Red Shoe Stories

by Kay Gill

My major shoe story starts back in 2009 when I was a freshly qualified Personal Performance Coach and NLP Practitioner.

During my training it was drummed into us that we must find a niche for our coaching businesses.  For me this was proving difficult.  I couldn’t get past the fact that the coaching process can and does work for almost any type of challenge faced by almost everyone!

Eventually I decided my passion lies with helping women grow in Self Confidence and build their Self Belief.  But what to call my business?

After much brainstorming, I was still coming up short until one day when I met a friend for lunch.

Before we met I had been shopping at my favourite shoe shop, Kurt Keiger.  I wanted to replace a pair of fab black shoes which I’d finally worn out.  But, fortunately for me, the store only had them in a bright poppy-red patent leather!

When I saw them I could feel the angel and the devil sitting on my shoulders ‘You can’t take the red ones…when would you wear them… they won’t go with anything…’ said the angel (or was it my Mother?)  ‘WOW, the Red Shoes are sooo exciting and gorgeous – you must have them’ said the little Devil in me!  She won – I bought the pair!

When I later showed my new purchase off to my friend over lunch the seeds were sown for my company ‘Red Shoes Coaching

‘I’ve always wanted a pair of red shoes’ my friend lamented  ‘but I’ve never dared, I just don’t have the confidence to carry them off!’ she said.  I was amazed by this.  But, as she had been one of my pro bono clients when I was training, I put my coaching hat on and asked her to simply imagine putting on her perfect pair of red shoes on.  As she did so her whole physiology changed.   She sat up tall, proud and confident, her words were excited and passionate and the stress and strain showing on her face just moments ago fell away.

Simply by changing her thoughts and in turn, her feelings, she instantly looked younger, more alive, happier and excited!  A few months later she told me that after this experience she immediately went out and bought her very first pair of red shoes and now, a few short years later, at the age of 54 she is a confident, vivacious,  qualified Zumba instructor!

Since that day I’ve asked many women what red shoes mean to them.   Almost without exception I get the same response – empowerment, confidence, excitement, vitality, a ‘can do’ attitude.

Almost every one of them seems to have their very own Red Shoe story from the cancer sufferer who, mid way through her unpleasant divorce decided to treat herself and her self esteem to a pair of red Bandolino pumps to another who, now in her sixties still remembers waking up at the age of three to find a pair of bright red tap shoes in her Christmas stocking.

I think though my story and business can be summed up by a post on my facebook page a few months ago.   It simply read…

‘I need to present in front of about 80 people today, so I am wearing my red shoes :-))’


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