Happy New Year to all of you!!!
I believe this is the year to tell you a bit of my story , may inspire you, give you ideas or just motivate you to keep going and never give up your dreams. I have always loved to motivate people and businesses!!! Here is how I have been doing it …
About 9 years ago, after having my first baby, I decided to start my own business. Having a professional career and keeping family duties is not quite that simple, I needed flexibility and the design industry could be very demanding… extra hours, out of hours work, … the list goes on. But I also wanted to be able to be a mum and give my children the best education I could give. Pass to them my best life skills and motivate them develop theirs. I never would give that job to another person because has been my responsibility to do it the best I can. I have felt very proud of myself I can say, from all my achievements in life!
You know, all my life I have been having crazy ideas, my mum would call them, but because I am a dreamer I have never given up and have been making them a reality. Crazy ideas will eventually bring you results if you try them and never give up of your dreams. Always have goals in life, personal ones and business ones.
Successful people live often in a dream world people tell us! I love to say to people: I am doing now what you don’t want to do, to have in a near future what you will not be able to have.
I always wanted to be a business woman, manage my time while doing what I like most, creative graphic design. I like to help, solve and fix other people’s problem, because I see them all as opportunities to grow, so Artideas was born in 2005. I am going back on time so you will understand why I am who I am…
I started working for myself from a very early age, I was about 12, selling Avon Products. I convinced my mum I could do it, it was my first big crazy idea. She sign up for it and I was selling the products in our street. I did some good money, lots of friends and was seen as an expert in beauty, but I wanted something more challenge. I did other similar business, following a friend’s advice, I did sell cleaning machines, then it was cleaning products and also health products.
I was really good at selling, did very good profits and have created a team of people selling with me, but I still wanted something different… I loved to fix things, have ideas and create new things, got those from my dad. I would stay close watching him fixing our washing machine or other things in the house that were faulty. My dad has been a professional electrician and very good with any DIY job, dad would always fix things and find a solution for any problem, this has been also my motto. From my mum I did learn sewing and cooking, I do really good and tasty Portuguese food, my friends say, and my children love to be in the kitchen with mum. So I have had a lot to explore from my skills and could create many different business. I decided to do Graphic design, because everyday I deal with a different problem and a different business!!!!
During my teen years, I did study Art & Design at college and found out I was good helping my friends in Descriptive Geometry and 3D visuals, so soon I was doing tuitions in school and at home. It was so successful, than I was spending my Saturdays mornings with groups of students around our dinner table. I was teaching all subjects from year 5 up to college. They would say it was the way I would explain things and show them how to study, creating methods and strategies.
I loved so much then later while doing my University degree in Design of Communications, I did teach Visual education in colleges. What I loved most it was to be able to motivate students with very poor social backgrounds. They would come to the class with empty hands and no interest, it was very challenge but after my persistence they would bring a pencil and ask me for some paper. It was very challenge but I was sure I could do it. I did teach them the curriculum subjects but the most gratification was to see their confidence grown and I got the best from them, soon they wanted to learn more skills and were talking about getting a job/career after college. People can be motivated for all negative factors but if the right person in there they will make the change!
So during those 5 years at University I wouldn’t stop, I was teaching in college, giving tuitions on Saturdays mornings and was planning to start my business with a friend.
PRISBEL was the name we wanted, PRIScilia + ChamBEL, the beginning and end of our names. But didn’t work, we had different life goals and didn’t have the time to do it. So I continued to spent my Saturdays mornings giving tuitions and teaching at college, started to have my first recommendations and kept my dream business in mind. Soon I was very well know by my skills and reputation, got students coming from other near towns to be taught by me. It was the way I would solve problems and help them get better grades, but also they liked the way I did motivate them.
When I finished my University, and got my first job as graphic designer, I was left in the design department alone to manage it all. The guy that was there stayed a couple of days just to show me around and then he was gone forever. I started taking briefs, creating/designing, doing artwork, cutting vinyl in big plotters, laminating, I did digital large format printing, … well a bit of all really! I have learned a lot on my own. Then my boss found out about my crazy ideas and started to take me to the client meetings as a design consultant. I would be the one taking the briefs, giving ideas for improvements and of course back to the office creating and producing it all. I deal with the printers and with the team that would produce the outdoors and big stuff.
After a couple of months I did train to 2 juniors designers and I was not alone anymore, I was managing a team. I was enjoying my work, but wanted to move to close home as the 2-3h commute journey was a bit too much everyday. So I got another job about 15minutes from home by car. I got a better salary and was a Senior designer, doing just the creative work and managing the production team. I was there about an year and moved here to UK, a new life and all started over until Artideas was born.
I have had a very challenged career but love it! All those skills and experiences, gave me the confidence to have my own business. I help and educate people in marketing and business skills, I create strategies to improve business images and I implement all of those, because I know how to get the best of people and business. Some people say I always think in something they don’t! I always fix things and I always have the solution for everything, when I don’t have it I will find it.
Doing something you love will make your work simple, but that alone doesn’t mean you have a good business. Hard work, the right opportunities and passion, will also help you to succeed. Be the best you can and know what are your best skills. One of the skill every business owner should have is to be a good marketer.
Every business owner needs to know some marketing skills, even if you hire someone to do it, you need to know your strategies and know your business, how do you want to communicate your product or service and to who. You need to know who are your competitors and where and who is your market. These are really basic things to learn if you want to succeed . It’s not just the numbers you ask your account or finance department, finances result from a good or bad marketing strategy, the way you communicate and sell.
My own journey has taught me many lessons, today I have two children, that I feel very proud of, they know already what they want to be when adults and they keep following my steps and skills, I have become their leader, and all of us need to be a leader at some point in our business, if we want to be know by what we do and by our best skills. I am starting to get the flexibility I have been looking for, while keeping a good mixture of business and family moments. Life is that, a moment, we create our moments to be the best they can be.
Things I have done to improve myself and my business are:
1. Get to know successful people who have achieved what you want in business.
Have people that will inspire you, motivate you and guide you. Read biographies, business books, marketing books,… you will learn something from them. I advice business owner to have or try a coach. They will get the best of you! If you can’t afford one, read some good books like “Be Your Own Life Coach”, by Fiona Harrold ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Be-Your-Own-Life-Coach/dp/0340770643) , or create a JV with one and help him with your skills. I have had many moments in my business journey, where I have worked with other businesses owners, we have been swapping our services and skills. We grow together and we are very good trusted friends today. These are part of my Network, my trusted connections,… I recommend you to develop yours as soon as you can.
2. Always have something to offer.
I do marketing consultations, but I still pass a lot of my experience to my clients for free, I genuinely help them to achieve their goals, I help them dream higher and get the best from their business images. I develop ideas for expansion, for grow , I develop their reputation using social media tools but also using simple marketing strategies to improve more sales and more leads, for better profits and grow. Each case is different and not all fit the same strategy and budget.
3. Look for new ideas where success already exist.
Use your network and resources, when you don’t have a skill, someone you know will. I don’t want to learn them all, I don’t have to, I want to know them all, to be able to choose the best for my clients, I am specialised and can give the best advice for all the other skills I may not have, because I have someone I trust that will have and will do it for me. I will get the best for what is required or for the budget they have.
4. Leave your comfort zone.
For some people these are the worse they will have in their business life. For me I really didn’t feel that hard, I have been having a sort of mad life since my 12 years ! I have had already small nights of sleep, while in my university, not because I would go to parties, but because I would have to travel 2-3h every day to commute to Lisbon from where I lived, my university could start from 8am and finish at 7pm sometimes. So my day would run from 5am until 10pm, and back home would work on my projects sometimes until 2/4am… not much different than work at your business… just focusing in different things… today I have school runs that need to be done, homeworks that need to be done, bedtime stories and of course all the other things a mum have to do with their children and around the house. So it’s normal for me to be at my desk late in the night if I need to, working in and on my business.
My best skill is to believe in myself, when I want something I believe I will get it, and I do everything to get it. I am very resourceful and always find what I am looking for. That’s the main reason my clients love my work, I will get what they need to succeed.
I use these skills for life and business. Until know I have always felt happy with my achievements, personal and business ones, every day I wake up knowing I will do my best and will get the best from my day.
- Are you doing what you Love ? Do you really know your business being a good marketer?
- What are the skills you have learned from early age that have impacted your business life?
Leave your comments or feel free to send me your story, if you would like it published here let me know, I will share it with my LinkedIn connections.
For skills for life and business, for making your business the best it can be, to be a better marketer or have some crazt ideas understood, give me a call on 01737763189 or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .