Margaret Hoctor

My working world as I had known it for 16 years changed forever on the 1st of October 2013. My Senior Director role in a leading Global Research company was no longer required. Although I had seen the changes coming, when I was made redundant I was still shocked. It was extremely difficult.

We all deal with situations differently. Mine was to start the next morning and pick every apple in the quiet orchard on our family farm and make sure it all turned into apple juice. I was fortunate to have such a lovely place to go to. I then assisted my husband to sell his lamb directly off the farm. Thankfully the farm is doing well and we have very loyal clients.

However there continued to be a void or something missing in terms of what I could offer. I love working with people, finding solutions, seeing the ‘bigger picture’, so I went on a journey of discovery by doing various courses to see if I could find something that would interest me but also allow me to add value to not only my life but others. This is when I discovered my passion for coaching and ultimately led to my qualification in life coaching.

I find having lived a varied life, including 12 years abroad, I have gained experience in various roles. I aim to ask the very question that can make the difference and unlock the potential in people.

My belief is simply this …we have just the one life … so If I can ask the question or facilitate a process, or help break down a belief that may be holding you back from moving forward, I can enable you to live the life you deserve.

I look forward to your call.



Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.

Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


Personal Development/ Coaching

What is personal development or life coaching ? The simplest explanation I can give is you imagine your self looking out a window and seeing what is ahead but there is fog and mist and things are quite so clear. Life coaching sessions and the process of the questions I use help give you clarity on where you want to be ..

If you are that person at a crossroads and cannot see the ‘wood from the trees’ in an area of your life or indeed a few areas then I recommend a few coaching sessions can help unblock the channels and help you seek clarity you want and deserve.

I can help in breaking down old beliefs that may be stopping you  and assist you on the path of  living your best life. Click below  , scroll down to read testimonials.

Training/ Mentoring/ Facilitator

October 2018 to present day . Associate  Trainer with the Entrepreneurs Academy .

Training start up’s for various Leo’s  in Idea Generation , Practical Marketing Tips, Mindset for business and Business Plan. Training also young Entrepreneurs 18 years to 30 with the ICE program ( Inner  City Enterprise). On the team for Aib’s initiative for women in business on the topic ‘ The Leader within’ .  Mentoring others within those groups on their business idea or next steps.

March 2017 ongoing :  Mentor for  small food businesses with their sales and marketing plans in the food start up area.
I have facilitated a group for Carlow Leo on a potential business idea for the Carlow area. My own farming/ product development/market research background and marketing for Kilmullen farm is lending itself very well in these mentoring and facilitating situations.

November 2016 Ongoing  : Designed and implemented 16 workshops for Bord Bia training those either thinking or already in Farmers Markets throughout Ireland covering Limerick , Galway , Cork , Kerry ,Donegal , Cavan Dublin and Wicklow. A wide range of topics were covered including sales , marketing , stall set up , HACCP , branding and all areas associated with running a successful stall. The feedback was terrific (see below for testimonials)

2014/2015 I have worked with the Food Academy Course in County Clare assisting participants who wish to have their products on the shelves in Supervalu. My role is to present the market research and marketing material provided and add my experience of what we have experienced growing our own farm business products. This is what seems to add value to my training. I can add my own experience from the sale of our apple juice to retailers to our lamb direct business, all of which are happening in ‘real time’.

I then mentored the twelve or so candidates in the area they are finding the most challenging eg market research, packaging, mission statement, branding , and work one to one with them on those areas. Scroll further down to see testimonials.

National Speaker on Farm Diversification – Our farm story – Overcoming job loss – Building the farm business – Mindset for business.

2017 to  present day  ;   I have  had the pleasure to speak Nationally on a variety of topics pertaining to my experience .

Farm diversification at  the  Women in Ag conference Sligo  and to  Teagasc  advisors  2019.

Mindset and my journey on job loss and building the farm business to several  women business groups Nationally.= 2018-2019

Speaker at  Enterprise week for various Local Enterprise offices on  our farm story . 2019

Food startup’s and our food story at events like Savour Kilkenny or Pigtown Food launch Limerick  2019.

I tell my story with honesty , passion and humour sharing nuggets along the way.

It is  very important the listener leaves feeling that they have gained knowledge  leave inspired . Click button and Scroll down for testimonials in this area.


My talk ‘The Six traits of an entrepreneur’ is a session I designed based on a book I read. I adapted it to suit Fifth year, Leaving Cert Applied and Sixth years, it is also applicable to Third level. The session covers the importance of being organised, the importance of attitude, the importance of planning and having systems in place all of which are by my own experience in building our lamb, livery and apple juice business. It has been very successful in schools in Wicklow and it is very rewarding working in this area. I also compare working for oneself versus a large corporation so the talk is varied and based on real experience. If you wish me to speak in your school please get in touch.

I have also been involved in the Student Enterprise Programme 2015/2016 facilitating in the roll out of the various stages throughout the schools of Wicklow which has been thoroughly enjoyable.

I was a judge for the Intermediate level at the Fingal Enterprise Student awards In March 2016 and will be again in March 2017. I was amazed at the level of talent and enthusiasm of the students involved. The future looks bright. Scroll down for testimonials.


Margaret Hoctor was a speaker at our 2019 Women and Agriculture conference. She lit up the room of 600 women with her funny , enlightening and yet educational talk. Her journey from working in the corporate world to Kilmullen farm has been documented in the Irish Farmers Journal before but her talk  on this occasion wasn't just about building the home farm enterprise, it was about all the lessons she learned along the way. I recommend her( and I am sure our audience would agree by their rapturous response ) that if you get a chance to see Margaret speak or corner her for some advice on dealing with adversity, getting off the ground when you are down or moving on , that you take that opportunity. It will be one of the best things that you do .

Amii McKeever  Editor , Irish Country Living  at the Farmers journal .

 Riveting entertaining effervescent  and heartfelt  where just some of the very kind  words Dr Lorraine Mancey O' Brien used to describe a talk I gave to her students in the  Innovation Hub UCD  Jan  2020 .   30 minutes using slides sharing in my story and visuals of the farm  and then a fireside chat where we discussed the highs and lows of being self employed . Dr  Lorraine  went on to say " Margaret is an amazing role model ..her story of pivoting her business is filled with humour, authenticity and solid business advice .. I can't wait to invite her back to UCD to inspire more budding  Entrepreneurs"

Dr Lorraine Mancey O' Brien

"Margaret  spoke at our Christmas Tri County Women in business event in Longford December 2019. She entertained and held the attention of the room with her witty anecdotes and recount of what was a very turbulent time in  her life .As well as  inspiring and educating us all , Margaret was very generous with her time .After the event she chatted with many of the attendees about their obstacles and experiences. Should the opportunity arise  Margaret would always be a welcome addition to any agenda or panel " Anna Lane Business Advisor Local Enterprise Office Longford.

Anna Lane  Business Advisor Local Enterprise Office Longford.

On Wednesday February 13th 2019 Margaret  Hoctor addressed over 60  business women who are part of the Cavan business Women's club ( CBWC)- A  professional business women's network , an initiative of Local Enterprise Office Cavan and Coordinated by Margaret McKeon-Boyle of Extensive PR.

Margaret  Hoctor gave an hour long presentation that was inspirational, empowering and engaging delivering many valuable business lessons and business tips. The feedback from the CBWC members was very positive, all saying that they thoroughly enjoyed her presentation style and learned from her powerful business story.

I would highly recommend Margaret Hoctor as an empowering and inspirational speaker.

Margaret McKeon-Boyle, Bsc Hon Managing Director

Extensive PR.

I had a wonderful session with this energising lady and I have to say she really cleared a lot of dross up for me. Great perspective. ..great listener...and gentle approach. ..highly recommend ...the perfect gift to yourself.

Mia Parsons

Margaret helped me to discover what was stopping me from realizing my potential. I left after an hour, feeling purposeful and enthusiastic about the future.

Four weeks later, after following the daily processes and exercises she gave me,I feel better than ever.  She helped me to find my own direction in life.

I really recommend Margaret to anyone who feels they could be doing better.

Michael A

Margaret was my first mentor on the Super Valu Food Academy Programme Clare in conjunction with An Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, and Musgraves.

Margaret’s first-hand experience as a both a business owner and producer, in addition with her extensive experience in the world of Marketing provides her with unique insight as to what is to be on both sides of the table.

Tara-Lee Byrne, 
Wicked Wholefoods

Working in Private practice

 Margaret has offered me amazing insights in how to promote my business in a very easy and supportive manner.

I was truly impressed and inspired by my Business mentoring sessions with Margaret

 in January, 2016.

Ann Prendergast 

Margaret was a guest speaker and mentor as part of the Bord Bia Food Academy in Clare. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude is infectious!

She has extensive knowledge of the food industry and identifying where your product can have maximum impact.

She quickly identifies areas for development and offers a range of possible options to move your product forward.

Maeve Sheridan,  Co-Owner of  Western  Herd Brewing, Bord Bia Food Academy

I have recently needed to shake up my advertising and promotion after a re-branding of my business and went to Margaret for some guidance. With her assistance she helped my find the right words and platform to get my message out there and I found her really easy to get along with and extremely supportive.  I cannot recommend her mentoring skills more highly!

Melanie Boylan Director of STOMP ( Social Media Trainer, Social Media Consultant/Start-up Supporter. May 2016

Margaret spoke to our second year business studies students about business during our Annual Business & Enterprise Week.

The Students found  out first-hand about a successful business and to have questions answered.

The learning the students achieved on the visit was for superior to anything that could have been reached by a business teacher in a classroom.

Its great for the students to see first-hand how passionate Margaret is about her enterprise.  We look forward to working with her again in the future. October  2014

Ruairi Farrell, Business Co-ordinator Colaiste Chraobh Abhann

"You really are the epitome of entrepreneurial thinking Margaret"!! Well done.. I can certainly vouch for her work in schools, the feedback from teachers she has visited has been fantastic and her tenacity in all areas of her work undoubtable.

Serena Bryans Co-coordinator of the Student Enterprise Programme for Wicklow, Kildare and Fingal  and owner of  'About Communications'. April 2016

"Margaret has spoken to my classes about her life as an entrepreneur. She never ceases to amaze them with her variety of business interests.They are also motivated by her sense of enthusiasm and resilience as an entrepreneur. Feedback from visits to our school have been very positive by the pupils.She helps them realise that their success in business is not  dependent on their academic ability but their own unique skills , hard work and a will to succeed. I always look forward to Margaret's visits to my classroom as I know they will be a great source of encouragement and enjoyment to the students."

Breda Dowling Transition Year /Fifth Year teacher Colaiste Chill Mhantain Wicklow.

“Margaret has visited many secondary schools in County Wicklow on behalf of the Local Enterprise Office.  She opens the students’ eyes to the joys and realities of self-employment in a very engaging way.  As well as being an inspiring entrepreneur, Margaret is an inspiring speaker, which certainly helps motivate students to consider the option of enterprise as a career path.  I would be happy to recommend her to students, teachers and parents looking for something different.”

Catherine Howard  - Business Advisor -Wicklow Local Enterprise Office. May 2016

‘Margaret developed and delivered a farmers’ markets training programme for Bord Bia.  Her knowledge from both her marketing and farming background combined with her energy and enthusiasm ensured a hugely successful programme.  Feedback from participants far exceeded expectations and we plan to work with Margaret again'.

Mary Morrissey Senior Manager - Food & Beverage Division Bord Bia.  December 2016

To Whom it may concern : Re Bord Bia Farmers Markets Training .
I would like to convey my thanks to the organizers of this event it was a very useful event for me. As a farmer wishing to start a business in the markets selling produce from my own farm the key speaker was Margaret Hoctor( Bourke)  as a Farmers wife herself she has a great understanding of where and how our food is produced. Margaret shared her and her husband's experiences good and bad on their journey to a very successful business, I don't know of any other sheep farm in Ireland that never has to depend on a mart or factory to sell their produce. I could relate to her and the way she delivered her talk, Margaret was able to involve the floor and in doing so brought you in out of the cold so to speak,she made me feel relaxed which helped me to make more use of the course.I also gained more confidence to go ahead with the plan for my new venture. We have to remember that Farmers by their nature are not always the best candidates for an audience in these situations,We lead what could be described as lonely lives and are not the best communicators. Margaret was outstanding in this area as she could find you and get you involved. An Bord Bia will travel a long way  before they will find a better person for this type of work, well done to the member of staff who found her.
Margaret ( Hoctor)Bourke if given the chance can be of untold benefit to the farming families of Ireland and the Agricultural Industry in General.
Yours sincerely,
Ivan Belton   Pig Farmer. Wicklow.
''As a speaker /presenter you are very inspiring, practical and humorous- a perfect combination not often seen"!
Diane Crean  'Honest Fuel'. Kerry Bord Bia Farmers Market session March 2017.
'Practical real life information from Margaret...loved the practical role-play'
How to engage with customers to maximise sales and listen to what they want..don't assume.. really informative. Margaret is fantastic, bubbly, knowledgeable and approachable.
Diane Crean 'Honest Fuel'
'I found it fantastic, great to hear Margaret especially talking with such knowledge about a range of issues, role plays were great. Thank you ..just the kick start I needed.
C Mulcahy.
"Margaret delivered an inspiring and engaging talk at our recent South East Women in Farming meeting. By focusing on developing resistance and delivering it
with wonderfully self-deprecating humour,a wonderfully positive atmosphere developed about a very serious topic. Her talk was a huge success.

Not only did people enjoy it immensely but they learnt useful skills too. "

Lorna Sixsmith
The Irish Farmerette 

Garrendenny, Crettyard, Carlow, Co. Laois