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#46 Who Exactly is Lucy Gernon?
The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 46, 09 November 2022 by Lucy Gernon
Who is the real Lucy Gernon and what makes her tick?
Lucy is best known for her love of pink and teaching women in corporate leadership roles proven strategies and tools to improve work-life balance, stop negative self-talk and build your leadership toolkit, so you excel in your career without burning out or missing out on life.
She is also host of the popular Powerhouse Revolution podcast for women in leadership.
But who is the real Lucy Gernon and what makes her tick? That is exactly what you will find out today.
People connect with people so Lucy has decided to open the door to her personal life for the first time on the podcast.
Curious to know if you share the same values or tastes?
Want to know what her ideal Friday night is, and what exactly IS the story behind the picture below?
It is time to go behind the scenes and get to know Lucy!
The episode at a glance:
[2:02] Who exactly is Lucy Gernon?
[05:11 The most shocking move she ever made
[06:33] Why Lucy started her business
[13:00] One thing that will definitely surprise you
[19:28] Why family is always first
Reach out to Lucy on LinkedIn or Instagram after listening to this episode and tell her one personal thing about yourself, so she can get to know her listeners more, too.
Prefer to read?
Welcome back to this week’s episode of the Powerhouse Revolution podcast. So we are doing something a little bit different today. I was thinking and chatting to Tiarna, my podcast manager, and we were chatting about how, obviously this podcast is quite focused on work.
And a lot of you have been asking questions, especially on Instagram about me. So I thought, why not do an episode on the behind the scenes of my life because I want you guys to get to know me a little bit more. So today Tiarna my podcast manager is going to interview me so I’m gonna hand you over to Tiarna.
Hi, Lucy. How are you?
I’m okay. I’m a bit nervous, actually.
Oh, don’t worry, because I’m in the same boat. First time interviewing someone. We’re going to get through this and it’s going to be brilliant. Get through it together. Exactly. That’s great. We might as well jump right in while we’re here. Let’s see. Who is Lucy Gernon? Where did you grow up? A bit of a backstory?
Yeah. Okay, so Where’d you grow up? So I was actually born in the UK, which most people probably don’t know. I’m from Ireland, and my mam and dad moved to London in the 70s, like a lot of Irish people did for work. And they had me over there. And I think we moved back when I was only a few weeks old. So I’ve lived in Ireland, like my whole life. I don’t remember anything about living in the UK. I grew up in Carlow in Ireland, which is a tiny, little inland County, which is a bit crap for me because I absolutely love the beach, and Carlow is nowhere near the beach.
And so it’s a lovely little county. It’s really easy to get everywhere around Ireland. And so yeah, so I grew up, I have two sisters. Mam and dad, me, and my sisters Emma and Laura. I’m the eldest of three girls. So that has proved a bit of a challenge, because I think that’s a lot of what led to me being a hyper achiever in the corporate world. And a lot of the women I work with actually, some of them would be the eldest as well. So, eldest children, feel my pain.
Oh, well, here I am. In the same boat, absolutely. Yeah, I’m just the eldest of two. So there’s not that much of us but that’s brilliant. Because I get the sense that you’re really close to your family, especially your parents from the way you talk about them. What do you think? How would they describe what you do?
Oh, that’s such a good question. How would they describe what I do? Well, actually, it’s funny, you should say that, my dad actually had businesses. When I was growing up, my mam and dad actually had a coffee shop called the wooden spoon. It came at a time where they were beside this big supermarket, and the supermarket was booming, and then the supermarket pulled out of the location and they were right beside the supermarket. So the business kind of didn’t work for that reason.
My mam bakes. So she did all the cooking for it. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. It’s interesting, because my dad has now decided that he’s going to help me my business. So things are getting really, really, really busy. And he’s stepping in now to help me with some things. So he understands a little bit more about what I do, but I don’t know my mam would say that. I’m gonna have to probably ask her but I’d say it’s “I help women in leadership be happier” probably or they would say I do something with women in leadership.
I was a scientist, so I obviously I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for years and they hadn’t a clue what I did. So when people used to ask, I was a scientist and that was it.
Brilliant. That’s a really nice title. Did they back you when you said that you were going to start your own business? How did they react when you told them, ‘I’m just gonna I’m leaving my stable corporate career of 20 years to go out on my own’?
Yeah, one thing that I’m always known for my family is I always figure things out. And my dad always said that to me. My granny used to say, when I was growing up, that if I fell into water, I’d come out dry. And that’s just the kind of person I am. In life, I’ve always been able to figure it out. So when I told them I was leaving, they were obviously concerned, but they know I am very calculated, not calculated in a bad way. But I’d be strategic, okay with taking risks once I feel like I have a strategy and a plan.
They were very supportive, I suppose, when I was leaving, like, it’s so funny, you have to pay attention to your body. I say this to people all the time, your body tells you exactly what to do, I developed a twitch in my eye, that was so bad. And it was the universe saying to me pay attention, you’ve got to do this and leave. It’s like I had all these signs. So I think when you pay attention to what you’re supposed to do it will all just work out for you.
That’s really good. You definitely have to listen to your body and know where to go from there. I suppose that’s that’s a good segueway into why exactly you started your business and decide to go out on your own? What was your motivation?
So this is quite hard. I worked in the corporate world for like 18 years. I started out in the food industry, I have a background in science, I did a certificate in Applied Science, I have a degree in Industrial biology, I have a master’s in biotechnology and I did a management and HR course and lots of different things, coaching courses, the whole lot. All through my career was always learning, I absolutely love to learn.
And I suppose I was always quite strong in work. But I struggled entirely with my own inner critic big time because of childhood stuff, that we all have. And a lot of that held me back from doing things thats I wanted to do in work in hindsight. And then, at the same time, I saw so many other women, people pleasing, holding themselves back, and not putting themselves out there, not being able to lead their teams in a way that they can get the best from their team so that they can basically have a life. So my whole thing is that I believe success, balance and happiness are possible, with the right strategy and the right support. And I knew that I had the tools, I knew that I had the skill set, I knew I had the experience to be able to do it. And my whole thing is I want to try to to support these women to basically have it all. So to help them set better boundaries, to stop all this negative self talk, to have a better work life balance, so that they really excel at work without missing out on life. The most important thing for me and what I do is the work life balance piece. So the reason I left was because I felt a call to do is because we’re only here once, we only have one life, and you’ve got to live it. So that’s why I do what I do.
It’s so inspirational to hear about people and how they go out on their own. And there’s always such an amazing reason and backstory to it like you really want to help other people. And that’s such a great quality to have.
Moving away from business for the moment and talking more about you. I might just ask you a few little random things about yourself for example, how tall are you?
Oh my God, I am only 5 foot 2 and a half inches and the half is very, very important. Yes. So did you think I was taller or smaller?
I’m usually I’m the smallest person when I’m talking to people. So when I hear someone is smaller than me, I’m like, Oh, this is great. Look at me.
It’s so funny. I say to my husband sometimes – can you get me down that glass? And he looks at me as if to say get it yourself. I’m like you don’t understand. He’s six foot three. It’s a short girl problem.
Exactly. My boyfriend’s actually six three as well. This is so weird! It’s good to have someone there that can get things for you that you need but more about your husband. So what are you and your husband like at home or how did you meet? Because we never see him on Instagram!
Yeah, so he’s not on social media like at all. Like he loves TikTok actually but he doesn’t have an account because he’s very into cybersecurity and he doesn’t like that everyone’s listening and all, he’s very provate. So I met John years ago we were both working in a pub when we were in college. He is six foot three, he has blond hair and blue eyes. I am five foot two and I’m dark. So we are like yin and yang, we are polar opposites. He is the most relaxed person, if he was any more relaxed, he would totally fall over. He kind of calms me down because I’m always energized. I always want to do things. So while we’re like at home, we have three kids, so it’s really busy. I’m always wanting to do something. And he loves watching movies. So we kind of compromise like we love watching like Game of Thrones together.
Disney plus actually have some great True Crime stuff. We love that too. And we’re watching the one now “Dope Stick”, which is all about corruption in the pharmaceutical industry. With oxycontin, that drug in America, we’re watching that at the moment. So yeah, we just hang out. I love cooking like roast dinners every single Sunday. Barbecues in the summer we’re kind of chill. We like going outdoors for walks. We have two dogs. We got a puppy last year called Alfie. He’s a golden Labrador and like i’m obsessed, obsessed. We’re training him at the moment so we’re kind of doing that as a family together with a dog trainer which is amazing. We’re having great fun.
And how is the puppy stage I absolutely love them. Is he a real crazy dog, always wanting to play or jumping up?
He has eaten his way through my house. I mean, literally, I might actually put a photograph on the show notes because you won’t believe it. He’s playful, that breed is known for that. We have, obviously a kitchen table and on my kitchen table, I have lovely duck egg blue velvet chairs and then I have a bench for the kids because I always had a bench growing up so I just love the idea of the bench. The smaller ones are getting older now so it’s nearly gone.
Anyway, the dog has chewed his way through the bench like the whole bench, the whole way around. It’s like he’s taking nibbles out of it. He might as well just have it. Id you come into my house and you see a half eaten kitchen bench, it’s not that we can’t afford a new bench. He’s just gonna eat it. He’s eating my skirting boards, he’s eaten a bit of the door. Yeah, but we still love him.
So it’s not the kids bench anymore, it’s his bench now. I love them at the puppy stage as well. For sure. If I could, my dream would be to have, it’s not rational, but to have a 15 dogs there and a big farm, just me and them, looking after them.
Well of course it’s rational if you want that, you make that happen that’s what I always say Right?
That’s very true. Yeah, absolutely.
What music do you like Lucy? Let’s maybe move on to music and movies real quick. What are your favorite genres? Where do you see yourself on a night out? What would make you go crazy and run up to dance?
Well, I absolutely love hip hop and r&b and 90s pop like they are my things but I also love Irish rebel songs. I’ve quite an eclectic taste but say for example on a night out, if I hear Dr. Dre or if I hear like, I’m just trying to think. I love Beyonce as well. I think I’m a real girly girl but the same time then I love like AC DC Thunderstruck so it’s quite eclectic. I love Garth Brooks as well. Before every master class actually, you know I do these free master classes. I have this ritual where I put on my air pods and they listen to Dr. Dre and I listened to lean back by the Terror Squad they have this little hip hop playlist that I kind of use to get myself pumped up so yeah, would you have taught that?
No. When you said you like r&b and hip hop. Because on social media and everything else I know youre a girly girl so I suppose you kind of just equate that with pop and the good old throwbacks.
I love Westlife and all that yeah.
You need something to get you pumped up and I just feel having a playlist like that is so important. So when, for example you go to your in person events, I know obviously you love running master classes and doing everything else but is there something different about being in person that makes you just light up?
It’s funny you should say that I’m in Dublin in a hotel room right now because I was at an event last night in the Westbury in Dublin, and I’m actually delivering a corporate masterclass in Dublin City today. So yeah, I really love meeting people in person like I, my business is primarily online. And I love that because I get to do all my one to one coaching online, in my home, around my children. And I have clients in Spain, in Dubai, in America, in the UK, Germany, like all over, which I obviously couldn’t do in person from a one to one perspective, but I do love getting out and doing corporate talks and corporate master classes, because, yeah, I just love it. I just love vibing with people and getting to know people and feeling their energy and stuff like that. Yeah.
That’s amazing. And have you ever been actually on TV? Because I know that you’ve been interviewed in different publications around Ireland and the UK. And you’ve been on other podcasts. So is there something more for you? Is it an aim?
In a past life I was on TV. So when I was 10 years old, I was on the late late toy show in Ireland. So for any anyone who’s listening, who’s not from Ireland, there’s a late night talk show. It’s the longest one in the world, actually, the longest running talk show in the world call the Late Late Show. And they do this Christmas special every year in Ireland that every single child in Ireland tunes into and has done for decades, right? And for sure, they show toys and blah, blah. So a friend of mine when I was in, like I was 10. So I would have been in around fourth class, I’d say, I’m in school, and she had been on it the year before. And my dad is great. My dad was like you, you’d be so good at this. And I was like, oh my god because I was actually quite a very anxious nervous child. I was always very warm and liked people, but I didn’t really like the spotlight and still don’t actually.
Because you’re very confident, which is brilliant. Like you come across great.
You have to put yourself out there, you have to do that. I went on The Late Late Toy Show. So I had to review a toy and it was a clock so I had to make this clock and go on and give it a score and all that I actually put up a little video on my Instagram, like last year or something. So if you trawl through my posts, you might be able to find this, but it was a great experience really, really good experience.
But do I want to be on TV? No, I’d actually be quite nervous going on TV. People have said that to me. I’m sure I will at some point. I will do it if the opportunity arises. But for now I will stick behind the microphone on the podcast and behind this social media and things like that.
I’d say every inner child of people in Ireland are very jealous right now. Growing up that sounded amazing.
What’s your ideal Friday night?
My ideal Friday night? If you had if you asked me if I would I prefer to go out or sit in. It’s 100 sit in like 100% and I actually am quite introverted. Believe it or not, I I actually did a test recently, just to see how I changed and I’ve gotten more introverted as I’ve gotten older. Sometimes I think people think introverts are really quiet and sit in the corner. But it’s just about where you get your energy from. So I kind of recharge and re energize when I’m at home in my safe space. So my idea of Friday night is I have a cleaner so she comes on a Friday. Sitting down after the week, with the house spotless the kids happily playing or watching something upstairs. I have a nice cold glass of Pinot Grigio,candles lighting and the takeaway on the way with the fire lit with my husband beside me and the dogs. Like literally. That’s it. That’s all
That’s perfect to be honest, like there’s a lot to be said for being cozy and just staying in and watching a movie and having a nice drink. It’s lovely.
To add to that I would have actually have a nice shower first shave my legs. That’s very important since I’m going to keep it real. Sometimes I look down and going oh shit, I better get these bad boys a bit of a going over. And we’ll put on some like really nice Laura Mercier, a body lotion and then just sit down chill. Yeah, that’s my thing.
Oh, that sounds great. I don’t want to keep you for too long because I know you have a busy day ahead but I have a couple more questions. So we’ve mentioned your kids a few times. And I would just like to know how many kids you have. What are their names? What are they like? Do you see yourself in them at all?
That’s a good question, too. You’re so good at this. You should be an interviewer. So Jaden is 15. He is doing his junior cert in school this year. Sarah Mae is 10. And she’s in fourth class. And Kate is six. And she is in senior infants. So there are all sorts of different. Jayden looks like me, but he’s acts like my husband. So he’s dark. But he’s so laid back. He’s quite quiet but has a great sense of humor, really kind and really helpful to me, which is amazing. We have a great relationship very, very open. Sarah Mae is like my best friend. She has blond hair, blue eyes, like her dad, and she’s got my dark skin. So she’s going to be like, and she’s tall. She’s almost nearly as tall as me. She’s about five foot now. And we have like the best relationship, she’s really kind, again, really smart. She loves books, and we got on grade. And then Kate is just crazy. She is the baby. She doesn’t care. Like she’s so confident in herself that we all look at her in awe. She just doesn’t care what anyone thinks. And I really hope she always keeps that I would hate to see her lose that because she will go so far in life. You can’t penetrate her positivity bubble. She makes us laugh every day. And yeah, my kids are everything to me.
I know family is really important to you. And you can sense that from just talking to you for even a short time. But that’s brilliant. No, they sound absolutely lovely, it’s great that you have an open relationship with them. And you can say they’re my best friends. You can also learn a lot from kids as well, like you said, your youngest. You hope nothing will penetrate her when she’s going off with confidence and everything. And I think as adults, we have so much to learn, looking at kids and even looking internally at our inner child, you know, I know you have a great podcast episode on that…….. good hook.
You’re right, though, just on on the learning from the children thing because I often asked my kids for advice, but I do like not in a in a in a pressurized way. Let’s say for example, like I’m gonna keep it real, like sometimes, obviously, I get overwhelmed. It’s like, even though I teach women, my strategies to cope with all that kind of stuff, I’m human, I still get overwhelmed. But what I’ve learned is to check myself and I recognize it really quickly. So if I’m in a bit of a spiral, or I’m kind of feeling not like myself, like again, you’ll feel it in your body. If you’re not in alignment with your flow, you will feel it. Sometimes I’ll ask my kids like, I go to Kate, and I’d say, hey, what do you think? What do you think Mommy can do now to have a bit more fun? I’m so serious sometimes I just forget to have fun. So I asked my kids like, what can we do to have fun. So for example, the other day, they were like, Let’s pretend were the witches from hocus pocus. And I was like, great idea. So the three of us, I ended up in Winnie Sarah Mae was Sarah, Jessica Parker. And then Kate was the other one. God, I can’t think of her name- gone on me. And anyway, so we did the walk, you know, the way they they linked arms, and they kind of do this kind of funny walk. So we were kind of doing the open day in the kitchen, just laughing. And I swear doing something like that for like 30 seconds can just totally boost your mood. It’s just made just to have a bit of fun in the day. So they teach me how to have a bit more fun, which is something I think we all need.
Honestly, like, their minds are just so brilliant. And just as you said like it will bring of it if you’re feeling down, it will bring you straight out of it even just for 30 seconds. But I suppose to finish up our interview here. What is a piece of advice you would give someone starting out? If they wanted to, you know, maybe leave their role or make a jump to a new role, but they’re a bit afraid or they don’t know where to go? What would you tell them? Or what’s even a small bit of advice could you give them to give them a bit of confidence to do that?
Yeah, great question. I’d say listen to your gut. Because you’re, you know, like, that’s the essence of who you are, your soul. That little girl inside is the rea you, that’s what I always say. And she knows exactly what you’re supposed to do next. But you’re probably so busy thinking about what other people are going to think of you and asking other people’s opinions that you don’t hear what she’s telling you. So I would say ask yourself the questions. You’re asking everyone else first, and then trust the universe. So I truly, truly, truly believe that you’re here for a reason. That’s what I always say, like, you know, I left my corporate career to do what I do, because I feel like this is my purpose. This is what I’m here to do, which took me years to find.
I did a lot of work. But not everyone is going to not everyone’s purpose is to do that. Just there’s women there who are absolutely so bloody necessary to stay in the corporate world. So I don’t believe leaving is the answer for everybody. Not at all. But I would say, trust your gut, listen to your intuition. You know what you need to do and look inside. Rather than looking outside, I would say first and then just practice the inner work, like do the inner work to remove all those limiting beliefs you have, read the books, hire a coach, do something, go to seminars, and do the inner work to kind of get rid of all that mental chatter that tells you you can’t and start listening to the voice that tells you you can.
I love that advice. Because it even resonates with me in other parts of my life to really, you know, trust yourself and listen to your gut. So, thank you so much for sharing that and for giving me your time to have this interview today. Because I learned so much from you. I really enjoyed it like it. I think it’d be a great episode for people to listen in on and really get to know you. So thanks.
Thank you so much for doing that Tiarna. And big shout out guys to Tiarna for doing this because I asked her to do this because people were asking me questions on Instagram. And I thought, well, I don’t really want to interview myself. And thank you for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and doing this too. I couldn’t do it without you as I always say.
You’re welcome. Listen, that’s it for this week. We’re gonna sign off, I’m gonna go get ready to go do my event. So yeah, I hope you guys enjoyed that episode. I’d love to hear from you. Actually, I’d love to get to know you a little bit more because sometimes it’s a little bit lonely on this side of the mic and behind those posts on Instagram and LinkedIn. So do me a favor today, will you slide into my DMs and just tell me one personal thing about you so I can get to know you too. Because I really, really love that. So that’s it until next week. Be safe be well and I’ll talk to you again soon