Danni studied Business Psychology and created a highly successful coaching business using a wide breadth of knowledge from Psychology, Business Psychology, Counselling and Coaching.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
Absolutely! I have a couple of businesses in varying and I’m in the process of setting up a couple more at the moment however, my main business is DH Coaching & Consulting where I am principal Business Psychologist and Business Coach.
My company works with organisations in two remits as Business Psychologist and Business Coach. This means that we work to help businesses as a whole in a variety of areas such as Assessment & Selection, Motivation & Engagement, Management Training, Leadership Development, Change Management and beyond.
DH also works with individuals as a Coach (both corporate and independent); using a wide breadth of knowledge from Psychology, Business Psychology, Counselling and Coaching I offer a service quite unlike anyone else in London that I know of and I think that’s why my Coaching service has been so successful.
How did you find this path?
I have always had an interest in Psychology, human interactions and behaviour. I studied Classical history before formally training as a Psychologist; studying human behaviour of the past and realising how little things change despite time surged me to deepen my understanding of the human mind.
I chose to specialise in Business related Psychology after years of experiencing poor culture, management and working environments. I knew that I wanted to work towards improving people’s lives at work as it’s such a fundamental part of who we are. Work shouldn’t have a negative impact on our standard of living, mental or physical health. I now have the privilege of working with people to help them reach their true potential.
What made you decide to become a coach? What prompted you to act?
Coaching was actually an addition to my Business Psychology business and it became really successful very quickly, to the point where I now have a waiting list of clients which is really unusual in the industry.
I chose to add the extra area to my business after working in organisations and seeing first-hand how many people would benefit from one-on-one time with a trained professional.
Sometimes we just need a soundboard, sometimes we need confidence, sometimes we need help getting our business ideas off the ground and quite often we all need someone who isn’t a relative or loved one to talk about things in a clear and open space with someone without judgment, without an agenda and with an open mind.
I have years of Counselling training and knew that combined with my Psychological training I was in the right space to offer a really through and valuable service.
Working on personal development is a really fulfilling and exciting area of my work.
How do you find new work? Is it word of mouth, through recommendation or do you have any top tips?
I have never carried out any particularly aggressive marketing, almost all of my work comes from word of mouth which is great because my clients already feel confident before we’ve started working together which is more conducive to cognitive change.
I try and keep a public profile however, I am quite discreet and don’t advertise my clients. I like to give talks as I get a chance to talk about my favourite topics such my research specialty, The Dark Triad.
What does success mean to you and what is it that motivates you?
Success to me is freedom. The freedom to direct my work and my time.
Time is our most precious commodity and for me the idea of spending it working without autonomy is a waste of my most valued possession.
I am motivated to reach my truest potential. I think we all have such capabilities and self-doubt blinds us. I missed so many interesting opportunities when I was younger because I didn’t’ have confidence and I will never let that happen again.
How do you stay productive and motivated? Any tips?
I didn’t realise how self-motivated I was until setting up my own company. Like everyone I have “off” days and “off” weeks however, I will always get back to work and make sure I don’t let myself down. I talk about a book called “Grit” by Angela Duckworth ALL the time. It was recommended to me by my brother and it really spoke to me; the premise of the book is that success has little to do with talent, it’s about perseverance, it’s about getting up and giving it your all when you don’t want to.
Since reading it, when I’m procrastinating or not working productively, my brain instantly visualises the book sitting on the shelf and it gets me going. I know it’s odd but my subconscious knows how to get me motivated.
Working on your own has so many challenges. Have you had any career defining moments, or hurdles that shaped who you are and where you are right now? How did you overcome these?
Of course. Suddenly being responsible for absolutely everything in your business is incredibly tough. Anyone who says it’s easy to own your own business is wrong. My father has always owned his own businesses and when I talk to him about work he always says, “If it was easy then everyone would do it”.
Lots of different events have shaped me; the first time I got a contract was obviously great; the first time someone chose not to hire me; the first time I had to answer some really difficult questions I wasn’t prepared for; the first time I was recommended to another client etc. So many different things happen. You need to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. It is so difficult when you first start out, not to take things personally but you learn pretty quickly that business is just business.
Time is the best teacher and the best healer. I am learning and growing every day. Things change, situations change, and you change. Go with it.
If you had one piece of advice for someone who is just starting out, what would it be?
One piece of advice would be, if you believe in it, then don’t give up on it. Keep on going, find the strength every day. Even if you feel like giving up, do just one thing. Just answer those emails. Just make that one phone call. You’ll find your strength to carry on.
Do you have a particular life motto that you live by?
I am a fan of mottos and they change as I change and develop, at the moment however, I find strength in the following:
“suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret”
This aligns with “Grit” as mentioned before. Suffer the pain now and reap the rewards later.
And finally (if we may!) - for our readers who are yet to become Merit Club members, how would you describe our community and how have you found your experience with the Merit Club?
Oh I love the Merit Club – what an amazing group of women! So driven and interesting and eager to succeed which I love and am drawn to.
If you liked reading this interview as much as we loved writing it, you can read more from our Community of amazing women below, or check out the Squirrel Sisters' feature on The Merit Club