Jean Hamilton-Fford

Who We Are

We are Heart and Soul People, on online only community/membership site for people in business who are at a crossroads, in transition, and need a fresh perspective or a shift in direction.

Jean is the founder and mentor. Read the rest of ‘The Story’ below.

The Story

Like a lot of other women, Jean started her working life as an administrator. She worked as a volunteer in a military hospital when she was 15 and began her paid employment as the secretary for a church. From reception to senior manager, from healthcare to spiritual care, insurance to the pharmaceutical industry, legal to politics, accounting to marketing, she had numerous roles in the administrative field.

She has also held many roles in the hospitality industry. From waitressing in LasVegas, to flipping burgers in Texas, and being a landlady in England, Jean has been blessed to experience all levels and interact with many interesting people.

She has a wide variety of sales experiences under her belt, too. From shoes to insurance, from band-aids to pets, cookies to household appliances, sales in retail and service is a vital part of life and learning the skills needed to sell well has been integral to Jean’s success.

Writing books, creating in polymer clay and mixed media, designing websites, and marketing through social media are all pursuits Jean enjoys. 

Many years ago, Jean was born with febrile seizures. At that time, they thought is was epilepsy and put her on Phenobarbital until she was about eleven/twelve. She does not remember a lot about her childhood. 

When she was five or six, she had the worst case of chicken pox the doctors had seen and was used as a case in a medical journal. In her older years, this would contribute to a chronic and debilitating case of shingles that lasted about eighteen months. 

Her brother died when she was fourteen. Said to be a suicide, his death was surrounded by a lot of dubious people and unanswered questions.

Jean was always the little girl with the big voice and she performed with her sisters in a group that would take part in ‘revivals.’ These were church sponsored events that were filled with high energy and music. As the sisters grew, the revivals ended and the group split.

The family farm was sold along with the horses. The pet pig was slaughtered, the chickens were killed, and the other pets were distributed. This happened when her parents divorced and all this upheaval played havoc as Jean was graduating from high school. She married her best friend and quickly fell pregnant. Within three years, she had two beautiful and miraculous children. Within five years, she was divorced and moved to many other locations working many different jobs and marrying three additional times before moving to England. 

She moved to England where she married her fifth husband. Within a year of her marriage, her mother passed away. Within two years of marriage, her husband was made disabled through an accident at work. Within three years, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and shortly after that, diabetes. 

Jean accepted many positions that increased the responsibility she carried and, though a full-time worker, she was also a full-time carer at home. She found herself constantly exhausted and stressed.

She joined Toastmasters to increase her confidence and clarity, to connect with others, and to find some respite and joy. 

In her last full-time job as a senior manager in the NHS, she was micromanaged so badly that she ended up with laryngitis, a severe chest infection, and suspected meningitis. She resigned from working.

At this time, she also found out that she has a rare, degenerative, genetic disease that is slowly taking away the use of her hands and feet. This disease is Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT). You can find out more about it here: CMT UK.

After ten years, her husband was given the all clear on his cancer. He did, in the interim, lose the toes on his right foot after a fall at home. We still manage his diabetes.

It took Jean three months of sleep and nearly 18 months of recovery before she began to feel human again. It was during this time, she realized that something had to change. 

She looked at ways to develop and improve herself. She had to leave Toastmasters because of her health issues and took solace in creativity.

She created decks of cards, wrote books, started working with mixed media and polymer clay, and began expressing herself more through social media and website development and design. She learned about NLP and coaching and sought interaction and community through online sources. 

She changed her diet and her husband’s diet after researching diabetes and reduced stress by relinquishing her dependency on social media interaction. Instead, she focused on wellness and wellbeing.

She focused on wholistic renewal. 

She realized in nearly ten years ago that something had to change. It has taken her the better part of 8 years to figure out what she had that she could offer to others. She could not work full-time or part-time because there are days that she is in so much pain, she cannot do anything but sit and let it pass. It usually takes about three days.

Jean realized that she could offer to others what she had learned along the way. She knew that if she couldn’t use her hands, she could always use her voice. She also realized that one of her greatest assets was her resourcefulness and figuring out how to do things differently.  

But it was too painful to share her story. She didn’t think anyone would be interested in another disabled person sharing their sad tale. So, she hesitated. Until now.

As Jean is housebound, she does most everything online. She has started an online membership/community website. She is developing courses and events to help people in their 40s/50s who are at a crossroads and in transition. She is now beginning to use her voice more often and has become more visible on social media. She is generating interest and through the Rebel Business School, she has picked up some tools to put in her toolkit so she can succeed.

She is back in Toastmasters and enjoying the challenge, the connection, and the learning once more. She is also part of the Small Business Legal Academy and has used that opportunity to learn more about what is required to safeguard herself and her business.

Heart and Soul People will continue to grow and develop. Not only will courses, events, and workshops feature as part of Heart and Soul People, there is a new part of it coming to life also – LifeSpeak Academy. This will help members learn how to express themselves more fully and effectively and become better communicators, listeners, and leaders. 

Jean has a dream of taking this further and developing a non-profit organisation where she can provide a physical location, a safe space, for people to come who need to take some time out to heal, get clarity, increase their confidence, and move forward with grace and ease. It is called HeartHaven.

It is another challenge as Jean has no idea how to make this happen. But she is resourceful and she knows that it will happen if she can share more through social media and grow Heart and Soul People.

If you have read this far, THANK YOU! Should you have any questions, please reach out and let’s talk! Jean would be delighted to speak with you.

Jean is a Member of:

High Five Online Speakers – Vice President Public Relations

Bring Life to Your Business and Your Business to Life!

Who We Are

We are a community of Heart and Soul People who want to learn, share, and network.  Bring life to your business and your business to life!

Values

Focus