Kiran Singh is a Single Mum, a lifestyle, mindfulness & wellness coach at Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire, multi-award winning entrepreneur, an author and interior designer, founder, and editor-in-chief of Vivacious Mum, My Unique Home, and Passion for Food.
Hey Kiran , can you introduce yourself to us?
My name is Kiran Singh, and I am a single Mum to a lively, gorgeous teen daughter (www.khushikkaur.co.uk). Of Indian origin, born and brought up in Norway. I am a Multi-Award Winning Entrepreneur, Lifestyle, mindfulness & wellness coach and editor-in-chief at Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire, interior designer and author, founder, and editor of Vivacious Mum, My Unique Home, and Passion for Food.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I had an arranged marriage in 2002 which lasted 1.5 years, during that time; I got pregnant and got divorced before I had my baby. My mother got ovarian cancer in 1995, had a major operation and was well until 2004 when cancer came back. To take care of her; I quit my fulltime job and started working from home. My mother struggled with cancer for 3 years until she passed away in 2007. Our family fell apart, my father got re-married and my brothers moved abroad.
6 months later I decided to move on with my life and focus on me and my daughter – so we moved to London in July 2008. We moved out of the blue, without having any family or friends, but this was a risk I was willing to take. Our life in London started not as I had planned and hoped for, I got a job offer as Interior Designer before I moved to London, but sadly by the time I could start working full-time, the company shut down due to the recession.
For a year and a half, I had no money and no help. I was in debt and really struggling. My landlord was very understanding and let us stay even though I owed him money. I didn’t know who to turn to and ask for advice, then I found out about The Citizen Advice Bureau through the Children’s Centre at my daughter’s school. They advised that I was entitled to certain benefits and that I needed to get my National Insurance number and sign-up with the Job Centre.
A couple of months later, I started getting housing and job seekers while I was actively looking for a job. Sadly because I was Norwegian and didn’t have any experience in the UK, getting a job was far from easy – I kept getting told I was over-qualified. I then decided to do a teaching qualification through the job centre at the local college. This was an intense 1-month course where I went to college every day from 9-5 and my daughter would be at school from 7.30am-6pm (breakfast club, school, and after-school club).
I finished my teaching qualification with distinction. While job searching, I launched two blogs; Vivacious Mums – Support and Empowerment for Single Mums and My Unique Home – Creating beautiful, healthy & happy homes. These two blogs kept my passions going and the best part was that I could work on them around my daughter. During this time, I joined Gingerbread and started running a local support group for single parents.
Autumn 2011, I got a restaurant design project in Uxbridge who then hired me part-time as their Office Manager to handle their PR & Marketing and Events. At the same time, I got a job at Ealing Adult Learning and Hillingdon Adult & Community Learning as an Interior Design Tutor.
In April 2013 I got a job at a local College as PA to the Marketing Director and teaching Panjabi to primary school children. Here I worked for 1.5 years until I was let go by a text message in June 2015.
I went back to being self-employed, blogs had started generating income so I launched another one called Passion for Food – the inspiration behind this was to get Khushi into cooking – this resulted in her being on Junior Bake Off. I launched my Life, Mindfulness & Wellness Coaching practice in March 2015 and this is what I now do full-time.
What is a day in the life of you like?
- 5AM-5.15AM: Wake-up and stretch,
- 5.15AM-5.30AM: Enjoy a cup of warm lemon water,
- 5.30AM-6AM: Sivananda Yoga and PowerPlate exercise,
- 6AM-6.30AM: Journaling and planning my day,
- 6.30AM-7AM: Morning pampering, getting ready and making the bed,
- 7AM-7.15AM: Make nourishing breakfast for my Madam and juice for me,
- 7.15AM-7.30AM: Have a chat with my baby while enjoying breakfast/juice,
- 7.30AM-8.30AM: School run, morning walk, and grocery shopping,
- 8.30AM-9AM: Have nourishing breakfast while listening to a podcast,
- 9AM-11.45: Build my empire,
- 11.45-12PM: Lunch-time,
- 12PM-1PM; Go for a short afternoon walk/bike ride,
- 1PM-2.15PM: Build my empire,
- 2.20PM-3.10PM: School run and an afternoon walk,
- 3.15PM-4PM: Make dinner,
- 4PM-5PM: Dinner and catch-up with Khushi, clean the kitchen,
- 5PM-5.30PM: Go for a short evening walk while sipping a cup of after-dinner tea,
- 5.30PM-6.30PM: Build my empire,
- 6.30PM-7.30PM: Unwind with some TV or a movie,
- 7.30PM-7.45PM: Prepare breakfast and lunch, tidy up living room etc,
- 7.45PM-8.15PM: ‘ME-Time‘; evening pampering yoga stretches and meditation,
- 8.15PM-9PM: Reading and journaling,
- 9PM: Beauty sleep.
Now, I do try to stick to the timings, which isn’t always do-able so I do have some cushion space for any changes and surprises, however, I do about 70% of the above on a daily basis.
What was the concept behind launching Design The Life You Desire?
Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire is about Living a Well-Designed Life; Consciously, Intentionally and Wholeheartedly! It’s about becoming more fully of who you truly are, about tuning into your true passions and desires, about rediscovering the beauty of life and experiencing pleasure in everything you do – ordinary and extraordinary; from taking a hot fragrant bath, sipping a cup of speciality tea, listening to music, snuggling up on the sofa with a good book, travelling to Paris, going for a long walk, cooking a meal… the list is endless.
It’s a reminder about focusing on embracing and living your life fully, following your own agenda, cultivating your actual self – to feel alive and enjoy everything life has to offer.
Life isn’t about the ultimate stopping point, but about finding happiness in everyday life, to live life more mindfully and soulfully and to be present – at the moment. That is what life is all about: enriching the little things in life with a hint of luxury and simply: “Live a Well-Designed Life; Consciously, Intentionally and Wholeheartedly!”
How is Design The Life You Desire funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded etc.?
I am proud to say that Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire is all self-funded.
Can you tell us more about your brand DNA and ethos at Design The Life You Desire?
I am my brand. Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire is a Lifestyle – It’s all about Living a Well-Designed Life; Consciously, Intentionally and Wholeheartedly. I inspire others by doing what inspires me. I align myself for success every day.
I live my message, practice it daily and lead by example. I show up at every moment as if I am meant to be there.
Can you tell us how you are helping women in their #BlissfulForties envision, create & design the life they really want?
Turning 40 (or ‘Blissful Forties‘ as I define it), is a milestone and often a time of transition. Women are finally starting to realise that midlife can be the best time of their whole life. It’s all in the approach. It’s a time of growth, change, and enrichment – to fully embrace life and live it fully. ‘Blissful Forties’ is all about rediscovering your authentic self, your passions, and purpose.
My passion and mission are to help women in their #BlissfulForties to author their lives by bringing to life these 10 Core Life Principles:
- Purpose: Knowing and living your Purpose,
- Prosperity: Creating the Income to Support Your Goals and Purpose,
- Nutrition: Creating a physical foundation for energy, clarity & health,
- Exercise: Body Movement for health, joy, and freedom,
- Personal Growth: Exploration of Self-Awareness, Belief, and Potential,
- Self-Care: Nurturing, Honouring & Nourishing Self,
- Relationships: Building Healthy Connections with Self & Others,
- Slowing Down: Creating stillness and space to hear your own wisdom,
- Spirituality: Having a Daily Practice that Supports your Intentions,
- Fun: Bringing joy, lightness, and humour into life
By helping them to:
- Let go of their negative self-beliefs and reconnect with their authentic self
- Escape their own self-limiting beliefs to finally live the life they want to and reach their BIG goals
- Cultivate real clarity of what it is they actually want, a life they adore and a loving relationship with themselves
- Release fear, crush limiting beliefs and ignite their spark through deep discovery, self-love, and wellness
- Design a Lifestyle they Desire with freedom, purpose, abundance and a connection to themselves
Can you highlight 3 tips to help us be grateful for what we have but mindful of what we can become?
- Keep a gratitude journal. Establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits and good things you enjoy.
- Think outside the box. If you want to make the most out of opportunities to flex your gratitude muscles, you must creatively look for new situations and circumstances in which to feel grateful.
- Remember the bad. To be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you have come, you set up an explicit contrast in your mind, and this contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.
Who does the team involve behind you at Design The Life You Desire?
Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire is a one-woman show; It’s all me.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Have a raving tribe, helping hundred thousands of women worldwide Design the Lifestyle they Desire for themselves. Online courses, Award Winning Podcast, Online TV Show, Printed Edition of the Seasonal Journals. I want Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire to be the go-to place for women in their #BlissfulForties!
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of Design The Life You Desire?
As my business is all online, my main strategy is to show up in the online world as myself, a life coach, mindfulness Coach, and wellness coach – with the intention to inspire and motivate others to create and live a Well-Designed Life; Consciously, Intentionally and Wholeheartedly. To remind to focus on embracing and living their life fully, following their own agenda, cultivating their actual self – to feel alive and enjoy everything life has to offer.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Over the years, I’ve struggled with loads; some of them being marketing, getting clients, getting publicity and social media. But with time I learned that the things I struggle with are a crucial part of the business and will be an ongoing thing, so now I see them as learning opportunities instead of struggles.
I am a creative person, have my background in Interior Design & Graphic Design – so this has never been an issue. In March 2017 I decided to redesign my website from a Norwegian Web design software I bought back in 2007 to WordPress. Now, I had no idea of how WordPress worked or how to even get started, but after endless hours of hard work, stress, tears etc. I learned the ins and outs of it. 2 years later, I’ve designed 7 websites (all of them being my own) and even taught others how to use it.
Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire is my baby – it’s a labour of love. Through my content; I give practical advice and solutions that can be applied right away.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
I’ve never had a mentor as such, however over the years I have joined programmes like B-School by Marie Forleo, Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and Personal Mastery Academy Online by Robin Sharma.
What outlets do use to market Design The Life You Desire?
Mainly social media and newsletters. From time to time I work with a publicist who has, in the past have worked to have me featured in mainstream media like The Independent, Metro, Top Santé, BBC etc. Being guest on podcasts is something that I do once a month too.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
I am sure you’ve heard the following quote endless times; “Who you spend time with the most is who you will become.” It’s needless to say how important it is to get your surroundings as well as yourself into a positive state – meaning surround yourself with positive people and in my case, spend time in a positive and uplifting environment. Working from home can be pretty lonely at times so meeting new people can be a bit tricky, so I’ve turned my home into a positive haven with quotes and affirmations everywhere that inspires and motivates me.
As my business is an online business, my connections are mostly online, this being said – I am a member of a few facebook groups that I turn to when needed.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
To launch and learn.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Be passionate about what you do, love it like you love yourself. Your career/business will become a part of you so it will need special attention, discipline, and environment to grow.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
The definition of work-life balance is personal and individual. I check in with myself weekly to see where I currently stand. I answer a set of questions (see below) that helps me work out what I personally need to review regularly:
- How many hours a week do I working?
- Am I being productive in those hours?
- How often do I work in the evening?
- How often do I take a lunch break?
- Am I able to switch off at the weekend?
- Am I thinking about work all the time?
- How am I using my phone/tablet?
- Is it keeping me too plugged into work?
- Do I have any interests outside of work?
- How much time do I make for them?
- Have I missed any family events because of work?
- Am I managing to spend quality time with family/friends on a regular basis?
- Have I made time for me to recharge?
- What is my mood like?
- Am I snappy with loved ones?
- Do I feel anxious about work/guilty about home?
These questions really narrow it down to for me where my time is spent, and then I make changes accordingly for the coming days/week. This being said; I have dedicated certain days to certain things; Sundays are prep (food, planning, cleaning etc) for the coming weekday, Mondays are my reset day; I rest, SPA at home, watch movies, treat myself to foods I have been craving for, pampering and more. Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays are my work days, Thursdays are my home TLC day and Saturdays are my unplug day dedicated to spending quality time with family and friends.
I do work every day, but not as much as I used to for the last 9 years because I’m finally learning to work smart and not hard.
The highlight of your career so far?
- 1st runner-up, Women’s Empowering Award, Nov 2012
- Won Silver Website for My Unique Home, July 2013
- Won the Inspirational Award by The Inspirational Mother Award in March 2014
- Won Bronze Website Award for Vivacious Mum, April 2014
- Won the Design & Creative Award at Asian Professional Awards, Nov 2014
- Won Silver Website Award for STUDIO KIRAN SINGH, Jan 2015
- Won Silver Website Award for Passion for Food, Jan 2015
- Finalist ‘Best in Creative Industries’ category at the 3rd Annual British Indian Awards, April 2015
- Won Silver Website Award for Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire! April 2015
- Won Star Awards 2015
- Finalist Network She Foundation International Women’s Day 2016
- Won ‘BoConcept’s Ones to Watch’ 2016
- Finalist Hertfordshire Digital Awards
- Won Sikh Women in Business at World Sikh Awards, 2016
- Finalist British Indian Awards; ‘Best in Creative Industries’ and ‘Young Achiever of the Year’, 2017
- Won Silver Award @ Hertfordshire Digital Awards – Blog Category, 2017
- Runner up at Centre of Excellence 2018 Awards, Inspiration Category
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Doing what I love and am passionate about. Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire is not only a brand but a lifestyle – my lifestyle.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Design The Life You Desire?
From day one, it has been about clarity. In which direction do I want to take Design the Lifestyle YOU Desire; life coaching, blog, ideal clients, Services and more. It was about 6 months ago I really connected with my ‘why.’
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Marie Forleo, Connie Chapman, Danielle LaPorte & Cara Alwill Leyba.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘The Desire Map’ & ‘The Fire Starter Sessions.’
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- Marie Forleo.
- ‘Awaken Radio.’
- ‘Style Your Mind.’
How do you measure your own terms of success?
Success to me is abundance in every aspect of my life. It’s about discovering and living the authentic me. It’s about being in a position to encourage, help, support and guide fellow mums to honour their inner strength and celebrate their unique, personal path through life. My vision is that my message will remind you daily to be grateful for what you have but mindful of what you can become. Life’s challenges come in all sizes, shapes, and colours. You already possess the inner strength to deal with any situation.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Living a well-designed life; Consciously, Intentionally & Wholeheartedly. To feel happy and content with where I am, live mindfully and soulfully. Show up as the best version of myself – every day!
Lastly, what is next for you?
Moving near the seaside, close to France. Paris (& France) is my guilty pleasure so I will be moving as close to France as I can so I can visit as often as I want and need to. I can already see myself on the ferry to Calais, with my work bag – once I am there, I go to my favourite cafe where I sit down and work, have lunch, do some photography, visit the farmers market and bring home some delicious food to cook for Khushi and I.