44: Interview with entrepreneur Celia Gates from Doctor Cook and Whether Forecast

Today we feature inventor, author and entrepreneur Celia Gates, who I met in 2011 at the British Invention Show in London. She tells us all about her journey of setting up her cookware company “Doctor Cook” and what other projects she’s been involved in since then.


Tell us about your book “From Brainwave To Business”? Could you summarise the best tips?

From Brainwave to Business is the book I wished I’d read when I started out with my cookware invention – Doctor Cook. I reckon I could have saved about £94,000 in costly mistakes had I known what I learnt along the way. The book shares these lessons. It is a start up guide for innovators and creative entrepreneurs. Key points include; not underestimating your competition, developing your market in line with your ideas and evolving yourself as the aim of your success. Originally the book was called From Inventor to Entrepreneur. It is about the journey from being the person with just an idea to the person who makes money from their concepts. Concentrate on developing your ‘self’ to build a business and profit from your products.

What would you advise people who want to publish a book?

The publishing industry has changed dramatically since 2012 when “From Brainwave To Business” was published as part of the Financial Times Series by Pearsons Prentice Hall. I approached the publisher directly with a clear book proposal and the majority of the script. They told me to find a celebrity forward and they’d publish it. The deal was done quite quickly but I don’t believe this is the norm.

If you want to publish a book then you must first ask yourself why. Why do you want to publish your book? If it’s to share your story with a wider world and build relationships with your readers then self-publishing is an accessible and immediate way forward. If it’s to establish credibility then collaborating with reputable publishers may enhance this. If it’s to make money then you should see your book as one string in your ‘Profit Parachute’ and build multiple ‘strings’ to ensure a safe landing from the leap of faith you’ll invariably take. If it’s to make sense of your own experience then write quickly and pour it all out onto the page. Inevitably you’ll end up re-writing whatever you first write so see the initial draft as a prototype and get it done as quick as you can – otherwise you’ll lose the momentum from your inspiration and it will be quite hard to pick back up and start writing again.

From Brainwave To Business

Tell us about your Doctor Cook saucepans! Are you still involved in this company?

Doctor Cook was my leap of faith. I believed in the concept. Cookware had always had long straight handles forcing the user to awkwardly bend their wrist to hold a pan. My background in Industrial Design meant I knew this was not ergonomic. Watching my Granny struggling to lift a hot and heavy pan inspired me into action; ‘bend the pan and not the man’. Saucepans with curved handles were born and at the beginning they very much felt like my babies. Now they have ‘fled the nest’ and taken on a life of their own. I still hold intellectual property but other people make and distribute them.


What are your best inventions?

The ones that are yet to come!

How do you judge a great idea? One of my favourite inventions is a solar cooker from a cardboard box that inspired a wave of similar products in Malaysia. The concept of turning packaging into a socially responsible bi-product that was as valuable (or more valuable) than the product it protected, appealed to me.

I love, love, love my current ‘invention’ – the Whether™ forecast – a lateral and literal thinking tool that helps other people to stimulate sparks of genius and come up with inventive ideas. We are all so much smarter than we think and (in my opinion) our mindset – or the way we think and work together, is one of the greatest challenges we face in the western world. The best inventions are always born as solutions to genuine problems. Mental health – or the lack of, is certainly a growing concern. Plus, I love seeing the light come back into a person’s eyes once they’ve gained enough perspective to solve their own conundrum. This is what Whether™ does.

Do you consider yourself an inventor or an entrepreneur?

An ‘Inventor’ paints the picture of an obsessive scientist secluded in a shed somewhere whilst an ‘Entrepreneur’ is the hotshot, outward focused, energetic, well connected business builder. You can decide. I’m just me, constructively learning, challenging myself (and conventions) relentlessly, failing freely, succeeding regularly and revelling in a life that I take responsibility for. If Entrepreneurs make money then Inventors spend it. In this context I’m an Inventive Entrepreneur!

What are you currently doing?

I love what I am doing. I’m maximising minds that make a difference. In other words I’m bringing brains together for creative and constructive collaboration, conflict resolution and greater growth. It is both rewarding and thrilling and I get to travel the world. I help other people design lives they want to lead and as I approach 40 this feels like it is exactly what I was designed to do. There is a lot to build on too. The face of education is shifting. Collaborating constructively is critical and there is a long way to go before we’ve optimised the use of our amazing minds. I find it a fascinating field of study. If inventions have got us into a mess then, inventions will get us back out of it. So, I’m currently facilitating fresh thinking and empowering others to broaden their perspective and evolve ingenious ideas.

Celia Gates & Ainsley Harriott

What inspired you to start this business?

More than inspiration is was a natural evolution. If writing From Brainwave To Business made sense of my experience developing Doctor Cook then, developing Doctor Cook as a business showed me what I’m really good at and what I love to do. When you know what this is, do more of it! In this guise Whether.to and theGlobalBrainstorm.com are evolutions in action – or learn-as-you-grow vehicles to deliver inspiration and information to a wider world.

What is your daily routine?

People often asked this question and I’m not going to tell you that I get up at 5am, go for a run, drink Misu soup and drum positive affirmations into my mind before most people are out of bed. My life is much more varied than that. Sometimes I’m up until 2am working online with clients from around the world, other times I’m in bed by 10 pm and off to see people face-to-face first thing. It’s the lack of routine that makes my life exciting. On the whole and if I’m not delivering workshops, I’ll get up and start writing or working on my own stuff way before I check emails, the news or social media. This stops me being distracted or influenced before I’m fully focused on how I feel and what I need to get done that day. Yoga happens daily and sea swims when the weather allows. Exercise of any kind has always been important as I get restless if I sit for too long. I also meditate and can combine this with my yoga if I’m short on time. More interesting for you is that I hold weekly meetings with myself whereby I define my targets, design my direction and account for the past week’s action. This is quite a formal process I’ve come to rely on through tough times.

What would you recommend new entrepreneurs? How to get started?

As well as all the usual advice; take action, go for it, just do it, believe in yourself etc. there is one key bit of advice: know your numbers. As innovators and inventors we’re not always keen on the accountability of our actions (largely because we’re spending money we’d rather not be worrying about and the worry stops us thinking inventively). When we’re stressed or scared parts of our brain actually prevent us from thinking as critically and creatively as we’re capable. Effectively our brains let us down when we need them the most. To avoid this situation and as a priority to any new business venture you must attach what I call a ‘life line’ to your Profit Parachute. Know the bare minimum money you need to keep the bailiffs at bay and secure this income stream. Whether pulling pints after hours, working a part-time job until your business starts to make money or establishing a repeat relationship with an initial client that you can rely on, know how you’re covering your basic bills and putting food on the table. This will give you the peace of mind you need to make your business prosper.

Oh… and of course, read From Brainwave to Business!

Above all don’t go looking for your passion, look for problems to solve as these are often easier to find. As you solve a problem your passion will become apparent to you. As you discover what you love to do, do more of it. The biggest investment you’ll make in anything is that of your precious time.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and do reach out if you think I can be of help to you!

To learn more about Celia Gates please visit  http://celiagates.com/ and http://whether.to/you-think/ (Whether tool eBook)

16: Interview with personal development coach Nachi

Today we talk to Nachi from Livelikeyounow.com who works as a personal development coach.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am a personal development coach. Commonly referred to as “life coach.” I coach people who want to develop whatever it is they want to develop. I have coached many different kinds of people and on various subjects like weight loss, confidence, career, and love life to name a few. It’s all about acknowledging and reaching one’s own full potential. As a coach, I am my client’s cheerleader on the road to their own version of success.
My bachelors degree is in Psychology, so I’ve always been fascinated by people. With life coaching, I have front row seats to watching people use their God-given talents and make their ‘impossible’ possible. It’s a wonderful experience.

What inspired you to start this business?

I lead a charmed life. I am surrounded by so many gifted people. But, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, not all of them see just how much they are capable of doing. And those that are aware, get stuck in accomplishing what they want. That’s what inspired me to look into life coaching.

What inspired me to start my business was a very personal event. I received news that a former friend took her own life. She had so much in her. So much to share with the world. And now, that’s gone – forever. The world is deprived of her gifts and talents. I personally feel that if more of us lived to our potential, if more of us reached for our stars, if more of us lived like our true selves the world would be a greater place for the masses. From that, “Live Like YOU – Now!” was born. My goal is to get as many people as possibly living like themselves. Their unique selves. Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now.


What would you recommend new entrepreneurs? How to get started?

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. Do some research on what you want to do, and figure out a way to start. There are so many steps between starting a business and where you’re at right now. Take those steps and see how it feels. If it still feels right, keep going.

Also, you don’t have to do it alone. Find a coach! Many coaches, like myself, offer free consultations so you can test drive them. It doesn’t have to be me, but try it. For my coaching business, and other areas of my life, I’ve received coaching and the clarity after my sessions saved me a lot of time I would have wasted if I had gone at it alone. Plus, coaches offer support. They push you to go confidently in the directions of your dreams.

Who do you think is the most accomplished entrepreneur you’ve met?

My parents. My mother and father don’t stop. They keep going. After ‘retirement’ they began their own projects. Or rather, they continued their projects from before retirement. From nothing my father has built a legacy he will leave behind. My mother, seeing a need, took it upon herself to fill the need. None of their feats have been easy. But they took what others believed to be impossible and made them possible. They took their dreams, and made them realities. They are true inspirations to me and I feel honored to call them my parents.

What is your single best non-obvious tip for running a business?

Drink water. I get in the zone and forget the outside world. Sounds cliché but it’s so true. Having a bottle of water next to me is helpful for two reasons:

1. When I am in the zone, I’m running on automatic. Drinking water becomes a part of that automated routine.
2. Because I’m on automatic, it’s a matter of time until I reach for another swig. When I realize my water is out, it forces me to get up from my seat and take care of my body in more obvious ways (stretching, munching, calls of nature, etc…)

This is for times when I’m coaching but also when I’m creating content, updating my social media, marketing and researching. Because I’m sitting for so long, it can be easy to neglect my body – and that is a no –no. Wherever I am, so is my business. If my body isn’t well taken care of – I have no business.

What should you take into account when starting a business?

How trying it will be. Exposing myself to people, especially those closest to me was an odd experience. For some reason, I would feel more at ease telling a stranger about my business than those closest to me. With time, that became less of a concern especially when it came to psyching MYSELF up for what I was embarking on. Success can be scary because so much out there is telling you ‘it can’t happen.’
Starting your own business will push you in terms of how much, and how, you believe in yourself. Your product or service may be amazing. Revolutionary even. But not everyone will want it – and that’s not a reflection on you or your product. It just is what it is. And that’s OK. These times, in the beginning will be trying – but then you’ll get so busy, and flooded, by those that want to be a part of what you’re doing you’ll forget to be bothered.

What tools do you use to run your business?

Coaching uses my whole being. My ears, mouth, heart, head – all that. Hence the importance of taking care of my body. Outside of me, I use the telephone, Skype and other communication tools for my coaching sessions. And so the internet is a big player, especially for my oversea clients. On my client’s end – pen and paper are essential. I always encourage the taking of notes in my time with my clients as that reinforces what happens next.

Can you recommend a company or designer who helped you build the website?

My website is beautiful. I worked with Samantha Zimmerman from Ayana Technical Services. Throughout the process, I was very happy with the edits and how quickly my web-designer understood my intentions, and how responsive she was to accommodating my wishes. The service was professional and I could tell the designer wanted to make sure I was happy with the look and feel of the website. I felt very well taken care of by Samantha.

Do you have a Unique Selling Point?

At face value, I sell the attainment dreams. At the core of my sessions, what we really cover is whether or not someone is truly living like themselves. Recognizing and removing the boundaries that stop us from reaching our dreams. It’s a wonderful thing, and I admire those that take the steps to give attention to themselves and what they want for themselves. I should mention, it’s not about tomfoolery. It’s about making time for yourself, knowing yourself and living your best life.

How did you come up with the name of the company?

“Live Like YOU – Now!” is simple – live like YOU. Not tomorrow, not next week. But now. Right now. There’s a lot of noise out there about what we should want, what we should be, and what we should have. We all have our own personal version of what success means to us – at different times of our lives too! Following someone else’s version, doesn’t do much for us but feel like something is missing. Living like YOU is about knowing what it is that success, happiness, and whatever else means to YOU. And all that can happen now. Not after graduation. Not after retirement. Not after marriage. But now, today, this moment.

How do you stay productive and not get distracted?

I don’t know. When I care, I enter the zone. Music is good but I’ve gone hours just sitting quietly immersed in my thoughts while I work.

Outside of business what do you enjoy doing? How do you recharge your batteries?

It’s a labour of love. However the sessions can be pretty draining on me. It feels good to laugh. I make my own soap, candles, and beauty products so that’s always a fun time for me. Especially making soap. It takes me away to a very quiet place.

Do you think making decisions on a gut feeling is a good idea?

I operate on a gut feeling. At the core of my coaching ethos is ‘follow your gut’ get back in touch with your gut. That still, inner voice that speaks for your true desires. The voice that speaks for the path that is uniquely yours. Developing and getting back in touch with that is not an easy task but it is worth it. I have found acknowledging my gut leads me to fewer regrets.

What are the pros and cons of running your own business?

Too much immersion. It’s my nature to go above and beyond. Although I know perfection is a farce – I can’t help but strive for it. I want to give as much value as I can to my current, and would be, clients. I’m ever thinking about how I can do that. The con is finding the ‘off’ button. But therein lies the pro – I know I’m giving the people I work with the absolute best of my ability.

What is your experience with paid ads? Do you recommend Google Adwords or Facebook Ads?

I recommend Facebook Ads, they have been very good at reaching people I would not have otherwise reached. Because I coach internationally, facebook will show ads to the locations I want to concentrate on. I have yet to try Google Adwords, but Facebook has been good to me.

Do you use any productivity tools?

I sometimes use a timer or stop watch for my sessions – it keeps me on track. These come especially in handy when I have multiple clients booked backed to back.

What’s a view you held before starting your business that has since changed?

How FAST what I imagined could be REAL. Which is funny because I’m in the business of helping my clients see just how tangible their goals are. I never stop being winded at just how quickly thoughts can become real.
Another view that as changed is my attitude of feeling like I had to do it all alone. There have been many resources, from those around me and from fellow coaches, which have helped get me to where I am in my coaching.

Any favorite books about personal development you can recommend?

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield

– Been reading this one very slowly. It’s a fast and easy read. It’s a valuable read and so I’m taking my time with it.

The Secret by Rhonda Bryne

– I’ve read this book twice, watched the movie, and listened to the book on tape. It still hasn’t stopped being full of useful “Oh yeah…” or “That’s a great point!” or “Let me try that…” moments.

Conversations with God – Book One by Neale Donald Walsch

– I read this ages and ages ago. It gave me a lot to think about. It’s a book I would want to revisit in the future and attempt to digest it once more.

Who do you think is the ultimate personal development guru?

It’s so hard to decide on one! The late Wayne Dyer, and the late Jim Rohn are the greats. I would have to say of those living – Tony Robbins, Matthew Hussey, and Joel Osteen are ones that always get me going whenever anything is weighing me down. Tony Robbins has such a powerful presence and talk about service. He’s truly a master of inspiration. Matthew Hussey studied the greats and brings it home nicely. Joel Osteen gets me at my core. As a pastor, he connects my spirituality to it all.

On that note, I’m going to go rogue and say Jesus is probably the ultimate personal development guru. He speaks about loving yourself as much as you love your neighbor. For me, that means you MUST love YOURSELF as much as you love others. Many people show their love to others, serve others, sacrifice so much for others and do nothing for themselves. I’m guilty of that as well. Who isn’t? Live like you now is about showing yourself some love and going after what you want. With that, people can then show more love, and give more love to those around them because that’s how loving others as you love yourself works.

For more information please visit Livelikeyounow.com.