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Frances Day – Encouraging women to fly

I’ve always worked in Marketing in some form or another. When I was 45 I was working as Marketing Manager for Leeds College of Art and as I’ve been blessed with my dad’s entrepreneurial spirit, I thought, ‘If I don’t’ do this now, I never will.’ So I did. I took a great big plunge, went to see a Business Link advisor and decided to go out on my own.

At that time Business Link were paying out grants to small startups where you received two hours one to one advice and the advisor received a payment of £100, this is how I set off on my voyage of self-employment.

I had recently split up with my Ex and had to sell my car to pay him out of the house, so when I moved to Leeds I had no partner, no savings, no car and no clue! That was back in March 2009.

My first client was a Veterinary practice in Brighouse and I had to get two trains to go and see her for our regular 2 hour meeting. She had no idea how long it was taking me to get to her premises.

In those days the business name was Word Weaver Marketing, and about 4 years ago I changed it to Marketing Doctor. This made a huge difference to the type of work I was getting. As Word Weaver Marketing I had my rose tinted spectacles on and envisaged myself sitting at a bay window writing content for website and blogs. But this was not the type of work that I really enjoyed. So when I changed the business name to Marketing Doctor it opened up a whole new world for me. As a Chartered Marketer I was starting to get enquiries from businesses who wanted strategies and marketing campaigns creating. This was much more my field of expertise.

At about the time that the business changed focus, I was really struggling financially. I was 3 months behind on my mortgage, living off my credit cards and contemplating doing the unthinkable – going out and getting a proper job.

It was also Christmas time and my cousin bought me a book on Entrepreneurial women, each chapter was a story on how they’d had to face one challenge or another and even though they’d reached rock bottom, they had pulled through. I decided that I was going to give it one last push, and if it didn’t work out this year, then I would go back to being a wage slave.

I rented a room at a friend’s house, and subsequently rented out my house. At least this way I knew that the mortgage would get paid. I had my bed at one end of the room and my desk at the other. And I worked tirelessly like this for a year. Gradually building up a new client base and moving back home.

What I’ve realised over time is that I don’t do my best work whilst I’m sitting facing a computer. I find it draining. I’m definitely much more of a people person.

Marketing Doctor has helped me learn the skills to grow my new baby, which is a women peer to peer support group called Bird Board. This is the thing that really drives me.

What I discovered was what I loved doing was inspiring and coaching my clients. Helping them to understand what they need to do to reach their full potential.

And I love nothing more than sharing my wisdom; helping one of my members/clients when the light bulb goes on and watching them fly.