Friday, 2 November 2018

CONNIE MCLAUGHLIN - BEHAVIOUR AND PERFORMANCE CONSULTANT

Meet Connie Mclaughlin, founder of Inner Buzz, Sports reporter and one of the nation's leading behavioural coaches. Connie has built a successful career as a sports broadcaster working for BT Sport, Sky Sports, ESPN and Bauer Radio and more recently, a behaviour and performance consultant helping sports teams achieve high performance. Connie discusses her career journey, her passion for inspiring others, the importance of listening to your gut and her love for football. 



R: So tell me a bit about where your journey began... 

C: So, I always wanted to become a journalist, to present, to communicate, to share a story with people and I thought the story I wanted to share was about football because that was my main passion and till this day, it’s a massive part of my life.  I love it, it inspires me, it gives me that feeling of when you’re in the moment of something and you really enjoy it. So it seemed like the right thing for me to go into. Anyway, so I went to Napier university and did journalism but I dropped out of university because I was 17, it was too far away from home and it just seemed a very long way away from Glasgow where I lived – when I look back on it now, it was ridiculous but at 17, it just seemed to far.

R: So, did not going to university affect your career in later life at all? I think sometimes young people can be a bit torn between whether they should or shouldn’t go to university..
C: I actually didn’t realise what an opportunity I had because I ended up going to university in Glasgow and I studied psychology – My plan was that I was going to do journalism at a later date – So I would do the social science degree for a few years and then transfer back into journalism but the course was postponed for a couple of years so I just continued with the psychology side of my degree.

R: That must’ve been frustrating, stopping and starting like that especially when you knew what you wanted to do.

C: Yeah, I ended up doing a postgrad in broadcast journalism a few years later and things kind of worked out because I ended up doing local radio, I also got some of the larger football clubs in Scotland then the national team and teams all around the world – So on paper I had a fantastic job as a journalist and I was very happy with what I was doing – getting to do radio and television.

R: And how did your career progress from there because it seems like you had a lot of options in terms where you could work.

C: Some years later, I got a job at sky sports and I had a moment of realisation where I felt like I wasn’t really doing what I wanted to do – I had a bit of inner conflict and that led me down a path of meditation. A friend of mine was going to meditation classes and she said to me, you should come along to this class, so I went and that’s how I got into that. Alongside meditation, I read a book called the secret and it changed things for me in the space of a few weeks – in terms of me thinking about something else.

R: It’s interesting isn’t that sometimes when we look inward and do things that help us connect with ourselves, we realise a lot of things about ourselves..

C: Yeah definitely and as a result of doing those things, I went from working for Sky to thinking there’s a bigger picture – I wanted to help and inspire people to make the change that I made and that’s kind of where Inner Buzz came from. I actually went to uni again to do another masters in leadership, innovation and coaching and if I’m honest, my previous degrees gave me a good grounding in terms of understanding how people behaved and how the mind works.

R: That’s so inspiring and it makes me think - how things sometimes don’t make sense initially and then the pieces of the puzzle just slowly come together.

C: Yeah it’s like everything just comes together eventually and makes so much sense.

R: So where are you at now?

C:  I’ve been running the Inner Buzz for a few years now and I work with football clubs, with organisations to help them – the individuals, the teams to improve their performance, using distant behavioural coaching techniques, cohesion, self-leadership and mental conditioning – so yeah that’s what I do now.

R: That’s so interesting! So since having the business, is presenting something you don’t do anymore?

C: So I still do presenting for BTsport on a Saturday because I love football so I get to do two things that I love – it all just ties in nicely.

R: And how do you manage working and running your own business?

C: So the business takes up the majority of my time and the Saturday work I do for BTsport is almost like exercising a passion and its great to do, it keeps me in a business that I enjoy and love - running the business is my main profession so when I go to work on Saturday, it doesn’t really feel like work. It’s good fun and keeps me visible from the point of view of attracting new clients.  

R: Yeah when you do something you enjoy, it never really feels like work or something you have to do.

C: Yeah and to be honest, the stuff that I do for Inner Buzz doesn’t really feel like work either because it feels like something that I should be doing, you know. I mean, the day to day running of the business can be a challenge especially when you’re doing it on your own and trying to continually grow – it kinda feels like you have to be the jack of all trades but one thing I have realised and something I wish I’d known earlier is that you can’t do everything and finding the right people to collaborate with and share things with is really really important if you wanted to build your business.

R: It’s all about balance isn’t without balance things can get a bit overwhelming.

C: Definitely all about balance!

R: So what is your favourite thing about what you do and what is your least favourite thing?

C: I love delivering to clients and feeling like I’ve actually made an impact on someone’s life – that for me, is absolutely priceless. I’m also lucky that I have a successful business that supports the lifestyle that I have but helping people is definitely the best thing because you can’t buy that. My least favourite thing is the processes involved in running a business so the day to day keeping up to date with expenses, emails and all that sort of stuff but I have someone to help me keep track of all that stuff – you can’t be good at everything.

R: So tell me, who inspires you?

C: There’s two people that probably inspire me the most. The first one is my mum, she is a very early female entrepreneur, she started her own business 25 years ago – she did it in quite difficult circumstances, she was on her own with me and my brothers so she had to manage running her business and raising children and she’s built up success from it all so for me she is a real inspiration in terms of really going for something and knowing that you’ve got a goal in your mind and nothing can stop you from achieving it – so yeah she is a real inspiration for me. My other inspiration is Oprah – she is super cool and I just love her energy, I love how she just doesn’t see any boundaries with stuff. I personally believe that if you want to do something then there’s always a way, that’s one of my mottos. If you feel passionate and strongly enough about something you should do it especially if there’s a good intention behind it.  

R: Both amazing women indeed. That actually brings me onto my next question which is what does success mean to you?

C: Success is being in alignment with my purpose and that means being allowed to share the message that I think I’ve learned so far – sharing things and inspiring other people to feel empowered enough to do the things they want to do. I love nice things but I think the environment you live in, the people around you, the connections you make, trying to do the things that catapult you to that purpose are all important and they support that purpose.

R: And what is one thing you would say to your younger self?

C: I would say, stop worrying – let go of the fear. Things will happen the way they want to happen – surrender to this process and trust it. To be honest, I would tell myself this today.
R: Yeah I think I would tell myself that right now.

C: It’s so easy to say it but to live it is a different story but if you ease yourself into that mindset and surrender to it – If you’re not dead then you still have a chance of doing whatever it is you are trying to do.

R: That is very true and great advice. What advice would you give to young people building their careers?


C: The advice that I would give no matter what age you are is that whole thing about listening to your gut, listening to yourself – call it your higher self, your gut instinct or your inner voice.. whatever it may be – that little voice that is within you knows the right answers and it is an indication of what we need to know - You should listen to it and trust it. I genuinely believe if you trust that feeling and your wisdom, you will never go wrong. 
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