This month, I have the pleasure of introducing the wonderful Lynsey Le Keux. I met Lynsey nearly nine years ago, and since then have watched how her business has grown and developed covering products, services, franchising, and coaching.
Lynsey has shown the power of being you and building a supportive tribe!
Over to you Lynsey.
Hello, I’m Lynsey Le Keux of Le Keux Vintage Salon / Cosmetics and Diablo + Le Keux. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, even as a child I loved the concept of buying something, adding value and reselling for a profit… I always had something on the go from kids’ clubs to jewellery stands! I love building something and thrive on the sensation of having achieved something from my business. I did try a corporate career first, but it never felt right, I like the autonomy to make quick decisions and design my own life. It’s hard work but it’s worth it to me.
What was the trigger to make your career change?
I sort of fell into my career by accident. I did a year in industry at university and thought I had a job in events (which I’d always planned to have my own business in). When I arrived, they put me in the Projects team, so for a year, I went down the rabbit hole of Prince2 and such like. On leaving university, it felt like the right things to do, to continue this career. Because I’m ambitious I climbed the ladder but even though I did well quickly, it never felt fulfilling. So, I took the leap, we made sacrifices personally so that it could work financially, and I went from there. I truly believe you need to jump in with all your energy to make something a success and for me, I had to quit my career to have the focus needed to grow the business.
What skills/ experience/training have you had?
I have a degree in Business and Management and a certificate in Business Consultancy. Everything else I taught myself!
What existing skills have you used from your old career/ business to now?
Coming from a specialty in business process re-engineering and creating efficiency savings as a Consultant or Project Manager definitely helped me set up my business. My business model is process driven, and when I came to franchise my salons, the manual was mostly written because I have built a business model on scalable processes. Coming from a corporate career also gives me an understanding of professionalism that helps when pitching to businesses.
What has been a challenge? How have you overcome it?
Growth is ironically one of my biggest challenges. As the business has expanded, you get penalised by the government… VAT, no longer being able to claim small business rates relief, PAYE, pensions and so much more. You have to really work on your margins constantly to cover all the costs I didn’t used to have before having more than one branch.
What has surprised you?
My emotional journey with the business. At the start, it was all me, and all mine. I was protective and found it hard to delegate. Over the years my focus has shifted and now I get so much satisfaction from finding, training and leading others to carry out my vision. Nowadays I aim to work on my business rather than in it.
What advice would you give to a parent in the same position?
It was easier for me to quit my career when I didn’t have dependents. Now I’m balancing parenthood with the responsibilities of the business. My advice would be to sit down and work out exactly what you need to earn to sustain your family lifestyle. Block out in the diary exactly what time you have and then set your goals against the financial targets. Then be strict with your work time and always progress toward your goals.
What I love about Lynsey’s journey is her ability to bring all the amazing skills and experience from her previous career and use them to the full advantage to her new path. So many of us assume we need to start from scratch when we move careers, when. in fact, ALL experience can be used to pivot our career.
Follow all things Le Keux on Facebook or check out the website.
Read more Inspiring parent’s career journeys here.
Do you know someone I should feature? Or want to share your story? Fill out the form here.