Sophie Marette is an astrocoach, translator and private French tutor.
She tells us that, “I’ve been coaching adults and children for more than 20 years now. I was the CEO of the language agency ‘Voulez-vous parler’ for 15 years until 2022. I’ve learnt a lot in the process. Now, I’ve turned my passion for astrology into coaching with astrology. I never thought this would happen!”
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your professional journey/venture/initiative and what inspired you to choose this career.
I didn’t have an easy childhood. My parents split up when I was 6. I quickly learnt to be independant and take initiatives. When I was 12, as I wanted more pocket money, I started giving private lessons and selling things in ‘braderies’ (French carboot sales). I was already an entrepreneur. I came to London as I loved England and the English language. I quickly saw it was THE country to be an entrepreneur. It really fitted with me: it was easy to become a freelancer and then start my own language agency when I was 30. About my new astrocoaching career, what inspired me was elevating other women. Almost on a daily basis, I see women who don’t dare launching their own business or asking for a fair price for their services. As I’ve been through these issues myself, I know I can help them with astrocoaching and help men and women have a more abundant life.
Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.
In summer 2022, I had to close my agency down. Business hadn’t been good for a few years and my accountant retiring was the trigger to end it and close this chapter. I was relieved to have finally made the decision. 2021- early 2023 was a very tough time financially and emotionally, as I also went through a toxic relationship that taught me a lot of lessons. In February 2023, I saw the astrocoaching course being advertised again and I jumped on the wagon! It was calling me! It has changed my life : I’ve made some strong decisions and have now started a new career on top of my other languages ventures. I’m now looking forward to having consultations in person in London or France, as well as online. I really want to see more clients in person. People still work a lot online in the UK, and it’s affecting our mental state. We need to see people physically to thrive.
Tell us about your goals, interests, and role models.
My goal is to sell up my London flat and find a house in France near the sea, in my native region, where I can welcome my clients and friends. It is a big thing after living in London for 26 years! My interests are hikes in nature, friendships, and education. I think children should be taught natural health remedies, cooking and gardening. My role models are the many French coaches I’m discovering in France at the moment. And also my mother, who showed me the values of hard work and perseverance.
Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?
I had the challenges of standing up for myself, learning to say ‘no‘. I also learnt that it’s not a good idea to hire friends for my own business. It won’t work if you try pleasing everyone. You need to think about your business and yourself first. I used to want to be liked by everybody. It’s not possible. I had to make some tough decisions sometimes and accept that not everyone is going to be happy. I’ve done a lot of work on myself. It took decades, but I’m getting there!
What impact do you feel you have been able to create with your work so far and how would you want to grow in the next few years?
I’ve helped a lot of clients feeling more confident about themselves to speak French, but also as entrepreneurs, in my new astrocoach career. I’ve seen women having ‘eureka’ moments, where a mind switch happened. Suddenly, I saw them realize they could ‘do it’, that they could allow themselves to ask for a certain amount for their services for example. It’s a big step for them, like it was for me. I want to grow my clientele internationally, beyond the UK and France. I love working with different nationalities and cultures.This is why I’ve loved London so much for 26 years.
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
On a personal level, I was very isolated alone in my flat in London and cut out from my family and friends in France when this happened. This made me realized I wanted to live closer to my family, hence my future move to France. Relationships and seeing people regularly are more important than work. We need this to thrive as human beings, which brings me to my other point. My French lessons went online overnight in March 2020. They have all remained online since, except one, and I haven’t seen most of my clients in flesh since 2020. I think it’s a shame, especially as teaching French is more efficient in person, for adults and children. This is my conclusion after 3.5 years of testing. Teaching is about human connection. A tutor who is physically there is a lot more encouraging and reassuring for a student. A lot of food for thought for decisions makers and politicians.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
I’m really proud of myself for creating a thriving business 15 years ago in a country which isn’t my native country, with no financial help or family around me. I just knew it would work. A gut feeling. Also, learning many different languages throughout my life, like Japanese and modern Greek has taught me a lot, and enriched me to a point I wouldn’t have suspected. Learning a new language can really change your life, for the better. Astrology is like a language, I’m like a researcher, always studying natal charts. I will never stop learning.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I would like to see all the world’s children thrive and be protected. I think children aren’t protected enough in our world and this needs to change now. They are the future adults.
What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?
That you need to be persistent and think long-term. Results rarely happen overnight. It took years for my agency to take off, and when it did, it happened fast. I was unprepared. Allow yourself to have big dreams and work for them. Do not aim ‘small‘ because people around you don’t want you to expand. You’re the one who knows. My motto: ‘I can do this!‘
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?
I think women have done incredible work to break the glass ceilings in the previous decades. I’ve seen big changes in the last 10 years in London for example. I think we need to carry on working on this and change our mindset. We can do this. We are definitely as good as men in all business and political settings.
With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
You can be who you want to be. Work hard and you will have results. And allow yourself to dream big. If you don’t know how to get started, do research, and try to talk to women who have succeeded. Be inspired, study and do not try to copy someone else. You are unique. Use your ‘uniqueness‘ to develop your business.