Anna Parker-Naples | Changing lives with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
This week’s #selfstarterstory features Anna Parker-Naples, Founder of Anna Parker-Naples.
Pick Yourself UK caught up with Anna to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey…
What was your last job?: My previous work was as a Voiceover Artist and Audiobook Narrator. I achieved so much success and recognition I knew that I had more to share with other ambitious people about what I had learned.
What motivated you to start your own business?: In 2010 I was told to expect that I may not walk properly again, and I was devastated. I had been an actor before I had children and had hoped to return.
As a means to cope better, I saw an NLP Practitioner and Hypnotherapist. It changed my life. Within months I was walking again, and it gave me the confidence to begin a new career as a Voice Actor, working from home. Within a few short years I was a finalist on the red carpets in Hollywood, all whilst being a stay-at-home mum.
The seventh award I was a finalist for in LA, I suddenly realised that I had a bigger mission, to share the personal development learnings and business strategies I had used to get super visible, to get recognition, and to achieve the success results I wanted for myself as an entrepreneur and creative.
By this point I was a Master of NLP and Hypnosis and I set up my online NLP Business and Mindset Coaching business and membership model about 4 months later.
Within one year I had won an international award for my work, alongside Rio Ferdinand, Adele and Holly Willoughby, and I was asked to speak on stages alongside Ruby Wax, Paul McKenna and Will Young.
What was the most challenging part of starting a business?: The most challenging part was not knowing the processes to convert an audience initially, and to be doing everything myself from scratch.
We had some major personal issues to face in those first few weeks too, with my father having a heart attack and my husband being made redundant. There was a lot of pressure.
What is your favourite business book and why?: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen. It talks about the compound effect of taking small actions towards your goals, and I can identify with that.
How do you market your business?: Predominantly I market my business through Facebook, as this is where I can create the most sense of community. I have a strong funnel, with several lead magnets, and I nurture people of my list with valuable content. It's important to treat your audience with respect and value them.
How did you get your first paying customers?: My first clients were friends of friends. Word of mouth is still a massively important part of business. There's real value in making in person connection.
How did you get your first traffic to your website?: Through making a big splash on Facebook and through Facebook Ads. Unfortunately I hadn't yet learned the importance of capturing the email addresses of new visitors. I had a lot to learn!
What would you say to someone who is toying with the idea to start a business but haven't yet?: Speak with a business coach who has done something similar. I learned a lot of business knowledge the hard way through mistakes and failures.
It would have cost me far less to have gone and worked with a credible coach in the first place. Guidance is essential. If you can find someone who works with NLP and Mindset too, then you'll be a good place when bumps in the entrepreneurial road appear!
Why would you like to win Pick Yourself UK's Small Business Entrepreneur of the year 2019?: I've weathered quite a few storms over the past few years as an entrepreneur. My story from wheelchair to Hollywood red carpets, to multi-award-winning Entrepreneur, Speaker and Coach shows other people what they can be capable of when they stop getting in their own way.
I am a normal woman, who with focus, a solid mindset, and a firm visibility strategy, has achieved amazing things. It's my mission to show others what they can achieve for themselves. The 'PickYourself' theme resonates strongly with me. I CHOSE to have success, no one did it for me, and that's essentially at the essence of all of my work and teachings now.