Andrew Ford

Last call for e-ttraction brand coaching!

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The new financial year is only a week away! Exciting for those accountants looking forward to the EOFY parties, but for most of us we take stock of where we are at with our careers and businesses.

If you have always wanted to have your own business as a side hustle or to one day take full time, now is the time to act.

I have released another five e-ttraction coaching spaces 1:1 with me to either start or scale a passion business from $0 to $100k. 

The process is 12 weeks following the Social Star University system with weekly meetings with me. 

Pre-pay this financial year to get a bonus four weeks additional coaching free!

To apply click here.

Cheers Andrew

e-ttraction podcasts - Business Essentials: The power of audio in your brand

Personal Branding which made me think about the leverage audio can have in your personal brand.

I get contacted to do podcasts quite often and enjoy doing them so was happy to share some knowledge and made a time to head out to their Hawthorn studios here in Melbourne.

On arrival, with my son in tow, as it was during school holidays, I was impressed with their full sound booth and gigantic mixing desk. I realised it wasn't like my podcast which is a Skype interview or in my meeting room in the office recorded on my laptop. This was professional!

Build Your Own Business Part 1 - 'Focus on one thing'

This is the first of 12 blogs on how to Build Your Own Business. Too busy to read? I have a solution, listen to my matching podcast on the same topic click here - #BYOB podcast.

After working with hundreds of Corporate Escapees who want to leave their day jobs and build their own businesses, two things separate those who succeed and those who give up: focus & persistence.

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But how do you choose what to focus on when you have soooo many great ideas!? I get it. I'm a super creative entrepreneur too. I have new ideas every time I shower or go for a run (or a few beers...). But without a focus on a single idea, none of them will develop into a sustainable business because you will not persist.

For those new to my work, the definition of a 'business' is that you are selling something and delivering it for cash. If you are not making money, sorry buddy, it's a hobby.

Focus

The way we help clients focus on one idea in their business is to align this idea (product, target market, campaign) with their highest core values. Then you will naturally focus as it's what you really want to do.

When we talk about values we are not discussing right and wrong, like The Ten Commandments style. It's how we prioritise our limited resources of time, money and energy. (Thanks for Dr John Demartini for the inspiration for my values work.)

The seven areas we review (in no particular order) are:

  1. Business, 2. Money, 3. Family, 4. Friends, 5. Health, 6. Education, 7. Spirituality

Of course, all of these values are important, but only the top 3 will drive our behaviour and choices. If your business isn't a top value it will be tough to develop a work rate sufficient to build a strong business as your other values will get in the way.

For example; let's say Family, Friends and Health are your top values and Business number 4. It's time to do those proactive sales calls or write your blog for the week. But you have to pick up the kids from school, then you are invited by a friend for a drink and you wanted to squeeze in a run too.

What do you do? Do you put your kids in after-school care, say no to your friend and do your run, or do you get your work done? When it's your own business you can choose how you spend your time as you are your own boss, but that is a double edge sword as you lack accountability.

If your highest value was Business you would choose to do the work, perhaps not all the time, but enough to make your business thrive. If you prioritise other areas of your life most of the time, you will not have sufficient time to run a sustainable business.

Once you know your highest values, ask yourself how this particular idea supports all of your values. Try to come up with 20 ways this particular business model, product, target market or campaign support your health, family, friends etc. Once you start matching your core values to your work, it's far easier to say yes to work and no to distractions.

Persistence

It takes 10-12 hours a day 5 days a week to run a strong business generating an income to match a corporate job.

That level of effort requires persistence. Persistence comes from matching your 'Why' to your business. When you truly believe that your business will meet your long-term goals and values, you will have the inspiration to continue in the face of setbacks and challenges.

If you know that your business serves others, believe that it can make money to support you and confidence that you can do it, you will persist.

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Unfortunately, many people lack the strategy of how to build their own business, the process to build a successful marketing and sales campaign to get clients and motivation to do the work required to scale a business that is sustainable. Thus, they give up and chase another business model, create a new product or choose a different target market. But the underlying issue is they really haven't spent the time to figure out their 'Why' and understand their values to choose what to focus on and the reason to be persistent.

Most of the time the problem isn't in the business. All businesses have problems. The goal is to find the problems you enjoy solving. That takes internal work to discover your 'Why' and your values.
 

Solution

After going through it many times and coaching many clients through the same process, my advice on how to resolve this issue is to do a Values workshop. We do them at Social Star or you can find a good Demartini Facilitator to help you through the process.

By getting clear on these two areas you will significantly increase your chances of success in your business, because the only real way to fail in your business is to give up.

My advice on how to resolve this issue, after going through it myself many times and coaching many clients through the same process, is to do a Values workshop. We do them at Social Star or find a good Demartini Facilitator to help you through the process.

By getting clear on these two areas will significantly increase your chances of success in your business, because the only real way to fail in your business is to give up.

Check out this video here for more details - Demartini talks Values

Talk to Andrew regarding a Values workshop - Chat to Andrew

#BYOB EPISODE 003 - JACQUIE PRETTY: WRITING BOOKS, BUILDING A BUSINESS AND WORK LIFE BALANCE

BYOB podcast #3 with Jacqui Pretty

If you had an opportunity to return to corporate life would you? What if you were able to combine the training and mentoring opportunities that come with a corporate role, with the satisfaction of running your own successful business?

In this episode, Jacquie Pretty from Grammar Factory joins me to talk all about what led her to set up her business helping entrepreneurs. How she helps people write awesome books and assists them to craft and hone their words so that they really resonate with their audience. Jacquie grew her business from being a sole trader to employing a team of editors, she talks about how she made that happen and what drove her to succeed. We also discuss how she has found work/life balance by returning to a corporate role, alongside running her own business and the advantages and opportunities that this presented her with.

For those who prefer to read, here is the transcript...

[0:02:39] ANDREW:  I’m Andrew Ford your host and I’m lucky today to be talking to Jacquie Pretty from the Grammar Factory books and she helps people publish books and she’s been a bit of a contact of mine for a while being part of the Dent program, so we’ll talk a little bit about her story and starting with her background so took a live without her story and starting with her background so welcome Jacquie.

 

[0:02:58] JACQUIE: Thank you for having me.

 

[0:02:59] ANDREW: So tell me what Grammer Factory does, give me a bit of a background.

 

[0:03:03] JACQUIE: So Grammer Factory is a publishing company and we turn entrepreneurs into authers, so we've been in business for about 4 years now and have worked with over 130 entrepreneurs and their business’s very dramatically.  One week we will be doing a book on financial planning, the next it'll be on how to travel with your pet or how to have a better orgasm, so it’s never boring…

 

[0:03:24] ANDREW: You get to read all these books obviously, so...

 

[0:03:25] JACQUIE: Well I used to read all of them back when it was just me being a little old freelance editor but now my team takes care of most of the books and I'm more the educator and the face of the company and the salesperson.  

 

[0:03:35] ANDREW: Yeah great, and so just for the listeners just give me a quick walkthrough from your career history and then we'll go back in detail and unpack it, so where did you start from, how did you get into that?

 

[0:03:46] JACQUIE: So I've always wanted to be a writer and I did a degree in professional writing and editing back at Monash over 10 years ago now and I wasn't quite sure where that would take me so what ended up happening was I move to the UK and got a job in media monitoring which basically involves reading all of the next day's newspapers the night before so it was night shift which meant how is a bit of a zombie after about 18 months but what was really good was I would work 7 days and have 7 days off so I got to do a little traveling.  Then I came back to Melbourne where I did a number of website copywriting jobs but I kept finding that…

 

[0:04:24] ANDREW: For agencies or for individuals....

 

[0:04:26] JACQUIE: No, for corporates and I kept finding that I was very unfulfilled and I would get to about 3 month mark in a job and then would have learnt everything I need to learn and was ready for the next challenge and this kept happening, and after this happened a number of times I started to think maybe the jobs not problem maybe, I’m the common factor here maybe it has something to do with me,  and that's what get me starting to think about running my own business.

 

[0:04:52] ANDREW: So let me just go back a step so you were doing websites for individual companies so you would get a job as the website person for that company, not at an agency doing various websites?

 

[0:05:03] JACQUIE: Yes so one of my jobs was at a financial trading company called IG Markets and there I was an SEO copywriter so I was writing a lot of articles for them under various pseudonyms trying to establish them as the authority in that space. Another company I worked for was Open Universities where I was doing a lot of content for their website as well as social media and PR and so on, so a pen for hire but within the corporate environment rather than agency one.

 

[0:05:30] ANDREW: Interesting and so, I mean, really you were an independent contractor almost back then but, you know, you wanted to be an independent contractor but you were basically just getting job after job after job because, you know, you do the project and then get bored and kind of move on right.  Interesting,  and when you said you write under different pseudonyms, is that a regular thing in corporations?

 

[0:05:54] JACQUIE: I'm not sure about now but back then it was a little bit of black hat SEO where one of the parts of SEO is trying to create backlinks that point to your website because  that helps Google see that you are an authority in that space but you don't want all of the backlinks to have been created by the same person otherwise it looks a bit contrived so I had about 5 different pen names I’d use to write articles that would all link back to their website.

 

[0:05:30] ANDREW: And you would have like, would these have profiles behind them all?

 

[0:06:18] JACQUIE: Year they all had profiles...

 

[0:06:23] ANDREW: Oh wow so these are all fake people?

 

[0:06:24] JACQUIE: Yes. I should try Googling them to see if they still exist.

 

[0:06:28] ANDREW: That’s amazing, in fact, I mean, I have created a few fake profiles just out of fun for giggles overtime, in fact if you look at Ellen DeGeneres on LinkedIn, that's me…

 

[0:06:39] JACQUIE: Really!

 

[0:06:41] ANDREW: And the amount of people from like America, we get movie stars and so forth who come in and you know, oh Ellen can you help me with my movie script or whatever is like amazing.  We actually sent the details to their people and said we've created this profile, because she doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile,  you know, can I give it to you and there is no reply so it’s been sitting there gathering momentum for the last year or so, so any way, we’re a little bit off track, so you kept bouncing around different roles so how many roles did you have, how long was that for?

 

[0:07:10] JACQUIE: That was for a period of probably 6 or 7 years…

 

[0:07:14] ANDREW: Oh, like a long time...

 

[0:07:15] JACQUIE: Yeah, that’s why I started thinking maybe the role wasn’t the problem and the rolls would be anywhere from about 9 months to I think Open Universities I was there for almost 2 years so jumping fairly regularly in that time.

 

[0:07:28] ANDREW: Yeah, and it was always content production so it was always writing…

 

[0:07:31] JACQUIE: Yes, it was always writing...

 

[0:07:31] ANDREW:  How did you know you want to do writing, like was it ...I was little girl...sort of thing?

 

[0:07:35] JACQUIE: I grew up loving to read, yeah, I grow up, you know, with the torch underneath the doona cover reading books after I was told to go to bed. I was always telling stories, I was always writing myself and it just seems like the logical progression.

 

[0:07:50] ANDREW: Wow, thats awsome. It’s rare that people, you know, I loved, you know, when I was a little kid playing little computer games but I don't, you know, I guess I work with computers but I don't make games but it’s good that you go to follow your passion from an early age. So then you had this realisation that it wasn't for you, you looked at your history things have I guess transpired that you kept moving all the time, which may be was a barrier to getting roles in the future cuz they might think, you know, not going to stay, so what made you, like, what did you do next, did you go well I’ve got this realisation what are you gonna do about it?

 

[0:08:20] JACQUIE: I actually, it's funny, I met up with a family friend for a coffee to ask for his advice because he ran a recruitment company at the time and my theory was just get me into a really high paying contract for a few months and I'll save up a bunch of money and then I'll go travelling again and then when I come back you can do the same thing and that'll be my life and he was the one who actually said you should start a business and it had never occurred to me before that conversation because, I don't know if it's different now, but back when I was at school it was, you go to school, you get your degree, you get a job, and that's your life. Starting a business was never raised so as soon as he said that I started to go ooh, that sounds interesting and that’s when I began doing research online and trying to figure out all the different things I can do and investigating coaching programs like Dent and KPI.

 

[0:09:10] ANDREW: Wow, so just go back on the school thing, so when did you graduate school, just to get some context?

 

[0:09:16] JACQUIE: High school….2004.

 

[0:09:18] ANDREW: 2004, right so I’m slightly a bit older than that, so I'm a generation before you and we were told go to school, get a good marks, go to University, get a job, stay in the job,  buy a house, retire, die.  It’s kind of the process, and so entrepreneurship was not a thing, you know, in fact entrepreneurs when I was around was like a dirty word.  It was the Alan Bond, Christopher Skase, you know, they're the sort of people who get rich quick schemes and send people broke, basically, it wasn't until the Richard Branson's and the, you know, Elon Musk was not around then but you know, the Steve Jobs type of model where it was an aspirational thing, so even when you went to school they weren’t talking about starting your own business, like, it wasn't that thing?

 

[0:10:02] JACQUIE: No, not at all, it was go to school, get a job, and the only exception was if you happen to be a really gifted athlete or an artist or something and you were seriously pursuing that as a career.

 

[0:10:11] ANDREW: Wow, because that's interesting to me, you know, I went to a private school and they pushed professional industries so, you know, if you're a lawyer, account, a doctor then they’re the aspirational things, or an engineer or something, I always wanted to do business so I didn't do maths science I did the humanities, did accounting and legal and economics, they’re the sorts of things I’m interested in, and they were second class subjects, you were considered not that smart, you're not smart enough to do maths science, but I’m like all I want to do is start a business so, you know, but now entrepreneur is obviously all the rage and very handy but even as a professional I deal with lots of those professions and all of them own their own business, I mean, so it's amazing that even going through the school systems where the outcome might be a professional career they’re still not talking about starting a business.  It's crazy right, so you started doing some investigation, how did you do that did you talk to people, did you go online, what was your process?

 

[0:11:08] JACQUIE: It was mostly Googling to see what would come up and I don't even know how but I started stumbling across a lot of life coaches in the US who were teaching you how to start your business and doing a lot of online programs and webinars and teleseminars and so on and I remember that the big piece of advice was basically combine all of your gifts and talents and interests into a career that doesn't exist yet and then you’ll magically be successful…


 

[0:11:33] ANDREW: Magic nice...

 

[0:11:34] JACQUIE:  I know it didn't quite work that way,  it didn't quite work that way for me and that’s why when I came across ...

 

[0:11:41] ANDREW: So you started something from that advice you were like oh...

 

[0:11:44] JACQUIE: I tried to start something I created a website and business cards but never went anywhere...

 

[0:11:48] ANDREW: Yeah, because you could create websites that’s what you do right...

 

[0:11:33] JACQUIE: Well, this is little bit funny in hindsight but what I was going to do is going to be a copywriter but I was going to combine meditation with it and I had this whole thing where I was going to do a workshop and I’d meditate with them and get them to connect to who they really were and then I would write copy around that, and of course no one wanted that they just wanted their words so...


 

[0:12:09] ANDREW: It’s kind of interesting...

 

[0:12:11] JACQUIE: It is….

 

[0:12:12] ANDREW: I get where you're coming from...

 

[0:12:12] JACQUIE: I mean I’m sure there’s someone who manages to make that work, but I never did.

 

[0:12:16] ANDREW: Yeah interesting, it all depends on how you market it right, coz you got a web site but you gotta go out there and talk to people and connect and, you know, I find in entrepreneurship sales is the hardest bit, is getting the regular numbers through the door, so ok you did some trial and error which is the normal way people start a business and that’s good learning right, how long did you do that for before you invested in a program?

 

[0:12:38] JACQUIE: Well I invested in a lot of little programs in that time between maybe $100 and $500 and that went on for maybe a year to 18 months.

 

[0:12:49] ANDREW: So quite a while...

 

[0:12:49] JACQUIE: Yeah, it was quite a while...

 

[0:12:51] ANDREW: And trying different things?

 

[0:12:54] JACQUIE: I was trying different things coz I started with the mediation/copywriting and then went into more straight laced copywriting. But it wasn’t until the beginning of 2013 when I made the big investment which for me was the Key Person of Influence program and back then it was about 10 grand which was huge for me because I...

 

[0:13:13] ANDREW: Didn’t have any money...

 

[0:13:14] JACQUIE: Well I had just got my first copywriting client who was paying me $300 to write a page on her website so wasn’t proportionate with my businesses income at that stage

 

[0:13:22] ANDREW: And you hadn’t been working for 18 months so...

 

[0:13:24] JACQUIE: I was trying to do it on the side of the corporate jobs so I did still have an income coming in so...

 

[0:13:28] ANDREW: Oh so you were still working….great...great

 

[0:13:30] JACQUIE: So I came across the KPI program, went to their big one day event and what I really liked about that was that was a step-by-step process and I went oh if I just follow these steps it will work and it was very practical as well, I mean I love the woo woo stuff and the spiritual stuff, but a lot of what I had been working with before hand was all spiritual and all woo woo and there was nothing in there about you know you actually need to make phone calls and go to networking events and you have to talk to people so they know about your business, you can’t just meditate and they will magically appear. So that’s what I liked about KPI it was just so concrete.  So that was 2013 and it was about halfway through that program when I came up with the idea to start offering editing services because as you know one of the steps in the program is to write and publish a book and I was a writer in a room of 50 people who wern’t writers, but who all had to write a book, so I got in front of the room and said look I can help you with this and that lead to my first couple of clients which gradually snowballed to gradually become Grammar Factory.

 

[0:14:34] ANDREW:  Which is...I mean it’s just so logical that you would go into the program and...I was thinking at the brand accelerator day you would go there and go hey they all write books, I can get in their community and start selling my services but that didn’t actually happen in your brain until you were in the program…

 

[0:14:49] JACQUIE: No it didn’t, in fact it didn’t….So when I start the program I was still trying to push the website copywriting services so it didn't happen until about halfway through the program after I'd already written a book, and the book came back from my editor and I read through it and went I have no interest in working on this or marketing it, actually I have no interest in this business that I'm trying to build, and that’s what forced me to look for something else...

 

[0:15:13] ANDREW: So it wasn’t hitting your passion points...

 

[0:15:15] JACQUIE: No.

 

[0:15:15] ANDREW: So what was the book called?

 

[0:15:17] JACQUIE: Well, that one I didn’t end up publishing….

 

[0:15:18] ANDREW: So that one never came out, so what book did you eventually publish?

 

[0:15:21] JACQUIE: I eventually published ‘Book Blueprint: How Any Entrepreneur Can Write an Awesome Book’.

 

[0:15:25] ANDREW: Nice, we’ll have a link in the show notes for that just so people want to check that out. So you go to the process and you’ve gone through the program which is a 40 week excelerator, you graduated from that and then, you know, what are you doing, had you quit your job at that stage, did you go full time, how did it all work for you?

 

[0:15:41] JACQUIE: So that year almost when I was doing KPI I had gone down to 3 days a week in my corporate job so I could start building the business on the side but in a way that was safe and stable rather than just taking the leap and potentially not getting caught, so when, in fact it was the last week of the program when we had our pitchfest event that was when I quit my corporate job and went and went full time with the business...

 

[0:16:07] ANDREW: You had customers already?

 

[0:16:09] JACQUIE: I did have customers, yes, by the time I left I had about 6 weeks of work lined up and then that gradually grew until, less than a year later I actually ended up hiring another couple of editors because I couldn't manage all the work on my own...

 

[0:16:23] ANDREW: Yeah great...and so just for an indication when you quit your job how much revenue was your business doing compared to your salary as a percentage, so was it half your salary or a quarter or...because that tipping point is...when I work with clients it’s such a careful thing to manage and it depends on, you know, I look at people's life stage as well as their resources to try and manage it because, you know, you’ve got a mortgage to feed and partner to satisfy and...want a holiday once and awhile, it’s very hard to make that transition.  The transition is the hardest bit, so how was it for you did you go ok when I hit 40% or 50% of my income I’ll quit, or is it other parameters for you?

 

[0:17:10] JACQUIE: Yeah I was nowhere near that organised in hindsight it was probably, it probably would have been about a third of my salary but I hadn’t earnt that much yet if that makes sense, I was just projecting that based on what I was currently charging and the work load and the number of enquiries I was getting...


 

[0:17:27] ANDREW: ...6 weeks of ...so it was showing enough promise for you to do that...

 

[0:17:31] JACQUIE: It was showing enough promise I wasn’t, like I knew there would be more clients, whether or not it would be full time was the big question for me so what I ended up doing is rather than going straight into full time I went well, I set up a business to I can travel so why don’t I spend the next 3 and a half months travelling and doing the business part time...

 

[0:17:50] ANDREW: Oh really...

 

[0:17:51] JACQUIE: Yes, probably not the more financially stable way to enter into a new business but, yeah, I spent ….it was... I finished KPI at the end of 2013 and then in February 2014 I did a 3 and a half month trip through the middle east and india

 

[0:18:05] ANDREW: Wow, with amazing wi-fi I’m sure so it was easy to connect...

 

[0:18:09] JACQUIE: Yeah...

 

[0:18:09] ANDREW: So how did that go managing that with the backlog of work when you're travelling, did you manage to do it or was it...

 

[0:18:15] JACQUIE: Oh yeah for most of the time it was fine actually because I would, I’m an early riser so I get up and do a couple of works in the morning, a couple of hours of work in the morning, and then I’d explore the city where I was during the day and then do a little bit of catching up in the evening and the balance works really well for me the only time when I was little difficult because when I went India because I was staying at a meditation resort where I was doing a program called workers meditation which is sold as a way of basically learning to view your work as a form of meditation and so you work basically full time at the resort while you're there. I think it's actually just a way for them to get people to pay them to work...

 

[0:18:54] ANDREW: Oh you're working on their stuff and not your stuff...hmmm...I don’t know about that...

 

[0:18:56] JACQUIE: Yeah, I was in their welcome centre and registering people and everything and that was when it got a bit hard cuz suddenly these big chunks of my day were gone and I couldn't actually do the editing, so that probably wasn’t the wisest decision, but when I was just travelling it worked really well.

 

[0:19:10] ANDREW: Your a bit like me, when I, through my process I look at people’s values a lot and if you have a high value on work then you don’t mind doing work on the weekends or around the times so for me whenever I go away on a holiday I always try and do something productive, because I just can’t sit by the pool all day reading a book and I don’t like to drink all day and I don’t want to ride elephants everytime I go to Bali and so forth so, when I wrote my book I went to Bali for a week and I did the same thing I would write in the morning for about 2-3 hours, have a break, go do some fun stuff and then I would come back in the afternoon and do another 2 hours, 4 hours writing a day is quite a lot if it’s intensive, like you need the break and I still felt like I have a holiday, so it was great, so I’m going on a holiday in October and I’m like, you know, am I going to write a book too, what’s the thing that I’m going to do, and I just feel, you know, people go oh you should just relax, and I go but it is kind of relaxing coz I enjoy doing it and I feel like I have achieved something not just sat around so...but people are different right so...

 

[0:20:11] JACQUIE: Absolutely...

 

[0:20:12] ANDREW: So you do the holiday and you come back and your full time so the pressure is on right?

 

[0:20:17] JACQUIE: Yep, well it was interesting because I came back and then suddenly I had this huge influx of work, I think I got into that the tipping point where I had enough clients at that point that they all started referring people to me at once, so I'd been back for maybe 2 months and that was when I went OK I’ve got to hire some other people for support because we’ve just got so much work coming in...

 

[0:20:36] ANDREW: And how much of it was through the course and how much outside the course?

 

[0:20:40] JACQUIE: At that time probably about 95% of my clients were from the KPI community, which makes sense because if you’ve worked with KPI’s and then they’re referring other people who are doing the program, and even today about 75% comes from that community.  So one of the things were looking at in the next year or two is how we can diversify coz obviously that is a bit of a risk.

 

[0:21:00] ANDREW: Yeah that's right, any large chunk of business from one client base is a risk and there’s competitors coming into the space as well because people have the same idea so, ok that sounds cool, so just a couple more detail things because we want to be super practical so when you did the KPI program and you leave, what other things did you have to invest in in order to get your business running, so you said a couple of staff members but did you build your own website, did you spend money on marketing did you have an office, like what are the, you know, the other things that you had to, expense if you like, to get going, was there legal and trademarks and, you know, what did you do to get going and what did you think isn’t necessary?

 

[0:21:37] JACQUIE:  For the first 18 months I didn't invest in much at all actually because I wanted the business to prove itself first and I think that was a lesson I learnt from my earlier business ideas where the first thing I did was build the website and do the business cards and then nothing happened, whereas with this one I actually waited until I'd had my first...I’d gotten my first 4 or 5 clients before I built a website and all of the collateral around the business came after it had proven itself, so it wasn't really until I’d hired my first staff that the big investment started to come in because obviously you hire people, then you need to change the business structures, so I can no longer be a sole trader so suddenly I was working with an accountant and had to pay WorkCover and Superannuation and all of these things...

 

[0:22:19] ANDREW: Insurance...

 

[0:22:19] JACQUIE: Insurance yeah, so there were...

 

[0:22:23] ANDREW: Which is very distracting from you like the core job of helping people write books right?

 

[0:22:27] JACQUIE: It is...so there was a lot...and it all hit at once as well and I wasn’t expecting it so one of the...if anyone else is at their stage in their business I'd say make sure you got some money set aside so you can take some time out of the main job and your business because I had a really difficult 6 months where I was probably working 80 hours a week every week and I also wasn't charging enough, I didn’t realise at the time but it meant that  I had to work that much to bring in the money to pay them and all these new expenses so...

 

[0:22:58] ANDREW: And not even make a profit right?

 

[0:22:59] JACQUIE: No..

 

[0:23:01] ANDREW: And this is the thing I kind of want people to think about before they jump ship, I mean I ran Social Star for almost 2 years part time before the opportunity presented itself to go out right, and it only presented itself because I had a fight with my boss and I left, like, I walked out, it wasn’t really well planned, but at least I had a business structure, I had a web site, I had a client bases, I had referrals, we didn’t have much cash flow, but we could easily ramp it up because we already had other things.  So I encourage other people to think more broadly than, you know, watch an inspiring video on YouTube and go oh I’m going to leave my job tomorrow, stuff my boss, I can do it, you know go meditate for an hour and think it's all going to happen, because it takes time right it takes money and you are going to make mistakes.  So you’ve invested in working big hours, did you ever want to give up?

 

[0:23:49] JACQUIE: No, which is really strange because it was a really difficult period. I never wanted to give up, what I thought about was potentially scaling back and making the business just me again because I was just at this stage were I couldn't see how I could make it work and in fact what's interesting is what got me through that was the discussion with another mentor who knew someone in New York who was running a similar business to me and he said, oh this girl her business turns over 55 grand a month, and she charges up to this much for her packages, and sort of went, oh people can charge that much and...

 

[0:24:26] ANDREW: It’s allowed...

 

[0:24:27] JACQUIE: I know where as before that I already felt like I was charging a lot and I just thought that the business model didn't work and no it absolutely works, it works now that we are charging sensibly...

 

[0:24:37] ANDREW: And was that more your confidence in charging of the value you were offering actually changed, like what changed in that mix?

 

[0:24:47] JACQUIE: It was, it would have been the confidence because...so when I...we offer an end to end publishing service now but when I started it was just editing and I would give people a quote and when I started I was charging $1,500 and I had people going oh actually I have spoken to this other person and they’re going to charge $500 and what I didn't realise at the time was what I was doing was very different to what they were doing and what happened was I had people seeing other editors and then coming to see me afterwards because all the other editor did was correct their spelling and grammar and didn’t actually give them any feedback on the book where as what I was doing and what I’ve taught my team to do is pull these books apart and put them back together. Sometimes we will rewrite them if we have to to make them good book and that takes a lot more time and it...requires a much higher level of skill and that's what we charge for.  So part of it was realising that you know what we did did offer a lot more value than what the sort of $300 $400 $500 editors were doing, and then it was also figuring out a way to demonstrate that which now we actually have a secret page on our website which is our sample edit vault, and it had before and after examples of different different chapters we have worked on so people…

 

[0:26:03] ANDREW: And you can show that to people yeah…

 

[0:26:04] JACQUIE: Yeah even before they get on the phone with me for a sales call they can see the difference it makes and means the discussion stops being about the money because they understand why we charge what we do.

 

[0:26:14] ANDREW: People pay for value that they can see and you're showing them the value and also you're able to describe the value and wheat I find with most people I coach on sales is when they believe themselves that it’s worth it, they can sell it.  Because certainly selles, because my certainty needs to exceed your doubt because if you're doubtful like, oh it's kind of 2 and a half grand for this, then people aren't going to buy, you know, you need to know that it's...think it’s cheap, you know, I mean my service is 5 grand for personal branding and I know all the work we do and I go I think it’s cheap, and if I can sell it like that then other people will think that too, because there’s the value there and I can explain it.  So great, so you're running it, you're working hard, and then did you scale back your stuff or did you continue with them or how did you...you put up the price and did things all because magically good?

 

[0:27:01] JACQUIE: Well it was funny, I told them I was going to scale back and we just decided to keep being friends and have our monthly breakfasts and about a month later I this conversation and said actually I think I can make it work after all will you come back.

 

[0:27:12] ANDREW: That's nice, so you gave them a rest...

 

[0:27:14] JACQUIE: Yes I get some rest and then came back, so there were a couple of things, one was charging more which made...and it took about 6 months to get our rates up to where they need to be just cause they were so far off, so it about 6 months and raising our rates fairly steadily. We also rejigged the employment contract so rather than them being employees we switched them to being independent contractors so…

 

[0:27:40] ANDREW: I was going to say why did you employ them at the start?

 

[0:27:42] JACQUIE: I got some bad advice...so that meant there weren't, because with employee there are a lot of extra expenses on top of what you're actually paying them whereas independent contractors you just pay them the agreed amount, do that made things alot easier as well, because one I cut out a lot of the extra expenses and two I charged my clients a flat rate assuming their book fits our standard criteria so it meant I could pay them a flat rate rather than working off an hourly rate...

 

[0:28:11] ANDREW: 100% it's a variable cost, it’s costs of goods sold not an overhead, and this is what I say to all my people is when your looking to scale up going from one person to two person is 100% increase in labour and generally costs because generally entrepreneurs don’t pay them self effectively, so their paying the person as much as them and that's just too much threat to the business because the business isn't going to double overnight, even if it does double, it is going to take time.  So, I always say bring them on as a contractor, give them a trial, you know, put them on and say if we do this then I;ll make it more full time-ish in terms of hours but I mean, and this is where the world is changing, it’s all going to independent contractors because all companies, corporates as well, want to have independent contractors, they want the variables costs, not the overhead, because it’s actually a liability, holiday and sick leave and stuff is a liability in your business, technically as an accounting standard, so we always say that you need to build your brand because whether you work for somebody or you work for yourself, you still need to have control of that, you still need to be an independent contractor in your eyes and be able to present your value, so those people that you...might sound harsh being put from an employee to a contractor, you're actually making them better off, because they can go and get other work right?

 

[0:29:28] JACQUIE: Yeah, absolutely...

 

[0:29:29] ANDREW: And they’ve been forced to articulate their value to you which means they can sell it to somebody else.  So if they want to work twice as much, they can, so...and they are free to do that right?

 

[0:29:40] JACQUIE: Absolutely and in fact it works really well now because, we’re up to 5 editors now, so the company has grown quite a bit, and all of them are generally working on something else at the same time, we are really flexible if they...so one of them does nano rhymo every year which is national novel writing month in November.  So in November she just blocks out her calendar and I know not to put anything…

 

[0:29:59] ANDREW: Says I’m not available, yeah...

 

[0:30:00] JACQUIE: So we’re very very flexible about that and they’re free to have their other projects...

 

[0:30:05] ANDREW: And they can have holidays when they want...

 

[0:30:06] JACQUIE: Yep, so it works really well and everyone is really happy with the arrangement which is good...

 

[0:30:10] ANDREW: Yeah great so it’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing if you do it the right way.  So how long have you been running the business since then, so it’s been a few years, it's been about 4 years did you say?

 

[0:30:19] JACQUIE: Yes I started in mid 2013 and it was August 2014 when I first hired my staff so it’s been about 3 years since we had that big...

 

[0:30:28] ANDREW: So it’s been growing steadily, and what sort of challenges have you had in that process, has it been smooth sailing, continued growth, or have you had big things that went wrong, how’s it been for you?

 

[0:30:39] JACQUIE: Well the hardest point was that 6 months after I employee the employees for the reasons we’ve discussed.  After that, the next big change would have been at the beginning of last year, so 2016, which is when we started doing the end to end service rather than just the editing and that’s...

 

[0:30:53] ANDREW: Oh ok, so you changed the business model a little bit?

 

[0:30:58] JACQUIE: So that’s been interesting for a couple of reasons, one is that as an editor and as an editing company, we had a very clear unique value proposition, and as an end to end publisher we’re still trying to land on that, so that makes the pitching a little bit harder.  The other thing is suddenly there are all these parts of the business that you don’t actually have personal experience in, so I’m not a designer, I’m not a printer, so I need to find people who already know how to do those things and trust their judgement and then trust them to take care of my clients the way I would, whereas with my editors there is a very stringent training process they all go through, I review all of their work, it’s not really appropriate for me to do that with a designer or printer because that’s not my field, so that’s a bit of a risk as well, growing beyond yourself.  

 

[0:31:44] ANDREW: So why did you do it?

 

[0:31:47] JACQUIE: Because it made sense, because I felt like we weren't’...so there’s a phrase in KPI which is the complete and remarkable solution and I didn’t feel like we were providing a complete and remarkable solution, our editing was fantastic but then clients would have to find someone else with the rest of it and often, and you probably know this, whenever you give something back to the client to take care of it often stops happening because life gets in the way or business gets in the way and sometimes they choose the wrong person and then they lose money or end up with a book they weren't happy with and I knew we could prevent that from happening.  So it made sense to offer the entire solution, and by that stage I also had contact I knew could help me because I had been working in publishing for a few years by that stage, so I knew the designers and I knew the printers.

 

[0:32:36] ANDREW: And so when did you start...did you pay yourself a wage from the start or did you only start doing that more recently?

 

[0:32:44] JACQUIE: No...I probably...so like most entrepreneurs I imagine, for the first couple of years it was just whatever was left over I get.  I didn’t start paying myself a regular wage until probably the beginning of last year which is when I went, ok on the 15th of every month money is going into my account...regardless.

 

[0:33:04] ANDREW: There’s a lot of business people who say you’ve got to pay yourself first, you know, you’ve got to implement a wage because it’s not a  real business model until you get there, however, I mean you’ve got to have revenue to do that from, I mean you’ve got to have a profit actually to do that from, not just revenue so I get that most people scrape by for the first couple of years, you know, work part time or do whatever to get it established, because it takes that long, it takes years...

 

[0:33:27] JACQUIE: Absolutely...

 

[0:33:28] ANDREW: People think it takes...oh in the first year I’ll make money, I’m like, no you won't…

 

[0:33:31] JACQUIE: It’s the overnight success that was 10 years in the making...

 

[0:33:31] ANDREW: 100%.  So you started paying yourself a wage, but I noticed that you were actually working as well so tell...why did you go back to that?

 

[0:33:41] JACQUIE: So it was the...last year we started doing the end to end publishing process and after that I wasn’t actually sure what was next for the business, because once we got through the teething pains of that we started providing a really good service in that area and as you know someone who’s entrepreneurial and is always learning and always wanting to grow, I didn’t like just being stagnant but I didn’t know what to do next, so at the end of last year I thought well why not go back into the corporate environment and get a traditional job again and that way I can be part of a larger organisation, hopefully get some coaching and mentoring from people with different skillsets to me, because that’s a little bit harder to come by when you're working for yourself, especially when you the one who’s running everything so you're sort of just trying whatever you can think of and hoping it works, whereas if you are part of a larger organisation, hopefully they have already tried it and they have systems that work and you can work from those, so that was the motivation behind it, it was I wasn’t sure what to do with my business next and I still wanted to keep learning and growing in some way so why not do it through a corporate job and then in February I actually found a position managing content marketing for censis in the yellow pages.

 

[0:34:57] ANDREW: And are you enjoying that?

 

[0:34:59] JACQUIE: It depends on when you ask me...

 

[0:35:02] ANDREW: Today, are you enjoying it?

 

[0:35:03] JACQUIE: Today I’m enjoying it, we recently had a restructure in my area which means that for about 6 weeks there everything was quite up in the air and everyone was in limbo and of that dust is just settling now so I think there is a lot of potential going forward, it’s just whether we get through this little part...

 

[0:35:22] ANDREW: And welcome to corporate life, re-structures all the time, that a regular part of the business, and they are kind of necessary because they are breaking it and putting it together in a more efficient way, so I get that.  So, because there are lots of challenges that, you know, your your own boss, you have your own hours, you don’t have to do any...you know it’s, you choose to do all the work so going back where you’ve got a boss, and you have to be in at certain hours and you know they are probably fairly flexible but what was that like, was it tough...because I’d imagine that a lot of people would say well why would you ever go back to work again, but I get it, like I think that there is being your own boss is more about having control or your time and choosing what you do rather than being forced to do these things so I kind of get that...kinda be interesting to get back and play a bigger game where there’s, you know, the company turns over hundreds of millions or billions and you’ve got bigger resources, you’ve got teams and your doing different types of work, like I find that quite stimulating, but you're running your business as well right?

 

[0:36:22] JACQUIE: Yes

 

[0:36:24] ANDREW: Did you have to negotiate that?

 

[0:36:26] JACQUIE: No actually, so I...and I'm so glad I did then, when I had my interview back in February I actually said look for the last few years I’ve been running my business full time, I am going to continue running that and want to make sure that’s not a problem and they were very open to is and I think one of the reasons is because they’re targeting small business owners so I can speak to their customers because...well I’m been one of them but through Grammar Factory we solely work with small business owners and entrepreneurs so I feel like I know this market really well so in some ways it was a plus.

 

[0:36:56] ANDREW: So it was a selling point really, because a lot of people, I’ve been out for about 4 years I think now from corporate and I worked at Sensis, you know, as digital marketing manager and so I know that business well and my employment contract said no side businesses and I left...part of the reason I left Sensis to go to IBM, apart from big pay rise, was I could then renegotiate my employment contract to say, because they wanted me, so I said I have a side business and I’m going to keep running it, and they were fine with it, and you know, in fact it became a plus so I got in there and they started, we spoke to Carol Benton from IBM last week and I met Carol at IBM when I presented personal branding to all their managers because they flew me around to teach it because they went oh you’ve got this extra skill, like it’s an extra thing on top of your job that you're doing and we can take advantage of that.  And I’m sure that you’d probably get people that go oh actually I really want to write a book, do you get that?

 

[0:37:54] JACQUIE: It has happened yep.

 

[0:37:55] ANDREW: So you get clients through work as well on top of which I think is a beautiful thing.  So it’s interesting because people say to me oh I could never go back, once you're out you can never go back, and I’m like I don’t know, I think I could, I was 15 years in corporate I think I could easily go back and fit into the right role as long as I didn’t have to give up the business.

 

[0:38:10] JACQUIE: I think that’s the big thing, it does need to be the right role.  But there was a big adjustment that I wasn’t actually expecting, for the first probably 6-8 weeks it was just really hard…it sounds really strange to say this because I am a morning person and I get up early anyway but having to get up early for someone else was really difficult and the commute is really difficult as well because I was used to going from one room to another...

 

[0:38:36] ANDREW: Ah so you worked from home?

 

[0:38:37] JACQUIE: Yeah...

 

[0:38:38] ANDREW: Yeah that’s a big change...

 

[0:38:38] JACQUIE: Whereas suddenly I had a hour plus commute from the suburbs to the city everyday and the other thing was, because I tend to be an all or nothing person I was also going to sign up for a gym and get healthy and all of this stuff at the same time and it was just too much especially because I was still running the business and it wasn’t until I was speaking with a friend who was in a similar situation so he’d been working home full time for 4 years and just started a job as well, he said look I’m giving myself 2 months just to adjust to being back in here before I start trying to do anything with the business or anything with my health and I went oh, that makes a lot of sense because you do actually need, like it’s a major change it’s a major change to your lifestyle so you need the time to adjust to it.

 

[0:39:23] ANDREW: Yeah, it’s a routine thing, and people forget how important routine it to people, I’ve just been training my kids, my son’s 12 and he does footballing and wants to get fitter and stronger and I’m like, my morning routine is I get up and I do a bit of exercise in the morning, it’s only a tiny little bit but you do it every single day, it makes a massive difference, even just the mental awakening of your brain to start the day, but if you save it up and go every two weeks I’ll do 3 hours, it’s really not the same thing right.  So a commute, an hour every day is like its 2 hours a day it’s a lot of time out of your diary, and what about practical things like you get up and you walk next door and you're probably not dressed the same as corporate work, so even just that type of change, was that a big thing, oh I’ve got to put my makeup on and get dressed, take my lunch or whatever?

 

[0:40:13] JACQUIE: It wasn’t so much that getting dressed and putting makeup on was a  chore it was more the time involved, coz oh it does actually take me longer to get ready now...

 

[0:40:23] ANDREW: That’s what I mean, it's extra stuff to do...

 

[0:40:25] JACQUIE: So it’s not just the commute but it's the waking up then the getting ready, then the commute, then the 8 hours of work, and then commute back, so...

 

[0:40:33] ANDREW: And then starting your business, or then working on the business...

 

[0:40:37] JACQUIE: So it was a challenge, I’m used to it now, in fact it feels funny coz it’s been 5 months now and it feels funny to reflect on that time going, oh it feel like so long ago but I remember how difficult it was back but it’s so different to my experience now coz you do adapt.  

 

[0:40:53] ANDREW: Yeah, you just relate.  So when do you do the work for the Grammar Factory, do you do it at night or the weekends or, how do you get it done?

 

[0:41:00] JACQUIE: A few things so I always have my laptop out on my commute so I'm usually using the trip, that 2 hours commuting, that’s Grammar Factory time

 

[0:41:07] ANDREW: Effectively, yeah that’s good...

 

[0:41:09] JACQUIE: If I need to do a sales call of something like this or I’m doing one of my coaching calls with one of my editors I usually organise it at lunch time and book a meeting room at work...

 

[0:41:21] ANDREW: Very efficient...

 

[0:41:22] JACQUIE: ...and it all actually fits in that time it’s much easier than I expected and if it's something on business development say, I’m doing some writing or working on a campaign I’ll usually do that on a Sunday morning because my husband likes to sleep in late on the week in so I’ve got a good 6 hours before he gets up...

 

[0:41:40] ANDREW: 6 hours wow...

 

[0:41:41] JACQUIE: Well I’m usually up at 5 or 6 AM anyway...

 

[0:41:43] ANDREW: Oh wow, on the weekends too?

 

[0:41:44] JACQUIE: Yeah I’m an early riser and he usually likes to sleep til midday so that‘s my working day on  the weekend

 

[0:41:50] ANDREW: Yeah nice and you’ve got the rest of the weekend free so, awsome, awsome, so if someone wanted to explore the Grammar Factory where would you recommend they go, how would they contact you?

 

[0:42:01] JACQUIE: The easiest place is to go to GrammarFactory.com and if they're interested in writing  a book we actually have an ultimate guide to writing an awesome book which is a selection of webinars and interviews and online guides that I've put together over the last few years, which basically cover everything you need to get started.

 

[0:42:17] ANDREW: Cool coz I mean I know from my client base I know that a lot of people want to write a book, it’s an aspirational thing, inside the Dent community obviously but outside as well or they feel like they’ve got, you know, significant content to add.  Is it just books, like do you help people do other types of content or is it exclusively books at the moment?

 

[0:42:37] JACQUIE: We do help people with other types of content so blog posts and so on and social media, we usually prefer for them to have written the book first though because that then gives us a lot to work with.  It also means that by the time we’ve done a book with someone we know them really well and know how they think and what they believe, whereas if you're just doing little pieces at a time it’s...we can do it but it’s harder to get the holistic understanding.

 

[0:43:03] ANDREW: Yeah yeah, sure, sure.  Awsome, well lovely to talk to you Jacquie...

 

[0:43:05] JACQUIE: You too...

 

[0:43:05] ANDREW: So last question, if you had to go back to that person who was thinking about leaving their job and you know, going out on their own, what advice would you give to them?

 

[0:43:14] JACQUIE: That’s a really good question, I think the first one is don’t put it all on black, you know, gamble responsibly, so if you are starting a business and taking this chance do go part time first if you can or make sure you have some money sitting there like 3 or 6 months of living expenses so that you aren't desperately trying to break even because desperation makes it really hard to succeed.

 

[0:43:41] ANDREW: Makes it hard to sell...

 

[0:43:43] JACQUIE: Yes...

 

[0:43:43] ANDREW: People smell that…

 

[0:43:46] JACQUIE: So that’s one thing, the next thing is definately continue to invest in education and guidance because there is just so much out there and there are so many people who have been where you are and they can help you get through those difficult patches and take those shortcuts and imagine if I’d spoken to that mentor 6 months earlier and he told me you need to raise your rates and I hadn’t been through that 6 months of absolute hell, I mean our business, probably wouldn’t be in that different a place today, we would have gotten here eventually but we would have gotten here faster.  

 

[0:44:16] ANDREW: I mean that’s a good point when I first started my book which was pre Dent, you know when I first met the guys, they hadn’t even run a program yet, I got inspired to write a book, started writing a book and I just tried to figure it out which is not the best way to do it and it took my 2 years of back and forth and cutting out 20 thousand words here and there I’m like ahhh, it could have been so much better, I mean, you know, just from the conversation I’m like, you know, I'm working on the second book now and I know I’m going to work with probably yourself to get that done because it’s just so worth getting the expertise because I know my time is better invested in other areas.  You know I;d rather be off playing with my kids and writing efficiently than just figuring it out, the trial and error days are gone and we shouldn’t do that any more.  

 

[0:45:03] JACQUIE: Absolutely...

 

[0:45:05] ANDREW: So thanks for coming in today I really appreciate the time to be on our podcast...

 

[0:45:09] JACQUIE: Thank you for having me...

 

[0:45:11] ANDREW: And we look forward to seeing you soon...

 

[0:45:12] JACQUIE: Wonderful thankyou.

 

 

#BYOB Episode 002 - Carol Benton: From Big Blue to Family time; how to make the jump and start your own business

BYOB podcast Carol Benton

Have you considered leaving the corporate world and starting your own business? Waving goodbye to a secure corporate role to follow your passion can, initially, seem daunting but the potential rewards can be life changing.

In this episode I’m joined by Carol Benton of Words2Win to talk about what motivated her to leave her own corporate job to become a successful business writer and communications consultant. Carol and I talk about Carol’s own catalyst for changing her career and why her network was, and remains, such a key contributor to her success. We also discuss how, by focusing on what she loved about her old role, Carol identified a new career that would both challenge and fulfil her.

Download in iTunes or get the links here - BYOB Podcast

If you prefer to read, here is the transcription...

[0:02:51] ANDREW:  So welcome to the podcast I’m Andrew Ford your host and today I’m very happy to have a good friend of mine and client Carol Benton from Words2Win who is going to tell us a little about her story and her journey going from a corporate employee to running her very own business.  So welcome Carol.

 

[0:03:08] CAROL: Thank you Andrew.

 

[0:03:09] ANDREW: So what I’d like to do in these episodes is to track your journey but just for the listeners out there could you just give us a quick synopsis of what you do today, what is Words2Win and where you came from before we dive deep in the background.

 

[0:03:24] CAROL: Sure, I’m a communication coach and a business writer so Words2Win is a business that helps clients win more business through effective communication.

 

[0:03:35] ANDREW: Nice pitch.

 

[0:03:36] CAROL: Wonder where I learnt that, thank you, so I help people to articulate their value and then to put that into a consistent message across a number of different formats, where that’s brochure, whether that's their web sites, whether that’s a great pitch, I help them articulate their value and then communicate it.

 

[0:03:57] ANDREW: But you didn’t always do that so give us a quick background.

 

[0:04:00] CAROL: No, I spent 30 years in corporate life in IBM, IBM UK and IBM Australia, in a number of roles, mainly client facing so sales, marketing, leadership roles, a little stint in operations as well so back office, so yeah, 30 years in corporate IT sales.

 

[0:04:25] ANDREW: And how long have you been doing Words2Win?

 

[0:04:27] CAROL: Just under 2 years.

 

[0:04:28] ANDREW: Great, So what we’re going to do now, I’d just like to delve into that background in a little more detail, so tell me about your time at IBM, so the things you loved to do, the different roles you had, just give us a synopsis of what life is like working for a big corporate, for those that have never done so.

 

[0:04:44] CAROL:  Sure, I joined as a graduate and the training was outstanding. I was in a marketing and sales role and IBM worked on the bases that they didn’t need people who already knew a lot of technical stuff, they wanted people who had the basics of communication skills and they would teach us the technical stuff that we needed to know, so we had excellent training.  I really enjoyed working with clients, the primary role was to understand the client's business, understand their issues and then put together solutions to help solve those issues, when I look back at it, people used to say to me you’ve got a degree in French and Spanish, how come you're working in an IT company in sales, and I’d say but you know what it’s not that different because what I’m doing is I’m taking something that the customer has, an issue, or some knowledge about their business and I’m translating that, and also taking what IBM has, and pulling the two together, I’m translating from what the customer needs into what IBM could offer and that was all about communication, that was the primary skill, it was all about communication and I really really enjoyed that.

 

[0:06:16] ANDREW: And this is the, I think, some people think that working for somebody else is not the right solution, most people should be out there doing their own thing, some entrepreneurs are very like that, you know I came from a corporate background, we met at IBM and I had great times in my corporate life, not always but at times, and I think for me it was, when I went off to do my own thing it was for a reason, there’s a catalyst for change, and I think the workplace has changed as well, when I started at IBM I got zero training you know the training was dried up by then, I was only there for a short period of time, but for you, you were there for a long period of time, you probably settled in you didn’t know anything else, so what was the catalyst for changing for you?

 

[0:06:59] CAROL:  It was interesting because I was enjoying what I was doing, by this stage, by the end, when I say 30 years in IBM in fact the last 3 years IBM sold the division that I was running and we were part of Toshiba, but very much still the same people and the same culture, and I was leading a business that manufactured and sold point of sale hardware products and I did enjoy that….

 

[0:07:25] ANDREW:  Give me some examples of what that is?

 

[0:07:27] CAROL:  So that's essentially electronic cash registers, to put it in very simple terms it's the machines that you go through at the checkout in Woolworths or Coles and all the stuff around them, the software and the maintenance to support them, and the services, so a large and interesting business and I ran that for Australia and New Zealand and I enjoyed many many aspects of it.  I’d say there were several catalysts to me moving.  The first was the sale of the business to another company and whilst we were initially given a lot of autonomy, we were set up pretty much an autonomous business under that umbrella, we the leadership of the new owners became more and more and more involved so I felt that I still had all the responsibility but I had less and less authority and control to run things that I felt I knew the Australian and New Zealand territory well and I felt that I knew how I wanted to run that.  So that was the first thing.  The second thing was that my family was getting older, I have two children and I had to travel a lot with the job as you can imagine covering the whole of Australia and New Zealand plus international travel, I was away an awful lot, and the thing they never tell you when you become a parent is that actually your children need you more as teenagers…

 

[0:09:04] ANDREW: Yeah, I’ve heard this from a lot of people…

 

[0:09:04] CAROL: So how old are yours now?

 

[0:09:06] ANDREW: They’re 12 and 7…

 

[0:09:06] CAROL: Yeah, you’re nearly there…

 

[0:09:09] ANDREW: I think I’m in the easy period now…

 

[0:09:13] CAROL:  ...we had had help at home when the kids were younger and I was away a lot and I just suddenly realised they need you more, and the problems aren't ones you can just put a bandaid on, they are problems that need to be talked about and also as they get older you think I haven’t got long left with them living at home and actually wanting to be with me, so that was the second catalyst, and the third was much more practical it was financial, there was a restructure, there was an opportunity to leave with a payout.  The new company we had a three year transition where we were still on IBM terms and conditions and as you know IBM conditions were quite generous in terms of payouts, and I left two months before the IBM terms and conditions reverted to those of the new ownership which were going to be less generous and I just thought after thirty years this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to ...there were the other catalysts and then that one made it a decision I couldn’t refuse.

 

[0:10:24] ANDREW: Makes it a simple decision really…

 

[0:10:24] CAROL: It actually made it a fairly simple decision….

 

[0:10:27] ANDREW: I get that a lot from our clients is that, when the values start to be eroded, so family values or other things in your life, your personal life, that makes work more challenging and then you’ve got business challenges on top, people who have the propensity to leave, but they don’t leave because it's hard to make that transition unless someone calls them for a new job or they have an opportunity to exit with some money which makes the landing softer when you get out…

 

[0:10:57] CAROL: So yeah, those were the three catalysts I guess for me…

 

[0:11:01] ANDREW: You must have been fearful I mean thirty years in the same company it must have been a big decision?

 

[0:11:04] CAROL: Yes, it's interesting, thirty years in the same company however part of the interest in working for a very large corporate like that is that you do do lots of different things so I didn’t feel like...I hadn’t been thirty years in the same job I had been in IBM UK, IBM Australia, back to IBM UK , back to IBM Australia, probably changed jobs every three or four years...two to four years, but even so yes I remember having a discussion with my husband saying I don’t know if I’ll know who I am if I leave…

 

[0:11:38] ANDREW: Yeah that identity….

 

[0:11:39] CAROL: It was so much a part of my identity and as you know picking up the phone to a potential new client or someone and  having that name behind you of a major blue chip corporate is very empowering, people generally take your call and is was that if I’m not that person who am I business wise who am I so yes there was a lot of fear…

 

[0:12:03] ANDREW: But not even just business wise, you go to a BBQ the next morning and they go oh what do you do and you're like, nothing, I used to work for IBM...

 

[0:12:13] CAROL: I used to work for IBM exactly right, so yes it was scary…

 

[0:12:15] ANDREW: And so you jumped out, you get the money, you had the nice exit and you probably took some time off I’d imaging to think about what you wanted to do so how did you start on the path to figure it out, because I think a lot of people who leave a corporate situation particularly after a while or even if they have been in many corporate but the same kind of role if they are going to go and do something different, even if it’s working for someone else but a different type of position or a different industry, it's a transition so how do you figure out, or how did you figure out what to do next?

 

[0:12:50] CAROL: Yeah look I had no idea when I left and the first thing I did was take two months, two months off.

 

[0:12:55] ANDREW: You’ve earned that after thirty 30 years.

 

[0:12:56] CAROL: I’ve earned that after thirty 30 years that's right so I went overseas for four weeks to see my family and then I came back and had a bit of a think about it and I assumed I’d get another ...I’d just go..I’d get another job and I had sort of thought well maybe it would be nice to be in a smaller company this time I didn’t want to work for another big IT company because I thought I’ve worked for one of the biggest and the best, I don’t want to try and replicate that, and do you know...after thirty years you know your way around a company, it’s bit like being married to someone after a long time you know their quirks good and bad, you know the way things work, you know you way around and I just thought, to start again with a new company I just thought….

 

[0:13:41] ANDREW: I don’t want to get re-married...

 

[0:13:41] CAROL: That's right, you don’t want to get re-married you know so I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and that’s why I came and spoke to you initially, it wasn’t about what I wanted to do it was about just about what do I do with my LinkedIn profile because I hadn’t updated it because I didn’t want to say looking for work, and I didn’t know what to do so I came along to one of your talks about LinkedIn and I thought oh I must re-connect with Andrew because as you say we’d worked together at IBM and I thought I must re-connect with Andrew now that he’s become a personal branding specialist and ….so my initial thought was I’ll talk to Andrew about my LinkedIn profile while I’m still looking and how do I structure my LinkedIn profile so I can use it to help me find my next job in a company...

 

[0:14:32] ANDREW: Whatever it is...

 

[0:14:32] CAROL: And then you said let's go through the process of just thinking a little bit about what it is you want to do and what sort of job you want to be able to find because that will then affect how we structure your profile and we went through that process and it was like a light bulb moment when you said to me looking at all the answers you have given me to these questions you said do you actually want to work for a company or ...I’m getting the feeling you might like to work for yourself and it was a light bulb moment and I have found that I’ve had that before in the past where you actually it's only when someone else verbalises it that you suddenly realise that oh my god that's what I want.  And I remember when I went into sales in IBM I was in marketing and I was with the whole sales team and they needed a new sales rep and my boss said to me I think you should be the new sales rep and I said sales, oh no, you know, sales is a bit scary you know, with commission ...and then I thought oh my god yeah that's what I want to do and it was just like that I thought, yes I want to work for myself.

 

[0:15:44] ANDREW: I think thats when people, thats why people have coaches and that's why people see other people you know consultants or psychologists or whoever to get an outside opinion because you’re often too close to it and you can’t see how the dots connect logically but other people can so...

 

[0:16:00] CAROL: Absolutely and the irony is that's one of things I help clients do now, they know their business really really well but they have difficulty communicating that, in the way that the market needs to hear it so yeah absolutely, I’m a firm believer that other people can sometimes see things that you can't see so then of course it was what are you going to do if you have your own business and when I left my job my team to work were absolutely fantastic and when I left one of them said to me, and I’m still in touch with all of them,  one of them said to me he said oh he said Carol when you're gone, he said, how are we going to manage with proposals, he said, because we actually worked really well together the sales reps and my technical guru, they would write the sort of the answers to the questions in the proposal and then I would executive summary that sort of pulled all the arguments together and articulated our value proposition and he said to me what are we going to do, he said you’re so good at writing those executive summary and the value proposition, I thought oh year I am actually, yeah I think I am, I wonder if anyone would pay me to help them do that and it started off as, my idea was to do proposals but then of course I realised that people don't have proposals to do every day, they only have a proposal when they have a proposal to write, so I expanded it into other forms of articulating a value proposition.  But the really interesting thing is, yes I knew that I was good at that, and I had been to a talk, I think it was one with you actually, where somebody had said, if you are finding it difficult to find what you are really passionate about, think about what you enjoyed when you were twelve.  It’s a quote from a business coach who’s name I forget at the moment, an American lady, anyway, and I thought, when I was twelve I studied languages and I loved the idea that person A couldn't talk to person B unless they had somebody who spoke both their languages. A is French, B is English, oh I speak French, I can help that person speak to that person, or I can talk to both of them and that idea of translation and communication and that's what I do. That's what I do I translate from internal language to customer language and I help people do that.

 

[0:18:40] ANDREW: Do you articulate that to your clients like that?

 

[0:18:43] CAROL: Sometimes yes...

 

[0:18:45] ANDREW: And do they really get it?

 

[0:18:46] CAROL: Yes they do, and in fact I do my own presentation and it starts with me...the very first words out of my mouth are French, I stand up and I say to them do your clients understand what you do, do they hear you, do they understand you, do they take action, and I say that to them in French, and then I say, I bet you didn't understand a word I said, that’s because I was speaking one language, and of course you always have a few people in the audience who speak French and ...oh oui, oui, you know but yes I do use that analogy with clients...

 

[0:19:19] ANDREW: I love that, I love that...I love the fact that you went back to the childhood to find the passion, because I know when you go into corporates you do what they tell you to do, and hopefully it hits on some points of your passion but the benefit I say with people with starting your own business is that you get to design your business around you what you really like to do and make a love list and a hate list and outsource the hate list and do more of the love list right, so now that you’ve been doing it for a while, what are the learnings and the things that you would like to say to the Caral of two years ago when you first started, what are the things that moved the needle for you, was it doing a web site or getting a coach or getting your first sell or getting your first customer, what were the things that really made the difference to get your business successful?

 

[0:20:08] CAROL: I think one of the big things was actually doing your course Andrew, the launch in 12 weeks and you said to us that the aim was after 12 weeks we would sign our first customer and I signed my first customer 3 days after finishing the course.  The thing about that was it gave me a structure because it’s not so much teaching you about things you don’t know, although there was quite a bit I didn’t know,  but it was giving you a structure and an a accountability that said right this week we are going to do this and next week we are going to do that so you need to prepare x y and z, and the people I met on the course and understanding different approaches to a business but I think that really really helped.

 

[0:20:51] ANDREW: So structure and accountability, because you know I work with Dent and obviously Social Star, and it’s not an add for those things but I think that those two elements are really important, so the structure in terms of why am I doing something, what am I doing, and how do I do it, if you know those things you can do it.

 

[0:21:08] CAROL: That’s right, and the hardest part of the course and I remember discussing this with you at the time I think it was about week 2 of the 12 and I think we spent the first 4 weeks on why am I doing what I'm doing, and what exactly am I doing and who am I doing it for and I wasn’t clear about that in my head and by the second week I thought I’m going to have to give this course up and come back to it later and I’m so glad I didn't because the structure and accountability forced me to think about those things and to get them, they might not have been 100 percent at the time of course it evolves but it got me 80 or 90 percent of the way there, enough to be able to then move onto the next stage which was about building your web site articulating my value proposition and then building contacts and finding clients so yes, the structure and accountability especially around the why, was super super important.

 

[0:22:07] ANDREW: And I think that’s the thing if you get that, like in the course we talk about setting intentions, so not necessarily goals, you know, I want to make 100 grand in the first year, by this date but it's a very specific goal but more intention of this is kind of what I want to do, this is how I want my business to be and what it represents and it vague but its more ...it's something more long term because it's not a oh I haven’t hit it by the date I feel disappointed it's more of a overarching theme of where I want to get to in my business and kind of my life in a way so I like that approach because once you get that you’ve got something to aim for, you know I want to be a successful singer not I want to win The Voice this year, because if you don’t get in it’s all over right, you want to have something that is more longer term because you’ve got to persist and the thing is...you know when you tell that story I remember that time and I think that a lot of people who don’t persist, never break through, because they are probably looking for perfection or they are looking for the ultimate outcome not progressing on the journey because the first time you sell something, that’s not going to be the product that you sell 2 years later but you have to go through that and you have to get to the first customer to get to the fifth, to the tenth, and at one hundred you would probably have a better idea but businesses are always evolving but you just have to start ...

 

[0:23:30] CAROL: That;s exactly right and look some of my offerings are productised now they certainly weren’t on day one and other things are sort of still evolving but that’s half the fun of it the products are whatever I want them to be and whatever I need them to be and whatever my clients...

 

[0:23:50] ANDREW: Want you to do...I saw a client previous to this podcast and I was saying to him that the product you start with is not the product you end with and if a customer asks you to do something in the realm of your skill set the answer is always yes at the start.

 

[0:24:05] CAROL: Absolutely, yes, yes...

 

[0:24:06] ANDREW: Because you go , yeah you got money? Because if you start working on stuff you go, you might get to the end of the project and say actually that actually isn’t what I want to do but then you know.

 

[0:24:16] CAROL: Exactly right...

 

[0:24:16] ANDREW: And then you can figure out more what you really want to do because it's a process to get there.

 

[0:24:21] CAROL: I’ve got one of those at the moment, somebody has approached me about a piece of work that's not necessarily what I saw myself doing but it fits in with the skill set and it fits in with what I do, there’s an overlap, so I’ve said let’s explore it further...

 

[0:24:36] ANDREW: Let’s explore it exactly...

 

[0:24:38] CAROL: Nothing to lose...

 

[0:24:38] ANDREW: Nothing to lose correct and because I mostly work with service professionals and so it's a bit more flexible but even products, if you go to a big product manufacturer and say I want 100,000 units of that, it's a special run, if it's big enough they’ll do it...because its business right, we are here to service a client need and if we can make a profit doing it, great, so i guess start with the end in mind but realise we are not at the end, we are at the start.

 

[0:25:03] CAROL: Yes, exactly right...

 

[0:25:04] ANDREW: And you’ve just got to take action and the action is the part that will break through those barriers not the thinking about it.

 

[0:25:14] CAROL: So yeah look doing that course was a big help for me, the other thing I think was, or another thing, was, I would say once of the most valuable things I left my corporate life with was my network and even now, 2 years later most of my clients, a majority of my clients, are people I already knew. So I left my corporate job with a good reputation some good relationships and although I am doing something that is quite different to what I was doing, I think that your professionalism and your integrity hold, nobody has ever said well are you any good at this, they’ve sort of said Carol tell me about what you do now or I’ve actually called them and said can I tell you about what I do now? And they have never sort of said what gives you the qualifications to do that, they trust me, and that network has been invaluable because they them of course recommend you to others that was absolutely invaluable as well...

 

[0:26:26] ANDREW: It’s actually a really interesting point that I think about a lot, I think about branding a lot obviously that's my trade but people think that their brand and credibility is based on the proof of what they do and case studies and those things are important and qualifications can be useful and so forth, but you hit upon the real brand essence which is do you persist, are you relatable, can I work with you, that's the reputational things are you capable, if you’ve been capable at one thing likely you're going to be capable at another thing. It’s just a new set of skills, it's a new output, so it people resonate with you as a brand what ever product you're selling they are likely to be interested in talking about right?

 

[0:27:08] CAROL: Yes.

 

[0:27:08] ANDREW: So that’s really the essence of brand, it's not...you know I do the digital part, how you look and fell on line so people can find you and examine what you do, but that's all based on what you are in real life.

 

[0:27:21] CAROL: Yes of course...

 

[0:27:21] ANDREW: It’s a reflection...you can’t pretend to be credible on line if you're not credible off line, so people forget that part of it.  So, you’ve done that for a couple of years and let’s get to the business where it is today, so we don’t want to go into details of your finance but you're making money, things are going well tell me a bit more about how the business is today...

 

[0:27:44] CAROL: Yeah, the business is going well, financially I’m no worse off, I’m making about the same as I was as my base salary in corporate, and there was some years where that’s all you get, oh not much more, so financially things are ahead of where...I set myself some goals and they are ahead of those goals ...

 

[0:28:09] ANDREW: Congratulations to you...

 

[0:28:10] CAROL: Thank you very much, so that’s going well, I’m getting referrals, I don’t advertise in the sense of paid advertising...

 

[0:28:19] ANDREW: Paid marketing...

 

[0:28:19] CAROL: Yep, I’m a big believer in social media and sharing your knowledge and IP and in fact only last week I had somebody call me somebody completely outside of my network, call me purely on the strength of a LinkedIn article that I published and he called me, we met, and I provided a proposal so...

 

[0:28:43] ANDREW: Content marketing...

 

[0:28:43] CAROL: Content marketing absolutely, as you would expect from somebody who is all about content, so financially things are going ok, I’m getting referrals, I’ve got business coming to me, now I’m not complacent, I still network...

 

[0:28:59] ANDREW: It’s not a passive sport...

 

[0:29:00] CAROL: It’s not a passive sport absolutely, I’ve just joined a new networking group, and I make sure I keep in touch with people but it’s going really well, I mean I’ve got longer term intentions and I can certainly … I haven’t got the detailed steps for all of them, you know for the longer term stuff yet but I can see that they could potentially be achievable yes.  And I’m enjoying it, I’m loving it!

 

[0:29:26] ANDREW: Isn’t that the point right, because that was the next question is how is it working with your family that you had the challenge with, how much time are you spending, are you spending as much time as you were to produce those same results you had in corporate?

 

[0:29:40] CAROL: You know, it's probably one of those things I need to do better is track my time, because I’m based at home, I still go out and see clients face to face, I think I’d go stir crazy if I didn't so I see clients but I’m not commuting everyday, I’m not travelling, I was away probably 2 or 3 nights a fortnight, I do make the odd trip to Sydney but it’s on my terms, so I’m at home...even if I’m working I’m at home when the kids get home from school, but I might work on a Saturday or Sunday because I want to or because I enjoy it or because I’ve got something to finish off and I can then bill a client you know, so it’s hard to know how many hours I work a week because they’re spread out differently.  But I think it’s probably fewer...for money that is not that different.

 

[0:30:33] ANDREW: Yeah, but you seem to be more relaxed about it in terms of...the thing that I tell people is ...you know people say that time is their most precious resource and I don’t kind of believe that because everyone has the same amount of time so you know, Nelson Mandela had lots of time he was just in prison, so to me it’s the ability to use that time in the way you wish, so if you choose to go and spend time with your family because it’s dinner time and you want to be home with them between I don’t know 5 and 7 o’clock, and then work later then you can do that because it’s your own business, you can work Sunday night because you want to get something out and then take Friday off.  It’s the freedom to do...and it's also the freedom to spend time with who you like. So if you’re doing the jobs you like to do with the people you like, when you like to do it, that’s kind of success in my book.

 

[0:31:20] CAROL: And look, when I travelled a lot I didn't get to exercise as much as I would like to, I go to the gym every morning now, or walk the dog or go for a run you know, because I’m there and I’m based at home so yeah look I’ve got a lot more freedom, I’ve got a lot more flexibility, being based at home gives you flexibility, and I think my husband and children will probably say I’m less stressed, hopefully nicer to be around, you now it’s interesting, I’ve learnt, I’ve had something confirmed to me that I believe I always knew about sales, and that’s that clients will buy when they need what you’ve got, sounds pretty basic doesn’t it, and yet in corporate life as you know Andrew, it's all monthly targets, quarterly targets, committing to a deal and then, you know, have got to bring that deal in this quarter or this month or this week or this day and that caused us in corporate to perform some pretty unnatural acts in terms of reducing prices or asking clients to take something they weren't ready to take all because of those quarterly and monthly targets.  In the end if clients understand what you do, and they want what you offer they will buy it when they are ready and I’ve had a couple of examples where I’ve gone to see somebody and they’ve gone, yep great understand that but we don’t need it at the moment.  In one case a year later that managing director of the client rang me and then, they’re now a client I’m actively working with them and only yesterday I had a call from an opportunity I thought was probably dead, I’d been speaking with this company and then they had sort of put it off and put it off, and then yesterday I get an email saying we’d like to go ahead now, so it just...I love the fact that I’m not having to do things that I know aren't the right way to deal with clients.

 

[0:33:20] ANDREW: Yeah, think it’s called integrity...

 

[0:33:21] CAROL: Absolutely it’s called integrity and I love that in the end when my clients choose to work with me it's because they want what I offer and the time is right for them...

 

[0:33:36] ANDREW: And they’re probably not like crunching you for a discount...

 

[0:33:39] CAROL: No I’ve never given a discount...

 

[0:33:40] ANDREW: Because you don’t have to because you are offering fair value and its just when they’ve got the problem they need a solution and if you position yourself well they’ll come to you.  It reminds me actually of children, talk about children because it’s high on my values but I remember reading when I was  a first time parent that kids need to eat a variety of foods and if they’re not eating vegetables and all that sort of stuff when they are young you’ve got to make them, and so when my first son Hudson was, I remember he was only about 2, and he’s in the high chair and I’ve got to feed him these vegetables because it’s important and da-da-da, and so I tried to force feed it to him. Literally, shove it in his mouth, and I felt terrible but that’s what they are telling me to do ...train him well da-da-da and he just spat it out and sat there for an hour and it was….by the end of it he was crying and I was frustrated and it’s like, no good result.  And over time, I’ve got 2 kids now, and over time I’ve realised when they’re hungry they eat, when they’re not hungry they don’t eat, and if I encourage them along the process they’ll eat all those things.  Hudson now is 12 but he will eat those vegetables, he will do those things, because it’s just part of the process right, so I think that’s the analogue of customers is don’t try and force the broccoli in their mouth because the customer is just going to spit it out and not enjoy the experience...

 

[0:35:02] CAROL: And you and I have both been there and seen that first hand and had to be part of that and I love the fact that I am free of that and I love the fact that if I say to a client that something will be done, by a certain date or done in a certain way, short of me getting knocked over by a bus, it will be done, where again in corporate life one of the frustrations I had was that you could make a statement or a commitment to a client and then the corporation would decommit on me and my integrity and my reputation was undermined and I love the fact now that my reputation is solely in my hands because in the end that’s all you’ve got your reputation and your integrity and your IP, the product is what I want it to be and if I say it’s going to be done then it’s going to be done.

 

[0:35:56] ANDREW: I love that. So there’s things you probably miss about corporate as well, because corporate has some ...or a job or working for somebody else, so is there any of those things that you think back...

 

[0:36:07] CAROL: I thought the other day yes, I’ll tell you what I miss, my Qantas frequent flyer has gone down from platinum to silver and probably won’t stay silver very long and when I go up to Sydney later this week I’m flying Tiger because it’s all my own money.

 

[0:36:20] ANDREW: I hear you….

 

[0:36:21] CAROL: I miss that...

 

[0:36:24] ANDREW: I walk past the Qantas club and I’m like hi guys

 

[0:36:26] CAROL: Yeah so that, I miss ...I don’t miss the travel but I do miss the perks of when you do travel of being able to jump the queues and...not that we got to fly business club but at least you got the points.

 

[0:36:41] ANDREW: What about being around other people….being part of a big machine...

 

[0:36:45] CAROL: Do you know one of the things I was most worried about along with how will I know who I am was I had all these relationships with my network that were business and friendship it was a great network and I was really worried about what my husband described as not being part of the tribe, but actually I still see a lot of those people, some of them are my clients or we still network so I think I’ve got the balance about right between seeing people you know being based at home, which is great, and getting out and seeing people so no I don’t miss that, I thought I would but I don’t really miss that because I do go and see...even things I could do on the phone sometimes I actually go and do them face to face because I can just because...

 

[0:37:32] ANDREW: Choice...

 

[0:37:33] CAROL: Yeah, choice...is there anything else, not a great deal to be honest.  Isn’t that sad my Qantas points are the thing I suppose, no look I miss my team that I had in my last job that I had in my last job were awesome but do you know most of them are based in Melbourne and we have a coffee and that’s great because I can go and have a coffee with them as a friend, not as a boss so no, not a great deal...

 

[0:37:56] ANDREW: So after all that you have been through now, become your own boss, if you had to give one piece of advice to someone who is sitting in corporate now, who have been there for 20 years 30 years, and they are thinking it’s grating on my values, I’m thinking about making a change but it’s scary, what would be your parting advice to them before they jump ship, or make the decision to jump ship.

 

[0:38:21] CAROL: Oh gosh I would probably say, going back to what we were talking about earlier that sometimes somebody else can be a bit more objective so I found it very valuable, I mean, I jumped before I did this, I would say take some guidance from a coach or whoever and use somebody else's insights to learn about yourself because you often can’t see it yourself.  And actually if I may make that two pieces of advice, so one is to use somebody external and the other is really nurture that network and don’t be afraid to then, whatever you do in your next step whether that is another corporate whether that's another small company whether that's working for yourself, don’t be afraid to keep in touch with those people and you still have the relationship it’s just a changed relationship.  I found the network to be very important, not only as a source of business but actually just a source of still feeling connected and ...part of the tribe.

 

[0:39:31] ANDREW: Carol, congratulations on your success and your advice and we’ll put all your details in the show notes if people want to talk to you about your business proposals and so forth and if anyone wants to connect with you what’s the best way to do that?

 

[0:39:45] CAROL: Probably the best way is either through LinkedIn, Carol Benton, or through my website words to win, words, number two, win.

 

[0:39:56] ANDREW: Thank you Carol.

 

[0:39:57] CAROL: Thank you.

 

[0:39:57] ANDREW: Ok, bye bye.


 

 

 

 

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