Born in the North of the UK, and never taking no for an answer, I’m very proud to have set up, ran, nurtured and successfully sold businesses over the 20+ years as an entrepreneur and trained business teacher. I have travelled extensively, ran workshops and have my own Talent Management company, submitting and booking talent for films, TV, stage and modelling.
Through my worldwide available training courses, I help other like-minded women start and grow their businesses to start living the life they want.
An Interview With SJ
What made you decide to do all of this SJ?
I have always been a person who can assess a situation and come up with a multitude of ways to either enhance it or change it to make things better. I have been enthusiastic about business and making money for as long as I can remember. Even whilst at secondary school, I would be the one getting up early to complete a paper round, delivering the local Gazette mid-week and then selling cigarettes individually daily to make a profit at lunch time! I always knew I would be an entrepreneur and love the thrill it provides to make things work.
Any challenges in your life?
I have lived a varied life with many amazing experiences along the way. However, it was not always an easy life. My parents uprooted our family unit away from our friends and family from Derbyshire to Wigan as a last ditch attempt to stay together, only to then part ways with mum leaving suddenly to live 5 hours away in London. Life became incredibly hard and it was a case of knuckling down and becoming independent fast. This meant toughening up aged 11, doing everyday things for myself and spending holidays up and down the country on the National Express between Warrington and Golders Green on my own.
“I have always been a person who can assess a situation and come up with a multitude of ways to either enhance it or change it to make things better”
When did you leave home and why?
Leaving with a surprise bag of GCSE’s (without revision) meant that I moved to College, completed a Business GNVQ as well as a GNVQ in Beauty and joined a Solicitors as a secretary soon after. It was here that after a couple of years, I was made redundant due to some of the older partners retiring. This was a massive shock but it gave me the courage to be free and consider my options. I craved an exciting change at this point. I started to pursue a career with travel, leaving Wigan for the South and skies soon after my 19th birthday!
Learning to fly?
I decided that I would love to travel and be paid at the same time. So, I set about gaining some interviews with airlines. After multiple interview days and lengthy processes, I gained a job as the youngest flight attendant out of Gatwick Airport and so packed my car with my possessions and drove down to Godstone in Surrey, where I had lined up a few places to view rooms to rent. Luckily, the first one was perfect and I moved in that same day with a top international model and her son! I travelled for many years flying both long and short haul with British Airways, Monarch Airlines, Flying Colours and Japan Airlines before leaving to get married and start my very own first business!
How did you start your first business?
I turned a motor bike sales show room into a salon! It would be an all under one roof affair with sunbeds, nails, beauty, the first aesthetic procedures in the area and hairdressing etc. 11 members of staff and numerous self-employed people working for me and a client list of over 2000 was a great achievement, and I had turned all the people who had doubted me into loyal clients too. At this time, I had married and was completing a BA Hons in Business. I also had given birth to our daughter: Layla in the middle of all of this – busy times I know! I was offered money to sell a number of times and had started to think about my next step, and whether I should complete my business dissertation within my own business, set up a chain of salons or sell and move to another business to undertake a project dissertation, so that I could learn even more.
The hustle to gain Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited!
I chose to sell, make a nice chunk of money and managed to somehow get a call and then an interview with a huge well known multinational company: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited. I would be working within Human Resources and interview each department to find out what targets they set for their teams and link this to additional research in other companies, as well as report upon what the company needed to change and implement, to make sure all were doing the same in the future to gain bonuses and link with managing their staff effectively. The icing on the cake for them would also be to gain Investors in People, which of course I was successfully in gaining for them! I did also run a tender process to bring in an on-site agency cutting fees and furthering profits for them. Needless to say, I gained a First in my dissertation.
Writing the Innovation & Growth bid for £3m!
I moved onto a permanent project management role in an Economic Partnership, and quickly learnt how to write funding bids and top tips from key business owners, educational organisations and Government officials. This is also where I wrote a £3m funding bid along-with several other large establishments to bring in Investment for businesses within West Sussex and East Surrey. This was hard work as I had to manage all of the other organisations to find middle ground between them. However, after many meetings and consultations, the bid was eventually a complete success for all.
“I just seem to have a fire burning inside of me which drives me forward to improve, learn and strive for more”
Juggling lecturing & becoming a hardened entrepreneur!
I then trained to become a Business Lecturer/Teacher and taught for over 10 years across the South any ages between 11 through to Adults whilst running several small businesses at the same time. I taught Business, Travel and Tourism, Economics and IT both academic and vocational! My businesses included: cleaning, wedding dresses, hair extensions all of which became well known and were successful in their own right. Each night, I would be adding social media posts, contacting people to answer questions, order anything required, pay people and invoice for works/products. All of which was done whilst lecturing, being a mum, wife and friend. I just seem to have a fire burning inside of me which drives me forward to improve, learn and strive for more!
How did you fall into the entertainments business?
Things significantly moved forward after relocating to London on a Monday to Friday basis. I would travel up to London on a Sunday night after making roast dinner, say goodbye to the husband and then venture back again on a Friday night. It is fair to say that I do not have fond memories of Friday nights on the M25! All of this was done out of love for our daughter and her talent and passion for the arts. In particular, her singing and acting ability. Whilst she was there, I became friendly with another fellow mum in the same situation as our children in the same best known UK’s stage school. Discussions eventually led to us talking about talent agencies and then one night, I said “let’s go for it”, so we did! I went home and immediately set up our Limited Company for our talent agency and we have been running this for several years successfully since! The business has grown from strength to strength and we have had many successful talent on stage & screen thus far, to include even us as the Directors!
What are you up to now SJ?
All of this has led me to arrive at this point in my life where I am writing, coaching, offering worldwide online training courses. I love to pass on my knowledge and skills in all areas and am really passionate about helping others to strive for their best lives too. I absolutely love to listen to audio books, am inspired by other great entrepreneurs and am a firm believer that anyone can manifest what they truly want and believe in with the right support and commitment.
I personally now have a great flexible life which works for me and my daughter, now happily divorced after 17 years together! My daughter and I can travel together which I love. It is great to have a business which runs when I am anywhere in the world, is predominantly based online and makes me money, even when I am sleeping! I can watch school sports fixtures now, attend events etc. and meet amazing likeminded people along the way, on my own terms. I run my own diary which I LOVE! I am also a straight talking Northerner who can get pretty much anything done and fairly quickly. I have grit, determination and the right mindset for success. This can be learnt – it just takes guts and belief! I can help you with that…
No matter what has happened in your past, you can definitely move forward, start a business and make changes to start living the life you want.
You too can find your inner calling and live your best life NOW!