First an apology… I’m sorry I’ve been a little quiet on here over the last few months, but there has been a very good reason. I’ve been busy setting up my own PR consultancy, Tribe PR. Yep that’s right, after over 10 years in PR working for others, I’ve finally followed my dream and gone solo.
After almost six months back at work after maternity leave, I felt that things weren’t quite working for me; something was missing. I had this entrepreneurial itch that I just wanted to scratch, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it – day and night. I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but I just hadn’t felt ready to do so and also, if I’m really honest, I didn’t quite have the courage. However, after having my daughter and understanding what being a working parent actually involved, my perceptions changed quite dramatically, and I found a courage inside of me that I never knew I had. I think motherhood does that to you actually. It can give you the courage to follow your dreams. It can manifest a raw determination within you to prove to others that you can make it work no matter what, put two fingers up to the naysayers and generally do whatever you think is right for you and your family. And for me that was running my own business and being able to see my daughter more. Because I really do believe that you can have both a successful career and spend time with your family – but sometimes you just have to flex it a bit and make it work for you.
And yes, it was hard leaving my team. It was very sad to say goodbye to my amazing boss and colleagues and of course pretty scary to start up alone. But if I’m honest I haven’t had one regret… well not yet anyway.
Starting Tribe PR has given me a whole new lease of life. I can honestly say I’m loving every moment. Also, and dare I say it for fear of it all coming crashing down on me, I have found that I am able to achieve a better work/ life balance too so far. It’s early days of course, but that pendulum is swinging nicely towards life more than it ever used to, especially as I’m able to get back to doing what I love; fitness. Now I don’t doubt for one minute that times won’t be tough as I go it alone and I may well be busier than ever, but for some reason being busy on your own terms feels entirely different than being busy for someone else. It’s very rewarding and somewhat addictive.
I make my own hours now. I take Amelia over to the childminder a little later so the mornings don’t feel quite so rushed and then I pick her up earlier as I don’t have that horrible long commute to deal with. This means we get to spend more time together and I get to see more of those little milestones (she is developing so quickly right now!)
The other thing is that because James is now doing shift work, we can often steal away some random hours as a couple that we wouldn’t usually have (even if they are at random times). We regularly miss out on our weekends now, so if we can pop out during the working day for a coffee or find time to go for a run together, then we do it. Because our time together is so limited now, it feels really special (and perhaps a little naughty) popping out. I wonder if that will ever get old – the feeling of being naughty if you’re not at your desk even if you’re the boss?!
Ultimately, I’m in PR, so I need to be around when the media or my clients need me, but that doesn’t mean I need to be chained to my desk at all times. With emails on the move, WhatsApp, slack, and the amazing project management tool, Trello on my phone, I’m pretty much set to work anywhere and at any time. Likewise given I make my own hours, I can easily cover anything further off in the evenings without it feeling like a chore. This way of working feels progressive and liberating. I’m not sure why more agencies don’t welcome this way of working to be honest – they would get so much more from their employees. But I’ll save that one for a future post!
In terms of what it means for the blog? Well nothing really… I’ll still be covering everything relating to working parents, focusing on the trials and tribulations of maternity leave, chatting about the benefits of flexible working, and celebrating amazing working parents. Perhaps I’ll even cover off a few posts on being a small business owner too. But if you’re considering starting up your own thing, do get in touch. Hopefully you too can muster up the courage to follow your dreams, like I did. I can tell you now, you won’t be disappointed!