It must have been one of the hottest days of the summer, when I met up with Bonny Prim to interview her for this blog.
Having first met Bonny at a networking meeting many years ago, when I was running a completely different business and her still in the corporate world, it was fascinating to take the time and hear her story.
From wanting to be a nurse to discovering her passion and everything in between, it was a joy to interview her.
I hope you can find a moment in your day to pop your feet up and read her fascinating story.
Bonny, I would love for you to share just a little of your story, and how you first became fascinated with health and wellbeing.
When I left school, I applied to be a psychiatric nurse, and was accepted into nursing college.
The reality however was that they deferred my start date, so I needed to find a job whilst I waited for my place.
18 months later and I was still waiting. I’d been a Matron in a private school, and then joined the corporate world of work. Life had changed and I had grown accustomed to having a wage. I had a car, and some financial security.
The thought then of becoming a penniless student even though it was something I wanted to do wasn’t appealing. So, I decided to shelve my dream of becoming a nurse and pursued my corporate career instead.
My interest in health and wellness never left me though. Whilst I was a school Matron, I did some self-study and trained to be a counsellor, and in the years that followed I went on to train as a weight loss and nutrition expert.
This was prompted by the struggles I had had with own weight, having developed some underlying gynaecological conditions.
I remember going to see my GP. I’d hit rock bottom and didn’t know what else to do. I was hardly eating anything and exercising 5 times a week, yet the weight wasn’t shifting.
I was fortunate that my GP took me seriously and was enormously helpful when it came to teach me about nutrition.
I started to lose weight and make more healthier choices and would often get asked what diet I was on. The fact was I wasn’t on a diet, I was simply eating a well balanced one.
Training to become a weight loss and nutrition expert meant I could help others, although it was mostly family and friends at first.
Following years of problems, in 2013 I underwent major gynaecological surgery, and leading it up to it I wanted to prepare myself both physically and emotionally, and I started practicing yoga and meditation.
The surgery itself was far more invasive than originally planned, and I had 6 months off work to recuperate.
During this time, I continued to meditate and look after myself, and it was probably then that I had my moment of clarity.
I’d had the time to reflect and to think about what it was that I really wanted to do.
Work was becoming a struggle. I wasn’t sleeping properly due to stress. I was taking sleeping tablets to help me sleep and drinking coffee to keep me awake, and it wasn’t until I was away from the situation that I could really see it for what it was.
Although I was working in the corporate world, I had probably been coaching people for 20 + years, something that I excelled at and loved doing. I started my training to become a certified life coach and nutritional therapist whilst I was on sick leave. They seemed to complement me, my skills and each other.
Reluctantly, I went back to work in 2014, and it has taken me until now to realise the dream of running my own business full time.
I worked my job and ran my business as a side hustle for 5 years. It was hard, although I think harder to make the leap. Luckily for me I was made redundant, because if I hadn’t been, I honestly don’t know when I would have made that transition, or whether I would have been brave enough to.
I don’t regret my time in the corporate world. The confidence I have talking in front of people has come from the experience and training I have received over the years. It hasn’t been time wasted, in fact it has taught me a lot about how to manage my business, and I believe everything happens for a reason, and now it’s my time to pursue my own thing.
Was it always your dream to start up your own business and has it lived up to expectations so far?
I think I always wanted to work for myself, although years ago I simply didn’t know what I wanted to do.
I toyed with lots of ideas, but nothing really stuck. Nothing took hold or resonated with me where I was passionate enough to do it.
I have always helped people in whatever work I’ve done. Seeing the transformation my clients go through, and the benefits they get from all that I offer now, whether its from yoga, nutritional therapy, or life coaching, it’s wonderful. To see them get something from it, and to help them to feel better about themselves, it’s all about the people for me, I just love being able to help.
Has it lived up to expectations? I have to say I’ve had to be jack of all trades. I didn’t go into business to be a web designer or marketeer, and as a small business owner you find yourself sat in front of your computer for hours on end trying to work it all out.
I do what I do to help people, so the hardest thing has been trying to get that balance of doing what I love and achieve all the back-office stuff.
There are times when it can be difficult to focus on just one thing, as there is never just one idea or one job that needs doing. I’m about to run a Women’s Well-Being Day retreat, and start training to be a PE Teacher, there’s never enough hours in the day.
I’ve heard you speak passionately about your business at networking meetings and I’ve recently joined your yoga class. You always look completely at ease, like you have discovered your true purpose, and are being truly you.
What would you say to someone who may be feeling stuck or not yet found their purpose, and looking to make changes in their life?
I would say find something that brings you joy and motivates you to get up in the morning.
There’s nothing worse than dreading Sunday night, with work looming over you. Having that fear or sense of dread, tells me you’re probably not in the right place, or doing what you love.
To help you find the right thing, having some life or career coaching is a great place to start.
I often hear from my clients that they knew something needed to change but didn’t know what it was, only that they had a gut feeling that something needed to shift.
It’s tough though, because we have so much going in our lives. Responsibilities, money, health, how do you know which one of those things is giving you that feeling?
I would say you don’t always have to go into a coaching environment with a definite goal. Sometimes just having an awareness that change needs to happen can be enough.
From that point work can be done to unravel and identify what area of a person’s life they feel needs to change or are dissatisfied with.
Feeling stuck, you can become blinkered and I love being able to help people see more clearly and move forward in their lives or discover their purpose.
You spend a lot of time helping others to give back to themselves, how do you give back to yourself?
I meditate and I try and fit in my own yoga practice. Although I find its often easier to attend a class, I’m more likely to do it then, and not fill the time doing something else.
I always keep weekends free. My husband works away during the week, so weekends are precious time for friends and family.
Also, since becoming self-employed, there have been times when I’ve felt as though I’ve been working harder than I ever did in my 9-5 job, so I now take a day during the week for me.
Whether I go to the gym, take a walk, or meet up with friends, it’s a day to top-up on self-care. This is something that I advocate to all my clients and need myself so that I can give to others without feeling depleted.
Which fascinating women have inspired you throughout your life and your business?
I feel extremely lucky to have grown up with some fiercely strong women in my family. They have certainly made an impression on me and my work ethic, and for that I am grateful.
In terms of business, through networking I’ve met some amazing people.
I’ve known Carol Aplin, the founder of Pink & Green Skincare for a long time. I used to see her for beauty treatments when she was a practicing beauty therapist.
I remember talking to her years ago about how I wanted to do something different, only I didn’t know what, and she would always be encouraging and believed that I would find my thing.
Without even knowing I was going to be made redundant, I remember saying to her “in a years’ time I’m going to do something” and it happened.
Having the support of someone like Carol, to meet up with and to bounce ideas off has been amazing. Her journey is fascinating and it’s lovely to have been part of it.
What are your top tips to leading a fulfilled and happy life?
I would have to say the following;
Keep life simple.
Do what you love.
Be kind to others and yourself
And lastly, give what you can when you can.
Negativity breeds negativity, so surround yourself with people who will help you be the very best you can be, rather than take you down with them.
If you would like to find out more about Bonny and her work as a Health & Wellbeing Coach, hop on over to her website.
I hope you enjoyed taking a moment to read this blog, and I can’t wait to bring you the next in this series of interviews next month.
Until next time, be truly you!