Midlife body confidence activist Rachel Peru shares how she’s learnt to back herself 100%.

The wisdom of those we surround ourselves with (virtually or otherwise) can make all the difference to how we live and work – and how we feel. How do other women manage to stay ‘up’ and face major challenges? How on earth did they get through 2020 and how are they remaining motivated day-to-day? Model, podcaster and midlife body confidence activist Rachel Peru shares her take on surviving and thriving.

Describe your expertise and your typical clients or audience. I am a midlife body confidence activist and through sharing my own body story and modelling career at 46 I can encourage others to embrace their bodies with confidence.
I am also a spokesperson for changing careers later in life and showing how anything is possible after 40 if we keep an open mind.
My typical audience is women over 45-59 who want to make life changes and feel a bit lost and women who are finding it difficult to feel comfortable in their midlife bodies.

What is your superpower, the one skill that makes you unique, that your clients or audience love you for? 
My courage to step out of my comfort zone and practice what I preach.

Using your unique expertise and insights please share your top tips for thriving as an entrepreneur/businesswoman.
• Remembering that we are all filled with the same self-doubts and fears, but we can’t let it stop us from getting the most out of our lives.
• When we talk about being body confident it’s never a done deal, there will always be off days but it’s how we deal with those that makes our life that much easier.
• Trust your gut instinct and stay true to yourself. People relate to authenticity, so you have to be brave and show up.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the areas that you struggle with. We don’t have to be jack of all trades and asking for help doesn’t mean we’re failing.
• Don’t be afraid to fail, so many people don’t even get started because their fear of failure stops them and they sabotage their dreams.

Describe your darkest moment of 2020 and what you learned from it about surviving and thriving? 
It’s been such a rollercoaster. I went from starting the year with modelling work booked in the diary and lots of events planned to everything coming to a halt with no salary to fall back on. There were definitely times when I thought I should stop everything all together and go back to finding a more financially reliable job but deep down I have to follow my gut instinct. I’ve dug deep and found more self-belief and ownership of what I’m about and what I’m working to achieve. I’ve been able to find a clearer a vision of my personal brand and the future of my podcast.

In what ways has the global pandemic led to you changing how you work and earn your living? It’s had a huge impact on my finances as the modelling work was my sole income and the podcast has always been the thing on the side. I’ve had the time to focus on the podcast and I’ve become more business minded about my personal brand, so I won’t have to just rely on one income source moving forward. It’s been quite scary, but I’ve got to back myself 100% and commit.

How do you stay positive and motivated when the chips are down? 
I started writing a gratitude diary at the beginning of 2020 and found this really helped. It just reminded me of the small things that brought joy into each day and helped me focus more on the positives.
I threw myself into making new connections with women for the podcast and started daily Facebook lives with women from all over the world. This made a huge difference to my mental wellbeing as personal connection is the thing I’ve been missing the most. I’ve increased my circle of people around me that I can gain inspiration from and learn from which has been so helpful already.
There were some days when I just couldn’t get motivated and felt low, but I just allowed those days to happen without beating myself up, it usually led to watching Netflix and reading books.

What new work habits have you created in the last year that really help?
I have become more structured in my work schedule and have planned my week out a lot more than normal. I’ve become way more effective at getting things done and stopped procrastinating.
Also getting outdoors every day to clear my head is an essential part of my day.

What is your next project or goal and what are you doing now to help make it happen? 
I’m launching my next series of the Out of the Bubble podcast again in February and have already got an amazing line up of women to share. I’m working with a PR company to help me spread the message further and really working on finding sponsorship and monetising it this year.
I’m also writing a book which will be out this year. Interviewing 20 women in midlife that have started new adventures, careers or hobbies later in life and I will then be challenging myself to try each of their subjects. It’s a big project but I’m excited about it. So, I’ll be training for a half marathon and a sprint triathlon this year amongst lots of fun new things. I wanted to share these inspiring women’s stories but also show that we can all have a go and start as a complete beginner.

What makes you feel optimistic about the future?
I’m an optimistic person so now that I have discovered my own passion and purpose, I’m excited about the future. This last year has been tough but on the positive it allowed me time to see where I want to go and plan how to get there.

What advice would you give to any female entrepreneur who is really struggling to stay positive and keep their head above water?
Keep an open mind to all opportunities, you might need to take a step in a different direction that you never even thought of.
I also wrote a list of all the reasons why I wanted to be creating the podcast and working as a model and compared it to some other jobs I could do instead. Nothing else lit my enthusiasm and passion like what I’m doing so I’m working even harder to stay true to myself.

Where you do you go time and again for inspiration and fresh thinking? I’ve read so many books this last year that have really had an impact on me. My go to books that I dip in and out of constantly are Playing Big by Tara Mohr, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffries and Brene Brown’s Untamed.

I listen to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversation podcasts regularly and find they help keep things into perspective. I also listen to Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert and How to Fail with Elizabeth Day. I listen to podcasts every day now whilst I’m out walking.

With thanks to Rachel Peru. www.outofthebubblepodcast.com. IG @rachelperu1. Twitter @rachel_peru. Facebook @rachelperumodel. Facebook @stepoutofthebubble

Surviving and thriving is easier with support from the likeminded women you’ll find in the Audrey Members’ Club. You’ll also get access to group coaching and live Q&As with experts, so to find out more go to https://members.audreyonline.co.uk.