Hi, I’m Jacq, and this is how I came to be coaching musicians.
I was taking courses in songwriting and as a result, I began meeting lots of artists, musicians and songwriters who needed help confidently talking about what they do. But let me tell you what lead up to that.
My entire career had been working in corporate organisations, selling software, services and IT solutions. There was a lot of pressure, stress and many long hours driving around the UK to client meetings. For a long time, I loved it; I loved working with clients, I loved presenting, educating and evangelising about our innovative technology – I was good at it.
But after 25+ years, I was tired and didn’t know what was wrong. My life seemed to be falling apart. My 16 year relationship was over. And then I got a strange symptom that lead me to go to see a doctor. The bombshell news was that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was 2010, I was exhausted, sick and single. I had a mastectomy and breast reconstruction in the same 9 hour surgery and my amazing medical team put me back together.
Ironically, I was due to run the ‘Race for Life’ the weekend I had surgery. I decided that instead, I’d do a sponsored ‘lying down’ as I’d be in surgery and recovery for some time. Within 48 hours I’d raised £2000 or Breast Cancer Care.
Almost four years later I wasn’t doing so good. I was exhausted and stressed and… about to be made redundant. Again.
About the same time I was exiting my job, close to a breakdown and exhausted beyond belief I started to work with a life coach. I’d really run out of steam and needed to work through my ‘stuff’. I just didn’t know what to do any more. We worked on deeply buried emotions, trauma, stress and limiting beliefs that had lead me to this point in my life. That was the start of my real healing journey, from the inside out.
I took a role in a professional services firm coaching on bid strategy, pitching and presenting.
It was a very different culture and I felt very grateful to be able to change direction at my stage of life. I was there one week and I found a solid lump under my arm, the same side as before. I was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer in the reconstructed breast. I then had an absence of 15 months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments and recovery.
My ‘inner’ healing continued, working my coach, going on some very esoteric journeys, learning about energy, universal laws, spiritual concepts and teachings. I did a course in unified physics with the Resonance Foundation. I worked with shaman, healers, any wild and wonderful alternative treatments that I thought might help. I had a thirst for knowledge and read book after book, scoured the internet and all the time I was off sick, I stimulated my mind with online courses I could do when I felt up to it.
After two bouts of breast cancer, I concluded that I desperately needed some creativity in my life. It was about to be my birthday and I would be home, alone, as everyone I’d want to spend my birthday with, would be at work during the day. So, feeling very wobbly, bald from the chemo and bloated from all the drugs I was on – I searched for something fun I could do without tiring myself too much. I found a one-day course, on my birthday itself. I’d never written a song. I couldn’t play an instrument. But I thought, I’ll just go and sit in a room in London and listen and then waddle home slowly. I could manage that.
That day changed my life. I met wonderful people, different sorts of people – creatives. They thought differently, they shared what they felt and they took risks with their creativity. I found that I just wanted to be with them more – so I signed up for a 3 day bootcamp right then and there!
At the bootcamp it was a little weird for me. It was hot, I was bald following chemotherapy, I was still recovering and I had no clue what I was doing. After a lifetime of ‘saying anything stupid’ could be career limiting -these guys were just ‘making stuff up’. It felt very dangerous to my corporate mindset.
But I discovered something. I had a breakthrough – a surge of energy after an exercise where we just made up the start of a song then performed the verse and a chorus in a small group. It felt amazing. I felt alive. Which was pretty wonderful after being faced with the alternative! I discovered that songwriting fed my soul in a way that nothing else had. I loved being around creative, heart-connected and genuinely lovely people. I spent two days feeling like a fish out of water, then the third day it was all about the music business, networking, pitching – finally!, something I knew something about!
What shocked me was how uncomfortable my new music friends were with talking about what they did creatively, feeling self-conscious and that even just talking about themselves would make them appear arrogant. This was especially the case when networking, selling and pitching themselves -which is actually a critical skill in music. They felt awkward, had no plan, purpose or did much preparation for the music business. There’s a big gap between feeling awkward and being arrogant – but neither is authentic. A balance can be struck. From my 25+ years in business, selling, coaching and teaching I knew I could help – and I really wanted to.
Amazingly, my creative journey took me to ‘not even dreamt of’ places. I co-wrote, sang and performed a song about my journey with the wonderful Jo Henley, Sarah Coleman and arranged by the force of nature that is Liane Carroll. Produced by James McMillan of Quiet Money Studios. It’s called “Love Me Better” and is available on iTunes, GooglePlay and Amazon. All proceeds to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Since then I’ve helped many artists, musicians and songwriters feel more confident, to be able to ‘get out of their own way’ and get past some limiting beliefs and issues that are blocking them from moving forward. I’ve helped them to plan their next moves, prepare for a big meeting with industry executives and to network with and on purpose. My clients love that they can make progress, put a plan into action, get quick results, and create shifts in their confidence in such short amounts of time.
This is my mini-pitch
So, hi – I’m Jacq and I enable musicians, artists and songwriters to successfully plan their business and confidently communicate their message so their music can be heard.
I’m now an accredited;
CAM Life Coach
EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner
Because I have a proven track record in a successful sales career and coaching
I’m a creative myself, so I understand you
I’ve overcome debilitating shyness
And because, you really don’t believe anything will change and I know it can
Why work with me?
If you feel like you’d benefit from working with me, please get in touch via the contact form. I’d love to hear from you.
Jacq Jacqueline Norton. Coach, Creator, Singer, Songwriter & Survivor