Silvia Ortiz

Simon helped me enormously when I took the most important step in my career. I might have got there eventually, but it would have taken far longer and would have been much scarier than it was. With his help, this has been a very exciting experience.

When I met Simon, I had reached a point in my career where I was enjoying very much what I was doing, but didn't see any opportunities for progress within my company and couldn't see myself doing the same job in 5 years time. I had drifted into my career a couple of decades earlier, liked it, and never looked back. However, having passed my mid-Forties, I thought that it was really time to stop drifting into things, find out what I wanted to do when I grew up and do it!

I had been playing with the idea of starting my own business or working freelance for a while, but found the prospect terrifying and didn't feel I had the right qualities to do it. Simon helped me look beyond my fear and accept that this was what I really wanted and nothing else would do. I would never be satisfied with another job within a corporation: I would still have to deal with the inevitable company politics I disliked so intensely. I also realised that I wanted to build something myself, however small this something might turn out to be, and how important this was to me.

Once the decision was made, Simon held my hand as I struggled with the challenge of writing a business plan, reminded me constantly of my skills and what makes me stand out from others in my line of business, and kept my focus firmly where it needed to be at every step of the way.

As I write this, I am going through the first month of freelance work and he is still at my side, keeping me grounded and not allowing me to "forget" to put my marketing plan in practice as I get distracted by the first jobs coming my way.

I found Simon's human warmth, obvious passion for what he does, unlimited interest in people, and enthusiastic encouragement to be the best catalyst in the world: it enabled me to take a step back and look at myself and my life from different angles, see what I have to offer, and realise that there are many options open to me.

I will finish by adding that my experience with Simon was extremely liberating: for the first time in my life, he made me see all the opportunities open to me instead of the closed doors I used to see before I met him. This alone is priceless.

Silvia Ortiz Nin

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