Since she was young Gayleen Hodson had loved to write, but it was the support of a free 1:1 mentor from Outset East Dorset that gave her the courage to pursue it as a full-time career.

Mum of two, Gayleen, from Verwood says she loved to write, even creating her own self-published diaries in the style of the famous Adrian Mole as a teenager. But finding her Media and Journalism degree wasn’t what she had signed up for – filled with theory and no practical support – she felt lost in a career she had previously been very excited about.

Following the birth of her second child and having a period of bad health, which then caused anxiety, Gayleen again turned to writing as a way to process and bring hope to others. She started a fun parenting blog, sharing the ups and downs of life with little ones, chronicling their observations including ’24 hobbies of an 18-month year old’ – which included pouring food on the floor. Gayleen also started a mental health blog to bring hope and practical help to others like her who experienced anxiety.

Gayleen was pointed in the direction of Outset. She said: “I have always loved writing and I wanted a job I could work around my children. Everyone was saying I should get a real job. So, I gave myself 9 months, I said if I can’t make the same amount as a dinner lady earns in that time, then I will stop writing and become a dinner lady. I approached Outset and got personal coaching. I remember saying to them, ‘do you think I can do this, is this a viable business?’ They said it was and that I should go for it – and I have never looked back. They helped me get experience and connect me to people.”

“I found the business side of it very daunting, and I can’t thank Outset enough for the help, clarity and support they gave me. I completed outset Online, their e-learning course, and it was brilliant, it showed me exactly how to set up a business. The coaching was invaluable. They changed my perspective on starting a business – suddenly it wasn’t so scary and daunting – they gave me the courage and support I needed to run with it and give it a go.”

Gayleen now works with businesses across various industries including finance, health and wellbeing, marketing, social media and the charity sector to provide blogs, newsletters, social media copy and email support. She provides content clinics for clients and will be launching new workshops later this year. Find out more at her website here or follow on Facebook LinkedIn and Instagram

To find out more about how Outset can support your business start-up visit, outset.org/east-dorset, for Outset Online visit https://www.outsetonline.com and for businesses looking for help to grow visit getsetforgrowth.com/east-dorset   Find out about the free workshops taking place on the Outset Eventbrite page