Q&A with Ellen Jackson, Workplace Psychologist, Potential Psychology
2018, I realigned my business locally, started my podcast, outsourced to expand and moved out of home!
Tell us about Potential Psychology
I started Potential Psychology almost 19 years ago. It’s a micro-consulting firm. I work with local leaders and organisations to help their workforce to fulfil their potential. This includes one-on-one coaching, workshops and project-specific consulting. We explore change and how to embrace it, what’s required to create thriving workplaces, how to enhance productivity and keep our minds in tip top condition, and topics fundamental to working well, such as motivation, communication and leadership.
Who’s in the team?
It was me until just over twelve months ago when I added a Virtual Assistant and a podcast producer to the team.
What have been your biggest achievements in the past twelve months?
I realigned the business 12 months ago to focus on the local Ballarat community. I came to Ballarat from Sydney six years ago and most of my clients were either Melbourne or Sydney based. I was a little sick of the travel and I felt strongly that I wanted to make a bigger contribution to the local community.
I started by building networks, speaking to groups and running workshops. Word has spread and I now have a wonderful local clientele who inspire, challenge and motivate me every day.
Growing my team through outsourcing
Taking the step to expand my team and outsource tasks was a big decision but it has made a world of difference to business growth. My Virtual Assistant, Jaie, joined me last January and she now manages my calendar, produces and schedules a lot of my social media content, creates marketing materials and presentations, and manages the editorial side of the Potential Psychology Podcast for me. This frees me up to plan and set strategy, deliver client programs and nurture relationships.
Andy is the other member of the Potential Psychology team. He’s our podcast producer extraordinaire. He does the editing and audio production for the podcast which results in a far more professional audio experience than I’d be able to produce on my own.
Starting a podcast
The Potential Psychology Podcast turns one this month and it has been a wild ride. I started it to raise my profile and help the business reach a wider audience but I’ve discovered so many benefits that extend beyond marketing. I’ve built networks, developed friendships, learned an incredible amount and discovered my curious side. I love asking questions!
It’s an interview-based podcast. I chat to experts in happiness, wellbeing, parenting and performance, mostly psychologists but also neuroscientists, researchers, authors and academics. Our goal is always to share the science of wellbeing and my guests’ expertise in an easy, engaging conversational manner to help our audience to learn more about themselves and flourish at work and at home. Recent conversations have included sleep and wellbeing, the mental health of veterinary professionals and how the design of our workspace affects how we work and feel.
Joining a Coworking Office
I think I was the first through the door when Sam opened Platypus Coworking in 2018. I’d used coworking offices in Melbourne and Sydney and loved the philosophy of small and micro businesses sharing a space and working side-by-side.
Working from home can get lonely and while I had developed good workday discipline during my many years based from home, it’s been really refreshing sharing my stories, struggles and successes with other people who understand small and solo-business life. I love the diversity of the people and work done at Platypus and I’m also finding it much easier to stop work when I leave in the afternoon rather than allowing work to bleed into family time.
It’s a healthier balance than I had before and I’m inspired by the network of new people and ideas.
What’s Next for Potential Psychology?
2018 was a big year of learning to work smarter and not just harder, getting systems in place and a team to help me. This I’m focusing on doing everything I can to serve our local organisations and meet their needs for education programs, workshops, coaching and staff development. There’s exciting stuff happening in workplace psychology and organisational development across the globe and I’m thrilled to be bringing a piece of that to Ballarat.