What inspired you to start your business?

Working for 20 years in education supporting children with special education needs and those needing extra help with numeracy and literacy. I became dismayed at the way subjects, particularly maths is taught. The emphasis on speed in answering and passing tests. I saw children become disillusioned, tearful and anxious during lessons. They lost faith and confidence in their abilities.

As a mindset coach and someone who spent nearly 25 years thinking they didn’t have a maths brain I knew it was possible for even the most maths phobic to learn to a high level. The key was developing a growth mindset towards the subject. I knew I had the tools to help children do this.

Tell us about your business?

Group workshops and One 2 One maths tutoring for reluctant mathematicians. Helping children grow in confidence, develop a ‘can do’ attitude and become a fearless problem solver.

Mistakes and growth mindsets encouraged here!

What do you love about running your business?

Transformation, there’s nothing more exciting in my business than helping a child move from a mindset of ‘I can’t’ to one that says ‘I can try” and hearing that their confidence has grown. Also the freedom to set my own hours and schedule, to be creative and always learning. Sometimes the challenges seem to come all at once but I still love a challenge.

What have been some of your biggest challenges?

When I first set up my business in 2014 I let my multi-passionate brain take over. I followed all sorts of ideas and ended up overwhelmed and inconsistent in my message. It was an invaluable learning stage but held me back. Another of my biggest challenges has been moving my established business last year from Hastings in Hawke’s Bay to Wellington. The thought of starting all over again was not a happy one until I worked on my own growth mindset around the move. It’s hard to start again but one of the positives has been the opportunity to relaunch and get very specific about my niche and how I want to serve them. With hindsight, I can now ignore the things that didn’t serve my business first time around.

Do you have a favourite quote?

The purpose of fear is to raise your awareness, not to stop your progress. – Steve Maraboli

Who inspires you, and why?

Business owners especially solopreneurs. People who juggle everything and make it work. People with mission and passion. I have a big picture for my business and I’m always inspired by people who have taken similar pathways. People who are 2 or 3 steps ahead of me in business. It helps in the hard and lonely days when the phones not ringing or a new project doesn’t get the response you hoped for to know that others have had the same struggles but still made it through. It keeps me on track and I can borrow ideas and learn from their mistakes and wins.

What growth have you experienced being in Venus?

The opportunity to mix with a fun, inspiring, nonjudgemental and supportive group of women has helped me to feel quickly at home in Wellington. I’ve been able to test out new ideas and get feedback and to practice talking about my business and refine how I introduce myself.

Women are redefining success and growing businesses on their terms: What does success look like to you?

I view success as an ongoing and long term achievement. So I’ll celebrate when I reach some of the big goals I have set but I also make a point of celebrating a win or achievement each day. Sometimes it’s simply that I wrote an article or post I’m pleased with or maybe receiving great feedback from a parent.

What’s your favourite pastime when you are not working?

Mostly being outside in nature. Working in my garden or walking my dog at the beach, river or up in the hills.


Diana Rickman


Venus Profile