Does any of this sound familiar?


You’re ready to take your business to the next level but you don’t want to risk burnout.

You want to grow your business without having to micro-manage other people.

You want clarity, accountability, structure and a fresh set of eyes on your business.

You want to be able to focus on the work that lights you up, knowing that there will be a steady flow of income and that all your bases are covered.

You want to get off the hamster wheel of busy work and start concentrating on the important stuff.


That's where I come in...

sophy dale

I can help you simplify how you run your business to create long-term sustainable success - whatever success looks like for you.

I work with women who want to thrive, not just survive, as they run their own business. I help them do less and achieve more, so they can finally start enjoying the freedom that comes with being their own boss.


My Experience

Serial entrepreneur • Coach • Copywriter • Editor • Project Manager • Researcher • Public Speaker • Fundraiser • Festival Director

My Values

Sovereignty • Simplicity • Connection • Depth • Transformation • Integrity

My Loves

Reading • writing • dark chocolate • walks by the sea • napping • social justice • meditation • collaboration • learning • conversation (NOT small talk) • creativity

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I'm not your standard 'business coach'...


I don't have an MBA and I've never worked in corporate, or owned a suit. I'm not slick or salesy, I don't have a business card and I've never given a powerpoint presentation.

Instead, I have over 20 years experience working in the arts, publishing and charity sectors. I’m also a serial entrepreneur.

I started working with other self-employed women partly because I found it so hard to find business advice that didn't fall into one of these three categories:

  1. All hard-edged strategy advice with no acknowledgement that you're a living breathing human being with, you know, feelings, hopes, desires etc.
  2. All woo 'manifest your dreams' mindset work with no emphasis on the nitty-gritty 'how to's.
  3. Advice that comes from a place of manipulating or pressurising your clients (who are often dehumanised and referred to as 'prospects' and 'warm leads').

It was surprisingly hard to find business support that was based around acting with integrity, and balancing hard-headed strategy with considering how you actually want to feel. 

As I learnt more about how to run my business effectively and in a way that felt right to me, I started to see that I might not have the business degree or briefcase, but I did have relevant experience and skills to work with other women who were making their way in the online business world.

In my previous roles, I’ve worked with writers ranging from Margaret Atwood to Ian Rankin, Irvine Welsh and Ali Smith. I ran a limited company carrying out arts project management and events, set up my own small press (running it jointly with the novelist Alan Warner) and for the last six years have run an online editing and writing mentoring company.

I have walked the walk and know first-hand what it is like to be an entrepreneur, both online and in-person.


What a breakdown, a car crash, and an auto-immune disease taught me about running a successful yet sustainable business...

I learnt a lot along my journey, but I needed not one, not two, but three big wake up calls before I really understood that the most important and difficult thing is not to manage your time, or even your business - the crucial thing is to learn how to manage yourself and to understand how to balance honouring your own needs with identifying the strategies that work for your business.

For years I bounced between being an employee and being self-employed. I loved the freedom of being my own boss, but missed the reliability of a regular pay cheque. Although my first (offline) business was successful, I worked myself into the ground and never took time off – and I knew that being on site for meetings and events wouldn’t work once I had my baby.

In my second business, I was much more intentional with my time - I had to be, since I started off only able to work during my baby’s nap times. In this online editing and writing mentoring business, I was able to fit in work around her needs. I set up an agency structure by recruiting friends who were writers or literary agents to take on any work that I didn’t have the time to do myself. I did most of my own work by email, avoiding needing to be in meetings at particular times (which is difficult when nap-time is a constantly moving target!).

exhaustion burnout female entrepreneur

I was managing my time really effectively - and given the limitations of major sleep deprivation, doing a surprisingly good job of maintaining my focus.

However, I was shockingly bad at managing my energy, and as my daughter grew into an energetic toddler, I became chronically exhausted, crying in the middle of the day at the thought of how long it was until bedtime.

This is when the first of my three wake up calls hit. When my daughter was three, I ended up in hospital, literally collapsing with exhaustion.

It’s been a long, slow road to learning how to get better - but it’s given me a completely different perspective on how I work with my clients and their challenges around time, focus and energy. Now I know the benefit not just of truly thinking through my time use and having strategies in place to increase my profitability and streamline my systems, but crucially, combining this strategic thinking with actually prioritising my own self-care. Napping in the middle of the day is a higher business priority for me now than almost anything else, since it enables me to do everything else better.


When my daughter reached primary school age, I was tempted back into working part-time for a literacy charity whose mission really inspired me, working in a very deprived area of my local city, Edinburgh.

I loved many aspects of the job, particularly working directly with the kids and authors involved in the children’s book festival I ran. But I also faced up, once and for all, to the fact that I just hate being told what to do. By anyone. Including the members of my very experienced and all-round lovely Board of Directors. This is when it started to dawn on me that there was really no alternative - for me - to being my own boss. At this point, just to reinforce this thinking, I got my second big wake up call:

Along with my husband and then-five year old daughter, I was involved in a serious car crash. I started re-evaluating everything. I decided that I wanted to give running my own business one final go, and this time I was ready to really focus on having the freedom I wanted whilst making a difference in other people’s lives.

woman holding mug

Over time, I recovered from the car accident and handed in my notice at work. I was back to being a full time entrepreneur. Then I got the third wake up call.

I discovered I had an autoimmune disease which affects my energy levels, so it became crucial to take my already well-honed time management skills up to the next level, so that I could take care of myself, my clients AND my family without driving myself into a second round of burnout.

I became an expert in managing my energy and tapping into my ability to prioritise and focus, so that I could still achieve what I needed to, even on days when I was feeling quite wiped out.

I started digging deeper into understanding how to feel more clarity, ease and flow in my work, whatever the circumstances of my health.


Gradually I began to see that what worked best for me was to ‘join up’ practical strategic thinking about profitability, streamlined systems and effective marketing with a much more intuitive approach to tying my work to my deeper sense of purpose.

And, even more importantly, my highest priority was to free up my time during the working day for rest, rejuvenation and time spent in nature or with creative pursuits, to refill the well. Without that, nothing else works.

Your health situation may be less extreme (I hope it is!) but the same principle holds. I now see it as a holistic process, working on four levels:

  1. HEAD - strategy, systems, profitability etc

  2. HEART - inner purpose, core strengths and values

  3. SPIRIT - creativity, connection with nature, mindfulness, contemplation

  4. BODY - connecting to your gut reaction, tuning in to your intuition and prioritising your bodily health


 You can achieve more by making sure you put on your own oxygen mask on first.

hand flowers

You CAN have a business which supports you, rather than one which you spend all your time and energy in supporting.

Once I really saw the benefits of my new approach to running my business, I started working with other creative, values-driven business owners, first as a sideline but gradually as my main business. I help my clients apply all that I’ve learned about how to balance business strategy with living the life I really wanted to live.

You can find out more about my signature short coaching programme, Do Less: Achieve More.

Or if you'd just like to stay in touch, you can join my mailing list to get fortnightly emails with insights on how to build the business you really want.


My purpose is to help you create long-term sustainable success, so that both you AND your business can flourish. 


Today I work from home, in the hours that suit me, and I have a business focused around doing work that feels really meaningful to me – helping other women gain the freedom and financial independence that comes from doing business in a way that feels right to them.

For most of the women I work with, that means doing less, but doing it better; for some it means building a team who can really support them; and for yet others it means putting profitability front and centre in their business strategy (making it easier for them to concentrate on doing their best work for their clients).

I can help you get clear, get focused and take action to strengthen your business in a simple and sustainable way.

You’ll be sure of a steady income stream, but you’ll free up your time to work on what matters most to you.

You’ll learn how to make time for yourself first, to let nature, creativity, mindfulness or exercise work their magic, so that you can do your best work.

And we'll work together to understand what's already working well in your business, so you can double down on that and find creative solutions to stop doing the rest, to allow you to achieve more whilst doing less.

I have clients all over the world, working in all sorts of fields:

  • Photographers
  • Designers
  • Coaches
  • Artists
  • E-course creators
  • Copywriters

I love working with my clients to help reshape their relationship to time, energy and focus. It's deeply satisfying to help restructure a business so that the process of running it goes from being draining to being creative and supportive.



Sophy is patient, persistent, and supportive, and makes me feel like I can achieve much more than I was aiming for. Anyone struggling to make sense of their products, pricing, and services would benefit greatly from speaking with her. She really opened my eyes to what’s possible in my business.