For many people, stress can have a devastating impact on their lives, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Bridget Edwards is an entrepreneur and specialist stress counsellor showing people how to harness stress as a positive force, rather than a negative one. Her consulting work and her books provide an inspirational guide to living life more positively and differently, resolving personal challenges and issues along the way.
LoA had the pleasure of talking to the inspirational Bridget Edwards about her personal entrepreneurial journey.
What does your company do?
As a Stress Expert and through my business, Bridget Edwards, I facilitate the well-being of my clients by assisting them to overcome challenges or obstacles that limit personal growth and success. This could be related to issues at work, on the home front, with any relationship, or simply personal challenges as a result of unresolved stress, trauma, anxiety, fears and phobias, depression, anger, grief etc.
"I facilitate the well-being of my clients by assisting them to overcome challenges or obstacles that limit personal growth and success."
What inspired you to start your company?
For decades I’ve studied complimentary healing modalities, natural medicines, holistic body-mind connection and metaphysics. Although this led me on a very interesting journey of discovery, I never felt fulfilled by any particular modality, something was ‘missing’. In 2007, and as a result of a personal trauma, I embarked on walking the Camino, an ancient pilgrimage through France and Spain to introspect and find direction. I was determined to uncover that ‘missing piece’ while walking. Upon my return to South Africa, I discovered Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) also known as ‘tapping’ and immediately felt fulfilled; this was it – the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle. I immediately began integrating EFT into client therapy sessions with astonishing results. No matter what complexities I was presented with, the results were remarkable. Today, the focus of my practise covers ALL stress related issues, which includes trauma, anger, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, fears and phobias, relationships and eating disorders.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Stress is a dream stealer, relationship destroyer and silent killer. Given my expertise and understanding of stress related issues, and the significant impact stress has on one’s creativity, problem solving and performance abilities, I am able to assist people of all demographics overcome their stressors. Although stress is natural and normal, it affects people individually, so no two people react the same way, making stress difficult to discern. My experience enables me to identify with clients quickly, and to facilitate rapid stress relief.
The stressful environment we live in today demands specific expectations in terms of service deliverability. The following key essentials are what I’m exceptionally proud of providing clients with:
* Everyone seeks instant gratification: being in therapy for weeks or months is no longer deemed acceptable progress
* Time is precious and schedules are demanding; clients don’t have time to waste
* Results must be tangible, effective and long-lasting
* An empowered, uplifting experience is crucial
* Convenience – in person, telephonic or Skype consultations are available, enabling me to work with local or international clients
In just 2 hour’s consultation, clients achieve relief. Even from the most emotional, painful or traumatic of situations remarkable results are achieved. Results are what clients expect, and in one session a significant outcome is achieved.
In my books, Anger Gone! and Stress Gone!, I offer readers practical information, exercises, techniques and tips that are easily implementable, and again, results are achieved.
During talks and workshops, I strive to create and encourage interactive, empowering audience participation. I also use practical examples that provide tangible, personal experiences so people leave having gained firsthand knowledge and understanding so they can effectively manage their stress. I’m passionate about creating awareness, educating and teaching.
"Although stress is natural and normal, it affects people individually, so no two people react the same way, making stress difficult to discern. My experience enables me to identify with clients quickly, and to facilitate rapid stress relief."
Tell us a little about your team
I work alone.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Yes, I do. Barring my initial after school ‘safe 8-5 job’ working for the old ‘Building Societies’, followed by a brief stint in the Car Rental industry, the corporate mould just didn’t fit. As a typical non-conformist, it chafed! Moving to Johannesburg in 1989, I was fortunate to be hired by a Textile Agency, selling locally produced fabrics to clothing manufacturers. Within a year, we opened a separate business under my name, Bridgetex, which imported fabrics from the Far East. For 10 years this business was very successful, most likely because it nurtured so many aspects of my personality and things I was passionate about – creativity, marketing, communication, working with people, travel and exploration. At the height of my business success I also achieved significant personal ambitions of running Comrades, Two Oceans, cycling Argus and sumitted Kilimanjaro. However during all of this, I experienced a traumatic relationship break up. Additionally, my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, and died within two years. All too soon everything caught up with me, and I was diagnosed with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) – I had simply pushed the envelope too far, and in too many directions, and I burn out! Emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted, I sold my successful business – a bitter sweet moment.
Needing a break, I took a sabbatical, studied Nature Conservation (another passion) for a year, and then travelled by road for 10 months in a Land Rover visiting 11 African countries. Upon our return I worked with various SMEs either in management or consultation roles. For a change of scenery, I briefly lived in Cape Town, and succeeded in Real Estate.
Always fiercely independent, ambitious and driven, I’ve succeeded in various industries. Perhaps this is because of my innate adventurous and curious spirit. Regardless, I’ve been willing to explore, to push personal boundaries, to seek new opportunities, but most importantly, been willing to learn. I love this saying, ‘every day is a school day, you learn something new’ – if you’re not learning, you’re not growing. Personally, I loathe stagnation!
Naturally, in my insatiable quest for knowledge, I’ve continually studied complimentary modalities. Today I’m privileged to be fulfilling my passion and purpose: helping people to become the very best they possibly can be by overcoming stressful challenges and obstacles. I achieve this through my therapy consultations, speaking engagements, training programs and my writing.
"In just 2 hour’s consultation, clients achieve relief. Even from the most emotional, painful or traumatic of situations, remarkable results are achieved."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
To expand my personal reach via my books, products and social media, but also to travel the world empowering larger audiences. Over the years, through all my trials and tribulations, I’ve realised how much stress defined my life, and others around me. It’s time to share this knowledge and wisdom gained to a much bigger platform, leaving a legacy for the benefit of all.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I’m truly passionate about my Stress Gone! work. It’s such a privilege to help people. Nothing gives me more satisfaction and joy than witnessing a client transform before my eyes during consultations. Seeing that shift from pain and suffering to peace and tranquility makes my heart sing! Hearing success stories as a result of readers’ experience of Stress Gone! is also deeply gratifying.
"Today I’m privileged to be fulfilling my passion and purpose: helping people to become the very best they possibly can be by overcoming stressful challenges and obstacles."
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Being an entrepreneur is not all glitz and glamour - quite the contrary, its hard work but done correctly, very rewarding. Ensure you’re not only well versed about your start-up, but you’re passionate. Your passion will determine how far you’re willing to drive you business endeavours, overcome doubts, fears and obstacles – it’s the fuel required to get you through dark, tough times. Your passion will attract, and keep clients. Your passion will inspire suppliers and others to support you. Your passion will help you excel, going above and beyond service expectations. Your passion is your brand, and start-up lifeblood. Your passion is your vitality, your dream, and your inspiration to succeed. Good luck, and blessings always!
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Why LoA loves it….
Bridget Edwards is a great example of turning passion into a business, and one that is driven by the desire to make a positive difference to the lives of others. Her innovative and highly effective approach to managing stress and the challenges of increasingly complex lives, will resonate with all those trying to navigate a more balanced path through life. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa