A Conversation With The Saturday Project
by Olivia Cartwright,
Does the narrative around women either having a family OR a career sounds familiar? There are so many women unsatisfied in the workplace who are too scared to make a change due to fear, age or timeline before a family, amongst other things. Vicky Paley, from The Saturday Project empowers women to see this doesn't have to be the case, and gives perspective and guidance towards your true calling. There is no need to dread Mondays!
As a female-founded and owned business, this really speaks to us at Radiance Cleanse. One of Vicky's specialist categories are women who have taken a really linear path in life but have found themselves to be discontented with no idea what to do about it. It may be news to many of you that this is exactly how Radiance was born. Our founders Clare and Christina both took the brave step to leave the corporate ladder to found this beautiful company. With Clare in private equity and Christina previously a lawyer, it can't of been an easy decision, making it all the more inspiring typing this 11 years later!
Our conversation with Vicky couldn't have come at a better time. With New Year fast approaching and 2021 on the horizon, could this be the year that changes your life?
Read on to read all about how the Saturday Project started and how it can help you:
RC: How did you find your way into this line of work? What was it that captured you?
SP: I actually studied Chemical Engineering at university and I went into a fast-paced corporate career in Energy Consulting. This career path has given me a lot of opportunities, particularly to travel, but as I approached 30, I felt as if I was coming up for air for the first time since I left school, assessing what was important to me and I started craving authentic connection with people. I also had a pretty sad realisation that I was spending my life counting down to Friday night and "living for the weekend" which is basically just counting the days of your life away. I wanted a job and life where I could live by my own rules, directly impact people’s lives, empower others, let me tap into my creative side, and be myself. Out of this, The Saturday Project was born, with the mission to reconnect with our values and our dreams so that everyday feels like the weekend.
What really captures me about coaching is being able to show people what is inside of them and shine a light on what they are capable of. Most of my clients are holding themselves back due to inner beliefs and unplugging these and seeing them flourish is such a humbling experience. Another aspect of coaching that I love is that I also have to do the inner work, make changes to my own life, and walk my talk. I can only take my clients as far as I have been willing to go myself and this means I am constantly working on myself which helps me to become the best person and coach I can be for every one of my clients.
RC: Who are your typical clientele?
VP: My clients are professional women who know that they need a change in their lives but may not necessarily know what that is. They may have a brilliant idea but don't know how to progress it to the next level, have a successful career but feel really unfulfilled by it, or are out of alignment with their values and so are experiencing negative outcomes in their lives. One of the best things about being a coach is that no two clients are the same. However, saying that there is usually a theme that they are holding themselves back or getting in their own way to make the changes they need to live a fulfilled life. Some of my clients only need to make small tweaks to their lives to get where they want to be while others need to do some pretty in-depth soul searching and inner work to get back on the right path. Another common theme through all my clients is that they are motivated and committed to taking action on their goals, they are prepared to invest in themselves and to grow. This is so important as investment in yourself, whether it's time or money, is the biggest act of self-love you can show yourself and there is a great saying that goes "you never go broke investing in yourself".
RC: Why do you think it is that women are often in this position?
SP: I know men suffer from similar issues too and have a lot of societal pressures on them which can stop them from living an aligned and fulfilled life. However, being a woman who has spent a significant amount of time in male-dominated industries I have seen the pressures that women face in their careers and the lack of confidence women have in themselves. This is heightened further if if they decide to start a family and need to take a prolonged time off or want flexibility in their work life. Not only have I seen this first hand but studies have also shown that women hold beliefs that means they are less likely to rate themselves highly or promote themselves and are less likely to take on new roles or start businesses if they feel like they don't possess 100% of the skills. A lot of these beliefs come from stereotypical reinforcement throughout childhood and I work with my clients a lot on limiting beliefs to see what is holding them back from achieving their goals.
I grew up in the height of Girl Power and I have always been an avid and vocal supporter of other women throughout my corporate career. It is a dream come true for me to now be doing something where I can have a direct and immediate impact on women's lives and I know that through my life experiences and my feminine approach to coaching, what I can offer as a coach is far more powerful for women. I also get a huge kick out of seeing women succeed and I think women supporting other women is incredibly powerful!
RC: What can a potential client expect from your service at the Saturday Project?
SP: From my personal experience with my own coach, having a coach is like having a support system you never knew that you needed and I try to replicate that with my clients. I am 100% committed to my clients and their dreams and I stay focused on helping them achieve these, even when they lose sight of them. My coaching takes a completely holistic approach to a person and helps people to identify what is important to them and get crystal clear about what they really want in life. I will challenge people's goals if I think they are a reflection of what other people want or what society expects of them, rather than what they truly want. Throughout our sessions I am honest and open with my clients about their strengths and areas for improvement and cut through any inner beliefs to get to the real core of what is holding them back- not a lot gets past me! Because of my honest, open approach my clients can expect to be pushed outside their comfort zone (the place where we grow and change) and a lot of fun and laughter!
For my 1:1 clients each coaching session is bespoke, driven by my clients and I typically work with them for 3 - 6 months. In every session, I give practical strategies that my clients can implement immediately and start to see change. For my group coaching sessions, all my clients will be working towards the same goal over a set period. The Saturday Project January group coaching cohort will be over 8 weeks and will be focussed on taking ideas and moving these into a new full-time business, side hustle or passion project. The group coaching sessions are a great way to meet new people to learn from, bounce ideas off, celebrate wins, and most importantly be accountable to!
RC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
SP: One of the main reasons that I started my own business was that I wanted to design a life where I could work from wherever I want and have my own hours of work. Within 5 years I would love for this to have become a reality where I can balance my time between living in the UK and Australia (where I am from) and also have a lot of time for family, friends, and fun. I would love my business to have grown into a referral-only business and to be hosting beautiful and empowering Saturday Project retreats for my clients.
RC: What would someone never guess about you?
SP: I bite my nails!!! Isn't that so gross!?! Hopefully, this public declaration will give me the rocket up my arse I need to stop- I have tried it all, hypnotherapy, the yucky tasting polishes, I think it's time for mind over matter!!!
RC: Have the last few months shifted your perspective on what’s important?
SP: It is such a cliche but absolutely. I spent a lot of last years working away from home in Singapore and although it was an amazing experience it was very lonely. That experience and the total contrast of coming back to my partner and being together 24/7 through this pandemic has given me the opportunity to reconnect with my values- which is now what I share with my clients. It has also shown me that there are no, no risk options. Whether you decide to change something in your life or not you are taking a risk and the risk of not changing could be even greater than making a change.
We will be talking to Vicky further over the coming weeks so be sure to tune in and if this speaks to you head on over to her Instagram and get in touch.