I started my first business, publishing my own magazine, at the age of 16. I still remember cold calling at shops and restaurants in my local town selling ad space.
After that, I was a successful market trader; ran a content marketing agency before content marketing even existed; and owned a Public Relations agency that looked after some of the largest companies in the world.
And in between all of this, woven into the fabric of my working life, I have been a successful journalist and published author. One of my books, The Soul of Boxing, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year Award.
My latest business is a niche SEO service for a large untapped market. Fingers crossed.
Of course we all need a bit of luck. Luck played a part in my career as a journalist and I also had some lucky breaks in business. I also had some bad luck and experienced some hard times. I also screwed up a lot and had to learn the hard way. But successful entrepreneurs know that failure is part of the journey, and that without failure, there is no success.
Entrepreneurs must not only cope with failure, but welcome it. There’s no shame in admitting that something isn’t working and going back to the drawing board — we’ve done our fair share of that. It’s the desire to innovate that prompts us to keep on striving to make positive changes.
Being a marketing consultant is not a job you can walk into after university. The whole point is that you’re able to be an objective expert that a company brings in to address a specific issue. When a business hires me, I’m expected to have seen similar issues in a variety of companies, so that I can quickly get to the heart of the matter, which you just can’t do unless you’ve been around the block.
I’ve worked with budgets from a shoestring to multi-million pounds, so I’m well placed to help people get the most from every penny they have. And I have worked with so many diverse businesses, from huge oil companies and big consumer brands to small technology firms and charities, that I can get my head around most marketing challenges.
My particular skill is to bring together the experience I have, and the knowledge I’ve accrued, to work out what the company needs to do to develop a straightforward, efficient and effective marketing operation that delivers sustainable profits. It’s a combination of strategic thinking and tactical implementation. This ranges from working out how to position products and services, to getting the right marketing tools in place, to organising a set of marketing activities to drive sales, build customer loyalty and grow a sustainable brand.
I’ve been providing clients with recommendations that lead to business growth for the past 15 years and the eureka moments when a CEO, MD, marketing manager really understands where marketing fits in their business give me the same buzz now as they did when I started.