Meet Roxanne Hobbs
Founder of The Hobbs Consultancy
The Hobbs Consultancy is transforming business with its learnings on the inclusivity of women in the workplace, and continues to develop and learn with its aim to promote neurodiversity. Here Roxanne shares her inspiring startup story:
Tell us about The Hobbs Consultancy.
The Hobbs Consultancy is on a mission to transform business through inclusivity. We believe creating cultures in which people can show up as themselves, and be valued for that, can step change business. We believe that the world is changed through conversation and so offer coaching, facilitation and public speaking all with the aim of kickstarting those challenging conversations.
What inspired you to start your own business?
When I had my first child, I realised that a successful return to work wouldn’t be just about balance. I needed to feel inspired, motivated and challenged by what I did. I realised that I loved coaching and that there was a huge challenge in the advertising and creative industry — we could attract women, but we couldn’t hold on to them and ensure an upwards career trajectory, particularly after having children. I had been blind to these challenges before i went on maternity leave! I decided that I wanted to focus on supporting women, so I set up The Hobbs Consultancy with the ambition of doing just that. At the start we just focused on transforming business via the inclusivity of women, but have evolved a lot in our thinking since then.
How did you turn your idea into a reality?
That’s such a great question. I just started doing it. I started telling people that’s what I did, and gradually started to get clients and testimonials. Practically, I just put myself out there. I exhibited at the Work & Family show, I emailed all of my contacts and I went in to pitch to some of the media agencies. Gradually, it all started to come together.
What is the most challenging aspect of running your own business?
For me, the most challenging aspect is the headspace I need. I have to wear so many different ‘hats’ — marketing, business development, finance controller and, most crucially, deliver our training and coaching product. And all of this, whilst also dealing with two demanding boys at home!
What do you enjoy most about working for yourself?
I most enjoy the freedom that i gives me. I get to decide when I work and who I work with. I also get to take extended periods of time to be with my family when it’s necessary. Last summer my family all spent a month in the US together whilst I combined mostly holiday with a conference and some training.
What’s your secret to balancing a growing business while raising a family?
I think you need to be patient and also stop the comparison gremlins creeping in. Sometimes you look at other people’s businesses and think that you should be following that trajectory and growing that fast. But this for me has never been about building something quickly to make a fast buck. This is about doing work I love with people that inspire me. As such, if i can keep the comparison gremlins at bay, I can slow down and trust that I’m going at the pace that works for us.
Do you have any top tips for mums for whom self doubt is limiting their business success?
Even the most successful entrepreneurs feel like imposters sometimes, and we also all feel guilty at times. I think mixing and socialising with other people, and if possible Mums, who are running their own businesses is critical. This helps to normalise some of the challenges you are going through. I’m lucky to be a founding member of Flock and the people I’ve met there have been so great and collaborative in their approach.
What’s next for The Hobbs Consultancy?
We are developing a great partnership with Creative Equals — being their key training provider. Creative Equals are trying to step change the gender make up of creative departments in the advertising industry. We deliver their Unconscious Bias training and some of their night school events. We are also beginning to learn about how we can promote neurodiversity in our industry i.e. how can we utilise the great wealth of talents that those on the autistic spectrum can bring in, whilst providing a workplace in which they can thrive.
You can find out more about the work that they do on their website: https://thehobbsconsultancy.com/.