The path to serendipity - Gill's story
Gill Barham grew up in a small English village, south of Exeter in Devon in the 1960s. Her first passion in life was for music, learning classical guitar from the age of eight, performing at school and in an adult choir from the age of sixteen.
After gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree, specialising in singing, Gill met her husband and moved away from the city life into the countryside. Looking for an opportunity whilst her voice matured, she saw an advertisement for new students at her local hospital. She was snapped up by the school of nursing and qualified as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) in 1988. She was sought after for her knowledge, maturity and valued for her empathetic manner with her patients by the heads of the department where she trained, however, instead moved to work in a small community hospital.
Gill combined her career as a nurse with bringing up her first two children, however, made the decision to stay at home when baby number three came along. Throughout their childhood, Gill had a variety of part-time business ventures, all of which allowed her to work from home. These included music tuition, style/wedding makeovers, running a music festival and started to provide help to people who wanted to use more natural remedies to maintain or recover from any medical conditions.
By the time her children were teenagers, Gill was persuaded to take part-time employment with the National Governing Body of Equestrian Sport, through her volunteer role with her youngest daughter’s passion for competing. After five years of working increasingly more hours, Gill found herself in a reduced state of mental and physical health. Attending a regular GP appointment, her lightbulb moment came when her practice nurse suddenly awakened Gill to pay more attention to her health. At this moment, came the realization her symptoms were a carbon copy of her own mother at a similar age. This period motivated Gill to take responsibility for her own health. She decided to take her first steps towards her own healing.
Gill’s business journey started in 2013 when she decided to return to her “nursing” roots. With the support of a friend, she undertook qualifications as a Body Control Pilates Instructor and began her training and education in the field of Functional Nutrition. Initially, this was to assist her own personal recovery and to support the health of her loved ones. However, following her own rapid transformation, it was clear to Gill other women were interested in how she had turned her health around and so came the birth of Gill’s holistic health business “The Renaissance Woman”.
the Jupital had the opportunity to speak with Gill and ask her some questions:
the Jupital: If you were able to start all over again, might you change your career path in any way and why?
“I know the journey I have been on since the beginning of my work in the well-being field has influenced and moulded the way in which I now organise, deliver and communicate my message. I have come to realise the power of being able to inspire and educate others in being authentic, experienced and genuine. In other words, “walking my talk” and everything I have encountered and continued to encounter informs and transform myself enabling to transform other people’s lives.”
the Jupital: What do you find most enjoyable about working at “The Lifestyle Leader”?
“It’s all about results! I love to witness the transformations in the health and well-being of my clients and celebrate every small step towards a life of vitality and contentment. I meet amazing people and get to spend time with so many inspirational individuals, which are creating a better world, in whatever field they are working in.”
the Jupital: You have definitely achieved a vast amount of great things in your life! Well done! What is your most important professional achievement to date?
“Being nominated for the honourary doctorate was special as this was in recognition for empowering women towards a better life. It is humbling to be seen as a global peace ambassador.”
the Jupital: If someone was keen to get into the field you are in, what three tips might you offer to get one started?
“1) Find a good mentor or better still mentors.
2) Follow your heart and do what you are passionate about.
3) Tell your own story to inspire others.”
In 2016, Gill went through an intense re-branding exercise, which gave her more clarity about her key values, her focus in terms of programmes and practices and her target audience. At this point, she changed the business name from “The Renaissance Woman” to “The Lifestyle Leader”. Gill identified she was committed to offering a holistic approach to well-being – building health, providing workshops, talks and coaching to busy, often high achieving women, who have much to offer, yet, needed to learn how to nurture themselves. Much of her work turned towards addressing the global health trends as well.
Gill’s business The Lifestyle Leader.
At this point, she met the creator of Radio W.O.R.K.S. World™, the global news platform, Dr. Marina Nani, undertook her first radio shows and became the Co-Author of the book, Great Conversations with Gill Barham. She was awarded an international speaker award in 2016.
All of her knowledge and study was then incorporated into her own publication “The Heart of A Woman – How to look after the heart you give to the world” which was launched at Bafta, in December 2016 in London. This book is an interactive and educational tool for any woman who wants to know the secrets to living a life of balance and joy.
Alongside her coaching and speaking, Gill has completed her first series as the host of the show “Light-hearted Conversations”, This series of interviews are now transcribed into a commissioned book released in November 19th 2017; “Your Heart Matters, Light-hearted Conversations with People of Significance”, Gill has chosen the top 50 interviews to include in this book which aims to be part of a project to raise awareness of how everyone has the potential to step and stand out for what they believe in.
This article and interview featured in The Jupital in November 2017.
Since the interview, Gill has contributed to 4 other books; became the first associate broadcast presenter of BYPTV with her show The Vitality Hour, and is a contributing editor to Sovereign Magazine, President of Rich Woman and regularly speaks and emcees at events in the UK and abroad.
To book Gill for one of your events or to enquire about appearing on her show please complete the form below.
Gill has a passion for working with philanthropic, entrepreneurial women and those that are looking to make meaningful connections into their golden years. You can book to connect with Gill by enjoying some exclusive time at a Rich Afternoon Tea