About me...the short story!


My name is Jackie Smith and you can read the whole story of my serial job changing, corporate career hating, confidence kicking, sort of – well, just failing – previous life here on my full about me page.

But we’re here to build your business and there’s no time to waste, so I’ve created a shorter version that’ll give you some background on why I’m here to help you find success in business and how I got here. Plus how I can help you get here too. 

To cut a long story really short, I tried and failed to launch ten businesses in the past.

And if there is one lesson those failures taught me, it’s what not to do

Now I know what to do and I want to share it with you, because I was once where you are now. 

I want to help you design your perfect business around who you are and how you want to live your life, because I have learned there is a simple formula for getting it right first time. 

Believe me when I say I know I how you feel

My quest for happiness at work caused me endless stress and upset over the years. I was never work shy, in fact I’ve worked for over 40 years, right since my first Saturday job at 14. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go to work, or even that I was a bit lazy, as some of those close to me assumed (cue arguments galore…)

The truth is that I was something of a tortured creative soul who was spending hours searching the job sites for a role that simply didn’t exist. And back then I didn’t realise I could create it from scratch, on my own terms.

Fast forward many years and many mistakes later, and it has never been so clear that the perfect career will never exist in a building with your start and finish time appointed by others, for 40-odd hours of your life each week, the whole of it spent counting down to the weekend or if you’re really lucky, the Holy Grail – a Bank Holiday that means four whole days to spend however you choose.

What a luxury eh? Of course there’s your annual leave; 30 days a year, if you’re lucky, when you can be absent and temporarily relieved of your responsibilities, so long as your manager agrees. 

This was the bit I like to call ‘my rubbish corporate career’ stage. 

Working Monday to Friday for 35 years, averaging almost a job a year aside from a ten year stint in the RAF which I loved, most roles never progressed up that ‘ladder’ because they never quite fit me properly. 

Like wearing shoes half a size too small, I always felt just a bit uncomfortable most of the time. 

I was a worker bee, never earning more than £18k per year. I wasn’t the high earner who left to go it alone that I read about in business books.

Every time I changed jobs, it was with the best intentions for this one to be The One. Only they never were. 

Eventually I realised that the job wasn’t the problem. The problem was me. If I was ever going to feel settled in my career – and my life – I needed to leave the rat race and do my own thing. 

From there, years of learning, failing and picking myself back up stood between me and the success I eventually found in discovering how to teach people to build a living that stirs their soul. 

I learned three huge things were standing in my way (and none of them were about money…)

  1. Lack of commitment to change and lack of willingness to alter your course as you go
  2. Failing to decide what you want first, committing your soul to it, then taking steps to get there
  3. Nothing is ever perfect to begin with. Just start and then getting better

No one ever starts with a perfectly formed idea right out of the box. Everyone, without exception starts at first base and then moves forward one step at a time. 

Even the greatest entrepreneurs of our time began at the beginning.

So I began to founder businesses. Some alone, some with my husband, all of them failing eventually.


Because I was still listening to the passion brigade. The ones who say ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’. 

That’s all well and good but what if there are no clients for that passion project? With no clients comes no income and with no income ultimately comes failure. The formula behind a business idea is so much more than passion + hard work = success. 

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to. My journey can be your opportunity. 

If you’re still on that slow boat to job hell and what I have said resonates, I’d like to help you create your perfect business the same way I created mine. 

I was lost and desperate to earn a living when I found the career coaching that eventually brought me here. 

It was like a lightbulb had gone off in my head. I finally felt ‘at home’. 

I’m a Life First, Work Second career coach now©

Years spent in the same position as you are now means there is nobody more qualified to know how it feels to fail – and how amazing it feels to succeed. 

I’ve learned how to see the bigger picture and connect the dots between what you love to do and what will earn you money and let you leave the job that sucks the life out of you behind. 

The Life First - Work Second approach has taught me that there is another way of looking at work and life and how the two can be successfully woven into your own successful life and business. You don’t have to choose one or the other. 

There’s no such thing as failure – only lessons.

I’ve learnt the lessons for you.

So, are you ready to go from sofa to startup now? 

Click here to find out more about how to start right now!