Lulu Minns | Podcaster and coach

International Women’s Day is coming, so we’re celebrating some of the brilliant women doing great things around the city. One of those is charismatic podcaster and coach Lulu Minns. Lulu has a new edition of her community-driven She Rebel Radio podcast – the ninth season! – out for IWD with 10 episodes across 10 days. Designed to inspire, educate and empower women, each episode features a fascinating conversation with a woman who is breaking boundaries in her chosen field. We caught up with Lulu to get the lowdown on her favourite episodes and, as an OG Brightoner, some of her favourite spots around the city.

We’re big fans of the She Rebel Radio podcast here at BOTI and you’ve got another banging line-up in store for this IWD’s season. Do you have a favourite episode? 
Yes, this is our best season yet and I’m pretty sure a few of my new faves are wrapped up in this new series! But my favourite so far is ‘If Women Rose Rooted’ with Dr Sharon Blackie; it’s our most downloaded episode, too. I waited for two years for Sharon to come on – she is an absolute powerhouse in opening up the missing narrative of women in myth and folktales. It’s really important that we as women gain back control of our stories and where we come from, it’s a narrative that we lost (and grow up without even now) and I love re-discovering it. Sharon is amazing at her work, every sentence she utters is full of wisdom. 

Tell us more about She Rebel Radio – how did it all begin?
I wanted to start a UK-based podcast for intelligent, articulate women in business and leadership that was this side of the ocean. It was important for me to base it here in the UK (with Brighton being my starting point) as before that, a lot of the stuff I saw, including events, was in America and Canada. I wanted it to be accessible and relatable to women here in the UK and from the podcast, we’ve gone on to create panel events, roundtables and greater connections and community with the women guesting and listening!

Lulu Minns sitting with a book and laptop smiling

So what do you see as the role of She Rebel?
Men have traditionally been seen as the authority on everything and that is a narrative that absolutely needs to change. I feel like She Rebel Radio has a role in supporting that change and that mission has evolved over time. I just created something I would love, my clients would love and hopefully other women, too. 

You’ve been on quite a journey – you used to work as a criminal lawyer! How did you move from that to coach and podcaster? We can’t imagine there’s a huge overlap between the two worlds, but we’re very happy to be proved wrong!
I was always far more interested in human behaviour than the law per se – my background is within sociology and criminology – and you could say I’ve always been interested in the systems or structures that hold people back. Those in the criminal justice system are one demographic and women are just another. I often joke that I’ve gone from studying what makes people end up in crisis situations, such as being imprisoned, to the opposite – being successful, fulfilled and making an impact. They are opposite sides of the same coin – we can’t understand one without the other.

It sounds like it very much informs your coaching…
Most coach training doesn’t include the darker stuff so I’m glad I have it in my pocket and that I have always worked up very close and personal with human beings. We can harm each other but heal others, too. Plus being in service to others is something I’m proud of and I take that role seriously – I tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. But always with love, permission and no judgement from me – it helps people widen their perspective and shift the dial of where they’re at. I’ve also identified that my zone of genius (a term we love in coaching) is within the magic of conversation – I help people to change their perspective by asking the right questions. I did that as a litigator, as a coach and as a podcaster. Our genius can take many forms and many roles and it’s fascinating to explore. 

Back to all things IWD, you’re putting on a charity book circle this year! It sounds pretty exciting and we love what you’re kicking off with – Gillian Anderson’s and Jennifer Nadel’s manual on women seeking happiness, We. How will it work with the book club being online?
I’ve worked online for years and love it almost as much as in-person due to the variety and wide range of people who can join. And I’m passionate about women creating a network which is hugely empowering for us (and has not always been accessible). I will be setting some ground rules of confidentiality, collaboration and connection – we’ll be having breakout rooms, discussion and some special guests, too. 

You obviously read a lot for your podcast and now the book club. Do you have a ‘comfort book’ or one that you go back to time and time again?
Ohhh, good question!! I’m a total book addict and read about 40 books a year. Self-development books or ones with deeper layers of messages I love to go back to or then listen to on Audible or the other way around. Untethered Soul by Michael Singer is one of them. I lost that book when I returned from doing a retreat in Morocco. But then I found it again in lockdown, with the bookmark still in – it was the perfect place to pick it back up and re-read it. 

What’s on your TBR list at the moment?
I keep reading books about dead people (as I said, I’m not afraid of the darkness or shadow parts of ourselves, haha). There’s this one: Jodi Picoult’s The Book of Two Ways: The stunning bestseller about life, death and missed opportunities. And another one called The Happy Medium, which is about talking to dead people. I always have fiction and non-fiction on the go. There are some parallels between these two… totally random but I always like how a book leads to my next one. I get lost in books and thought processes but, as you say, it comes through in my work and also the podcast! 

Is this going to be the first of many book clubs? (We hope so!)
Yes, I hope so too! I’d love to do one with one of our new She Rebel Radio guests… so watch this space for that. 

Bar valentino

You’re also one of the few born-and-bred Brightoners we know! Is there anything that Brighton used to have that you’d love to see coming back?
I loved seeing The Green Dragon pub come back on Sydney Street! Such nostalgia. Well, apart from my parents’ record shop, Borderline, and also the old Concorde which was opposite the pier, I think Brighton has improved a huge amount and has so much more opportunity than it did when I was growing up.

Now for a few quick-fire questions…

We‘ve heard you don’t drink coffee, so best place for a matcha latte in the city?

Always Wolfox!

And what about for something a little stronger?
I still love Bar Valentino – they do a fab absinthe cocktail, just make sure you’ve had dinner first! I also like 2 Church Street, which is super cute.

Any insider tips for those who don’t know the city quite as well as you?

It’s all about the North Laine for me. I grew up in that area and still think it’s the best for independent shops, not only in Brighton but in the whole country. Places like Marrakech House, Snoopers Paradise, and loads of little gems tucked away. 

What would your perfect day in the city look like?
It’s a nice sunny day obviously [wishful thinking – Ed], so a walk along the beach and up into Hove for a mooch around Velvet, brunch in Jo & Co and a little meander back to the North Laine, maybe popping into The West Tap bar on the seafront. And Brighton Museum for a good exhibition – I loved the recent Lee Miller one. Then maybe La Choza for dinner.

Thanks, Lulu! The new IWD season of She Rebel Radio sponsored by NatWest kicks off on Friday 1st March. You can listen to it here and sign up to the book circle here. There are four book club sessions across four Mondays (starting on Monday 4th March) with 50 percent of proceeds going to the Global Girl Project, which mobilises young women around the world for change. Tickets cost £54.88.