Angela Bryant – Angel Rated

Angel Bryant, CEO of Angel Rated on the Thriving Solopreneur Podcast with Janine Bolon

To Learn More about Angel Bryant, [click here] to view her Media Kit.

Janine Bolon: Welcome to the Thriving Solopreneur Show. This is Janine Bolon and with me today, I have none other than Angela Bryant. Now before we bring her on what we’re going to do is we’re going to brag about this woman for a little bit because it’s just one of those people that when you run into where you’re like, “Where was she 10 years ago?” That’s me as a female business owner. These women that find there are problems in the business community and then they go about solving them and it’s just incredible.

Let me just talk a little bit about Angela’s journey. Angela began her career in corporate world. She graduated with a degree in Maths and a Master in Operational Research with Southampton University. She spent four years at British Airways before she moved on to work for Vodafone for seven years and then six years after that, she was doing sustainability consulting and climate change charities. This woman has been throughout the business community.

Then in 2012, Angela made the decision. She was like, “Gonna chuck it,” she went into the corporate world and said, “Okay, enough,” and she started leaving that and established her own online businesses, but she can never quite find the work that she felt she was born to do.

So during this time, she qualified as a health coach in 2016. She founded the UK health coaches association because running her own business wasn’t enough. She had then establish this coaching association and then she started a professional governing body that helped health and wellness coaching in the UK and it’s called the UK HCA and its first association of its kind in the world and is dedicated to the advancement of health coaching and to provide support and advocacy for those health coaches and their clients.

So one of the things we want to get into and talk about is how Angela had this desire, she has this passion, she has these things she wants to do. Can anybody else relate to that or am I the only one singing her praises because I’m like, “Oh yeah, yeah, that was me.” It took me a while to figure out what my thing was, but once I found my thing, it took some effort. Angela, thank you so much for being on the show.

Angela Bryant: You’re very welcome and what an amazing introduction. Thank you ever so much.

Janine: Well, I can’t help but when I find women that I want to brag about, I can’t help but gosh. Okay, and the reason I’m gushing about this is because this whole Angela Rated aspect is a situation. Go ahead and tell us a little bit about Angel Rated, but I can’t wait for them to hear the story of how it came to be. But tell us what Angel Rated is because this is kind of like the point. You finally found the target. You hit it with your arrow. You’re on point. What is Angel Rated?

Angela: So Angel rated is the first and only online directory and review site for all the online courses online, online coaches, the tours, the communities, the platforms, the services, and everything else you need to run an online business.

Janine: We’re doing that a lot these days in case somebody missed that 2020 reboot that the world went through. So now that we have something like this, which is so very helpful. Talk to us a little bit. You’re like me, we were both in the corporate world. I was in analytical biochemistry. I used to make drugs for a living. Okay. I was with big pharma and you were in other regions and then you decided to chuck corporate America like I did. So what possessed you? Number one. Why did you leave corporate America? Number two. Why health coaching? Those are questions that need to be answered my dear.

Angela: So I left the sort of big corporate world when I realized that its values didn’t really fit with mine and I wasn’t really in love with what I was doing. I was making money for shareholders and building these big companies, but it wasn’t anything that I felt really passionate about, which is when I then went into working in sustainability and climate change and things I was more interested in, but they were still big sort of jobs in the city with a big commute.

So at the end of 2012, I realized that I was doing a three and a half hour round-trip commute each day into London. I was running this climate change charity, carbon cutting charity, but I was really working incredibly long hours. I was such a miserable wife, friend, whatever. Hating everything, being miserable all the time and I was eating. I was grabbing food on the run the whole time. I wasn’t exercising. I wasn’t sleeping enough and I was just thoroughly miserable. It was
a really high stress, high pressure environment. I think, I just burnt out. I just got to the point. It was six months before my 40th birthday and I thought, “This should have been my ideal perfect job, but it’s not and I’m not happy and I’m really stressed and I’m really miserable,” and I don’t want to hit 40 and still feel that same way. So I said, “Enough is enough.” I’m stopping. I’m leaving in paid corporate employment and I’m going to take six months out to figure out what I want to do with my life and who I am and what I want to be when I grow up.

So yeah, that’s why I left sort of corporate world and then as I started taking this time out and exploring who I was and really trying to delve deep into the navel gazing, talking to lots of friends, looking at what I was interested in, and the thing that kept coming up was about health and well-being. I’d always been interested in food and health and I didn’t know- we’re quite different in the UK. We didn’t, at that time, have many health coaches because we have a National Health Service. It’s just not a service that existed over here, but I found out about this New York-based health coach training school. I thought. “That just sounds like something I was really fascinated by.”

So I did that and I did an online business course at the same time. So I did them alongside each other as a way of just exploring what I was most interested in.

Janine: As you and I both know, because I created an online university. I’ve been running courses for years since 2015 and as you and I both know, that online course creation, online course taking, sometimes you pay big bucks. You and I both talked about this before the show. Paid big bucks and got nothing in that was helpful for the dynamic or the lifestyle that you and I were both trying to create. So talk to us a little bit about- and it’s no fault of anybody’s, right? This is not us pointing fingers or they are to blame. It’s more like just trying to figure out where we fit in with our niche[?].

So talk to us a little bit about some of the things that worked and some of the things that did not work with what you were investigating?

Angela: So I think what was really interesting is that I just sort of followed, I guess, the things that sort of pointed me in the direction. I just kept going with them and just trying things, but as you say, I invested thousands and thousands in that first year. I mean, a ridiculous amount of money and what really didn’t work is that I didn’t have a plan to begin with. I didn’t set out saying, “I want to learn about a, b, and c.” Now, let me go out and see what the options are for learning these different things. Let me find the one that’s most suitable for me or the one that’s in my learning style or the one that’s in my price bracket or the one that is suitable to my level of experience or knowledge.

I just did as everyone does in this sort of online business world. I was really reactive. So I would just take the courses that were offered to me is. It’s like, you’d start following someone online and then when they decide, it’s time for them to launch a course and it’s time for you to buy it. You sort of go with it and you sort of flow with it and you buy things because people are saying, “Now is the time for you to go and buy this,” when it might not be the right time for you or the right, perfect course for you or the right anything, style, experience cost for you.

So I think that was my first. It took a while I think for me to have my eyes open and really realized that. I think to start with, I just spent all the money. I was just investigating. I was throwing money at the problem. I was just trying things and getting out there and sort of
just buying all these courses and it was only a bit further down the line, years down the line, I think, that my eyes really open and I went, “Why are we buying things like this? We don’t that in any other aspect of our lives.” That’s not how we buy a car or an appliance or a holiday. Everywhere else we research and think about it and plan in advance pretty much and read reviews and online business. We don’t do that. We’re so reactive and that’s how I went along to begin with. It was just following the biggest names and the biggest personalities, and at that time, there were far fewer of them, but they dominated the market and there were only half a dozen people that you really followed and bought from. So I did what everyone else did and went along with it.

Janine: I love what you say about that though. It was so true. We are reactive and really didn’t have a plan because it was new waters. We were charting our own courses and we were trying to figure out where we were going to take our business and anybody who was doing
anything online, it was like “haa,” maybe they have a little bit more information than what I do and like you, spent tens of thousands of dollars on trying to educate myself because the tech was new as well, right? All the technology was new. So every time you bought something, there was a huge learning curve that you had to go through at the same time.

So that’s what worked well. As far as I was concerned about what you were sharing with me is that number one, you had a brain that could assimilate huge quantities of data and you did it and you got it out there. But also you’re like, when you had that wake up moment, “Why am I buying the stuff this way? There’s got to be a better way.”

So then that led you down a different road of thought. So you have your health coaching degree. Your business is up and running. So talk to us what was the next thing that was the “aha” moment for you that moved you closer to where you are now?”

Angela: So I had been building my health coach business for a couple of years at this point. So this was actually late 2016, early 2017. My husband and I went off traveling for six months. So I was working online and building my business and trying to do that while traveling, doing the whole location independence thing. We didn’t do gap years. So we thought in our forties, we’re going to take six months off and go around southeast Asia and New Zealand. We were doing that.

Every single day we were using TripAdvisor or Yelp any other sort of travel review sites to look at where to eat that evening, which hotel to book for our next day, which activities to do, which tour operators to use. We were just using all these things. At the same time, we will still go out and do our activities during the day and then late afternoon and evening, I’d be then back in the hotel on my computer, trying to build my business, write blog posts, get new technology, get things up and running, look for coaches to work with, look for courses to buy, look for tools and platforms to use.

Suddenly I just had this complete download of going, “Where is the TripAdvisor for the online business world?” Why am I buying things in this way when I would never do that when I’m traveling? I would never buy a hotel like that or even go out for dinner or anything else. But for online business, I’m still sort of blindly going around in the dark, trying to find which coach to work with. At the same time, it was around that time that you were beginning to hear more horror stories of some coaches that weren’t being entirely ethical, that were charging very large amounts of money and not delivering very much.

So it was just one of these night long, wide awake in the middle of the night going, “Why doesn’t this exists?” and downloading all this idea about the fact it should exist. So I then did lots of research if it existed, couldn’t find it anywhere. I was like, “that’s interesting.” Somebody ought to do that. Somebody ought to do that carried on traveling, go home, carried on with the health coaching, kept thinking somebody ought to do that, and eventually realized that it was me that had to do that. That nobody else was doing it.

Then it really absolutely suited my skillset, suited my background, my analytical brain and everything else, and because I’d really had this whole download about how it should work and what it should look like, how the databases work together. So I eventually realized it had to be me that had to do it. So I then took about another two years of research and development building the website, speaking to lots of people out what was needed, and then we finally got launched about 18 months ago.

Janine: Congratulations. Because whether you have experienced it yet or not, every business owner I have ever talked about or have ever talked to discusses how there’s that night where they don’t sleep because the idea of comes and you just get idea after idea, and all of a sudden you’re thinking, “Well, I don’t know how to do this” and answers are coming as fast as you can come up with a reason why you shouldn’t do it. The answer about why you should is pile driving itself into your brain and you’re just like, “oh my gosh,” and every business owner that I have talked to has had those nights.

So when Angela talks you guys about this just know this is a common thread. Now if you haven’t had your night where you’ve doing that, don’t worry about it, it’s coming. So talk a little bit about that, right? There was this lead up, right Angela? You were doing all these things and that it was a perfect fit. Let’s talk about that a little bit because
it’s that creative process that people try to force to happen, but if you relax and you just allow it to come. So talk a little bit more about that please.

Angela: Absolutely. That is exactly- it felt like I just had to keep moving forward even though I wasn’t quite sure through the health coaching, through everything in online business. I wasn’t quite sure whether I was doing the thing, my purpose, the thing I was really wanted to do but I didn’t stop. I just kept trying things. I was doing the health coaching. I was doing some sort of more like online business management, helping people launch their courses. I was doing lots of different things but just kept having a go at things and seeing if you’re not going to find out what that thing is by not taking any action, I think you take the action and it starts to reveal itself.

If I hadn’t done all the health coaching, I wouldn’t have got all that experience of building my own online business. I wouldn’t have met loads of people. I wouldn’t have looked at all these different courses and things I need is look at. I think it got to the point where I went, “I absolutely have to do this. I have to stop everything else,” and it was exactly how you described it was that like, “yeah, moment of going, I really have to do this.”

Then just started feeling my way forward. So I think there’s an analogy that people sometimes use about especially driving across the state, from one side to the other in the dark. If it was one long, straight road and you had your headlights on, you’d only be able to see 20, 50 yards ahead of you, but you know roughly that you’re going in the right direction and that’s how it always felt. It felt like right at the beginning, I could picture the end. I can still picture something much bigger even better. I can still picture that end goal.

Each time I just had to believe I knew what the next two or three steps were and take that next step and not worry about how on Earth the rest of it was going to figure out. I just had to keep moving one step forwards and believe that it was going to evolve and that if I kept the paving slabs down in front of me and moving on to the next one and moving on to the next one, that I would keep heading in the right direction and eventually I’d get to where I was heading.

So there was no master plan. It really was just that complete trust and faith, then just keep moving forwards and trying and suck it and see. It’s that sort of real, trying something and evolving the process as you go along.

Janine: It’s incredibly dynamic and it’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time because you have no idea where you’re going. I love Wallace and Gromit. My kids love Wallace and Gromit. I remember there’s this an animated sequence where Gromit is on top of a moving train and he’s laying down track. He’s throwing the track ahead of the train, kind of like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, throwing it down as fast as you could, and you feel like that. You feel like you are on top of an engine. It is going a hundred and eighty miles an hour and you’re throwing track in front of it as fast as you can. You can’t build as fast as the inspirations and the answers are coming and it’s all very exciting.

Then you look back 18 months, here you are. 18 months from that. You look back and what do you see now? What is your your thought now on what you’ve built and that train track you were writing?

Angela: It is amazing to look back. It really is. I never would have believed at the beginning that I could have got to where I’ve got to now. Even though you’ve got that vision and that idea and and you’re absolutely passionate about it, just taking each of those steps, it’s amazing how quickly they all can build up and build up and build up into something and then you look back and you think, “Well, I’ve done this. I’ve got all this happened and it is.”

It’s like if I hadn’t started when I started, I wouldn’t be where I am now already and I really wish I had started sooner. I wish I’d really taken that idea and run with it immediately. There were various reasons I didn’t and various personal reasons but yeah, I just wish I got out of my own way quicker and got on with it and started moving forward a lot faster than I did, but I am so excited about where I’ve got to so far and where it’s going from there.

Janine: That’s one of the things that I’m always excited for other entrepreneurs on. It’s like when you really find what you were supposed to do, even if it’s a shock and a surprise to yourself, I mean, I don’t think anybody is more surprised than me that I ended up becoming a professional podcaster and that is my bread and butter, because I’m like, “are you kidding me?” I had all this other stuff I was doing, but this is the thing that has really stuck with the program.

So when I just like you said, “Embraced it and move forward, that’s what ended up happening.” But I would love for you to tell us a little bit about where is your work now? Okay, you are a third party system. You are a review site. So, where is the big picture? Like you have this huge vision in front of you and if it takes you the rest of your life to get there, that’s fine. But you have a big vision for yourself, but where are you now in your process? How was your business? Where is it growing? What are your next steps today knowing that give you another couple of weeks and it may change, but where are you today?

Angela: I think, well, I’ve got in the process. I think the first year was really very foundational. It was sort of almost getting the systems and the platform itself up and running and starting to feel my way into being, I think, I’m very good at being that person who’s behind the scenes doing all the systems and the processes and the databases and thinking things through and figuring out how it all works. I did a lot of that in the first year and it’s only this year that I’ve realized I also need to be that person who’s front and center and out there and talking about it and doing podcasts and doing speaks and speaking and all that sort of stuff.

So I think that’s been the journey so far in terms of some of it. A lot of it is about my mindset and how I see myself in the business and my role in the business. In terms of where it’s going, I mean, the online business world is changing so fast and there are so many more people even than there were 8 years ago doing it. So many more courses and done-for-you services and done with you services and coaching and all the rest of it that it’s only going to keep exploding more and more. I think that every other industry that you can name has gone through this process of expanding quickly and then reviews becoming really a key foundation of that industry.

So we’ve had it for your plumbers, your schools, your hairdresser, your Amazon, anything you buy, your restaurants, cafes, hotels, they’ve all gone through that process. Yet for the online business world, historically, everyone’s always been taught to focus on testimonials and that they’re the thing that’s really important for you to collect, and I think the buyers and the clients out there are now really waking up to the fact that testimonials are owned by the business and they’re edited and they’re written in a way that’s purely there to get you to buy the product.

They’re there to overcome objections and show the pain points and to show the transformation that you had with using that product. They are really cherry-picked and they are all very positive and shiny and all the rest of it. I think, this has probably happened in other industries in the past. That’s almost like you’re just believing what the shopkeeper tells you. You’re just believing that the person selling you the product says that “Mrs. Jones said this one was brilliant,” and I think we’re getting to the point where the online business world is going to flip into realizing that reviews are going to be far more important and that we need to have stuff that’s independent. We need to go places where you can read lots of reviews in one place and see ratings.

I don’t particularly care whether it’s Google my business. If you’ve got a physical location or whether it’s your LinkedIn profile or it is a Facebook review, whatever it is. But I just really, really believe that something like Angel Rated where you can go somewhere and look at where other people like you have gone and written stuff that hasn’t been edited and isn’t particularly positive all the time and where you can compare multiple products and go and see a full list of all the Facebook ads courses or all the start your own podcast courses or whatever it might be. You can see something that’s a more complete and you can make an informed conscious choice about what you’re doing, well from being so reactive.

I think is where we’re really heading. If at some point in the future, I can have every single online coach course, product platform service listed with reviews for all of them, and get people coming to that in the same way that they do for TripAdvisor or Yelp or I think it’s Angie’s List. that you have in the US?

Janine: Yeah, the Angie’s List, you bet?

Angela: Yeah, we don’t have that. So I mean, that’s my vision. If it can come to become that sort of go-to site that you use before you go and buy anything. Before you sign up for a course, before you work with a coach you go and check things out, you do your research, you find out what everyone says. Then I think there’s just so much functionality improvements that I know can be built in the future and so much that could be done with the data as well.

For the business owners themselves, you could get such interesting information about what people are saying, really saying about your course and what the issues are and what they think about your ideal customer and people who buy your course. Also really love this other service or course or platform. You could really get much better idea. So much interesting stuff that I think you could do with the data. So lots of ideas for the future, but I also really believe we’re having this sort of coming of age growing up, sort of time era for online business and I think this is going to be a big part of it.

Janine: Well, and I’m excited for you because it’s business owners like you who are leading the way, who have been through the growing pains and you can kind of help walk other business owners by the hand and go here, you don’t need to make it complicated. It’s simple. It’s this. It’s X. It’s Y. It’s Z and walk them through that process. So it’s Angelo Bryant today with us, ladies and gentlemen. Anything else you care to share with us, Angela? Where do I go to find out more about you?

Angela: So in terms of Angel Rated the best place to go is to go to the website. So that is So if you go there, as a user, you can search for and filter and look for products and order them by how much they cost and buy reviews and all those sort of things and you can read reviews and see what everyone thinks of them. If you’ve done a course, or you’ve worked with a coach or you want to write a review, that’s not an affiliate review on your blog that will disappear or something that you write on Facebook that disappears, never seen. Again, if you want to write something that’s going to be on a review site and be there forever that people can read and that can share your experience, then head on over to as well, add your review.

If you’re a business owner, you can go there. You can sign up. You can add your products and your business and get your clients to start reviewing it. Once you’ve done that, you can download the reviews. You can export them to use in your marketing. You can respond to any reviews and so show how thoughtful and caring you are in your response and all that is currently still free of charge. I’m building it in a way that it begins where anyone who joins as it’s getting built is grandfathered in that it was remain free forever, but that won’t be the case for everyone going forwards. I think there’s some of the functionality that I’ll need to start charging for at some point.

So if you’re interested, then definitely check out If you’re a social media person, then we’re at Angel Rated HQ across every social media channel. So, that’s the best place to find us on social media.

Janine: This is Janine Bolon with a wonderful guest Angela Bryant today, helping all of those coaches and online course creators and online business owners to understand where we are headed in the future. I think she’s right on point with all of this. So good luck in your business, continue to thrive. Angela, thank you so much for sharing your business with us today, and this is Janine Bolon with the Thriving, Solopreneur and we’ll catch you next Friday.