Working life story: Pete Mosley

Pete Mosley talks to about his working life, from his time as a town artist to working as a Barefoot coach and author, always trying to help people achieve their full potential.


Pete Mosley was a very shy child as a result of undergoing a lot of medical trauma in his early years. It took him a long time to build up his confidence. He has spent his working life helping others to build theirs through art and drama workshops, juggling and mentoring and through his books, including The art of shouting quietly: A guide to self-promotion for introverts and other quiet souls.  His ultimate goal is to help people achieve their potential.

Pete’s first job within a year of leaving college was as Town Artist in Chorley, Lancashire. He spent just under three years from 1981 in the community creating artistic projects for schools, community centres and more. Much of it was based on pottery and drama workshops.

He then moved to Leicester where he ran a craft centre for 16-25 year olds who were unemployed. It was a time of inner city riots and unrest and projects were set up to help young people as a result. The centre was attached to a local college and aimed to get people into employment. He had to develop both his teaching and pastoral skills.  “It was about meeting young people where they are and not dictating what they should do,” he says. Although more stressful than his previous role with the centre seeing more people than they could manage, Pete loved the job. “I’ve always been someone who enjoys sharing their skills and helping other people along,” he states. “That has been a thread throughout my career.”


In 1986 Pete went part time while he built his freelance business working as an artist in schools, young offender institutes and community venues, developing young people’s ceramic and physical skills in order to boost their physical confidence and communication skills. Through that business he toured the country and went to New York where he began working with a theatre in education company to develop young people’s physical skills and confidence through teaching them juggling and other activities. He had got in touch with a US organisation that worked with young people to say that he liked what they did. He was invited over to spend three weeks there and soon became a regular, going back every year for seven years for three to six weeks spent on the road working with young people. “It was a very happy, very multicultural family and I loved it. There is a real ‘can do’ attitude in the US. I got nothing but encouragement,” he says. He also learned how to make the most of any opportunities that came his way.

While in the US Pete attended the world unicycle championships in New York. He had done some unicycling before and says that “by sleight of hand” he came away with a world unicycle certificate and won the over 30s male category. He returned to the UK to a lot of press interest and was able to speak on tv and radio about his work with young people. That led to a production placement at the BBC and was offered work training tv presenters how to be more physically confident. Pete got to meet and sometimes work with household names, but he didn’t want a long-term career in tv and another opportunity presented itself around the same time when the Arts Council recognised his freelance arts work and trained him as a mentor and consultant in the creative industries, helping them with building their confidence and marketing skills. Through that work in the 1990s and 2000s Pete has worked with a range of artists, including rock stars and filmmakers as well as with the Arts and Craft Councils. His work is both with individuals and groups. 

Barefoot coaching

In 2007 he decided to do a second degree in business and personal coaching with Barefoot Coaching. He continued to do his freelance work alongside his Barefoot coaching until two years before the Covid pandemic when Barefoot invited him to join their teaching team delivering the course he did. Pete also started writing books and says he thrives on the variety of his current career. He has published three books so far, including his most recent book, The Quiet Person’s Guide [to Life + Work]. He says that people think that quietness is the same as introversion and that there is shame attached to labels such as introversion. Instead it is important to understand the reasons why people are quiet.

Pete’s working life now consists of writing, teaching around four or five days a month and working with private clients as well as with groups in large corporates or government agencies. 

Covid changed the way he works. He had been travelling a lot before it hit and had to rapidly pivot his work to online. He now describes himself as a digital nomad. He travels around the UK and Europe in his camper van working as he goes. He is also in the process of buying a property in Cyprus and will be working there for half the year. At 68, he has no interest in retiring. “I love what I do so much and I’m still fit. It’s a real privilege to keep doing what I do,” he says.

He says the secret of his long working life is having an open mindset and he believes that continuing to learn and evolve will help him retain his sharp mental faculties for longer.  For him work and life is about adventure. “I wake up every morning believing that it is a fresh start,” he says. “The biggest question I have every day is what is out there to do next and explore.” 

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