Inspirational Woman: Charlotte Hogg | Entrepreneur, Author and Fund-raiser | Myriam O’Carroll

charlotte HoggCharlotte Hogg is a young English entrepreneur who has been involved with the launch of over 30 start up companies. She is a published author, respected public speaker and valued coach and mentor. Although she is now a happy and successful 27 year old, her entrepreneurial journey had quite a different start.

On the 21st August 2000 when Charlotte was just 15, she was involved in a serious road accident which took the lives of some of her best friends. The 40 teenagers involved were in the air cadets and returning back to their camp after a night of orienteering.

Charlotte has devoted much of her life to making her friends proud of her, honouring their memory and raising funds for charities close to her heart.

Ten years after the coach crash, on exactly the same day, Charlotte’s best friend was severely injured in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED.

After battling with depression, survivors guilt and post traumatic stress for much of her life, Charlotte decided to get fit – both mentally and physically by setting herself a challenge that is now called ‘30430’

On the 21st August this year, Charlotte will be running 30k to raise £30k for charity. She will run after devoting 3 months to her mental, and physical well being having spent time addressing her past and dealing with the mental problems it has created. Myriam O’Carroll finds out what drives Charlotte to succeed.

Can you describe yourself?

Professionally I am the founder and leader of a business consultancy called The Change Gang. I have always worked in the ‘entrepreneur’ space and have launched some great companies and worked with amazing people. I’m now a published author and have developed a more consultative approach to business,

Personally, I have been involved in a few unusual and unfortunate incidents which have made me slightly more fearless, resilient and determined than others. The events have also led to bouts of mental illness and have left me with feelings of guilt and loneliness – both of which drive me to achieve and better myself.

Twelve years ago, the 21st August 2000 changed your life; tell us what happened that day?

I will always remember 21st August 2000 as the day that took the rest of my life away from me. I had spent the day on holiday with the air cadets – flying, playing football and finally leading a group on a orienteering exercise before we were hit by two 38 tonne lorries on our way back to camp.

The accident took the lives of 3 very special boys and took the childhood and happiness of everyone else on the coach. The accident, and losing my friends, particularly Wayne who was a very close friend of mine, has left me with huge amounts of sadness and guilt. I miss him very much and do whatever I can to make him proud every day.

How did you carry on after this?

You carry on because the only other option is not to carry on – and I’m too much of a whimp for that. Giving up would be the easy option but I was one of the fortunate ones who got to spend time with the boys who lost their lives and I need to show everyone how Wayne in particular enriched my life.

As hard as it has, and continues to be, I have to make him proud and that is the one thing that made me carry on.

Who inspires you?

It goes without saying that the person who has inspired me the most is Wayne. He had the most amazing spirit, heart and energy – he just made my world light up and all I hope is that he is looking down on me, smiling from time to time.

To find about the challenge visit: www.thirty4thirty.co.uk

About the author

Myriam is the features editor for our Inspirational Women in business. She is committed to raising the voice of women in media and has met some of the most prolific women (and, dare we say it, is as inspirational as those she interviews!). Myriam has been working in the industry for over ten years, with CNN and CNBC Europe. She is also the founder of Smart Content, a boutique consultancy helping brands to express their authentic personality and engage with their consumer groups, through compelling content.

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