My Business Journey
How do you end up running an online business? For me, it was a natural progression as part of an already varied career path.
In this post, I share my story, career background, a little of my personal life, and how I got to where I am now.
I wonder where this particular path will take me?
A last-minute change and a life outdoors
I wanted to study Media & Communications at university. Despite getting good A level grades, I didn’t get the results I needed for the course I wanted to do. In university ‘clearing’, a course jumped out at me – Countryside Management.
I have always loved the countryside and being in nature. The photo is me as a little girl with a big stick!
My degree course led to a career in nature conservation and countryside access in the Lake District and later, County Durham.
I loved the practical, ’hands on’ life. The dry stone walls, fences, stiles and paths I built and native woodlands I helped to plant are still standing strong today. I know, because I check on their progress!
Promotion and back indoors
My job as an outdoors-based countryside officer led to promotions. Before long, I was managing teams and heading up environmental projects, but I was on relatively crap money and indoors most of the time!
Upping my game
As a manager, I had developed skills including:
- Copy writing for grant bids.
- Web copy writing and website management.
- Leaflet and interpretation panel copy.
- Giving talks and presentations.
- Email marketing (when Mailchimp had just launched!).
- Stakeholder engagement.
In search of a new challenge, I moved into regional government. For five years I was a Programme Officer specialising in Communications. My responsibilities included:
- Events management.
- Programme support.
- Internal and external communications.
- Supporting Chief Executives, senior officers and elected members (learning heaps on the importance of confidentiality and diplomacy!).
- Providing support to HR, Leadership, Coaching, OD and Business Process Improvement programmes.
Then the organisation was wound up due to a change in government.
A fork in the road, and motherhood
I was facing redundancy…and 6 months pregnant with my first daughter. Reluctantly accepting this complete change in pace, I was at least able to spend 18 months with my lovely new baby daughter.
Looking back, I realise I experienced postnatal depression. I think this lead to my needing something outside of the family, something of my own to focus on.
Luckily, as my parents were retired, they along with my husband supported me with childcare. I investigated starting my own business, and looked again at another lifelong interest I had taken for granted. Holistic therapies.
Off I went to my local college to get my anatomy & physiology and body massage qualifications, further training in in aromatherapy, and two Reiki attunements.
In 2012 I set up a mobile holistic therapy practice, and started working with a spiritual mentor over several years.
Then along came daughter number two!
With a three year old and a baby, the mobile therapy practice no longer worked for me.
I needed a stress-free, predictable income so I went back to my love of admin and worked in the charity sector in Executive Support.
Then I applied for a part-time role managing a small civic charity, which I still do today, alongside my business. I do love the variety.
Launching Jackie's Virtual Bureau
Running my therapy practice gave me a real passion for being my own boss.
My sister in law had been working remotely online right from when it first became a ‘thing’. I was fascinated to learn more about how she ran a digital marketing support agency from home, and I knew I wanted to do something along those lines.
In early 2018 I began training with Freelance University to refresh my skills, and by June 2018 I had launched Jackie’s Virtual Bureau.
My passion for working in the background, being hands-on and supporting others underpins my entire career.
It’s NEVER too late to change, grow or pivot, just follow your heart .
About the author
Jackie Salmon is an email marketing expert, Kajabi specialist and web designer based in the North East of England. She loves to support 'people who help people' and works with coaches, therapists and consultants, helping them to market their services and products online.