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Kerry Curl: The Power of Flexibility; How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic

You really can do or be anything you want to do, and at any age. The goal is to follow what excites you, the money will follow.

The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kerry Curl.

Kerry Curl is the Founder of Kerry Curl Coaching — a coach who specialises in the exact strategy to drive better quality wedding bookings and increase quantity. Kerry’s passion is helping bridal hair and makeup artists who are overwhelmed by the sales and marketing that is needed to build their wedding business.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

When I look back on my childhood the word that comes to mind the most is ‘Poor’

I was born in Sheffield, England in the early 80’s, we lived in a 2 bedroom council flat with my mum, my dad and my younger brother.

I remember it being really tough, there was definitely the sense of strict hand to mouth financially, then things got worse when my dad lost his job in the steel industry when it all collapsed — as did many others.

So my parents made the decision to move us down to Cambridge where my mum was originally from.

We immediately stuck out like a sore thumb, we arrived on a council estate in a village where others had seemingly good jobs, own homes and plenty of money.

I was the child in the school photo who stood out because I wasn’t in school uniform. My parents just couldn’t afford it.

I also remember the embarrassment of being the only one in the classroom to have both parents on state benefits, collecting meal vouchers at lunch time for a free school meal.

Although we might not have had a lot, what we didnt have in money — we made up for with fun!

My dad was and still is my biggest hero — how he put up with us continuously hiding his slippers as naughty children I’ll never know!

We were also the last family in the village to install a phone line into our house, my friends all did star jumps when we could finally afford it — and I’ve never stopped talking on it ever since!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

When I was younger a career advisor said to me, ‘Who do you want to be when you leave high school’?

At the time I really didn’t have one straight answer, one side of me wanted to go into hairdressing then the other side- legal, how could I possibly become both a creative and an academic? So unheard of!

She turned around and said to me, ‘Kerry you can do whatever you want to do, there’s no limitations as long as you do the work’’ and it stuck with me.

You really can do or be anything you want to do, and at any age. The goal is to follow what excites you, the money will follow.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Being totally honest, I’m a bit of a newbie with Podcasts, I initially used to thrive on Clubhouse — until I stumbled across an amazing podcast whilst away on holiday. It was from Stu Maclaren ‘ Marketing your business’.

Its all about creating online membership groups. Stu’s intros are so magnetic, you feel like you’re listening to someone you know, and his online business advice is invaluable.

From Stu’s podcast I then got introduced to Amy Portfield — who helps entrepreneurs create online digital courses, the two together are a force of excellence.

Since tuning into them both about 2 years ago, my entire business has pivoted and been transformed.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

I was 10 years deep in a thriving wedding business as a bridal hair and makeup artist.

I’d just purchased a huge salon and was throwing all my income into it.

Brides came before anything I did, and I enjoyed every moment of spending time with brides to make them look and feel beautiful for their special day.

I was well established, the number one spot for my local area and working on scaling my business with a team of pro artists.

To be honest we were killing it between us, demand was at its peak and I was spending 7 days a week serving brides.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

The more I think about it, the more at that point the wheels begin to turn in my head. I needed to take my business online, or at least a big portion of it.

I could see a place where bridal hair and makeup artists could join me to offer them monthly masterclasses, Q+A’s, Challenges, and coaching sessions.

So I reached out to a website designer and started to create my next big project — Kerry Curl Coaching.

I thought to myself, now no one can take away my income again — I’m in full control of my online business, pandemic or no pandemic. The surge of excitement within me became unstoppable.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

There was a period of time that had gone by and I remember thinking, will I ever be able to be safe in my job working in close contact services?

What if another pandemic hits us in say, 5, 10 years. Then what?

Weddings at the time were banned, and In 16 months my business was allowed to reopen for a mere 6 weeks.

It was agony financially and emotionally.

So I contacted another well known makeup artist and asked if she wanted to collaborate and create an online business masterclass for aspiring makeup artists.

We would promote it on social media, ask them to pay a fee and provide them with the answers to topics such as how to get on venue supplier lists, how to increase their bookings and enquiries and it was a real hit!

I enjoyed it so much that it only took me a week or so to decide this was the way forward, without knowing it — I had progressed into my next big career move (my biggest one yet!) so I put my wedding business up for sale and moved forward immediately.

After the sale, I then had plenty of time to pour my heart and soul into it.

Within a matter of months I had created 1–2–1 coaching programmes, a paid membership group and now I’m well on my way to launching digital courses.

In November 2021 I made more income than I had in one season in weddings, all from moving from one side of the market to another.

I have even managed to scale my business down to 4 days a week!

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

During the pandemic I joined a membership group for wedding professionals, it was a game changer for me.

Kelly Mortimer is a well known global wedding sales trainer, and without her encouragement and expertise — I wouldn’t have been able to make the leap so seamlessly.

I believe we should all have a coach or a mentor, it’s no different to an athlete — they rely on the mindset of mentors to get them to the end of the race.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

Working as a bridal hair and makeup artist, I was very visible on my social media. I showed up constantly.

There were times when clients would arrive at my salon and blush, as weird as it sounds out loud — they felt like they were meeting a celebrity, it was very moving for me — for me, I just showed up as myself. To them it was always much more than that.

On another occasion in my coaching business I had this sweet, amazing makeup artist join me on a discovery call. Her face turned crimson and she smiled and said ‘I feel like I’m meeting a celebrity, I’ve been watching you so much recently’.

It’s amazing to think a completely different audience can feel the same as past audiences, that’s the power of visibility.

It’s better than any USP out there, and will make you more money than anything else.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. That we all make mistakes, we are all on a learning journey — forever.
  2. There’s always going to be good days and bad days, the trick is to lay low on the weak days but show up hard and fast on all the others — without broadcasting it to the world.
  3. Competition is important to know, but less important to continuously watch. It will only lead to self sabotage.
  4. Don’t be afraid to fail or let something go, too often we stay in a business or a friendship for far longer than we should.
  5. You’re in control of your own career path, you should be making the decisions — if you have to rely on others to make a move then you’re not fully committed.

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

I’m probably going to sound pretty brutal here — but just switch off the news and live your life.

I dip in and out of it when something interesting happens but you can get too hung up on what you can’t control, and that can impact or derail your thoughts away from your dreams and goals.

I’ve walked more miles across the countryside this past 18 months than I have in my entire life, it’s become a fantastic habit. Just listening to my favourite influencers on Podcasts and getting some fresh air into my lungs is nearly always just what the doctor ordered.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I’d like to inspire more people to just stretch their comfort zones out by 5–10% every single week.

Even if its slow and painful to begin with, you can accomplish so many more things by living just a few steps outside of your usual habits.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Stu Maclaren, he’s an absolute rockstar! He just has this ‘edge’ that I’ve never seen before and I think he’d be really cool to hang out with, I’ve spoken to him online before — he’s a genuine, caring and compassionate person.

How can our readers follow you online?

Follow me at @kerrycurlcoaching or (https://www.facebook.com/KerryCurlCoaching

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerry-curl-wedding-industry-educator%F0%9F%92%A1-73b71ba7/

https://www.instagram.com/kerrycurlcoaching/) visit my website http://www.kerrycurlcoaching.co.uk

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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