On episode 5 of The Phenomenal Career Podcast I sat down with Kat Horrock to explore coaching, female empowerment, and more. Catch the full episode here and enjoy the interview below.
Thank you so much for joining me today. So excited to tuck into your journey. Let’s start off by just hearing about who you are and what you do?
My name is Kat, Kat Horrocks. I am a women’s life and career coach based in Manchester in the UK. My work really stems from my passion for women, particularly supporting women to put themselves first and achieve their goals. I offer one on one coaching and group coaching. I always joke, but it’s true. I get out of bed in the morning to help women put themselves first. So that’s my life’s mission. If I die knowing that I’ve helped women do that, then I’ll be happy.
Did you always know that this would be your mission?
No, so I’ve always worked for myself since I left college. And my first business was makeup, I used to be a bridal makeup artist. I’ve always been a girl’s girl; I’ve always loved connecting with other women. I was often the girl at school who was like, “Ewww boys. I don’t want to play football; I just want to hang out with the girls.” And so that kind of evolved into my own feminism which became a real passion. I’ve always loved connecting one on one with people. So yeah, it’s always been part of who I am. I think by starting my first business, I was able to reflect back on what I loved about that work. What was it that really connected with me? If I hadn’t done all of that, then I wouldn’t have discovered my passion. I also did a lot of soul searching, and a lot of things that I didn’t like and a lot of things I did like in order to kind of connect the dots.
100%. And I think that’s something that I always want to celebrate on this podcast. how did you get from being a makeup artist to be a coach?
For so many women, getting makeup done is for a special occasion. Doing someone’s makeup is very intimate because you rarely get that close to someone if you don’t know them. But I got so comfortable. I’ve had so many conversations with women about their relationships, boy drama or whatever. It’s a lot of communication and a lot of connection.
She might feel confident, she might feel sexy, she might feel, you know, regal, like a perfect princess bride. And so, when it comes to backtracking to what I was saying before about discovering what I didn’t want, a big part of make-up, of course, is working very antisocial hours. And I’ve always been someone who I’ll openly admit is quite selfish with my time. And the reason I became self-employed was that I’m not good at someone else telling me what to do. So, a big attraction for me was having that freedom and flexibility of my own schedule.
I remember I was 18 months in, and the business was just starting to take off and I remember thinking, I love everything about the job itself, apart from the hours and the time. In the back of my mind, I knew I needed to do something else. It was just a case of what that is and when is that going to happen? Originally, when I was at college I wanted to be a therapist, but as I am not good at maths or science, I didn’t think I could get a medical degree. So, throughout this time, I kind of fell into this personal development world. And that became a huge, huge passion. I was watching Marie Forleo, I was listening to podcasts, I was gobbling up all this content and started sharing it with my own audience. I would be talking about makeup one week, and then the next week, I’d be talking about confidence or, self-belief and self-care and realised my clients were engaging more.
when I realised the one-on-one connection, and the support and boosting women up was the part that I loved, and self-development, I actually hired a business coach myself called Jen Canton and we worked together for about six months.
After two or three months of real soul searching and coaching with Jen, we kind of stumbled on this whole concept of helping women put themselves first and what that meant. She then laid out the options for me in terms of how to earn money online – offering a service that helps people achieve that result.
You touched on it before, what have your experiences been with the cross over between coaching, counselling, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy?
Really great question and something that comes up a lot, and I think a lot of people probably wondering about but wouldn’t ask. There is a lot of crossover in terms of the exercises and what you might be asked to do and what you might be asked to explore. But if someone is a therapist, they’ve got a medical licence and they are qualified to work with people, whether that be diagnosing, or treating people who have anxiety, depression, or are struggling in any way with their mental health.
Counsellors will be qualified to deal with that to a certain degree. What coaches can do is work either alongside as a complimentary support. In a really overly simplified way, I use the example of past, present, and future. So, a therapist might be dealing with trauma or PTSD from the past. A coach would focus on your present and your future and ask questions like what are your goals? What do you want to do with your life? How can I support you to take steps forward to achieve enough for yourself?
Many of my clients have been through therapy and have reached a point where they feel really confident getting on top of their anxiety and feel confident and in a position to move forward. I think, with coaching, you have to reach that point for yourself, and no one can tell you what that point is. You’re not in a position where your coach can serve you if you’re not there yet. So that’s a really, really important distinction
Coaching is kind of one of those umbrella terms everyone’s using now and that’s great, but mentoring is very much: I have experience. I am good at what I do, I have a decade’s worth of experience in this field. And I’m going to mentor you and support you and walk you through it. Maybe critiquing you along the way. Coaching in the traditional sense is actually not telling people what to do. As a coach, we believe in the power of asking questions – based on really open-ended, sometimes quite annoying questions that make you think about your life and reflect. Sometimes a client will explicitly ask for advice and, as coaches, we do crossover and cross back again, into that mentor role.
You focus on getting people to put themselves first, why should we do that?
The better you are, the better you feel, the more you give, and that positive, amazing energy bleeds into every area of your life. We’re so hyper-connected on our phones all day, feeling like we have to be switched on constantly. If we’re not on Instagram, if we’re not saying yes to everything, then we’re going to miss out, we’re going to be left behind. We get burnt out and we say yes to too much. And when that happens, we have nothing left. And so the put yourself first message is really about making sure that you 100% you before you then go out into the world. Set aside like an hour to yourself a week. It doesn’t have to be every single day, just small moments.
I love that you highlighted that it doesn’t have to be every day.
It’s this concept that I come up against with clients. That well being is another thing on your to-do list, which is no fun for anyone. It’s supposed to be indulgent, something we look forward to and adds to our day rather than another thing to feel guilty about.
You’ve been doing this entrepreneurial sort of journey. what is it like in Manchester? What should we be checking out?
I am very much a proud Northerner. I think Manchester in particular is a great hub of creativity. The power of small independent artists, independent coffee shops, independent cafes, small restaurants, you know, artists and creative freelancers. All these things that people have poured so much love and time and energy into. The community really gets behind it and like gobbles it up. If there’s a new coffee shop in Manchester, everyone is there checking it out, like ooh, another place to eat avocado on toast. There’s a lot of expansion happening, you can’t really walk down a street without seeing building sites. It is flourishing.
And in terms of what I would recommend as an entrepreneur, one thing I have to shout out is a community-run by one of my really good friends, Holly, which is an online community, based in Manchester. There’s a lot of meet-ups and events and I’ve met so many people, I’ve met so many lifelong friends through it. I’ve got clients from it. It can be a real lifeline when you first sign out because it’s so lonely, just sat at home with your laptop.
I would love to know what’s the biggest lesson from your journey that you’d love to share with us?
I’ve learned this the hard way, but you need to ask for help. I am that person who is like, Oh, just let me do it. I’ll just get on with it myself. And I very much prescribed to that and that really hindered me and hindered my growth, especially in business, but also just in life. It’s not fun, being an island existing. It’s not a weakness to ask for help. It’s not. It doesn’t mean that you’re not independent, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it yourself. Sometimes it just means that you need help, because you can’t do everything. And so, whether that be in business, in terms of reaching out to a community, whether that be in life, like a big growth journey that I’ve gone through my relationship with my partner, we’ve been together for 10 years. I had to learn to ask him for help. Because I was very much like, I am a feminist. I am a modern woman. And it hindered me, and it hindered our relationship because he would ask, why are you struggling so much? Just tell me what I can help you with? And so that’s been a real, real lesson.