CN30 rising star: Fiona Bool
CN reporter Louisa Daley, catches up with 2018 CN 30underThirty winner, Fiona Bool, who is now the founder and director of Dandelion.
This year's CN 30underThirty is due to take place on 20 January at ODEON, Leicester Square, London. So, what’s better than talking to one of our previous rising star’s, Fiona Bool, to see just how much you can achieve as a CN30.
Fiona Bool was one of our rising stars in 2018 and she has continued to rise ever since, enabling Bool to launch her own company Dandelion, but more on that later.
Before launching her own company, she tells me she lacked confidence. “Prior to being nominated, I was doing the Fast Forward 15 mentorship programme. I went into that programme not feeling very confident about what my skill set was, or what I wanted to do, or how to get there. However, midway through her mentorship programme, Bool was nominated and later named as a CN30.
“It was a real wow moment for me,” she says. “From there onwards, CN30 has elevated me and my personal brand and enabled me to make those invaluable connections that you otherwise wouldn't see or have an opportunity to do,” Bool says.
Not only did CN30 help Bool’s confidence, but it also made her part of an invaluable community. “Once you have won the award, you are part of that alumni and you are not forgotten. We are still invited to events to speak at roundtables, and I feel really privileged to be part of that community,” she adds.
Confidence, check, community, check. But what exactly made you want to launch your own business?, I ask Bool.
“I can’t put it down to one particular moment, but I've always had a very independent streak, and I've always wanted to be my own boss.
“It was about wanting to go on a bit of a mission to help businesses and seeing the value of taking breaks. I’ve been in the events industry for 12 years and I know that it's one of the most stressful industries and career paths that you can be in. When the pandemic started, I had the opportunity to recognise that breaks are important,” Bool states.
But what is a valuable break? For Bool, the answer was dance. “Dance has always been my release and passion. So I wanted to combine this with my deep appreciation of the industry and my desire to help people,” she adds.
And with that, Dandelion was born. “Dandelion launches on 17 January, which is Blue Monday, so hopefully it will be an alternative way to look at this day. I hope it adds some light to everyone's world,” she beams.
Dandelion’s mission, Bool tells me, is to empower people through movement and conversation, so that they have the confidence to take the first step towards change. “We want to create meaningful experiences that promote positive workplace wellbeing,” she adds.
So, what does that all mean? “Whether you are taking one of our 30-minute Dandelion workspace classes that can happen in the office, or virtually, or whether it's a dance themed team building activity, or whether you are bringing us on board to run your entire well-being event, Dandelion has a solution for all of that,” she explains.
Finally, I ask Bool what advice she would give to other CN30 winners, who are looking to launch their own business. “My biggest takeaway is: don't rush it,” she advises.
“It's taken me two years to get to this point from thinking about starting my own business, it’s like planting that seed and just allowing it to flourish. You'll know when to start instinctively.”
“Don’t be afraid to fail,” she continues, “it only brings you closer to your end goal and helps you unlock all the potential that you hold inside of you.”
To learn more about CN 30underThirty, click here.
To learn more about Dandelion click here.