You might say I was always one for doing things differently. I left school with no qualifications. At age 18 I had my first child and not long after my second child was born, I became a single parent.
I never imagined I would end up as a single mum but I was determined to make my children proud and show the world that teenage parents can be successful. I created my things to have ‘before 30 list’, which covered career, mortgage, husband to name but a few.
It was everything I thought I needed to be successful. More important than the list was that I had an unshakeable ambition to become a success story rather than a victim.
I decided that, despite having no qualifications or experience, I wanted to work in the creative industry. I had to go back into education to get some basic qualifications before getting accepted into university to study graphic design.
Life was starting to go in the right direction, but as the recession hit I knew I was going to have limited local career prospects. I didn’t want to risk leaving university and move into a career I hated, so I launched a print design business whilst I was studying.
It was incredibly challenging to juggle university with my growing business and two young children but the struggle paid off. I graduated with a First Class degree and found a well-paid career in the middle of the recession.
However, running a print business at the time was hard as small business owners were forced to slash their print budgets. Seeing less competition in digital design, I moved into the web industry after being headhunted by a web agency and then progressed into agency management.
I realised that despite having ticked off most of my ‘before 30’ list I had unfulfilled dreams. So with just a two-month salary saved, I quit my career to launch my own business. Having only a small safety net of savings made me work very hard, and before long, the client work soon started to come in.
I knew that to grow my business further I had to become more visible online. This was quite scary as it meant I couldn’t hide behind an agency anymore.
I wanted people to know the real me rather than a faceless agency, so I decided to rebrand my business. I had some professional photos taken, created a personal website and shared my story online.
When I look back on it now, that brave moment changed everything.
Brave new world
I won clients all over the world working on exciting projects and hosted live business growth events in New York and the UK. Within my first two years, I had grown a six-figure business and thousands of followers online.
In an effort to put my marketing skills to good use, I began to help business owners in the online groups in which I was a member. I never intended to become a coach but upon discovering how much watching their success fulfilled me, it was a natural progression for me to move from consulting to coaching.
I have successfully launched a group coaching program, The Fully Booked Blueprint, to help start-up business owners build a highly profitable client business. In addition to supporting business owners of all levels in my online community, the Savvy and Successful mastermind.
My success has taught me that it is ok to just be yourself in business and do things your own way. No one cares if you had a rocky start, what they care about is the value you deliver through what you do. I’ve also learned the importance of building a business around your life, and not the other way round.
I work from home and I can take time off whenever I want to be there for my children and my husband. For so long I felt like I was constantly juggling and failing at least one area of my life–whether that was being a mum, partner, friend, or simply taking care of my own health. Growing a successful business has removed that need to compromise so heavily.
Things are not perfect. Sometimes I’m working 14-hour days to get big projects off the ground, for example, the recent re-launch of my group coaching programme, which was my biggest to date.
I still find it hard to believe that it was only three years ago I was working for someone else and now I get to spend every day doing what I love. I am looking forward to what the next few years have in store.
About Laura Phillips
Laura is a digital strategy coach and success mentor.