5 minutes with Helen McCabe, founder of Leading Women

How long have you been running your business?

It feels longer but two years. 

What’s your favourite thing about what you do/your business?

I like the flexibility, the lack of office politics and being able to choose the people I want to work with. I actually have exceptional people so they are definitely the best bit. 

 When business has been tough who have you relied on the most?

I use a quite diverse network of friends. But if I think about when things are really tough I literally use ALL of them at once. And I bounce from one to the other, possibly driving them mad. I was reading this week that because men often run everything they are more experience at managing business problems which perhaps explains why I have relied on a lot of men for support. Thank you to them, you know who you are. But there are also those people who just get it. I am thinking of people like The Squiz founder Claire Kimball, colleague Jamila Rizvi, CareerCEO boss Andrea Clarke and my board members Lizzie Young and Arabella Burge. I have a good cross-section. 

What’s your advice for doing business in recession?

Stay wide awake! And what I mean is keep an eye out for new and different pitfalls and the many opportunities. I think you should also clean up the bits of the business which are not performing and remember whatever happens everything will be ok. We have all taken pay-cuts and worried about our businesses but in the end having fun and good relationships are what matters.         

What’s the #1 thing you do to ensure your wellbeing as a business owner?

I go to bed very early. The other night I set a new record. It was cold and I was tired so I went to bed at 6.23pm. I use the time to read or finish emails but I always get at least 8 hours sleep. I am evangelical about sleep it really is the key, to, well everything. 

Do you use Instagram/Facebook? Please share one of your most recent/favourite posts...

I use them all although I wish I could step away from my personal accounts as I am more of an introvert and I don’t really like posting about myself or showing off with pictures of me doing something or other.