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Small wins, big gains

The last few weeks have been all about planning for 2017 for me – what do I want more of in 2017? Creativity, content and heart-centred collaborations tick that box. And less of? Working in the evening (#massivefail it’s 20.15 as I type but a deadline’s a deadline in this business)

We’re all glad to see the back of 2016. Brexit and Trump were one thing, George Michael another.  But it wasn’t all bad.  Reflecting on what worked well in my business there are some things I’m so glad I did, steps I made. Have any of these worked for you?

Coaching

As a business owner, I really believe in investing in myself. The joy of running a creative business is how you learn and grow.  In PR it’s about staying on top of incoming trends in an always shifting industry. And refining your craft. 16 years in, I went back to basics and invested in a PR course to do this. A total thrill and I connected with other ambitious PR freelancers as well as business owners who are now online friends. We share business challenges and bounce media and client ideas off each other.

This year I’m investing in a business coach. First proper session today. Can. Not. Wait.

Felt the fear and did it anyway

This time last year, together with my wingman, Louize Clarke, I launched #GlugReading. Our intention? To bring this global brand to Reading to strengthen the creative community. We had approximately 4 people signed up. We’d had so many “nos” to sponsors I lost count. We persevered, hustled, promoted. We collaborated with some amazing sponsors (No MagnoliaTV and John Bradley Photography that’s you).  On the night we ran a twice sold-out event and are celebrating our first birthday later this month. I’ve learnt that you have to work outside of your comfort zone – recognise the discomfort, accept and work into it. Trust me. The opposite? Its complacency and none of us have room for that.

Found my work rhythm

Nearly three years ago I read Laura Vanderkam’s What the most successful people do before breakfast. She introduced me to the miracle morning idea; making the most of that quiet time before the world wakes up do your best work. Total game-changer. It’s a habit I cherish. BUT, I hadn’t eased of at the other end and regularly had a late shift. Inadvertently ditching this a few months ago (possibly to watch Cold Feet) has worked wonders.  Yes, sometimes a deadline requires an evening stint but setting a clear end to the working day has affected my overall productivity.  I know I can’t “come back to it”. This is a good one for those of us who work from home; define your working hours and honour these. 

I created what didn’t exist

Networking has always been a bit of a stumbling block for me.  While I’ve connected with inspirational and like-minded people online – and made some great business relationships this way – I’ve been less successful at finding that real-world group of like-minded colleagues and associates.  Chatting about this over coffee with networking queen Ghilaine Chan, we decided to do something about it. Business Friends was born.  We bring together the inspiring business owners, freelancers, creatives from our personal and professional networks to talk through and mastermind the good, the bad, the ugly and the absolutely lovely. We meet quarterly to support each other and work out how we can help one another. And mastermind some cool stuff in the meantime. Yes, leads and introductions have followed but in an organic way that feels authentic and not like someone’s selling at you. I’m so excited to grow this in 2017.

As I head into my fifth year of running my own business, I will take the lessons I’ve learnt to shape Antonia Taylor PR. I get so excited about the difference great PR can make to start-ups and SMEs. And now it’s time to do the work. May 2017 bring you all you wish for. 

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