Out of hiding and into the spotlight; my business story 

In 2015 I was a mess... I knew I wanted to jumpstart my business career again in a more focused direction...I was in severe overwhelm.

I needed clarity and direction ...I needed to step out of hiding and into the spotlight. But that seemed impossible right then. This is where this business story starts.

I had repatriated back to the UK and found the country and my life in turmoil. Nothing was as I expected. Life was hard. My girls were getting older so I knew I wanted to jumpstart my business career again in a more focused direction. 

But the days were filled with tears and hiding at home not doing anything.

I was in severe overwhelm. I was depressed. I needed clarity and direction and a sympathetic but slightly bossy person I reckoned to help steer me forwards.  

I needed to step out of hiding and into the spotlight. But that seemed impossible right then.

Enter stage left: My Online Business Coach

As I was stumbling through my day, connecting online with friends from distant lands, I spotted a lady who seemed to be talking directly to me ...

  • Are you multi-passionate? 
  • Talented at many things and find it hard to choose 1 direction?
  • Do you need clarity and focus?
  • Do you love art and feel deeply?


I am all that and more.

I have done so many different things in my past that when people asked me "What do you do?" I would always have to pause and think "What shall I say today? What will they get?" What business story shall I share today?

When I saw the words written online, I saw that this lady GOT ME. She was just at the start of her own business story too, and was equally trying to find her way.

She understood that I needed to find clarity, my way, using art to help me define my direction, and that I was far more than the sum of my parts.

We met through Zoom.

It was amazing, there were tears and laughter and deep insights.

My business story

Here's the thing... I have always gone down my own path. Created my own story.

Even when I worked as an employee in a Textile Business, I sculpted my job and job title... I ran my department a bit differently from the rest, I stood out as I was different.

I was an artist in a production facility, but I was a designer too, and a business woman with a good head for figures, I could chat to the workers on the shop floor to the CEO with ease.

Yet I was nothing like any of them.

In 2002, I moved to Europe with my husband. I started a life of freelance work, further education with an MBA, motherhood and the turbulence of picking up your life and starting again, and again, and again, and again... as we travelled from France, to Switzerland, to the USA, to France again and then back to the U.K. in 2015

The business story of Susanna Reay from 2015 to 2021

The messy middle to the story

Today I looked back at my notes from those first coaching calls looking for clarity and direction and it made me realise what a long distance I have travelled in self-awareness and growth.

I now have a strong, growing business with a clearly defined direction. But the path to today was not direct. There were a several twists in the road that I went down along the way.

The summer that changed everything

The biggest insight moment came while lying flat on my back after pulling my back out in the summer of 2017...

My love for colour and business has been consistent throughout all my business incarnations.

And in my travels, my love of connecting to new people.

So I knew that my core business had to combine these elements to keep me motivated. 

That is when I started coaching fellow entrepreneurs without even realising it... they told me I helped then massively and gave great structure, feedback and ideas to progress their business.

My colour knowledge created a difference that drew fellow creative introverts to me, and I to them. I knew these were the people I needed to help stand up and show their amazing talents to the world. 

I have been to art school and business school, and fitted in well in both locations. I am a true chameleon. This, I have since realised is my zone of genius; the ability to connect many elements together under one roof. To package up your expertise, beautifully and with impact.

But first, I had to stand strong, stand up, and move into the spotlight myself to show that it is possible and that my advice works.   

I found the way to step out of hiding and move into the spotlight... the Introvert Way.

So I started to show up, leave the fear of what others think of me behind, and just be 100% me. 

I made a pact to to show up live every Wednesday on my Facebook page for a year, sharing value. Whether people showed up or not. from initially feeling scared and nervous I soon realised this was a great way to build an audience.And many of these posts can be seen on my YouTube channel.

Following this path was leaving me feeling vibrant and full of life.

I am highly visible to my clients, they know they can reach out and talk to me about their struggles as I have lived through them too.  

I care deeply for the success of clients, instilling them with confidence and passing on my tangible tips and how-to documents to navigate the complexities that come with promoting your business online to gain an international audience. 

Enter stage right: More Business Coaches!

I had taken many steps forward, but at the start of 2018, it was time to really invest and step up my game

Invest in a new business coach who would give me the structure to really build an online business on firm foundations.

So I invested in myself. 

Not once, not twice but 4 times in 2018 into programs specialising in various aspects of online business and promotion.

Some were year long, some self-led, some intensive shorter programs.

As a natural supporter and coach, I want to share this knowledge with you. But in a way that helps you as an introvert as I discovered many of these well known programs had great content but the manner in which it was given didn't particularly suit my temperament and needs as an introvert in business. 

I would never volunteer myself for hot-seats, worried about judgement and fear of being an imposter. Trying to think about the 'best' question to ask. I felt like a rabbit frozen in headlights and instead chose to sit back and consume the knowledge on my own.

I am a veritable sponge for knowledge, constantly learning new tips, keeping abreast of social media networks.

This showed me how effective coaching online can be. And that was my calling, so I had to fully step up into the spotlight and shine in my true colours. 

Susanna Reay shining in the spotlight

Enter Centre Stage: My first Online Course

In the summer of 2018, all my knowledge came together into an online course called Golden Visibility that I ran for 50 introvert entrepreneurs.

This was my first online course and had a 98% completion rate with all participants providing testimonials to the huge value I created and how the way I share material for introverted entrepreneurs to come out of hiding and step into the spotlight, really resonated with them. 

When one client shared with me that the "big black cloud they had been living under since joining a well known big online program, had lifted in just two weeks under my training" - I knew this was what I was here to do. Lift the clouds of despair and frustration and show the way into the light.


At the end of 2018, I organised then hosted in January 2019, the Introvert Entrepreneurs Powerhouse Summit with 24 fellow introverted experts, all working online and sharing how they had found success through their more introverted approach to the topics at hand.

This was a huge achievement, not least as at the time of recording, we lost my father to cancer. Grief hits when you least expect it, but having a focus and accountability to my people during this time really helped me get through the darkest days. 

The summit kick-started The Introvert Entrepreneur Powerhouse community on Facebook, that is growing weekly, and open to all to join and attend regular free masterclasses to support those of you taking your first steps on this path. Over 350 people attended across 53 countries, with an active discussion carrying through all week as attendees had huge breakthroughs. 

The Powerhouse Library

Over the years, I have been constantly refining the materials, self led courses, and coach led programs that I provide to sit alongside the Powerhouse Library of expert masterclasses, giving you a wealth of expertise aimed exactly at your way of operating. 

During this time I have realised the importance of having a defined Offer Pathway, starting with your Touchpoint Offer and with everything you offer pointing to your Signature Offer. This will be the topic of a subsequent blog.

Susanna Reay in 2020

Signature Offer System

At the start of 2020, I launched the Signature Offer System training (now part of The Spark Space), when the world was in disarray with the global pandemic ... and more people realised the opportunities to sell and serve online. 

But it is never a case of "create and they shall come"... creating an expert brand online involves many moving parts that I have navigated over the years.

This program ran live with my support over 3 months as we dug into one signature project that would bring in clients. 

Now more than ever, it's important to stay focused and consistent on your pathway to see success.

In early 2022, it became clear that there was a missing area that everyone who came into my world needed support with - and that is their marketing. It's tough trying to find and establish a client base, an audience of those interested in your expertise. Especially when much of the marketing leans into the extroversion bias.

Marketing, The Introvert Way®

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May 2022 I launched a sister service to the Signature Offer System training called the Introvert Business Booster training. This was the first time a positively shared my very unique Sparkle Frameworks™. Previously, I'd been using with clients, but not highlighting them specifically.

But as I leaned in and listened to my Mastermind clients, it was very clear that these structures totally lit up their creativity, gave them clarity and helped bring in clients to their business. 

For the first time, many now saw how all the pieces fitted together and this was the element that had been missing from any other training they had signed up for. Most coaches focus on the high level pieces as they provide a juicy hook that draws people in... but sadly few get the results that are professed to achieve on the sales pages.  

2023 - Birth of the Spark Space

At the start of 2023 I reached out and got support from a Business and Personal development Coach, to work on the next steps, as I could feel my business was evolving and I was concerned that it was moving out of alignment with myself. 

I realised that the time had come to merge the Signature Offer System training with the Introvert Business Booster. Clients needed both of these elements and they didn't want to have to find another mentor. In fact, many shared there was no-one else with my unique skill set that could see the offers they needed to create in their business so clearly. 

As your Signature Offer is just one piece of the puzzle. We want to include you Touchpoint Offer, your Golden Offer and your Star offer into the mix. As we all have clients at slightly different stages of the journey that you support, or different preferences on how much time they wish to invest versus bespoke support.  

The Spark Space is a 12 month mastermind designed for emerging experts. Experts who have been serving their clients for a while, but they wish to switch things up a bit, and redesign their business in a way that allows them more time freedom. 

Every month new experts enrol and get the support they need to. We started with 12 founding members who came from diverse backgrounds: 

Marketing Consultants, Business Coaches, Leadership Coaches, Energy Workers, Therapists, Designers, Psychologists and Financial specialists to name just a few. 

Anime Join The Spark Space


With growth, came recognition and accolades as others were noticing the message I was putting out to the world. 

Brand You Magazine featured me in their March edition, sharing "The Power of Visual Frameworks for Your Business"

Published in BRAND YOU Magazine

In July 2023 at the Manchester Strictly Come Speaking, I won an award for my keynote that had many in the audience frantically writing notes.

I happily accept requests to guest on podcasts that call out to small business owners, creators and entrepreneurs shifting the landscape.  

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I am full of gratitude for my first clients who will always hold a very special place in my heart, as I see them go from success to success.

I wonder, will you be one of my very next clients? Is The Spark Space, YOUR SPACE too? 

My business story continues to evolve, as there is one thing that is certain in life - that is change!

Note: This blog was first written in October 2018, updated July 2022, then September 2023

Written by Susanna Reay, 09/17/2023

Susanna Reay is a multi award-winning coach, writer, and speaker who’s been bringing clarity, focus and structure into small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups for over 20 years. Susanna brings a unique perspective informed by her training in design and business strategy, her life-long interest in psychology and strengths as an introverted online business builder. Her book, courses and mentoring have been the catalyst for growth for clients who’ve integrated Sparkle Frameworks® into their business. She helps the unseen be seen, heard and respected. Susanna is based in Europe, serving a global audience from her English home.

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