums considering entrepreneurship
Expect to work hard, navigate obstacles and change paths, but if you are committed to making your mark, go for it!

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