“Having spent a fantastic 21 years working in the Sales division of Mars Confectionery, I reached a point in my career where I realised I wanted to build something of my own and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity( partly helped by voluntary redundancy) to take the plunge and give it a go! The freedom it gives me is a real driver along with the challenge that now I am my greatest asset and my biggest threat – I have the best opportunity I will ever have to prove what I can do.” Read Caroline Hampson’s story below.
What does your business do?
Inspo Ltd provides coaching and training to businesses who want to grow. The framework developed in the book Tickover or Takeoff – How to build a multimillion pound business is very often the starting point and from there develops the support that is right for each individual business. At the heart of all my work is a focus on business priorities and converting plans and ideas into action and results.
What’s a day in the life of you like?
Every day starts with walking the dogs on the park – a great energiser and a really good time to get my thoughts clear for the day ahead especially when it is early and everyone else seems to still be in bed! The day that follows varies every day of the week and may include delivering training , 1:1 coaching, facilitating workshops, networking , PR for my book or simply being curious about an opportunity that may help my business develop. I am currently trying hard to fit in regular updates on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn but am fighting the feeling that I would much rather be out there communicating face to face with people.
The variety is amazing and I love it although sometimes it does feel as if I could do with at least an extra 3 hours in every day to fit it all in or an extra day at the end of the week to catch up and pause for breath.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
One of the biggest challenges was the move from that regular pay check appearing in the bank account every week, pension and company car to the total uncertainty that self employment brings, the reliance 100% on what business you go out and win and being able to answer that question ” Are you doing really well?”
The other challenge was the realisation that there were a lot of other people like me in the market place, ex corporate, wanting to get involved in offering coaching, training and business consultancy – how was I going to make myself stand out from the crowd?
How did you overcome these challenges?
With regards to the financial challenge the big turning point for me was working out what was “enough” and that actually meant enough to feed my family and keep a roof over our heads. Once that number was decided I could then move on to focusing on the important things that would help my business to grow. Interestingly once I’d decided what ” enough” was I kept winning ” more than enough” business every month from that point onwards.
On the issue of how to stand out from the crowd that was a more long term challenge to overcome and that is where I decided I would write the book! I was fascinated by what made businesses successful and why were some more so than others – so I decided to go and talk to people who had done it, look at the similarities and differences and then wrote the book “Tickover or Takeoff: How to build a multimillion pound business” Now I just have to see if I can do it myself!
What advice would you give to other business owners?
Dream it, put a date on it and tell someone else about it ; there’s nothing like making your plans public to motivate you to deliver against them.
Ask the question; I have been bowled over by the generosity of people to give help, support and ideas to help at every step of the way however you have to pluck up the courage to ask the question in the first place.
Plan to be scared; the more times you put yourself in challenging, scary or just simply new situations the more confident you will become in your ability to deal with them and your curiosity at what can be achieved will take over from the fear of taking that first step.
How do you keep motivated during difficult times?
Remember “why” I’m doing all of this.
Knowing “why” is a fundamental part of everything we do – Knowing why keeps you motivated through the tough times and gives you a belief in what you’re trying to achieve.
What’s your favourite quote?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt
Who inspires you?
Everyday I read about or meet someone who seems quite ordinary on the outside and then I find they have done something extra – ordinary with their life. That inspires me to think perhaps I could do it too.
Do you have a business philosophy?
Do everything you can remarkably