Posted: by Jo Thursday, 27 August 2020 @ 11:21
As we continue our ‘My Best Self’ campaign, we are asking some of our Mantra friends and followers to share their stories with us. The idea is to share stories about how we can all step up to be our best selves in life, and how having a mantra – a memorable set of words – can really help to change our thoughts and our behaviours.
Our September interviewee is Elinor Perry, who is the owner of Pentlands’ Accountants and Advisors, a very well-respected and forward thinking accountancy firm.
Elinor’s first career was in retail, with M&S and Tesco, before she changed careers and qualified as an accountant. I first met her 15 years ago, when I set up my Fabulous Jewellery business, and she became my business accountant. She has been a huge supporter of both me and my business over all those years. When I launched Mantra in 2016, she was again immediately supportive, attending events, recommending our products, and buying Mantra necklaces as gifts and self-purchases.
A strong and independent woman, Elinor has been through various challenges in her life, but always retains a powerful belief that anything is possible. This makes her empathetic and understanding, as well as bringing a positive and can-do approach to every situation.
Jo: Tell me a little about yourself, Elinor, to introduce you to our followers.
Elinor: I would describe myself as a mum of two – to Joel and Lucy; a sister; and a daughter. Family is very important to me. Professionally speaking, I am an accountant and business advisor – I joined Pentlands 20 years ago this month, in September 2000, as a part-time trainee accountant. I qualified 4 years later, in August 2004; and by February 2005, I had completed a management buy-out of the firm.
Jo: I met you soon after the buy-out. That’s an incredible timescale! You were clearly very determined.
Elinor: My life has had its fair share of bumps in the road. I had come through a divorce and was a single parent, with two young children. I think that’s when I realised quite how determined I can be. I set my sights on becoming qualified as an accountant; becoming a partner in a firm; and becoming financially independent.
Jo: In addition to being an accountant, you also run a female mastermind group, ‘Fit for Business’, which brings a number of us together every month for business and personal development.
I know personal growth and supporting others are very important values to you. Tell me a little about why they are so important?
Elinor: I think I reached a bit of a turning point in my early 40’s, when I realised that running a business was about so much more than accountancy. You need people around you to support, inspire and challenge you, and there is always so much more you can learn. I have always been a keen reader of business books, and I think my personal development story started from there.
I set up Fit for Business so that I could provide that environment of support, inspiration and challenge to other business owners around me.
Jo: You have become a good friend of mine over the years, and I always value your positivity and the way you focus on solutions, not problems. I always associate the words, ‘Anything is possible’, with you. Is this a core belief of yours?
Elinor: It really is, and it’s what I have engraved on my ‘myMantra’ necklace, in fact. Many things have happened in my life that I wasn’t expecting, or that didn’t go to plan, and I have always found myself looking for a way around them.
I think self-belief is really important, as it gives you the confidence to move forwards in life to look for opportunities and solutions.
Jo: Over the years, you have also bought many different Mantra necklaces, for friends and family, including for your daughter, Lucy. Tell me about a piece you have bought for Lucy?
Elinor: I have tried to instil that same philosophy of possibilities in Lucy. I have bought her two ‘Believe’ necklaces at various points in her life, including the disc with the mantra, ‘Believe in yourself. We do’.
She was going through a tough time at work, not enjoying her job and lacking the confidence and self-belief to make a change. You can get into a spiral, where your self-esteem takes a knock and it is hard to build yourself back up again. But she succeeded brilliantly, and is now in an HR role that she loves. She is a very caring and considerate person, and the role suits her perfectly.
Jo: You mentioned self-esteem then. Do you think how you feel about yourself is important in life?
Elinor: I really do. I think you have to start by loving yourself. Self-love and self-respect are hugely important, as they determine how we treat ourselves and what we think we deserve in life.
Jo: I know Lucy was meant to get married in Cyprus earlier this year, but the Coronavirus crisis means all her plans have changed. How is she coping?
Elinor: She’s coping very well, in fact. She and Chris have rearranged the wedding to a lovely venue in the Cotswolds, and reimagined it completely, compared to what they had originally planned in Cyprus. For them, the actual ceremony is the most important part – the getting married part – so if they can’t have the party they had planned, that isn’t so important. She has a very pragmatic approach to life, which I think comes from me!
Jo: I’m delighted that has worked out so well.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Elinor. I know we have known each other professionally for 15 years now, but there is always so much more to know!
Elinor has ‘Anything is possible’ engraved on her Single Stone Lotus Necklace, which is our ‘Mantra of the Month’ this month.
You can buy at 15% off here, and have your own mantra engraved on the back.