Exchanging Big Ideas

The Evening Standard profiled a few of us who hang around MidTown (that’s Holborn to the Old Schoolers) and who do interesting things. A few of us are also involved in The Big Ideas Exchange, a series of events focusing on how we work in the strange, fractured world we live in. The events, held in conjunction with The School of Life, runs through to next February. You can read the full article, in which I’m creatively labelled an Ideapreneur, here and click through to read my profile.



Gaylene Gould, 45

A “CLASSIC portfolio career” is how The School of Life’s Gaylene Gould describes her work: “I work with many things I love including writing, consulting, broadcasting and coaching.” A typical day could involve a morning of meditation and writing “however much time I can get on this” — before running a coaching session with a solo entrepreneur or business person.

“People come to me to talk through difficulties they might be having, or get issues off their chest. I also teach classes at The School of Life on subjects ranging from how to keep calm at work or choosing a good business partner.” Solo entrepreneurs are the future, thanks to our economy forcing many people to rethink their careers. “The recession has accelerated entrepreneurism: it’s the largest growing area of the economy. It’s also a fantastic, exhausting journey, but one that isn’t quite understood enough.”

Gould believes that being an entrepreneur requires a particular set of skills. As well as having creative ideas, being financially astute is key. Not everybody is as versatile as they need to be when starting their own businesses. Gould reflects that small business owners and entrepreneurs can find it difficult to be mindful: “We have to consider our limitations because we often overwork. We have to remind ourselves to take holidays and not keep going until we burn out.”

When Gould wants to take time out, she likes to visit the Foundling Museum in Midtown. “It’s an incredibly precious museum, perfect for contemplation.”



“I’m thinking about how everybody has to think more entrepreneurially. It’s not enough just to exist in our own spheres any more, we have to reach out and make partnerships with other people and professions. We need to make sure all our skills are used, so we have to work together to create. Writers will work with technologists and artists might work with property developers, for example. Arts and sciences are getting closer and we need to embrace that.”


Gaylene Gould is leading the Work: Love It or Hate It? talk at AECOM on 4 February.


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