Vanessa Vanderhoek got her start as a leading workplace flexibility consultant doing freelance work coaching women who were returning to work after having children. But Vanessa knew her passions were bigger. She wanted to address the structural issues that made becoming a working mother difficult, and the way to do that wasn’t coaching employees. It was teaching businesses how to become flexible workplaces in a way that was both practical and profitable.
So she started The FlexAgility Group to do just that. Vanessa believes that flexibility isn’t just an accommodation for employees; it’s a competitive edge for the business. FlexAgility partners with companies to change them into flexible and agile workplaces.
“It was a classic pivot. I was coaching women returning to work and realised that the way to address the big societal issues was to focus on helping businesses make flexible work a reality. So I changed tactics.”
Before she made her pivot, there are three things Vanessa wishes she had known:
- Marketing is essential.
- Good enough is good enough – perfectionism is a business killer.
- You have to learn to love uncertainty.
For anyone thinking of starting their own business, Vanessa’s advice is to spend the time planning before you take the leap.
Vanessa knows that a business owner has to adaptable, courageous and resilient, and she advises brushing up on your knowledge of finance and intellectual property too.
Vanessa loves running a business, because she can innovate and always feel that she’s making real contributions to the world.
Vanessa’s favourite entrepreneur is Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group.
“He takes risks, values people, and he’s trying hard to improve the planet for future generations.”
Why does Vanessa love HerBusiness?
As a coach and consultant, Vanessa knows how important it is to have a good mentor. She loves the mentoring and networking aspects of being a Premium Member and the invaluable access to lots of resources and marketing expertise!
This post was authored by Sophie Grosserode. Sophie is completing a journalism internship with HerBusiness. She studies journalism and media at the University of Tennessee in the United States.