Female backed startup

The story of Danielle Mensah: Founding Director of QiDanChi

female backed startup-ElevatHer app


Purpose
My mission is enabling people to be the natural, loving and creative force we’re born to be, full of energy, vitality & joy.  I aim to create a world with less violence and more peace, initially focused on transforming the violence in our minds (random inner dialogue, negative self-talk, judgment, criticism etc) into peace of mind, from which innovation, growth and creativity naturally spring.


20 year career in Finance, senior woman leader
I progressed quickly in Financial Services, developing products at the London Stock Exchange and then at Barclays with the launch of an innovative electronic trading product after which I moved into senior leadership at NYSE then Euronext, a leading European exchange.  I was used to being one of the only women and executives under 40 in senior meetings and frequently recognised as a FN Top 100 Woman in European Finance.  I made risky, multi-million pound decisions running an international business with revenue in excess of ~€220m representing ~40% of company turnover.  I was part of the senior team that developed and executed an IPO strategy that doubled the value of the company in two years.


Qualified Holistic Coach
My life-long study of human behaviour contributed to my success and now I focus on helping others achieve their goals.  I’m a qualified coach with the Coaches Training Institute, CTI, a global coach training academy, Boas Partners, a global leadership coaching company and I’m a holistic health practitioner with the CHEK Institute, a California based training company that specialises in human performance.  I’m also a member of the Academy of Neuroscience & Education and trained in Non-Violent Communication, a method to resolve human conflict.


Through a combination of coaching and advisory services spanning leadership, performance, health and wellbeing, clients discover how to self-care optimally and to lead others effectively to achieve their own great outcomes.  I advise companies on the leadership development required for optimal performance, culture change and effective talent diversity.

The QiDanChi wellbeing model is simple and comprehensive covering the 4 key influencers vital to live a long, happy life with effective stress resilience personalised to your needs & lifestyle, including Nutrition, Relaxation, Fulfilment and Movement.


High performance clients
I coach, write, speak and advise companies and individuals in the UK and overseas.  Typical coaching clients are both men & women, working their way up the corporate ladder with high potential to reach the top (some clients are at the top) and my target corporate clients reflect a mix of professional services, banking, technology, recruitment, media, advertising and FinTech companies.


 

Inspirational speaker
In terms of speaking, I share my personal & professional story, including how I recovered from traumatic experiences (eg growing up in a family home marked by violence, depression, alcohol abuse & emotional torment), developed my confidence and created a successful career in Finance ultimately running the Paris stock market and then became an entrepreneur, when stress resilience became even more vital to my success.  I cover a broad range of topics covering leadership, performance optimisation, health & wellbeing, diversity and culture change.


  

About Danielle, From Danielle herself
I turn 40 this year.  It’s just a number but does feel like a turning point from living primarily for myself to really focusing on helping other people.  I’ve done a lot, seen a lot, experienced a lot, laughed a lot, cried a lot and wished so hard our lives could be easier.  Then I realised our lives are as easy or hard as we think they are.  We have so much.

I’ve run international businesses, been a rare, senior, female leader in charge of €1/4bn revenues, spoken on numerous industry panels and made big, risky, multi-million pound decisions.  I made Director within a year of joining Barclays and spearheaded the launch of an innovative electronic trading product.  I’ve led industry debates on the future of equity trading and how advancements in technology are transforming horizons.  I was recognised as an FN100 Most Influential Women in 2010 and 2014-17.  I was far more successful than I imagined possible.

Yet inside was a different story.  I’ve focused a lot on self-development to overcome a variety of unhelpful coping mechanisms which helped me survive alcoholism and domestic abuse in my childhood home.  I’ll never forget the image of my swollen Mum with a black & blue face.

Most of my life has been spent in an almost constant state of flight or fight, my default being to freeze!  My system is sensitive to sugar and alcohol, both significant stressors in their own right, and still I consumed plenty of both!  I travelled frequently presenting to clients, making deals, engaging staff and navigating senior leadership.  Some of it was easy, some of it was fun but a lot of it triggered nervousness and stress in me.  I thought the stress level I felt was par for the course.  I used to blush, sweat, shake and become agitated around meetings I perceived as high risk.  I didn’t know they were physical symptoms of physiological and psychological stress.  Fortunately, I’ve since learnt how to be calm and how to rest properly after feeling stressed which is crucial for longevity.

Ambiguity, uncertainty and opacity reigned high throughout my corporate career.  Meanwhile after some failed attempts I met my Mr Right, got married and shortly after had our first child, a beautiful baby boy named Maverick.  I hope to bring him up believing fully in equality and unshackled by the subtle and overt gender stereotyping rife in our society today (to the extent that will be possible!).

In 2018, I founded QiDanChi to help people feel happier & energised! My passion is evoking personal transformation, reframing self-image and releasing limitations to engage our full potential at work and to enjoy the art of living.

I’m a speaker, coach and advisor to companies on the leadership development required to harness diversity within a deep sense of belonging, trust and openness.  My corporate clients are focused on creating a workplace culture in which people feel safe and inspired to put their best on show, full of possibility.  I’m a specialist in self-leadership for stress resilience and energy mastery.