It’s a beautiful spring morning and I sit in Canteen Kitchen, the scent of coffee in the air, waiting for sexologist Juliet Allen. Juliet arrives, right on time, chic in big designer sunnies and slim black pants. She sits, tells me about her busy evening with her newly released e-course, and orders a short black. Once we start our conversation she is both thoughtful and animated; laughs often, and speaks from the heart. During our morning coffee, Juliet doesn’t attempt to censor anything, surely the cornerstone of a woman in her profession.
A sexologist! How did you get started and what exactly is it you do?
J. Well, two things inspired me. The first one was watching the movie Kinsey – one of the pioneering sex researchers in the sixties. I hit a stage in my life where I wanted to pursue more study, plus I wanted to create a career that I loved. I identified my passion for sex and looked into how I could turn my passion into a career. I looked up some places in New York, looked at post-graduate studies, and applied to do my Masters in Sexology. I’ve always been passionate about sex, and people have always approached me to talk about it. I feel most alive when I’m having sex and I want that for everyone! So what I do now is basically educate and empower people about desire, relationships, intimacy and sexuality. It’s the best job everrrrrrr!
When did you decide to become a sexologist full time?
J. I spent years teaching yoga and working as a youth worker. I enjoyed these jobs but they just didn’t cut it for me. Plus I hated working for other people! I needed an income to build my sexology career, but then I’d come home and wouldn’t have energy to actually devote time to what it was I wanted to do. I got really pissed with myself that I was working for others for shitty hourly rates, and knew that I had it in me to successfully start a business. After a few strategy sessions with StartUp Creative, I quit all my ‘day jobs’ and committed 100% to making my sexology career work. I needed to commit to my passion, so I let go of practically everything except two yoga classes. And that’s when everything started to fall into place: I was getting my work published, people were booking consultations, I became Ansell’s Sexologist and I started facilitating workshops and events. And now of course I have my online e-course.
Did you have trouble getting people taking you seriously – especially given your occupation?
J. People have mixed reactions. I’ve had a few people spit their drink out! It usually stops people in their tracks, or initially they think I’m joking. Most people are very curious and within minutes of meeting me they are spilling all sorts of sex stories. It’s always a great conversation starter, that’s for sure.
Did you have a business plan or an idea how you would raise funds?
J. Nope, not at all. I jumped in with no plan, aside from my mission to educate and inspire others to enjoy sex! I built my own website and I created my social media platforms. Once that was established, I was approached by a few companies, like Ansell, who now pay me to write articles and run a sexology Q&A. With my e-course and events, I’m now working full-time for myself as a Sexologist. Which feels bloody amazing!
Tell us your failure story – did you make mistakes and how did you overcome them?
J. I started three different businesses throughout my 20’s, and in my opinion none of them were failures as such - I just gave up or lost interest because my heart wasn’t truly in them. In my mind there are no ‘failures’, only little bumps on the road to success that give you insight on how to improve.
What does a typical workday involve for you?
J. I get up, go for a walk, have a coffee at my local, and then take my daughter to school. My job is diverse. Generally Tuesday to Thursday are my workdays, when I write, coach, create web-content and workshops. Sometimes coaching means being on the phone or skyping. On the other days I don’t put pressure on myself. Sometimes the best thing for creativity is to go to the beach instead. My biggest priority for my career is to be available to drop off and pick up my daughter from school. That’s why I love working for myself… it gives me the chance to be present for her and be the best Mum possible.
Who are your inspirations?
J. Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross – they’ve been seminal in encouraging me to be really bold with who I am, my experiences and my opinions. They’re both very open and honest women. Betty’s philosophy is basically to own your experiences as a sexual woman. Danielle LaPorte – she’s one of my biggest inspirations and the author of The Desire Map. Her branding is amazing. Danielle is another woman who just runs her own show and refuses to work in the 9-5 grind. Her philosophy is to identify how you want to feel and then build your career and life around those core-desired feelings.
What are some of the rituals you use to enhance your business?
J. I consult with StartUp Creative on everything, doing a lot of strategy sessions about all my crazy new ideas and projects. I’m very ‘list focused’! I get off on lists! (Laughs.) I also get weekly acupuncture and I have a therapist I see regularly. I stay on top of my health. I make sure my house feels amazing, that it has a nice energy, because I mainly work from home. I think it’s really important to invest in keeping your mind clear and not to be stressed about the little things, so I employ a cleaner. I also love my coffee! Morning coffee and sex are definitely my favourite rituals.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
J. Being a Mum. I just loved the whole process of being pregnant, and then giving birth. My daughter is my absolute priority. If my daughter is healthy and happy, then all is well. My success is a happy family.
Do you have a mentor?
J. Kaylene Langford (StartUp Creative) has been instrumental to my success. She encouraged me to let go of shitty side jobs and to put all my energy and time into my career in sexology. She’s super generous with her time and ideas and has a great knack for getting to the point and getting shit done!
Thank you Juliet.
J. You’re very welcome!