This month’s Inspiring Parent is the wonderful Judith Hutchinson from Accessible Marketing. What is so wonderful about her story, is that her entrepreneurial drive and ambition pre-dated her children. This was part of her larger work-life balance plans; not only did she think it, she went and did it.
This year is the 10 year Anniversary that Judith set up Accessible Marketing, so I am sure you will join me to offer her a massive, load “CONGRATULATIONS”.
She not only inspires me every day, but she is an example of how you can create a business and a life on your terms.
Over to you Judith.
Tell me about your journey to “being the Boss”
I studied Tourism Management at University but always found the marketing elements of the course my favourite parts, so I knew I wanted to work in marketing. However, I started out in professional services marketing – working for a large global law firm. I enjoyed it but always had this niggle at the back of my mind that I wanted to work in the Travel Industry (it seemed a shame not to use more of the knowledge from my degree). I moved to a marketing role for an online travel company which was a world away from professional services marketing (fewer suits and boots and more jeans and dress down). To progress from there, I knew I would have to move to London and I didn’t want to do that (London life is just not for me).
It was then that I decided to set up on my own. I knew that one day I wanted to get married and have children and thought that having my own business would give me the freedom to work around family life. I set up Accessible Marketing in 2008.
Ultimately, though the trigger was seeing a career coach who suggested going it alone. At that time, I don’t think I would have thought of it as an option or indeed had the confidence to go for it.
Talk us through your training.
My degree had a heavy bias towards marketing and I’ve since gained qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as becoming a Chartered Marketer. I’ve also invested in myself quite a lot completing an ILM Award level 5 course and various other courses to keep up my skills up to date.
Which skills have you transferred from your career to now?
I was probably ahead of the curve in terms of my online marketing skills and knowledge which meant that I could hit the ground running when I first set up. I’m always told I’m good at communicating with people at all levels within a business which helps when working with different businesses.
What has been a challenge? How did you overcome it?
Having spent 3 years building a great network of contacts in South Yorkshire and a regular stream of referrals my husband got a new job which meant us moving to the Midlands. A month after we moved I found out I was pregnant and whilst this was fantastic news, in hindsight, it was a little like starting all over again. I still feel I can build more of a network in the Midlands and I’m also developing more online services such as my membership site which will mean I can help more businesses no matter where they are based!
What has surprised you?
If someone had said to me at graduation that I would end up running my own business I would have probably told them they were talking to the wrong person!
What advice would you give to a parent in the same position?
It’s very simple. That running your own business is not the easy option but it can be the best option!
Thank you so much to Judith for sharing her journey. She has shown that there is a marketing life outside London (no offence, I am just a proud Brummie) and that you can develop a network and a business even when you are new to an area. Having confidence in your abilities and a clear strategy makes all the difference.
Want to join a supportive online community to talk through your business ideas? Find other people to network with? Then come over to The Balance Collective with Clara Wilcox.