My career includes many years in PR and marketing, writing books, and retraining as a business posychologist and coach. I’ve had my own crises of confidence along the way, but emerged feeling all the more stronger for them.
My induction into PR in my twenties was distinctly old-school. A typical day included meeting journalists for drinks in gloomy basement bars, creating my own little black book, and printing out press releases.. I began with a music publicity company, working on big names like George Michael, but within a year had branched out on my own, running a PR agency that specialised in restaurants.
In 2004 I started teaching business owners how to do PR through courses, programmes and workshops. I wrote two text books along the way, Get Noticed and Do Your Own PR. Whilst many of my clients went on to have great success, some struggled. They procrastinated, wanting everything to be perfect, or letting PR fall to the bottom of their to-do list. Uncovering what was holding them back, I realised that most of it stemmed from a lack of confidence around visibility. This inspired me to do my Masters in Business Psychology, along with a coaching diploma, to help them deal with anxieties around being visible.
From there, my interest in anxiety and confidence grew. I signed up to train as a psychotherapist and decided to do more work with people who felt that anxiety was holding them back. My clients are often women in the middle stages of life who have developed anxiety themselves. Alternatively, they are feeling helpless as they watch their own teenage and young adult chidren wrestle with the demons of anxierty and low self-esteem.
I was on the advisory board of a women’s business club for three years and I am now a volunteer coach with AgeUK. Additionally, I’m the mother of three children, two of them now in their twenties, and two cats, Simba and Bamboo. In my spare time I love playing poker (it’s that psychology again) and am learning Bridge. I’m in a love affair with Italy and occasionally run retreats in beautiful Italian cities like Verona.
If you would like to chat through how we could work together, please do get in touch with me. “
You can find Paula Gardner in The Guardian, Stella magazine, Marie Claire, Psychologies and HR Zone, among others. Paula’s books are Do Your Own PR and Get Noticed. Paula is a Member of the Association for Business Psychology.