A Morpeth business coach is putting her experiences as a championship runner to help a business encouraging women to run.
Linda Lowther, who was a top class runner in her youth, now runs Advice 4 Business (A4B NE) in Morpeth’s Sanderson Arcade.
As a teenager, Linda represented Northumberland County and her local athletics district at 800m and 1500m events, as well as netball as goal shooter, having a successful trial in netball with the England Under 21 team before a medical condition prevented her from fulfilling her dream of representing her country in sport.
Linda said: “I was working as an apprentice in a well-known Newcastle hairdressers and I found that I was suffering from asthma due to a hair allergy. Basically, it was either the athletics or the job.
“I chose my career, but if I’d known then what I know now, perhaps things would be different.
“I see businesses all the time who have taken the wrong path in business or made a decision that they regret. With the benefit of advice, coaching and feedback, utilising my wealth of experience, I help turn businesses around or set them on a more positive course.”
Linda entered the retail world, working up to senior management positions for major players in the fashion industry, wine trade and restaurant businesses.
The skills she learnt during her varied career have now helped her to advise her clients, and while judging a Dragon’s Den style competition at an Entrepreneurs’ Forum event, her attention was caught by Cramlington mum Kim Scott, who had started These Girls Can Run for women who felt uncomfortable running alone on the streets.
Kim said: “Linda has given me some fantastic advice and mentoring.
“Fear has always had me back a little bit in my business and Linda stepped in and helped me at a time when quite honestly, I was ready to walk away. She has helped me make a business plan and she’s always accessible either by phone or in person”
Thanks to Linda’s advice, Kim now has 12 groups in the region from Morpeth, Bedlington and Cramlington in Northumberland to Newcastle, Wallsend, Killingworth and Whitley Bay in North Tyneside and Darlington.
Linda said: “Business can be like running a race. You need to pace yourself as many new businesses make fundamental mistakes because they are so eager to get started.
“It’s always wise to research the route ahead and recognise when things aren’t going well. It’s rather like running into the famous ‘wall’ during a marathon.
“Also, when people go running, it’s often easier with someone running alongside you offering support and encouragement. That’s what I do best by passing on my wealth of knowledge and skills to other business owners so that we get to the finish line together.”