Ten years ago today I handed my notice in from my job as Head of Marketing at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, without too much of a plan of what to do next. I knew Self Employment was the way to go but I hadn’t particularly shaped exactly what that would look like, or what my proposition would be.
The last ten years feel like they’ve flown by, and in that time my proposition has changed: I started by positioning my business as a marketing department – doing all those tactical elements that an in-house team would do.
As my business grew I realised that what I actually love is strategy, and I’d probably always known that, given that was the main reason that I had been employed in the past.
Ten years – it’s also been my longest “job”. Previously I’d change jobs anywhere between 18 months and 4 years – always looking for something that would challenge me. Self employment provides enough challenge and diversity to keep me from looking elsewhere.
These days I typically describe myself as being unemployable. In employed work, in annual reviews – on more than one occasion and in different firms – I was told I was a Conundrum. I took it as a compliment, but I’m not 100% sure that’s how it was intended!
I’ve worked on some great projects with some fabulous clients over the past ten years – and they seem to keep coming. I’ve delivered workshops throughout that time on a range of marketing subjects. I’ve received a Global Entrepreneurship Award, been nominated for a number of business awards and have been recognised as a Fellow by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
I still have a passion for working with SMEs – especially those in the mail order arena, it’s where I started my marketing career and whilst, back then, we didn’t have websites – the principles remain the same.
During the past ten years, I’ve also said No. Clients where the fit hasn’t been right; where I haven’t felt the product or service fitted with my ethics or moral code. Where I’ve felt that they would be better working with an alternative.
What’s next? Another ten years: maybe. There are some exciting things on the horizon – watch this space!
If you want to find out more about what a Strategic Marketing Consultant can do for your business – then have a read of this blog.