How did I get here?

Our Wedding Day - Ravello Italy

Our Wedding Day - Ravello Italy

 

How did I get here?

 

Can I tell you a secret?

I found this really tricky to write.

I help people every day to write, rewrite and reimagine their stories, about their businesses and themselves.

Marketing and branding are a form of storytelling, as old as time, and the things we tell ourselves (and others) about who we are, actually have a huge impact. Ask me about mindset, someday. I can talk for hours!

And yet, faced with the blank page and the knowledge that I wanted to share a little more of myself with you, and I felt a little stuck for words.

Maybe it was over-thinking the whole thing, or maybe it was just the wondering if anyone really wanted to hear.

Either way, it took a while, but here it is me, my abbreviated story and I hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit more. I hope it will inform and inspire you about how I came to be the working, juggling Mum and the Female Success Coach I am today. Get yourself a cuppa and let’s talk about life.

The Early Training

Funnily enough, I didn’t get to the end of high school and think:

I want to be a business coach!

Far from it, I wanted to be a makeup artist.  This to me was the ultimate, in my early teens I would pour over issues of Vogue and Marie Clare...that I had bought with my pocket money.  I watched endless episodes of The Clothes Show Live and dreamed of being a part of that glamorous and exciting world. And that’s what I was going to do.

I left school at 17 after completing my Higher Exams and swiftly applied to the only college...in Scotland anyway that was offering makeup artistry, Clydebank College.  It was well known at the time and I was excited about all the amazing things I would learn and doors it would open.

Whilst I was sure that the makeup industry was where I belonged, and where I could see my exciting future. The college course left me a little bit deflated.  There was far too much concentration on shampoo and sets for the elderly and not enough of the full-on creative, throw it all out there catwalk styles, like I had poured over in the magazines for so many years.

So, I did what any impatient business-person would do - network and hustle and find something more hands-on.  Something I could get my teeth into and learn on the go possibly.

Now if you know me personally, you will know that I am a huge believer in ‘you get what you ask for and what you believe in your mind’.  So I knew there was a better path for me….I just didn’t know what it was...yet.

Then just as I knew it would, my path was presented to me.  Through a mutual connection, I was introduced to a very well established TV and Film Makeup Artist and at the tender age of 19, I landed my first job in TV working alongside her. It was a kids sketch show for Nickelodeon, it was fast-paced, exciting, scary, tiring and overwhelming all at once, but I loved it.  Here I was, standing in my dream job...being paid a crazy amount of money, for a 19-year-old anyway and absolutely loving every minute.

Did I regret leaving the college course early?  What do you think? Life lesson number one, always trust your gut, it’s never wrong.

After that life went crazy.  I was deep in the real world of proper work, I mean 13-14 hour days, sometimes 6 days a week but I never felt so alive. I went from contract to contract seamlessly, working in soaps, dramas, films, with celebrities...you name it for a further 6 years.

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By this point, I was working in London on and off, travelling home every 2-3 weeks to see my long-term boyfriend, now husband..who I had been with since our early teens. But after a few years, things started to change.  My desire to be at home and have a ‘stable’, whatever that is, life grew stronger and stronger.

My thoughts turned to thinking about getting married, about settling down and starting a family together as I knew I wanted to have my family youngish anyway.  The thought of running around a TV set 13-14 hours a day, juggling childcare, school drop-offs, travelling, all started to become overwhelming and seemed impossible.

That wasn’t the life I wanted for me or my yet to be born kids, them wondering where their mummy was, missing sports days and ultimately providing them with the security that I missed from my childhood…..that’s a whole other story that I might go into another time.

This isn’t what I saw when I looked ahead at our future.


Follow Your Gut

As I mentioned before I am a huge believer in following your gut and creating the life you desire, not just settling for what you have because you are too scared to change.  That is not me and this element of me has become more apparent as I have grown older.

So it was time to say goodbye to the big city, crazy TV life and start a new beginning at home.

But WTF was I actually going to do?  

I can still remember the shock on the face of that contact, who went on to be a wonderful friend and mentor,  who had gotten me off to a flying start in the industry when I told her I was jacking it all in.

It was a…’are you mad, tv life is such a coveted place to be.  What do you mean you’re quitting. What has changed, why?’, sort of look.

I had changed. I would miss it, but it was time to step aside and make space for a new generation of passionate, tireless artists in my place while I go off and contribute to the population and enjoy lazy Sundays with my partner and create a career I loved obviously.

Our Chapel - Ravello Italy

Our Chapel - Ravello Italy

My partner and I got married in Ravello, Italy.  A small, quiet little town nestled high up above Amalfi.  It was a small, but perfect setting for our modest party of close friends and family and on returning to Scotland, we had a huge shin dig...that actually almost looked like another wedding day and cost it too.  I loved every minute of it all and even now I wouldn’t change a single thing….well except the dress, the dress I would now change almost 11 years later. Hey...I’m a gal...it’s all about the ‘in’ dress.

After the party finally ended, it was time to get serious.  I got pretty lucky work wise here in Scotland and actually landed quite a bit of makeup artist work. It wasn’t a consistent, but it was enough.  I then got pregnant, after we both decided we were ready (are you actually ever ready for kids) and all of those old worries came flooding back.

Freddie 

Freddie 

Now, I knew having a baby would be a big, momentous, life-changing thing, but I had no idea the actual effect it would have on me. Freddie, my first little boy, was healthy and absolutely perfect, I was smitten. However, I was soon to realise just how life-changing it all was when I was hit by the train called ‘separation anxiety’.  Wow, that guy hit me like a freight train going cross country.

What were all of these emotions?

I knew in my head most of them weren’t logical but the thought of my precious little baby wondering where I was, was debilitating.  Suddenly the thought of going to work for 2hrs killed me never mind 13-14hrs.

 

 

At the time, I felt as though the tears (mine as well as his!), anxiety, fear, and stress were all just part and parcel of being a working mother. I didn’t realise that what I was experiencing was more extreme than others.

What could I do?  Soldier on and hardly tell a soul of course.  Yeah, that was a great idea. Soldier on I did, until two and a half years later, I was at breaking point.  Feeling trapped, with no real idea of what to do, I was lost. Every option I looked at, sort of left me in the same position but worse off financially.  I had lost me. My creativity, passion and drive seemed distant.

I started thinking about things a little more practically and laid out what I needed to find: stability, a money, the chance to push myself as I always have, be creative but always the flexibility to prioritise my family first.

I believe that the universe always brings things to you at the right time, and delivers what you need. So with that in mind, the gift of discovering network marketing arrived right on time.

Working from Home as a Mother

Network marketing sometimes gets a bad rep, but I could never have found a better way to create what I was looking for at that time.  Options, flexibility, choices and so much more. I grabbed that opportunity like my life depended on it and ran towards my goal of flexible working.

Zac

Zac

MLM as a business model only works if you do, and man did I work.  So much so that within the first ten months I was turning over 5 figures a month and operating globally. That flexible income was a reality and it allowed me to have the peace of mind to have our second little boy Zac without the worries and anxiety of my previous pregnancy.  Priceless.

The company and business model are both incredible and I learned so much from that experience about my own abilities, as well as the power of marketing, social media and what the online world has to offer to anyone who is driven enough to want a piece.

I loved working to my own (okay, let’s be real - around my family’s) schedule, and being able to work from home and be there for my boys was paramount.

The only thing missing?

That creative vibe. You know, that feeling when you wish you could just create, and share, and get things down on paper and think about them in all kinds of different ways? And create, publish, edit and grow.

Networking marketing is highly structured, and so it should be, in order to work properly. I loved doing it, but I felt as though it was now time to find something where I could feel a little more in creative control, and work according to my own dreams and wishes.  Be me and show the world what I have to offer.

After over 16 years of being freelance, hustling, marketing myself, creating business ideas, designing websites, logos and so much more...it was my time again.  To find me and what I am good at.

Retraining In Digital Marketing

I have always had the creativity and the drive, but the marketing world, as I knew, had moved up a gear in my short years out making babies but I knew this was an area I could really excel.

I decided to retrain in digital marketing and relished in the openness of the world. It felt as though the opportunity was everywhere, even for busy a stay-at-home mum.  The online world opens up a global, flexible business to everyone.

I was thinking about coaching by this point, as I loved using my creativity to find solutions for people who felt stuck or uncertain about their next best move, working 121 with them on their hopes and dreams and making that a reality.

So I enrolled in an online Advanced Digital Marketing Diploma and got stuck right in. The ease and flexibility of being able to learn and train from home were again perfect for me.

Me - Lisa Devine Photography

Me - Lisa Devine Photography

I learned loads and felt super excited about my next move but I also felt a little stuck on how to really move myself and my new business into the online space. So, I hired my very first coach.

Yes - even business coaches need business coaches!

It’s incredible how easy it is to get lost in the details of your own business, and I highly valued having someone I trusted to outline my plan and make sure I was offering services that would really help my clients.

The Creative Marketer launched in November 2017 and it has gone from strength to strength and I couldn’t be more proud of where I am today.  It’s been a long road of experiences, mistakes, growth, tears and a lot of fears but as they say, “Nothing grows in your comfort zone”. If I didn’t trust my gut, I would still be stagnant and miserable most likely.

But, that’s not how I wanted to end this story …

What makes a good business coach?

It’s you.

I wouldn’t be writing my story if it weren’t for my clients, my followers and everyone who has ever gotten in touch to ask a question, set up a call, or just ‘like’ a photo on Instagram.

You can have all the training in the world, but at the end of the day, the one thing that qualifies someone as a business coach is actually working with real business owners.

It’s being there for the successful launch, but it’s also the fraught emails worrying about a sale that didn’t happen, or the late delivery of items for a product shoot, or malfunctioning technology during a live video.

It’s helping you separate your personal life from your business life, teaching you that they don’t have to overlap in an exhausting way and that launching a business is all about working smarter, not harder.

It’s about finding answers together to those little questions that turn into big barriers without you even realising:

How do I set up a good advert on Instagram?

Does my website actually make sense?

Is all the marketing ‘work’ I’m doing actually working?  

When I started, I had a whole lot of experience and I didn’t even realise it. I was good with people. I could make people feel at ease before coming at them with all kinds of powders and brushes and experimental ideas.

I could prioritise, I knew what it was like to be a working mum and I could identify quickly what worked and what didn’t in a marketing strategy for a female solopreneur.

I understood that any business is only as strong as the service or product it provides to its clients, that simplicity is always key but simple storytelling doesn’t mean boring marketing.

Above all, I am in this for the long run.  Cheesy as it sounds but, I have found my calling.  The buzz I get every day working with my clients proves that.

I hope you enjoyed reading it, and as always, drop any comments below or reach out to me personally.  I love to chat.

Thank you for reading, thank you for following, and keep being amazing and follow that gut

Alexis xxx