Inspiring Women in Business Podcast - Episode 1 - Career or a business? What's right for you?


In this episode, I talk about the beginning questions that you have to ask yourself when you are deciding what path to take in your career.

So ask yourself questions to help you decide if you will be working full-time, as a freelancer or as a business owner. I also talk about how your mindset plays a big role in how we show up.

Join me for this first in many valuable podcasts made available to inspire women to play bigger in business!



Key takeaways from this episode:


*How you perceive yourself will also affect how your clients see you as well.

*The label you choose to represent yourself can have a massive impact on how others see you. 

*It’s really important to take time to reflect on what is best for you, what you want to plan to do, and why you think these are important.

 *How you see yourself and how you see your potential can come down to confidence and mindset.

*The two different mindsets (10:03)

*Questions to ask yourself to guide you in deciding your next steps (14:01)


Links to books and materials:

Learn more about Professor Carol Dweck


More about Ruth:

Hi, I’m Ruth, a business coach specialising in helping freelancers and business owners adjust their mindset and their marketing so they can get fully booked with clients they LOVE to work with. I’ve helped hundreds of self-employed women achieve the time and money freedom they craved.

I’ve started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was grateful for any work that came my way. After over 20 years of freelancing and working for other people, I started to realise I’d created a glass ceiling for myself.

It was in 2017 when I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time that I wasn’t doing what I loved and fulfilling my true potential.  It took a critical illness to give me that wake-up call.  I don’t want the same to happen to you.

You can expect practical advice, inspiring stories and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb all the obstacles you have been putting in your way.

I’m on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business.


Connect and know more about Ruth Gilbey here:


Free stuff:







Hello, and welcome to the inspiring women in business podcast. My name is Ruth Gilby. And I'm a business and marketing coach. And I'm on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business. Now, I started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was grateful for any work that came my way. It was in 2017 when I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time, that I wasn't doing what I loved, and I wasn't fulfilling my true potential. However, it has taken a critical illness to give me that wake-up call. And I don't want the same thing to happen to you. So you can expect practical advice, inspiring stories, and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb all the obstacles you've been putting in your way.


Hello, and welcome to the inspiring women in business podcast. Now, today's podcast really goes back to the beginning, those beginning questions when you're asking yourself, do you want to work for someone else? Do you want to have a career? Do you want to be a freelancer? Do you want to have your own business? And what are the actual differences, and which one is actually best for you? So that's what I wanted to cover in this episode because I think we can get really hung up on the practicalities and the technicalities of these definitions and these labels. But what I want to really get into in this episode today is getting you asking yourself some questions about why you might have chosen to work for other people and have a career, why you might not have chosen to take the leap and go freelance, why you might not have chosen to start your own business. I mean, it's these big things. These are big questions. These are questions, and I coach people around, what do you want your business to look like? Do you want to have a business? Do you want to work for other people? These are huge, huge questions. And we might have, you might have spent most of your working life working for other people and might only be starting to consider going freelance or starting to consider having your own business.

But in this episode, I do want to get into some of the practicalities. But what I really want to get into is why you've chosen something I want you to. This is very obviously a very personal individual thing. But I'm going to be getting you to ask some questions about why and getting you to think about what you want next. Are you a freelancer? Do you have a career? Or you're working for someone else? Are you a business owner? Or are you an entrepreneur, and which one is actually best? There isn't one size fits all. And I, even though I'm going to be giving you advice and support, only you hold the answers to which one is actually best for you. So to get the most out of this episode and subsequent episodes, I would always ask you to come to these podcasts open, open to learning something new, open to being coachable as well. And it's what I ask when people come to my group coaching sessions, or my one to one coaching sessions as well, you're going to get the most out of it if you come with an open mind, open and coachable, and open to also answer the questions that I'm actually going to put to you as well. So there's going to be some coaching questions and some journaling questions in this episode as well.

So in this episode, I'm going to look at the different business and freelance models. I'm also going to tell you about my experience and how this process of asking myself these questions and really digging deep helped me when I was planning my business and planning changes in my business. And the reason why I think this is really powerful and really useful. It's so you can actually decide what's best for you. And you can also challenge your way of thinking. I really don't believe in a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to you and what you want from your business and life. I believe in helping you find what's right for you. If you don't challenge yourself, you could not know what's possible. And that would be really, really sad. And you might not realize that you've been limiting your potential by not asking yourself these questions. Most of you might have worked, have done a variety of things in your working life. You might have worked for other people or being freelance or a mixture of both. I've worked, or I've done all sorts. I've worked for 20 years of my working life, and I worked for other people. So most of my working life has been working for other people.

I've worked with big, big corporates and start-ups very, very different. And it's only in the last sort of two or three years that I moved from being a freelancer to a business owner. And I would say that's possibly the biggest transition for me. And also, in the last six months, I've even started to see myself as an entrepreneur. Let's just touch on the practicalities, what are the actual differences here, if you're considering it, or you want to sort of just get a quick overview. So you could be, you could have a career, and you could be working for other people, you get a paycheck, they sought your taxes, you do what they asked you to do within reason. And you might see working for someone else as a safer, more stable approach.

If you were a freelancer, the business is essentially you and the services that you provide, but as a freelancer, you're still working for other people. Now, if you're a business owner, and you have customers, you would have particular products or services to sell. You might tailor things slightly to individual clients and customers. But most business owners have an established and structured kind of offering that they sell. And they might also, the other difference is that business owners might have other people working for them as well. There are obviously crossovers, and I'm just generalizing here. I also looked up the definition of an entrepreneur and reading this definition out here. It says an entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards, really interesting. Those are the practicalities of the definitions do you need to know what to refer yourself as? Does it really matter? When it comes to choosing which one actually cares? It's just a title. This is the thing. I think it makes a massive difference how you see yourself and what you want to actually do. How you perceive yourself will also affect how your clients see you as well. The label you choose to represent yourself can have a massive impact on how others see you. It's really important to take time to reflect on what is best for you and what you want to plan to do as well. There's also the really, really important question of what you think and why this is really important.

Now, I think one of the biggest differences when I'm speaking to women when it comes to how they see themselves and how they see their potential can come down to confidence and mindset. Now mindset is a word that I'll be going to use a lot in my podcasts, and I use it a lot generally, and it might annoy you, or it might grate on you. And if it does, possibly I and my podcasts aren't right for you. But before I lose you, let me just explain what I think mindset actually is. And let's go back to sort of evidence and research. For me, mindset combines confidence in basic learning and growth and self-development. So one of the biggest reasons why I'm here talking to you about this today, and why I wanted to share this with you is because for years, I just didn't even realize, I didn't even know what mindset was. And I didn't realize I had a pretty fixed mindset and an employee mindset. For years, I was stuck believing. I just couldn't be anything more than someone that worked for someone else. Now, I am not dismissing or undermining anyone who wants to work for someone else. I just think it's really important that it's a conscious decision and that you are aware of the differences and why you might be choosing something. I want you to be consciously choosing what you want to be. An employee mindset shaped how I was as a freelancer, too, which was really fascinating. I used to refer to my clients as my boss. And I pretty much get up every day, believing I was working for them, not working on my business. I didn't see myself as the business.

So mindset, back to mindset. The theory behind it came from evidence and research. It's a set of beliefs. And the research and evidence were produced by Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University. And I will link to her books and other videos in the show notes as well for you. It's really worth her book. Her book called mindset is absolutely brilliant. What Carol's research showed was that she provided proof that the key is not about ability, but about your belief in yourself, your belief in your ability, and she has shown that these beliefs affect people's behaviours and performance and whether they achieved their best. And she came up with two different mindsets, the fixed mindset, which is you believe that your abilities actually set you are where you are. And she also talks about a growth mindset where you believe your ability can change and grow. And it would be impossible to predict what you are someone else could actually achieve. Really, really interesting. And because of her work, I'm really careful about the language that I use around my children now, when we talk about learning and in-home really, really, really annoying to them, they just get really annoyed with me when I get when they get something wrong. I'm like, it's really good to get something wrong. That's how you learn. So from quite an early age, I'm trying to help them strengthen that muscle, that growth mindset muscle. Anyway, I digress.

But we're not one or the other, we're not fixed, or we're not in a growth mindset where we're a mixture of the two. But our job is to be really aware of our mindset and try and strive towards having a growth mindset. So if you embrace having a growth mindset and embrace learning and growing as a human, you might actually find working full time for someone else quite challenging. Actually, I guess, especially if the role is fixed. I'm not saying it's impossible. But I'm pretty sure now that I wouldn't be able to work full time for anyone else. I've pretty much made myself unemployable because I love the evolution of being my own boss. I really, really love that. But working on your own mindset. And having a growth mindset helps you understand what's possible, it shows you how you can be whatever you want, and you're not restricted to being one thing.  Now I had an employee mindset for years because my mindset was fixed into thinking I could only work for others. And once I realized that wasn't true. I allow myself to explore what I could be rather than what I thought I had to be.

So if you define yourself as someone who works for someone else and someone who can't have their own business, where's that coming from? Where's that belief coming from? And are you limiting yourself to what's actually possible? I would ask you, are you defining yourself or how you're defining yourself? And if you're defining the way you're defining yourself, is creating a glass ceiling for yourself? Is it limiting your options? Are you telling yourself you can only be something because having your own business is what other people do? Now, my reality might not be yours, but I'm just sharing my experience with you. And I hope it resonates with you. And I hope it helps a lot of you as well. If you're telling yourself that being a business owner is what other people do, it is time to start asking yourself some tough questions about where that belief actually comes from, getting really, really curious. Now, starting your own business might scare you or get you thinking it can be. It was a massive thing for me starting my own business. And it might for a lot of people getting really clear on what retreating to safety actually looks like. Retreating to safety might be working for other people and having a full-time job, or it might be working as a freelancer for other people. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling safe. It's what we need as human beings, as long as safety isn't creating boredom and frustration for you. So that's the question you really need to ask yourself.

Now I said you had a choice, and one wasn't better than the other. But staying in your cozy, safe place can harm you. So let's ask yourself these questions. Are you happy? Where you are? Do you want to make a change? And where do you see yourself? Are you happy? Are you really truly happy working for someone else? Do you find that challenging enough? Is it driving you forward? Are you passionate about it? Are you happy being a freelancer? Are you using the definitions and these definitions to kind of hem you in? And what if you sort of like took them away and said anything was actually possible?

What do you think about when you think about being a business owner or entrepreneur and I want you to read back your answers and challenge yourself if it's actually fear holding you back from allowing yourself to do what you want to do. Do you think it's what other people do? Do you think working for someone else is the safe option? So those are the questions for you today. Those are the questions that I really want you to think about. And then when you start exploring this, really thinking about when you've got clear on if you took the restrictions away about which how you defined yourself, what would actually be possible? And what would that business? Or what would that career? Or what would that freelancer life actually look like remove those kinds of shackles and restrictions and really start to think it's quite, I think, the episode for you today? And if you find these questions quite hard, that's okay. I want you to get really curious and give yourself some space to really think about this, and I hope you found it useful. I, for years, didn't think it was possible for me to have my own business, and I was stuck in this belief. And it's really through having coaching myself. I'm reading books like Carol Dweck, an expert mindset that has really helped me challenge those beliefs. Anyway, I hope you found this useful, and I'll see you in the next episode. Bye.


Thanks for listening to the inspiring women in business podcast. I hope you found this episode helpful. If you did, I would love it if you would leave me a review. Also, I would love to connect with you on Instagram. That's where I hang out most of the time. I'm @Ruth_Gilbey. I'll put a link in the show notes for you as well come and connect with me. Tell me about your business. And also tell me what you'd like to hear next on the podcast. And lastly, go and check out the business building hub on my website. There you can find more amazing free resources to help you take the next step in your business. And you can also find out other ways that you can work with me. I'll see you soon.