My Personal Journey
Not all journeys are straightforward. Sometimes, the route you take twists and turns, loops back on itself and takes you down a strange side street.
But the thing is that these unplanned diversions are often where we encounter the best parts.
My personal journey in business started when I was at school, selling custom-made badges using my dads badge machine. Once I had finished school and college my love for music led me to DJing and travelling abroad to DJ in several countries. Back home, I got into running events in local nightclubs. This led me to my love for marketing. I was thrown into designing flyers, building websites and managing a community on a myspace page!
But as with every journey, there are some unexpected challenges.
These arose when I went from being a sole trader to building a marketing agency. I wasn’t clued up in business processes, cash flow and managing clients who didn’t have the same ethics as me.
From the outside, it looked like I was smashing it. I had a really strong team who produced amazing work, and the agency was working with lots of great clients.
But as a people pleaser, I said yes to every request and started overworking and spiralling towards burnout.
So, I changed course.
That’s the thing about journeys – you can adjust your route.
So, I sought help and started therapy.
Therapy is often seen for people who are broken. But I don’t see it that way. I found sessions helped me find clarity in what I loved doing, to understand myself better and to work on building resilience.
I was good at my job I just needed to discover why I was allowing it to consume me, leaving me burnt out and on a route to resentment of the thing I had so passionately built.
I learnt that just working harder and longer wasn’t going to improve the business. I needed clarity and headspace. I needed to balance business needs with personal needs. I needed to live in the moment, allowing me to be more productive while at work and more engaged during family time.
The agency has now downsized, but it still has a great team.
Mistakes are the tuition fees of experience.
Looking back, I don’t regret any of it. The journey didn’t just teach me about I was doing wrong, but it taught me about what I did best, and for who. This realisation has resulted in a transition into providing consultancy and coaching services. I still work in the agency but on a reduced basis, mainly to keep my foot in the door and learn from my team.
Today I marry my business knowledge that I built up running an agency for 10 years with my understanding that life is bigger than just business.
From working with large organisations to mentoring individual business owners, my focus is on empowerment, goal-setting, and striking that elusive work-life balance.
I share my story not just as an insight into my personal transition but also to show that you can change paths. That when things feel too much there is another way. It is ok to say no and to prioritise yourself. You can only help others when you are ok yourself.
I looked good from the outside, but this wasn’t serving anyone well. It is about doing good, not looking good.