Maxine has accumulated extensive experience in completing various coaching and counselling courses over the years, with a focus on assisting individuals navigating challenging circumstances. Her specialisation lies in providing support for grief and bereavement. In January 2021, she established MKB Life Coach, transitioning from full-time employment to dedicating herself entirely to helping others.
Having personally experienced loss, a marriage breakup, and other complex situations throughout her life, Maxine possesses a unique ability to empathise with individuals, recognising that each person’s circumstances are distinct. Her primary objective is to empower individuals to move forward and find happiness and contentment after enduring life-altering periods.
Maxine’s core values revolve around being supportive, empathetic, and always affordable. She strives to create a safe individual environment during one-on-one and group sessions. Additionally, she has authored a self-help book titled “31 Days Life Changing Journal,” designed to aid individuals in shifting their mindset and cultivating positivity following traumatic experiences. Furthermore, she offers a companion journal, the “MKB Life Coach Year Journal: A Year to Change Your Life,” to facilitate continued personal growth. Maxine is writing a book on grief, aiming to aid those struggling with this particular challenge.
Maxine firmly believes in establishing a sense of ease and comfort between herself and her clients. To ensure that individuals believe they will benefit from her sessions, she offers a complimentary half-hour meeting for everyone.
Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hi, I’m Maxine K. Brown. I’m the owner and founder of MKB Life Coach, an online life coaching business specialising in grief support. The business was started in 2020, and my ethos is to be supportive, empathetic, and affordable so that everyone is able to get support when they most need it. Before starting my business, I spent many years working with people in different retail areas and later in training companies.
All my work is completed either online, by telephone or via the latest support text because we, my husband and dog, live on a narrowboat and travel the waterways of the United Kingdom.
As well as being a life coach, I am a trained hypnotherapist, and I find that this is a great tool to help people struggling with relaxation and anxiety. My other passion is writing, I have written a couple of self-help books and soon have my third book, which is a grief support book published. For relaxation since being onboard our narrowboat Never Two Late, I have started writing children’s books too. There are now five in the series The Adventures of Mexi the Boat Dog,
For relaxation, I love to go for long walks and explore the areas where we are moored, and recently, I have taken up running as I signed up for the Virtual London marathon in March 2024, so I am trying to get fit for that.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I started my career as a hairdresser. And I soon found that it really wasn’t my cup of tea. So, I went into sales. And I worked for my uncle for a few years. I had my daughter and took a career break. Then, when she started school, I went to work for Currys high street stores. I worked my up into a management role with them and loved my job, moving over to Dixons and working hard to become a respected manager. I then moved around to a couple of different mobile phone retailers and loved problem-solving in different stores and training new managers. I was nominated as one of the top 10 managers in the United Kingdom In the early 2000’s, a pivotal time in my career.
In 2009, I decided to move to a health club company, David Lloyd, and I was a manager there when my life was turned upside down.in January 2010, My daughter was killed in a car accident at the age of 20 after being exceptionally poorly for a few months before the accident with swine flu, which she had just recovered from. This turned my life upside down; Lizzie was my only daughter and the apple of my eye. She was why I worked so hard, and my world was shattered. A few months after the death of Lizzie, I found out my then-husband was having an affair and had been doing all the time that Lizzie had been ill, so I walked out of 25 years of marriage, my family, home, and life as I had known. It was the best thing I ever did. It was also the scariest thing I had ever done. I had never lived alone or had to fend for myself, but I did it. My amazing parents and a couple of good friends supported me, which I can never thank them enough for, even to this day. I was still grieving for Lizzie and seemed to live on autopilot most of the time. It was quite soon after the breakup that I met my now husband, who helped me a lot to get through life without Lizzie. I was always at the doctor, feeling unwell and having tests. It was quite some time after Lizzie’s death, I’m talking a few years, that my aunty suggested I seek help. I went to see a health kinesiologist. It changed my life, I had been grieving silently without outside help for too long. I had not been offered grief counselling and couldn’t afford to seek private help then. I changed jobs a couple of times after losing Lizzie. I struggled, so I took mundane jobs, and then I had a eureka moment, I started doing a coaching course, and I became a grief counsellor; basically, I read up and took so many different types of courses as I wanted to help others who struggled as I did. It took a while to complete everything until I felt I was ready, and then, in 2020, that was it. I started MKB Life Coach. I’ve never looked back; I’m doing what I love: helping people overcome difficulties.
Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?
My business model always evolves; things will change as I find better ways to support individuals and learn new techniques. I think my main thing, though, has been the costings. When I started, many business coaches told me I would never get clients as I am too cheap, people won’t believe in me, and I need to charge well over £100 per hour. Initially, I did charge more than now, but it didn’t resonate with me. That wasn’t why I set up my business, I set it up to assist people who were struggling with life and not to add to the burden of how they were feeling by having to find large amounts of money to get support.
Have you ever had a mentor? If so, how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?
Yes, I have both personally and professionally, and I can highly recommend it. The main thing I have found is getting the right person. You need to be comfortable in being able to express your feelings to them, and also, you need to have confidence in their abilities.
What outlets do use for marketing?
I use social media quite a lot for marketing, as it has worked for me for the last few years. I also advertise on a radio station that supports mental health. I have been on radio stations and had a few articles published in newspapers telling my story and why I set up the business.
What or Who has inspired you most recently?
What has inspired me most recently is my need to help more people who are struggling with grief, and so I have completed my book “Grief, A Private Club No One Wants To Join.” It is only a short book, but it lets people know what the grief rollercoaster is so that people realise they are not going mad it’s completely normal to feel like they are doing.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Believe in yourself and go with your gut feeling.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
This is very easy these days because of the way we live on our boat. In the summer, we travel a lot, so I will change my diary availability to fit in with our cruising times and then when we moor up, I will take time out to catch up on emails or do some writing. I also like to work early in the mornings before my husband is even awake. In the winter, because we don’t move around as much, I open my diary more, and this coming January, I am running a six-month challenge yourself program that will keep me busy for the winter and allow me to have more time off again the following summer.
Name a seminal point in your career so far?
The most inspirational point in my career is when I receive feedback from a client who has really been struggling, and they thank you for changing their lives and that they go on to flourish. It puts the biggest smile on my face and makes me know what I’m doing is just right.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
It is very simple, really. It is knowing that I have helped someone get out of the blackest hole they have been in and start to enjoy their life again.
Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire, and if so, why?
I find Steven Bartlett inspiring. He is straightforward and encouraging in how he conducts himself, and his podcasts are extremely interesting and a great way of picking up tips from different businesses. He keeps everything quite basic, saying it doesn’t have to be complicated, which I completely agree with.
How do you define your own success?
My success is when I have helped someone overcome a difficult time in their life, to see someone move forward and realise they can do something that they didn’t believe they could before, be it live a life again after loss or accomplish a new way of living by seeing things differently.
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