The Change Makers: Claire of The Thinking Museum

Claire’s business, the Thinking Museum has been busy shaking up the way things work in her industry since she started. With a unique perspective on how museums can be experienced, the Thinking Museum has grown rapidly as they became known both for their bespoke museum tours and high-level museum industry training. But with rapid growth since the beginning, and the next growth phase of the business approaching, Claire was ready to make sure she had everything in order to lead her business forward.

The group mentoring programme would prove to be just the right blend of technical skills and peer support that Claire was looking for.

Claire Bown, Owner of The Thinking Museum

  PHOTO CREDIT: RUDI WELLS FOTOGRAFIE

PHOTO CREDIT: RUDI WELLS FOTOGRAFIE

When I joined the programme...

My business was starting to experience a few growing pains. I was lacking the coherent systems and processes to cope with the growth of my business. I had a real desire to learn more about how I could make my business (and myself) more efficient.

I love an ‘Aha’ moment, personally…

and with this programme, it's really hard to choose which were the biggest, as I had so many! The ones that stand out are:

I should be leading my business rather than just managing it.

This had a huge impact on my thinking and the way I'm planning to structure my time going-forward.

Planning and structure.

Such as implementing processes and tools that can help my business grow. Implementing project management and goal-setting into my planning were also very important.

An outsider’s perspective.

Seeing my business through someone else's analytical lens was a real eye-opener.

Since the programme started I'm already far more organised than I was in the beginning. I have changed my whole booking process and automated steps within it where possible. I am aware of the bigger picture as a result of implementing a CRM system. I feel that the client booking process has improved greatly and as a result, I feel a lot calmer about things than when I started. I feel more in control (even though it is currently high-season for my business) and much more relaxed. Now that the programme is finished...

I feel positive, energetic, excited, and raring to go!

I have so many ideas and much to look forward to. I realise all that I have accomplished and what I am capable of in the future. I know I'm in a really good place to continue growing

If you are considering joining the next programme….

It is definitely for businesses that have been up and running for a while. You can't come into this programme after only 6 months of starting. Between 1-3 years of prior experience I think would be ideal. You also need to be a business that is open to change.


Are ready to take your business to the next level? The Change Maker Programme will be opening for new attendees soon. To find out more and apply for your place in the next programme then let me know.

The Change Makers: Saron of Total Self

In April 2016 I launched a beta run of my group-mentoring programme for small businesses who are ready to start leading their businesses into the next phase of growth. The 12-week programme finished at the end of June 2016 and I took the opportunity to sit down with the participants to find out what has changed for them and their businesses since we started working together.

I first met Saron of Total Self through the work I do with Amsterdam Mamas and then began to work more closely with her when she joined the Spark Amsterdam Team in 2015. With Total Self, over the past few years, Saron has developed a unique methodology for achieving personal health and fitness. Her method works, her clients are thrilled with their results and she loves what she does, but she was struggling to communicate the concept of her methodology, which meant that she wasn’t consistently connecting with the clients who would most benefit from working with her.

Knowing that Spark 2016 was coming up and would naturally boost her visibility with the women she wanted to work with, Saron joined the pilot of my group-mentoring programme to accelerate her business into the next phase.

Saron van Diemen, owner of Total Self

 Photo Credit: RuDi Wells Fotografie

Photo Credit: RuDi Wells Fotografie

When I joined the programme...

I was struggling to define what I do in a way that made potential clients want to work with me. I felt unclear as to which steps I needed to take to get my business where I wanted it to be.

I felt like I had let my business down. I was discouraged that the business I started out feeling so passionate about, just wasn’t taking off.

Now that I’ve completed the programme, I feel that my most important learning points have been:

The power of asking good questions

Emmy has a natural talent for this, which not only makes her a powerful mentor, but it has also been inspiring for me to experience as a fellow coach.

The importance of business automation

Getting your systems automated from the get-go will save you a lot of hassle when your business starts to take off.

How to value my business, and myself

We are not always the best judges when it comes to accessing our own value.

We also shouldn't make assumptions about what other people can afford or be willing to pay for the services we provide.        

I’ve learnt so many things!

Over the course of the programme, my website has improved, my projects are nicely organized, my client-onboarding process is streamlined. I know exactly which steps I need to take to continue moving forward in the right direction. But the thing I am most excited about is my full client roster! (note from Emmy: Saron took her existing client base to fully booked by week 8 of the programme)

I have a renewed sense of commitment and passion for Total Self. I know exactly which steps I need to take to continue moving forward in the right direction and that feels really good!

I would recommend the programme to…

Any business that has something unique to offer, but might not be living up to their full potential.


If you are ready to take your business to the next level then the Change Maker Programme will be opening for new attendees soon. To find out more and apply for your place in the next programme then contact me.

To find out more about Saron follow her over on Total Self.