What did you used to do?
When I was at school and college, I always wanted to be a writer or do something creative. But I fell into working in the healthcare sector. I began working in private care homes – as I was juggling being a single mum in my 20’s but I was always doing some sort of training or course. I even set up my own childminding business at one point.
When I met my (now) husband, I worked briefly for the NHS in a big London hospital, but dabbled in blogging and freelance writing on the side. We then moved to Maidenhead where I worked in L&D for a large private healthcare company, and was an Area Trainer for 6 years.
What made you want to change?
I have always been creative and I love writing copy and updating my personal blog. When I went part time as a trainer, I felt less involved, so my focus shifted to how I can earn from doing what I love.
I made a decision to create a service for the local area – but something different. Which is where the idea for a local directory came from.
How did you make a start?
I already had a website, so to create another wasn’t an issue. However, working out how it was going to look, function and then how I’d actually start offering services took a lot longer.
I wanted a ‘blogzine’ style to the directory – with listings looking more like blog posts – so readers would get a real feel for the business. And with an option for videos too – to ‘see the face behind the business.
So, I needed some help and advice to get going with it.
How did you go about it?
I started by seeing what it would look like with some businesses on. A friend of mine came up with the idea of including videos and she owns two local businesses. So, I made a couple of videos for her and got her listed.
But it still had a way to go.
What were the challenges?
I would say lockdown – but actually I think that helped me to push forward with it. I changed my model slightly – so if someone required a video, I wouldn’t go and film them. Instead, they could send me their own footage and images and I’d make a short video. That really worked.
But as more businesses were joining, making videos became time consuming. And not everyone wanted one (some had their own). But I quickly adapted to that. Some have their own video on their listing, some have one I have made, or just a simple slideshow. And of course, some don’t have a video at all. But it works.
What would you do differently?
I think it’s all been a learning curve. If I don’t make mistakes or try things to see how they work, then I won’t learn.
If anything, I’d probably would had focussed on my branding more. But I can still work on that.
What top tips would you give to somebody who really wants to change career?
Don’t spent too long doing something you don’t enjoy. The thought of making a change is scarier than actually doing it.
And definitely get support – don’t feel as though you should do it alone.