Are you doing what you really love?

This kind of personal post doesn’t come easily to me, but do you ever get that feeling, when you want to chuck it all in and start afresh as a pig farmer in Wales? No. Just me then.

When someone asked me recently what my alternative career would be (yes, really, a pig farmer in Wales), it prompted me to think about what I love and value about my business, the challenges I face as a founder/owner and the lessons I’ve learned along the way…Here goes:


  1. The Founder-Owner role can be lonely and bloody hard. Creating a community around you is key, so find your personal and business mentors, champions who will encourage and empower you, give you energy and positivity – and honesty. I’m fortunate to have a squad of brilliant people that I can talk to about finance, strategy, brand.
  2. Learn, too, from people outside your sector/network (through reading, podcasts, LinkedIn) – the more diversity the better.
  3. If a job is not serving you and bringing you joy, change things. I resigned from a network agency 2 weeks before my maternity leave started. Heavily pregnant, doing long days and crazy pitches, I didn’t feel that I was doing my job properly – nor was I being listened to and I wanted to get out. Just 4 months after my son was born, I started my own consultancy. It was scary to launch a new business as a new mum and to do it single-handedly. But it was also amazing, creative and exciting. Would I do it again? Yes. 100%.
  4. Never criticise someone until you have spent a day in their shoes. From a New Business perspective, it can be frustrating when clients don’t answer us and say yes immediately. Don’t give up – you have no idea what’s going on in their world.
  5. Never burn bridges! Ironically the agency I left when I was pregnant subsequently appointed me to look after one of their brands, to build their new business strategy and then implement it.
  6. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo if it doesn’t feel authentic. In my early career, I tried hard to fit into the agency world. I was expected to conform, to be a team player, not to ask too many questions or push too hard for change. I was never asked to challenge anything, just to deliver. I soon realised that didn’t suit me and I needed to be around people that would encourage and empower me, not deconstruct and criticise.
  7. Failure teaches us more than success but sometimes finding a way round and through problems leads to even more exciting outcomes.
  8. Biggest doesn’t always mean best. I don’t want Beckon to be the biggest, but we want to work with clients that get it and want to invest and change to win. For me it is about offering something of value to the clients we are trying to attract and being very clear about our specialism.
  9. Do what you do well and stick to it. Trying to be ‘all things to all people’ only dilutes your offering.
  10. Don’t forget to live. I’m switching off email for two weeks in January while I adventure through Costa Rica with my kids – and I cannot wait!


Maybe if I’d read this when I first started work in agency life/new business, I’d have done things differently. Who knows? But fast forward 25+ years, what I do know is the buzz I still get from seeing the agencies I work with win new clients – and how utterly proud I feel of the team I’ve built at Beckon.

So for now, the pigs will have to wait.


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