It had previously been primarily women having to explain their need for flexible working hours, but as we all move to one much more flexible world with our colleagues, leaders and teachers feeling less on a hierarchical chain as we share video calls with screeching children, dogs barking and many a creative backdrop cutting through the normal sterile office backdrop we see on the news. 

As one business coffee appointment called it, who turned out to be a fellow creative thanks to displaying her array of craftwork on display at home via Microsoft Teams: “We are “multi-potentialists,” replacing my self-proclaimed misfit badge.

It felt a relief, having always felt held back by needing to have one niche or ‘USP’ in my pitches and CV which so many of us have had to dust off in recent times… to being able to showcase rather than hide my spectrum of skills as secrets. 

With that gusto I then revealed to my call the ‘secret’ behind my sparkly office curtains, which is an array of dance costumes and gym equipment nestled away from my traditional work-from-home media suite. Even though my wide vocabulary of mind and body fitness informs my journalism these days. 

After all there is no competition, there is only one you. 

These blurred lines actually helped us to carve a much deeper profound connection in just one quick meeting.  

It is such an asset to have diversity at the forefront of a more fruitful world where people can thrive with INCLUSION!

The less I too have witnessed the professional and personal world as two separate entities, much like I felt my ‘impoverished’ background as a dancing waitress was a million miles away from the ‘rich’ I would often perform for, the more optimistic I feel now that I have overcome my own divisive barriers which were holding me back, as we are one world and there is an abundance of opportunity and money to pay for us all. So if you have the strength to speak up for someone who is yet to actualise their potential, make sure you offer them a space to flourish. 

I am now proudly showcasing my closet of sequins to add some sparkle to the normal ‘bookcase’ or ‘business banner’ backdrop we often see, who knows maybe I’ll be presenting the News (providing I can work flexibly in between my family and business!) with all my sparkles on show one day! One thing I do know is that the more money is shared amongst those of us with values the much more prosperous a universe we will live in. 

Read more from me at https://MAMAMEI.co.uk / https://sparkleupnorth.com / https://thesparklecoach.com

Full Bio Sophie Mei Lan aka The Sparkle Coach

Sophie Mei Lan is a multi-award-winning Journalist, Author, Blogger and Vlogger specialising in mental health, wellbeing and northern communities.

She has a passion to tell stories from seldom-heard people as well as offering her own candid lived experience of living with mental illness, disabilities and being from a diverse background.

Sophie runs Evoke Media Group a, who has made and presented documentaries for Channel 4 news, ITV News, and BBC News, as well as working freelance as a journalist nationally.

In Lockdown, she became a published mental health and wellbeing author, achieved two newspaper columns featuring weekly across the UK and set up The Sparkle Coach PR consultancy (which ties in with Evoke’s Media and Video coaching arm). 

In 2019 Sophie won a PR Week/ Third Sector award for an Anxiety vlog she made which went viral, reaching 2 billion people worldwide and in 2020 she went on to win Blogger of the Year and was named as one of the Top 10 Yorkshire influencers.

Sophie runs her own mental health, wellbeing and feel-good fitness channels called Mama Mei with more than 23 million views and a combined following of 100k+ as well as Yorkshire Families Magazine to help all families get active and explore the region and Blog Up North community of 500 influencers in the North of England.

She also writes regular newspaper columns for Yorkshire Evening Post on mental health and family life as well as a Mind & Body fitness column for Yorkshire Weekly newspapers and in 2020 her first published book was released documenting her life from “self-harm to self-love to be truly successful.”

Sophie is born and bred in Yorkshire, runs her businesses, coaches digital skills and creates content from home whilst looking after two young children, being active in her local community whilst enjoying dance and studying fitness & mental health in her spare time.

She is a regular spokesperson on radio, TV and in the press talking about mental health, wellbeing, diverse families and her own challenges living with severe Anxiety, Depression and Chronic Fatigue.

Sophie recently set up Sparkle Up North Magazine showcasing Women in Business up North with Amy Downes. 

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