Life would be soooo boring if we stood still, right?
I get a real kick out of and feel massively fulfilled now that I am able to help women make changes, learn new skills and help them become more visible in the online world. Helping successful women move forward and turn their expertise into products that have impact, they can generate income from AND be able to help more clients by creating a 1:many business model.
25 years ago that would not have been possible, I just didn’t have the experience or the LIFE experience to do it. Like you, I’ve had a life and have accumulated great experience and knowledge in life and business and it all lead me to where I am now. YOU too have expertise and the experience to be producing amazing online products.
OK, grab a coffee, time for the backstory
Business and marketing have always been an interest for me, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left college, but I knew eventually I’d have my own business…in something! So, I studied in London (& danced, drank, played volleyball, partied etc) at university and got a BA Hons in Business Studies and a CIM Diploma in Marketing. Lots of summer and workplacement jobs including working on the launch marketing team of the Renault Clio and auditing for the city council (OMG I got to do detective work and everything…for another time!) I was so lucky with getting great jobs during this time, opportunities came up AND I went for them to help pay my way through it all. Great times
Go into sales? But I’m a marketeer, darling!
I left university and fell into the magazine publishing world – sort of on purpose, but started in sales (killed my marketing ego at the time BUT was the making of me as I learnt how to sell quality product without feeling ucky!!! I sold expertise to those who wanted it a very different concept to my previous beliefs) Went from advertising sales exec to publisher (that’s the boss job of the mag) in just under 7 years. Marketing manager, sales manager, promotions, events along the way, everything was about marketing and generating income from expert content. I LOVED it. These were such great times AND taught me sooooo much about business from sales and marketing to PR, events obviously publishing great content, profitable magazines and how to bring in multiple revenue streams from them. You learn a great deal about people in these areas and of course, how they make buying decisions and what motivates people too. I managed teams and worked with agencies and other departments. Invaluable experience! I am very proud to say I have been an integral part of 5 magazine launches in both London and Dubai.
Recognising who to learn from
I was fortunate enough to have worked for Dennis Publishing for most of it and Felix Dennis (google him) was quite a character, I learnt a great deal from his business philosophies and practices and the teams I worked with were so vibrant. Enphasis was always on producing quality content and publications, marketed to responsive and concerning readerships, meant that the advertsing and sponsorship revenues were always generated and effective and readers became part of a community they loved.
“Leave London and go publish magazines in Dubai?” Go on then
2002 saw me move to Dubai and launch a further 3 magazines there (including F1 Racing Magazine…now that was fun!). Wonderful – MASSIVE learning curve there with new cultures, working practices and new business procedures…another time 🙂 sooo much to share from that experience
OK, so I couldn’t resist, a photography business it is
2008 set up my own photography business and went from part time as and when to running a sucessful studio full time in lovely Sutton Coldfield. Learnt about running a business, being a mum and everything else in between.
I did it all, built my own websites, hired village halls to hold studio sessions, doing maternity and boudoir shoots in clients’ homes and hiring hotels and venues, photographing weddings, lifestyle photography with families, babies in the studio, ran workshops and trained budding photographers, several premisis, lost money of ordering props and frames from companies that went bust, employing freelance photographers that went wrong…. But the main drive and love was to produce beautiful images that had impact, that I could sell. I sold moments in time, I sold happy times and beautiful interactions all embedded in gorgeous photographic products.
LOADS of experience that I wanted and some I could have done without.
It was one of the BEST experiences and adventures of my life. I LOVED it all especially the photography, marketing and business side and I was GOOD at it
Time to go it alone
Left the corporate world (still in Dubai), studied for a Diploma in Coaching and then decided to turn my photography hobby (since 12) into photography business.. The time was right for me to give it a go. Oh and I became immediately pregnant (lol perfect timing huh!). Whilst Lauren was a baby, I grew my little photography business (it was so much fun, we had a beautiful market stall on the Dubai Marina) and I also wrote a small column in a local magazine about being a new mum in an expat world and living in Dubai.
Returned to the UK, in 2006 but this time to the Midlands where Craig my husband is from…I knew no-one! Jack was born, and went and got a ‘proper’ job back in Media, running an outdoor and onsite advertising media sales team for a large exhibition venue company in the UK…but it was short lived to be honest, amazing experience again but once I had, had a taste of working for myself there was no going back for good. And so…
When your body says – “no more, you’re taking a break”…you have to listen
To cut a long story short, I burnt out, became ill with a virus and it knocked me off my feet, very poorly and had to take a great deal of time off…my business of course suffered. I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t particualrly stressed, business was good, but looking back I was struggling with the commitment and entrapment of it all. I was answerable to a retail outlet, freelance staff and something had to change.
No longer did I want to exchange time for money, no longer did I want to be working weekends rather than being with my growing family and no longer did I want to be tied to a retail premisis and I certainly wanted a business that I could run on my own time terms and that didn’t need me in it ALL the time.
Difficult changes were made
I closed the studio, some thought it was madness, I knew I had to burn that bridge (fabulous supportive husband who was glad to get his wife back) phased out my location photography over the following year, took my savings and took some time out. Reconnected with life and got everything back into perspective.
It was hard work, I had to redefine myself, get to know this new evolved woman…and I found she was very cool and had great opportunities ahead.
New reason to get out of bed in the mornings!
I needed a new purpose, to have a new impact on the world, to value myself in a different way and to ‘make money’ in a new way, that was scaleable and had no upper limits! (I’m not there yet, but I will be!)
2016 to now – changed my life, explored my options and TOOK action, dusted off my coaching diploma, carried on coaching a few photographers, realised that my talents, expertise and knowledge could be used in other ways and started to evolve.
Took stock of who I was and where I was going and all this started! Studied the online world. Started running meetings, a membership site, webinars, training and workshops for enterprising women over 40…found my new purpose!
Got a dog (love her so much!) and walk everyday and live a very different lifestyle now…it’s hard to change but it’s great to evolve.
Main things to know about me? I love to take action. It’s where the magic happens. The best stuff is on the other side of things going wrong, chances being taken, fears being overcome and dreams being followed.
Never let anyone dull your sparkle
It’s never too late to make a change and it’s never too early to start x
And the “nice to know” bits…
On the right, those are my babies. They are such a motivation for me, especially right now. I want to be that shining example of showing them it is possible to be there for your family AND run and develop an online business. To be honest they are totally into the online world and see that it is totally accessible to anyone with a great idea and a willingness to be visible!
So I’m a mum to a pair of pre-teens, a wife of a fab hubby, a dog mum to Bella (you’ll see more of her later) and all that is involved in that…football, drama, hobbies and the endless places to be! I live in breautiful Staffordshire in the UK and I truly LOVE the life I have created x
So, YEARS of amazing business and online experince…and I’m proud to say I’m a great listener AND inspirer too. If you have a need to gain clarify on your next step AND believe in taking action in order to make things happen, then get in touch and let’s talk. I’d love to hear from you 😉
Why not join my weekly dose of inspiration…I can keep you up to date with my FREE LIVE broadcasts (great way to get to know me) I share great apps and new bits of software that is useful for your business and getting organised and I love to share little stories that we can all learn from.