Advice From Our Community

What really makes you happy

What really makes you happy

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Lianne Weaver gave up a lucrative business in 2010 to focus on understanding what made her happy. Now running BEAM Holistic Therapy in South Wales, read her story here.


Until I reached 30 I spent much of my life pleasing others and doing what I thought was expected of me. I raced through my 20s focussing upon achieving one thing after another as if there was a time limit on it. It was not until I reached 30 that I stopped and realised that I had spent a decade or more of my life ticking off an invisible checklist of what I thought I needed to do to be a ‘grown up’ and more importantly to be happy.


I had flown through my 20s ticking them off left, right and centre. Getting a degree, getting a job, being promoted, completing a post grad, getting married, having a child, buying a house, buying a bigger house and so on. When I reflected, I realised many of the choices I had made were either to please others and / or because they seemed like the sensible thing to do.


As I entered 2010, I realised I was in a relationship which was not healthy, I had a bookkeeping and accountancy practice but I hated bookkeeping and accountancy, I was often unwell, I had a lot of negativity around me and, most of all, I had no idea who I really was.


As I left 2010, I had made the painful decision to essentially leave my life, taking just my daughter and my dog, and start again. From the outside, people thought I had gone crazy. I had worked so hard to create the life I was in but I knew that I could no longer continue wearing masks and feeling like I was living a lie. I cannot say any of this was easy - it was one of the most difficult periods of my life with a great deal of stress, anxiety, sadness and worry. But I knew I needed to work out what made me happy, if not for myself, then certainly to set a positive example for my daughter.


Working out what made me happy may sound simple but for me, it was like getting to know myself all over again. I made a very innocent pledge to myself one day which helped me to do this. I pledged that I would do one thing every day that made me happy, even if only for five minutes.


This pledge allowed me to not feel guilty about spending time on myself. It allowed me to reconnect with people, with music, activities, food and more that made me feel good.


Part of that was working out how I wanted to make a living. Having done a degree in Educational Psychology, I remembered how much I used to love helping others, and decided to go back to college to complete some holistic therapy courses. I began with courses like Reiki, Crystal Healing and Indian Head massage and soon decided to rent a room to start offering my services. I quickly had two realisations. One was that I was happiest when helping others through talking, so I continued studying and completed qualifications in NLP, hypnotherapy, coaching, EFT and more and the other was that if I could talk in front of larger groups of people I would be able to help more people at the same time.

Within the first year of trading, I had built up a regular client base of one to one appointments but had also started writing wellbeing courses. I not only delivered these at weekends to members of the public, but I also took them into companies.


Eight years later, the business has grown considerably and now employs two members of staff, as well as working with a number of consultants. Most of my time is now spent writing and delivering unique wellbeing training content for companies across the UK with a simple mission of helping others to feel happier and healthier. Whilst the feedback is amazing about the content I deliver, I commonly receive the feedback that people buy into the training because I deliver it with such passion and authenticity.

Over the last ten years, my quest for my own happiness has become my driver for virtually every decision I make, whether at work or at home. Of course, there are things in my life that do not make me happy - who wants to iron, or clean the kitchen floor?! But I am constantly aware of working on the balance. One question I like to ask myself is “Does this nourish or deplete me?” Many of life’s tasks will deplete us - even some of the people in our life will. But if I am aware of needing to address the balance with nourishing tasks, people or places then it means I am making sure I am choosing the right things for me.


As for running a business, I have found that focussing upon the aspects of work which make me happy has enabled me to use my strengths. Last year, my business reached a point where I knew I had to decide if I was going to continue managing the business or if I wanted to continue to deliver the training. It was a simple choice for me as delivering training is when I am at my happiest. So I made the decision to take on a Head of Operations who runs all the day to day activities of the business, leaving me free to do what I do best and where I am my happiest.


Whether training, offering therapy or chatting with friends I now regularly urge people to ask themselves “What makes me happy?” and to follow that as frequently as they can.


Lianne Weaver runs BEAM Holistic Therapy in Newport, South Wales:


  • The It’s About Time series of blogs and articles is designed to inspire, inform and educate through the stories of women (and men) who are finding their own routes to professional and personal success. It is put together by Gemma Collins, NatWest Cymru’s business growth enabler for Cardiff. It’s About Time is an initiative developed by NatWest Cymru in conjunction with Darwin Gray Solicitors, the University of South Wales (USW) and the Federation of Small Businesses. Research carried out by USW showed that women in business mentioned ‘time’ as a major factor in their lives – whether literally never having enough of it, or finding the right time to launch a business, and the right time to grow a business.


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