• Louise Woodhead

BOHEMIAN MANIFESTO: FINDING MY TRUE PURPOSE

Updated: Dec 17, 2019



WikipediaBohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits. 


Chapters


  • Free spirit

  • Creativity

  • Business and entrepreneurship

  • Portfolio career

  • Purpose


Free spirit

I was raised in catholic and conservative surroundings. Going to university and following a career in business was what was expected. And so, short of a having a calling to do differently, that is what I did.

But I’m a free-spirit and always felt caged.

Creativity


Creativity has been a constant thread throughout my life. But, until very recently, I never appreciated this about myself.  


At the age of four, I took myself to my first piano lesson. And at secondary school, I played piano and percussion in the school jazz band and orchestra.


I got a French Masters Degree at University, which involved spending a compulsory year in Paris. My specialist subject was French Cinema. With Philosophy, Marketing & Management, and English Literature as secondary subjects. 

Business and entrepreneurship


I graduated and moved straight to London. And for the next two decades, I tried my hand at as many organisations as I could, including world-leaders.


I chose to do this largely as an interim manager. Because I couldn’t commit all of myself to them. That would have felt like sacrificing my independence. And there was always more to learn elsewhere.


I also experimented with entrepreneurship. My first attempt was an ambitious project that I spent 4 years developing. But then the financial crisis arrived. And took my project with it. So I defaulted to the so-called sensible solution of a permanent job.

Which, again, left me feeling restricted and unchallenged. 

Last year I took some time out to establish exactly what would make me happy. And, after an initial period of fear and indecision, the wish list of ‘things I’d really like to do with my life and at work’ began to grow. As did my excitement around the journey towards them.


Portfolio career


All of this has led to me now having a portfolio career.


I co-run a business transformation consultancy with my husband (Tall: Tony and Louise Limited). And within this, I’ve developed a corporate wellness start-up (Well), that I’m now fund-raising to scale. 

Working for myself in this way gives me the ability to devise and engage in other interests. Which, for me, is modelling, dancing, acting, performing. Exploring. Learning. Having fun. Being happy.


For the first time in my life, I’ve given myself permission to be creative full-time and not allowed myself to be coerced into just one thing. Or do what others think I ought to do. As a very dear friend said to me recently: we’re here for a good time, not a long time.


Purpose


I’ve come to realise that, in order for me to be happy and to deliver at my best, I need to feel unrestricted (freedom); in an environment that appreciate aesthetics (beauty); be able to speak openly (truth); and feel truly valued (love).


And so I now have purpose. Which is to incorporate these bohemian principles into the businesses and causes I support; the audiences to which I perform; and to friends, family and others I meet along the way.


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Contact Louise: louise@wearetall.com / 07967 312 244

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