third quarter tribe
As we head down the garden path to meet Jan Cutting from Third Quarter Tribe, we catch sight of a large ginger cat. His ears prick up and then he starts to stroll over to check out who’s arrived. Jan is busy in her garden office just finishing up a zoom call with a client; we head into the office and we are met with deafening hello yowl from Cane the cat. Jan smiles and says, “Cats are so mischievous and very inquisitive, they love playing and getting into trouble. Not unlike us humans”
Hello and Welcome to Third Quarter Tribe.
I am very excited to be one of the founders and part of this Tribe and extend to you a very warm invitation to join us.
Here you will find help with making a change, marketing yourself, or your ideas, or your business. We are a small team with lots of experience in launching ideas and making it happen, both for ourselves, our company and for others. I believe in offering a trustworthy, friendly, fun, service that we believe will help you move forward. I know from first-hand experience how hard it is to figure out your next step. Who can you talk to? Answer - us.
In the words of Cold Play (Fix You) “If you don’t try you’ll never know your worth”. It was certainly true for us. But we know it can be scary. Can we help you to find your worth?
Jan was brought up in rural Kent in the days when she was given 3 options as a career. "I was told I could be a secretary, a nurse, or a housewife". She says, “I was actively discouraged from any further education.” She’d always been interested in helping people and managed to get a job in the local hospice and the foundation for a career helping people was planted. For several years this inner passion to help people took her through a career working as a GP Practice Manager, Dementia Advisor, Community Coach and ultimately led her to work across Europe leading projects aimed at helping and coaching people with cancer, or those nearly retired to identify new goals.
And then her career stuck a rock. She found that she was out of a job unexpectedly in her fifties. " It came as a complete and utter shock to me. There I was, with a plan to see me through to retirement, a mortgage to pay and other normal bills a suddenly I had no income." Although her husband still brought in an income, which meant they could stay afloat financially, it wasn't what Jan was expecting
"I experienced bullying in almost every job I had and I guess you learn to put up with it. Until my last job that is, when I decided enough was enough." Finding no support from her employers she reached a settlement and left. "I had no income and no plan. I was very hurt, exhausted, confused, and worried. But the worst thing was there was no-one I could turn to for help or advice. Yes my mental health was affected but I didn't think I needed counselling and apart from talking to my GP (whose answer was anti-depressants which I turned down) there was no help."
This lack of help and support for people's midlife was something Jan had already noticed in her previous roles. "You get to fifty and you are supposed to have it all sorted out. Life. Job. Everything. Only it's not like that is it? At 50 you have concerns and worries just like you were 18. How can I retire? I don't like my job. I am not happy and so on. But reaching our fifties we are told to basically shut up, retire and die. Well, that isn't me, nor I suspect most of us. At 50 we have another 25 years plus of activity ahead of us. We need to think about that and how we are going to be fufilled and happy."
Happy is a word Jan uses a lot. "If we are not happy then something is not right in our lives. Something is out of balance. It's like a warning light on our dashboards". So fix the thing that is stopping you from being happy.
And the seed of an idea was formed. Jan set about looking to how she might build an organisation to help people in their midlife who need a little support.
After some initial research, she started to talk to people like her. She says, “So many people I talked to, particularly women, had either been through a similar work experience or were living unhappily. The more I looked, the more I saw people struggling to cope." Although there was no blueprint for a support organisation like this Jan and her co-founder Martin Fisher, decided to press on. “Creating a new market for something means nobody can give me advice. Simple things like, what information and advice do people really need? How do I charge for it? How do I market it? I’m learning every day.”
"We settled on life coaching as an approach that could help people. I think it is quite a poorly understood profession as it sits somewhere between counselling which many people are wary of, and sports which people don't see as relevant. But there is no manual for life coaching."
Jan called up some friends at the University of Exeter to see what they thought of her ideas. "They really liked it to the extent that we have developed a very structured approach based around The Guided Conversation first developed by the Social Innovation Group and Professor Kate Leyshon. They helped us structure our ideas and the approach we think helps people. And since then we have continued to develop The Guided Conversation based on feedback from our testers and clients."
The Guided Conversation Online programme is proving very popular. It is now an online course which people of any age can do and if they want further life coaching that is available as well. "It helps people to think about their lives privately, at home but we are always available if needed." Jan explained that the COVID outbreak meant that face-to-face meetings were impossible and so online was the way forward. "It was as we developed our online version, we realised the full potential of the programme. Help is now available for people 24/7 and they don't need to go out of their front door or meet a complete stranger. By the time they have completed our programme people should have a much better idea of what their own issues are and will have identified the things they are going to do to make them happier".
Jan says, “Our focus is to really look after our clients to ensure they can become happier and healthier - just as I wished there had been someone there for me.”
TQT is also a social enterprise. "Yes I need to make a living from this" Jan explains "but we also want to keep improving the business to generate profits we can then plough back into the community. That's the plan anyway.”
"The Pandemic has massively disrupted lives and plans. It was not what any of us wanted but Third Quarter Tribe is ready to help anyone who feels they need someone to talk to."
And just as she started early in her career, Jan is on her mission to help people, in whatever way she can.