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Shortlisted for UK CDA Career Coach of the Year

Frances Cushway
Career Coach

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From Agency to Freelance Marketing Specialist

Sarah Pearson specialises in providing extra bandwidth to Brands and Agencies to drive forward marketing initiatives to meet business objectives


 What did you do before you had children?

I was a Group Account Director for a direct marketing agency. Managing and developing accounts such as The Walt Disney Group of Companies, McDonald’s and Miele. Over the past 15 years I’ve had the pleasure of working with impressive global and national brands via award winning direct marketing agencies and in-house roles. In my previous role I was focused on strategy development, delivering campaign excellence through my team and strengthening relationships with clients to retain and/or grow incremental business.


 

Had you thought about setting up your own business before?

Not really, I enjoyed agency life and working with talented people. I also liked the security of a regular and predictable income.

 

How did you know it was the right business for you?

It was pragmatic decision rather than inspired. Agencies don’t tend to employ anyone on a part-time basis, which is real oversight as they miss out on a wealth of talent. Working as a consultant you can add-value without the baggage of getting involved in office politics and the day-to-day monotony, which really appealed to me.


How did you know it was the right time to set up your business?

I felt comfortable that my son is now old enough to enjoy time away from Mummy and I needed at little bit of the old me back. I always wanted to start establishing a new path in my career before he started school so I can adapt my working pattern as he grows. However I lacked confidence, so worked with Frances to sharpen my CV, Linked-In Profile and identify my core skill-set to enable a new career future. Career Coaching really helped me to be focused on I what I needed and ensure my work life continued to be fulfilling.

 

How did you prepare to launch your business? How long did this take?

Well, to date I have ‘soft launched’ my business. Keeping costs at minimum and leveraging my network via Linked In. The next stage of my plan is to attend networking events hosted my local business forums such as the Best Of Guildford and the Marketing Professional Body I’m a member of. I could have launched a website etc… but I would like the business to the scalable over the next few years. And if my circumstances change and I want or need to go back to a full-time job I won’t have invested too much up front cost.

 

What support did you have to launch your business?

Having the support of your family is vital, emotionally and financially.

 

How do you fit your business and family life or other commitments together?

Like any Mum, it’s all about juggling and compromise at times. But I find being honest and clear with both colleagues and family sets expectations and no one is disappointed.


What are the best things about having your own business?

I’m not confined to the average 9-5 working day or should I say 7-7 agency working day. It gives me the flexibility I desperately craved after my son was born. And no morning commute!

 

What are the downsides of working for yourself?

I miss the office banter and working from home can be lonely at times. You have to be very focused and disciplined.


Do you have any tips or advice for other mums who might be thinking about setting up their own business?

Talk to anyone and everyone who might listen about what you’re thinking of doing. You never know where it might lead, or they will have a brilliant piece of advice to get you out of the starting blocks. Have faith in yourself and patience to make it successful.


Learn more about how Sarah could help your business at uk.linkedin.com/in/sarahpearson77