Leah Brown FRSA is a professional speaker, freelance writer and recovering corporate M&A lawyer. She is Founder & CEO of Broadstairs Consulting Ltd, a crisis advisory and mediation boutique specialising in sports, media, and politics. She hosts a weekly crisis podcast called The Longest Day, and is a regular political commentator on US-UK Mid-Atlantic Podcast.
She is also the sole director of Leah Talks Ltd. She has written a narrative nonfiction / memoir crossover book on her experience being the nearest relative under the UK Mental Health Act for which she is seeking publication. When Leah isn’t navigating difficult situations, she’s running the legal function in early stage businesses, giving talks on mediating a crisis or squirrelled away in a nook writing another non-fiction book.
Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Leah. I tend to describe myself as a recovering corporate M&A lawyer, freelance writer, and the founder of a crisis advisory and mediation boutique. I host a weekly crisis podcast called The Longest Day. But I’m also a Christian, a dog owner and a violinist. I enjoy playing and watching sports and I’m a fantastic cook.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
Well, it’s funny really. With three passports, I grew up wanting to be a diplomat so I suppose founding a mediation boutique isn’t a million miles removed. I studied an undergraduate Music degree in the US whilst I was in high school and after graduating early, I returned to the UK to do my A-levels at boarding school. People make strange decisions on your behalf when you’re a child! But after a Philosophy & Politics degree and various postgraduate law degrees, I was called to the Bar and cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2015. The rest, they say, is history.
Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?
Ha! Not to the model, but we are continuously tinkering with the proposition to figure out what the hook is for prospective clients. Apparently it takes four years to finalise a business proposition and we have only been properly operational since February. Our greatest challenge has been marketing and PR.
Have you ever had a mentor? If so how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?
Yes I have, although it wasn’t a plain sailing experience at all. The purpose of a mentor is to encourage you to achieve your stretch goals and to walk alongside you as you reach for them. I have been a mentor for several younger lawyers and students and adults seeking to return to work and it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.
What outlets do use for marketing?
We had a head of marketing at the outset who helped scope and develop our brand. I am hugely grateful for the early heavy lifting that has enabled us to continue to build. We have no internal or external marketing at present as we predominately win work through word of mouth although we have just started working with a PR agency.
What or Who has inspired you most recently?
I am inspired by phenomenal writers who have managed to get traditionally published like journalist Afua Hirsch and author Otegha Uwagba, who have managed to create a platform that allows them to develop other passion projects which are successful when fused with their professional skill set.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Do the next thing. It’s so easy to be concerned with things that may never happen that are three steps ahead. Putting one foot in front of the other has brought my anxiety as a business down considerably.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I’m not going to lie here – I really haven’t managed to crack that nut yet. But I think that’s because I have a portfolio career rather than focusing 100% of my energies into one venture.
Name a seminal point in your career so far?
Leading on the independent investigation into alleged embezzlement and fraud by senior employees for the Kuwaiti government.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
How do you define your own success?
Broadstairs Consulting is in the business of helping organisations solve problems one leader at a time. My success across business, writing, speaking, music, etc. is whether or not I have changed a single person’s life.
Finally, what can we expect from you next?
Establishing a successful disruptive business that is well-regarded in the industry for crisis advisory and mediation services, becoming a traditionally published author, and being a visible keynote speaker at a range of international events.