“And the trouble is if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more” | Go-Getter Zoe Clews – Harley Street Hypnotherapist

Now you’re getting sleepy? …an interview with BNI Go-Getter Zoe Clews of Zoe Clews & Associates 

Zoe Clews sitting smiling.png

Female Go-Getter Series 2017

BNI London Hub.. Representing 30+ Breakfast & Lunch Business Referral groups across Central London.

Thus far, I’d never interviewed or spoken in depth with a Hypnotherapist.

I did try it once – Hypnotherapy I mean… About 20 years ago, living in Sydney, a friend and I both wanted to give up smoking.  She convinced me that hypnotherapy would be the easy way and promptly booked us in for a joint consultation.

Weeks later, after a 40 minute session,  we walked out of the Bondi Junction clinic, glancing size-ways at each-other and smirking…

‘well that didn’t work – I was awake the whole time”

“Me too; off to Bondi for a ciggy then?” …giggle giggle

30 minutes later we purchased our pack of 10.

Sitting on Bondi Beach wall, watching the sea rolling in, we lit up. Ugggghhhh… yukkkkkkk – faces scrunched; mouths wide open emulating a couple of hippos eye-balling each-other, we both spluttered and tutted and spluttered some more.

The hypnotherapist had told us ‘cigarettes will taste so disgusting you won’t be able to bare them’

It actually worked.  Now – 20 years on, I have never smoked again.

When I recount this story to Zoe, she smiles.  Nods knowingly.

“Some of my greatest success stories involve clients who turned up unashamedly cynical.  They’d arrive at my door, after having tried everything else to no avail.

They are ‘converted’ when they discover that to succeed, all they had to do was show up at my door…then follow my instructions”

Hypnotherapy’s role in healthcare?

What impresses me early in our discussion, is Zoe’s well-articulated concern about the ‘mental health crisis’ here in the UK.  A result of many things – the race for growth across industry and commerce, today’s economic, political and social pressures;  an incessant drive to succeed and an obsession with image and excellence.

“And.. that is only the tip of the iceberg” suggests Zoe  “in terms of the potential outcomes from the barrage of messages with which our children are confronted today”.

Zoe’s commitment to the more integrated role which she believes her profession should be playing, in tackling some of the big social care issues, isn’t just idle chatter. She’s in the process of launching a campaign that calls on Government, NHS, Mental Health charities and private professionals, to work together to establish systems and processes for early intervention.

 A change in perception?

Of course, such campaigning is still challenging today, but 15 years ago when a ‘lost and what’s next’ Zoe Clews ventured into the field of hypnotherapy, for most, it conjured up images of stage-show hypnotists – Paul Daniels and the like, and as a serious healthcare practice, was a little-known and often misunderstood domain.

All the nay-sayers implied Zoe’s new path was a joke; that she had no chance of making a real business out of hypnotherapy.  Indeed, Zoe talks of her own, serious self-doubt at the time, but two things happened:

  1. her tutor kept telling her she was a natural
  2. Zoe promised the same tutor that once she qualified, she would get out there and start a business.

“And I never renege on a promise.

I put an ad in the paper; Got my first client, who subsequently referred three other people to me immediately.”

A lesson to us all perhaps:  the power of praise, keeping promises and dogged determination.

Zoe Clews with othersand so to Harley Street..

For 12 years now Zoe Clews & Associates has been operating from her Harley Street practice in London.  Together with her 4 hand-picked Associates, each at the top of his/her profession – including Elaine Hodgkins, the childrens’ specialist with her expertise in children with autism, ADHD and neuro-development delay, the practice helps people with the full array of issues and anxieties.

“It taught me a powerful lesson:  If your gut is telling you something, never let others quash it.  You are the expert on you.”

Q: So you’re a BNI GoGetter?  What part does/has BNI played in your business?

“BNI has been nothing short of stellar and a massive part of the business growth I have experienced in the last 18 months.

My business has grown more in the last year and a half than I’ve experienced in the previous 12 years”

In 2015, at a bit of a stale-mate with all going well but feeling she could be doing more, inspired by a member/friend, Zoe visited BNI Mayfair Chapter – joined  and has never looked back.

“BNI completely inspired me to raise my game regarding what I wanted for my business and its positioning.

Witnessing the other members’ business growth and success stories plans and expertise has been nothing short of a weekly injection of incredible business inspiration”

“Now, 30% of my business is attributable to BNI. 

“30% is impressive.  It’s a big number of referrals, considering myself and my associates see a huge number of clients”.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone considering joining BNI?

  • Do it
  • Come along and see what it’s all about
  • Once you join, get involved as quickly as possible – get stuck into 121s
  • By giving – you gain people’s trust and respect and of course this returns tenfold.

 Q: What advice would you give to your 15 year old self?

My 15 year old self was notoriously and chronically badly behaved.  I doubt she would have listened.  But, Id love to go back in time and give her a good shake and let her know all was to be more than alright; to trust and value herself and stop being so goddamn hard on herself.

I would also tell her that I admired her spirit and that non-compliance has served her older-self well.

Q: Who has inspired/influenced you – personally or professionally

  • My clients – every day
  • My ‘trauma’ clients (an area of specialty) – as I witness them triumph over adversity and go on living happy and fulfilling lives
  • Anyone who has overcome severe addiction and mental health issues. They are the real heroes to me

…and this quote:   

And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything you risk even more – Erica Jong


Zoe Clews Associates is based in Harley Street, London.  Read more here.  You can connect with Zoe Clews here on LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook  and to take a look BNI Mayfair, click here


BNI London HUB |30+ groups across London    

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If you’re a Go-Getter – VISIT one of our 30+ Groups to find out what BNI can do for you and your business.

Men and Women Go-Getters are always welcome at our weekly breakfast and lunch meetings.  CALL Amanda on 01923-777071 or email her amanda@bnidirector.com and she’ll find the right group for your profession/location.


Read our spotlighted Go-Getters’ stories (and their views on BNI) here:

  1. Catherine Baudino PhD, MNCP, FRS  | Business & Personal Coach
  2. Saskia Johnston      | Forex, Sable International
  3. Elizabeth Marsh     | Floral Designer
  4. Giulia Remondino  | Genius in 21 Days Memory Techniques
  5. Zoe Clews                | Harley Street Hypnotherapist
  6. Dee Burrowes         | MINDSET Strategist
  7. Beverley Corson     | Business Growth Programme
  8. Emma Sear              | Property Lawyer
  9. Kate Ketzel              | Norland Nannies of  Live-in Care
  10. Laura Hurren         | BNI’s female-focus initiative is the brainchild of BNI UK Executive Director and Referral Marketing aficionado.  Laura heads up BNI London Hub.  Follow Laura on Twitter@LauraHurren_BNI | Connect with her on LinkedIn

Author:  Elizabeth J Floyd is a Strategist: Business, Online and Social Media… who does a bit of writing too.  Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter | Check out #LizzieJsTopTips on Twitter

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