What does it take for someone to get out of their work and leap into freelancing or having their own business? And when one finally takes that leap, how does one make sure not to fall to that same pattern of anxiety and discontent?
In this episode, I talk with Laura Robinson of Worditude. She pours her heart out as she shares her journey from working full time, freelancing to having her own business. We covered essential topics from setting your boundaries and how your website can help with that, knowing what is possible and going for it, and so much more. Listen up and see how her story resonates with your journey.
Laura Robinson is a digital copywriter. She’s been self-employed for 12 years now. She helps people who sell their expertise to help other people create or build or grow or manage their businesses.
She helps people stay focused on making marketing plans, sticking with them, and making super simple sales frameworks for them to follow using their website.
Hi, I’m Ruth, a business coach specializing in helping freelancers and business owners adjust their mindset and their marketing so they can get fully booked with clients they LOVE to work with. I’ve helped hundreds of self-employed women achieve the time and money freedom they craved.
I’ve started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was grateful for any work that came my way. After over 20 years of freelancing and working for other people, I started to realize I’d created a glass ceiling for myself.
In 2017, I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time that I wasn’t doing what I loved and fulfilling my true potential. It took a critical illness to give me that wake-up call. I don’t want the same to happen to you.
You can expect practical advice, inspiring stories, and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb all the obstacles you have been putting in your way.
I’m on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business.
Free stuff: https://www.ruthgilbey.com/next-client
Hello and welcome to the Inspiring Women in Business podcast. My name is Ruth Gilbey, and I'm a business and marketing coach. I'm on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business. Now I started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was just grateful for any work that came my way. After over 20 years of freelancing and working for other people, I started to realize I created a glass ceiling myself. It was in 2017 when I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time that I wasn't doing what I loved, and I wasn't fulfilling my true potential. It took a critical illness to give me that wake-up call. And I don't want the same thing to happen to you. You can expect practical advice, interviews, inspiring stories, and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb. All the obstacles you've been putting in your way.
Hello, and welcome to the inspiring women in business podcast. I’m really delighted to say that I have Laura Robinson with me today from Worditude. I'm interviewing her today. So over to you, Laura, do you want to introduce yourself and tell everybody a little bit about what you do?
Hi, yes, I’m a digital copywriter. I've been self-employed for like 12 years now, so, really long time. And I help people who sell their expertise to help other people create or build or grow or in some way manage their businesses. So I'm really focusing on helping those people that kind of trapped in this echo chamber of seeing all the different ways you can market your business because you've got an idea of how you want to market your business, but you're also looking at your clients business. And you're also at the same time looking at all the professional development that you need to do so that you know how to work with your clients. And it becomes a bit overwhelming. And that was the space that I've been in for about eight years as a copywriter and working for other people's businesses. And now I am helping those people stay focused on making a marketing plan, sticking with it, and making a really super simple sales framework for them to follow using their website. So they don't keep getting distracted trying to do all the things all the time.
That's really interesting, Laura, so would you say the ideal clients that you'd like to work with are coaches and consultants?
Business coaches, website designers, social media managers, online business managers, virtual assistant, LinkedIn coaches, you name it, anyone who even like photographers, videographers, people who are working in other people's businesses all the time. And so they, I feel like that for us, we've got that. Like it's relentless comparisonitis, you can't not be comparing yourself to your clients all the time because you're exposed to it all the time. You can't not be looking at all the different ways that you could market and sell your business because that is your job. And you have to be looking at it all the time. So it's like a really unique, challenging set of circumstances that we work in. And I worked as a copywriter working for all sorts of businesses for the first eight or nine years, and only like this year, I've decided to focus on this little audience that I really identify with. But because it's just so much tougher for us to stay focused, and we're like the worst at marketing our own business with our 101 ways to do it. So we do none of them because we don't know where to get started. And actually, if you have your website set up in the right way, and you have a really clear offer that people that you want to be selling and your audience wants to be buying, it can be so simple. And so that's what I wanted to focus on was helping us like people like me, copywriters, social media managers, people who are surrounded by that noise, stay focused on this really super simple way of selling things.
That really resonates with me, especially because you've been helping me with my copy over the last year. So what led you to have the business that you have today?
While the beginning was just a shower of tears and sadness, and nothing very, like I look at people who resigned from jobs that they bravely set up their own business and think that is amazing. That is not what happened to me. I just couldn't cope anymore. I was working had two young boys. They're 21 months apart. And I went back to work in a middle management position in a financial services company. With like two toddlers, effectively two toddler boys, one of which had additional medical needs. He was in and out of hospital all the time for the first two or three years of his life. My mom was ill at the time as well. And I just literally wander. I couldn't speak. I couldn't speak, so I went to the doctor to have a note that was just written out that I couldn't. I couldn't talk to anyone. I was so broken, and I resigned from my job. I took a year off just looking after the children and starting to feel better and frantically looking for local, what my options are so that I don't have to go back to work. I had to. I told my family that I was on unpaid leave from work. I hadn't told them that I'd quit my job, but like, literally walked out on it with no notice and wasn't going back. So I was hunting around for things that I could do. And obviously, you just learn how to build websites, because who doesn't learn how to do that. And when they look like they need to make money online, I need to figure out how to build websites. So I had a short stint where I built my websites, and I made money through affiliate income, which is not. It wasn't joyful in any way. So it was really it was like, that's like 10 years ago. So an example is when the iPad came out, people couldn't believe that you could use this thing with just your fingers. And so they were searching for iPad pens because the kids with the palm pilots, you had to have a pen, and so the iPad pen was like a keyword phrase that was up for grabs. So I had a domain that was the iPad pen, and I sold affiliate links through that to sell iPad styluses until like two years later, the world caught on that you can just use your fingers, as there were loads of like little websites like that they that made a sort of a small amount of money. That was fun because I could see like, wow, this is like magic money. I don't have to go out of the house. And money comes in, like in checks. And but it wasn't very satisfying work. You know, it's not fulfilling for your soul writing about stuff like that. And so I'm busy, I could build websites. So a couple of people asked me to do it for them. And I also want a toy blog. This is long. I'd like the longest version of how I ended up doing. I was running a toy blog, and I went to an in London at the start of every year, there's a thing called Toy Fair, where they showcase all the toys that are going to come out this year that This in itself was fascinating. So by this point, they've already decided what will be the big winners for Christmas that year. And we're doing it in like February. It was great had to sign non-disclosure agreements. So I could go and see the latest LEGO sets and toys for movie releases stuff was great fun. I got chatting to some people that were selling website services, they had a store up, and they were pitching their website services to the toy companies. And I was talking to them about who writes the content because I was just starting to really enjoy it. I didn't like building the websites. But I enjoyed writing the words that went on it. And they said, Oh, well, we just like whoever in the office has got the least amount of work on they’re the one that writes, what goes on it, I thought that doesn't sound very efficient. And so that's how I started working for agencies finding the copy for the website. So I thought I'm done. I don't want to build them anymore. I'll just write the words for them. And I did that freelance through digital marketing agencies for I don't even know now, like two or three years. And then I had no control over who the clients were, so you probably heard my dampproofing story before. I wrote the website, copy, and blog posts. We needed SEO blog posts for the dampproofing company. And so I worked ages on this project, and I got paid for it was fine. And then I got an email from the agency. It's great news. They love the work so much they've given us the whole franchise. And we had like another five websites that were all about dampproofing, but in different locations to write. And something broke inside me. And unfortunately, I'm not available for that project. And then, I set up my own company to search for my own clients and have a bit more control over the type of things I was writing about. And that was so my business birthdays in March. So that was six years ago, in March this year, that I set up my own company. So it was around about now six years ago that the dampproofing company broke me and made me realize I needed to be brave and speak directly to the clients and find my work.
How did you start your business?
I don't even remember how I got those first clients. I remember deciding straightaway that I knew I had to make it a limited company. It was as easy as simple as that moment breaking me again. I cannot work freelance like this anymore. This is not fun for me. So I'm ready to kind of have my own brand and my own identity and start pulling in the kind of clients I want to work with. And I set it off as a limited company against all of the advice of everyone who was talking to me like that doesn't financially make any sense to do that. But I felt like I needed that separation because I just so long had been a freelancer or working for somebody else that, and it just felt like having a boss that I needed to have like its own identity for it to be a real thing. And then I could almost treat that business as one of my clients and write a website for it and write marketing content for it as if it was a client of mine. But the purpose of doing it was to pull in more clients. And I honestly don't know. It was probably a Facebook group just being in Facebook groups and answering people's questions and stuff. I wrote a few blog posts. I put things out to friends who knew friends that you know, and then that pulls in your first few clients. I had a little run of nutritionists. So I would do the website copy for one nutritionist and say she'd say like, Okay, this is all my mates, they want help too. So you'd end up with like waves of the same kind of project because they were bringing in their friends. Then it just grew mostly by word of mouth and just like this sheer determination that it wasn't going to go back to work and fire agencies because I was totally done with working on these like projects that I had no heart or soul, you know, wasn't interested in it. I was just like functionally just writing the words just to get the money at the end of the project.
So were you doing everything yourself?
I build the website myself, would make all the graphics myself, and my husband's an accountant. So at least I didn't have to do that. He was he did that I did absolutely everything for myself, I can't remember what the first thing was that I like I hired someone else to do for probably to get some sort of business coaching be the first thing that I paid for. And then I just ended up being really good friends with that person. She was like my case to start off with, and now we're friends. And actually, you know, the first thing I paid ever paid for was I wanted to have a, like a logo and a character design. That was the first thing I paid for. And again, like, I don't admit this person, Louise online, she was a graphic designer, and she said his email back to me, okay, it's going to be a couple of days too late because I'm flying over to our second home in San Francisco. And I was like, This person is living my dream life. She sounds amazing. And we ended up being really good friends and with this business coach, and even to the point that I went to her wedding. So it's so funny how, like, when you make me think back to the cause, actually, that's the first thing I've paid for my business. It was so long ago that I've even forgotten, you know that that happened. Because now, in my mind, those people have moved on to be like my friends, not part of my business anymore.
So when did it get to the point where you thought I'm enjoying what I'm doing, as it sounds like it was a real evolution for you.
I think even like from my very first customers that were for my own business. I really enjoyed it. But even then, there were times when like just freelancing. I loved it. I got a freelancing job where I had to write some blog posts for Formula One dedicated website. And I love Formula One. I was like, I'm getting paid money to write about what I love. And I really hope that that would turn into something bigger, but that project didn't come off. So there were moments. And also, just like, the idea that I didn't have to go out to work was still I enjoyed that. Even if I didn't particularly like the things, I was writing about. And for my first clients, when I had my own business, I could straightaway enjoy doing that because I could see how much they love doing what they were doing. And I could see how I would speak to them, or they're too big, to begin with, are so shy wouldn't even have a worker with them. So most things were done via a questionnaire, and they would write the answers, but I can see in their responses how much they love doing what they did and the impact they were having on other people. And so I felt like, you know, like vicariously through them, I was able to have that same kind of impact. So I was helping them reach more people. So I think from the beginning, and I still go through this cycle work, I think, Oh, you know, what I do doesn't matter at all. You know, in the scheme of things, I see people achieving these amazing things with their businesses and really transforming people's lives. And I get a bit down and thinking, oh, you know, you just like write some words. That's not that exciting. And then after myself, when you write the words, you help those people reach the people that they're helping. So in some way, you're like part of that relationship, even if it's indirectly.
Have you always loved writing, Laura? Is it always been something like it's part of what you do?
Yes, I'm less self-conscious about my accent now, but I went to so I'm from a seaside town in Essex, my parents are both from like northeast London. So in my like, when we're all together, especially when my granddad's there, it's like Call the Midwife meets The Only Way Is Essex. And we will kind of like get it down into sounding the same way. And when I was 11, I passed my left and plus and I went off to a grammar school in the next big town. And a lot of the people there had been to like a private school. They didn't speak the way that I spoke and say. I felt like when I spoke, I sounded stupid, but I could write in a way that made me sound clever. So I learned really quickly to like, just be quiet and be like, you know, invisible during the day. And then I would send him this homework of this like beautifully written essay. And so I would like when the teachers over like that, and I love buying essays and stuff for exams, that was a piece of cake. I love that. I could do that all day long. I absolutely could not stand up in front of a room of people and speak to them. But I could sit and write a 5000-word essay and thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. So I hadn't thought all in writing, that's something that I'll do for a living. So it just was like a means to an end, like what you had to do to get your grades. That's what I had to do to get through university. And then I went into my corporate job. I've had really wanted to work in marketing. I really want to do a degree in marketing. But that was kind of a bit sniffed at. You know, like when you do business management, because you're coming from a grammar school. So I'll do that. So I did business management made sure that every elective module I could do was in marketing. And then, I joined this financial services company on their corporate graduate program and chose as many marketing positions as I could, so I mostly worked in marketing communications. So a lot of the time, I was writing in that role as well. But then I would write, and then we would have these corporate guidelines applied to it. So it would scrub any degree of like personality or connection out of the thing I have just written, make it sound as bland and boring as everything else they published. I still enjoyed writing in the first place. And I really enjoyed this idea of communicating an idea. Like I would speak to them even with working with the board of directors, and they would have this idea of what they needed to get across. But they had no way of making that engaging so that they could bring the rest of the company along with them. And I really liked being able to build that connection between what they were trying to communicate and what everybody else would understand and connect with.
What advice do you have for those who don't have a website or are neglecting their website?
Well, you know, it's completely understandable that this happens. The cycle that I see happen is so, for whatever reason, the website is out of favor like it's not up to date. It's not. It doesn't reflect how they want their business to be going forward. And so they get into this cycle of doing all of this information via social media, you connect via direct messaging, you just get someone on a call, you go back and forth via email, it's like anything you can do to avoid them seeing your website. And that works, and you get sales. And so that gives you positive reinforcement. Actually, I don't really need my website. That's a complete waste of time. Because if I just do it this way, I can make sales. And that's true. If you just carry on the way you're doing it, you can still make sales, and it does work. But it's inefficient. Because you have to do all of this mental load every time someone connects with you. If you have a website that has really solid boundaries around what you charge, when you're available, the types of people that you want to work with, then the quality of leads you get through that are so much better than easier. Yes, you can have emails pre-setup or brochures and things. So it's just like a click of a few buttons to lead them through the sales process when you don't have that in place. Every time you get someone who's like a word of mouth referral, or they found you via the website, but they're not really a good fit for you. You've got that draining mental energy of either going back to them and awkwardly explaining why. Yes, you know, my website does say that I do this, but I don't really do this anymore. Because I haven't updated my website for six months, or what I see happen more often is people feel so guilty because their website says that they do this thing, or they work with these people that they just say yes to those wrong people anyway. And now they've got no time to update their websites. They're really busy doing work with people they don't want to be working with or doing work that they don't want to be doing. So I can see you get stuck in this cycle thinking that you don't need it. But actually, you're not aware, because that's bringing in money, you're not aware of what that is costing you in terms of time, potentially more money if you'd update your website, put better pricing on it, and just the energy and how much you're falling out of love with your business. Because you're stuck in this cycle of honoring what's on an old, outdated website and having to like manually sell people, one person, at a time while desperately trying to keep them away from the website and keep them engaged, like via your Facebook messages or your email. So what I would say to them is just I would think just stop and think about what it costs you as like in terms of time and energy. And you can even map out, like in the last two weeks or the last month, how many contacts you have, how many leads if you had, How could your website have supported you to make sure that that was a better quality lead, or they were easier to convert? Or you could have been charging them more money. Or you could have set better boundaries around what was within the scope for the project and what's outside. Imagine in your perfect world. If your website was set up exactly as you would like it to be, what could that have achieved for you in the last four weeks? And then Okay, well, if we fix it now, it can achieve that in the next four weeks. But if you never fix it, you're just stuck in this cycle forever.
That's so interesting. I'd never really thought about the energy required to qualify a lead and how our website can help you with that. I mean, it makes complete sense now, and a website is an integral part of your business, isn't it?
It can be like I think partly it's because, like personally, I'm naturally good at holding boundaries. I am a yes inclined to be a yes person. And I want to be accommodating, and I want to help people. I'm the eldest one of four children. So I'm pretty sure where I know where that programming came from is like being the second mom. So for me, a website is an opportunity for me to say this is how much it costs. This is what's included in the package. These are the days that I'm available to work on this. These are the people that I do it for. And I'm just as bad as the next person. I don't always keep that up to date. But I'm way less inclined to go off and do things like via email and Facebook Messenger. And I just don't feel comfortable with that. I find that really energetically draining. And what's I mean, I'm an introvert as well. So that would be more draining for me to have these individual conversations. So for me is an easier option to have the website doing a lot of that kind of boundary setting for me and qualifying the leads and expectation management so that by the time somebody clicks in a call with me, like, you know, my conversion rate for that is massive, like 90% almost every time by the time they begin the call, it was going to be a yes. Anyway, it was just like a friendly chat, then at times, it tended to be a no would be I would talk to them again, you know, actually, I think you need this thing instead, or you know, you need more time to sort your offer out or you'd be better off with this person. But the website would do so much of the heavy lifting for me. But that's because I was naturally so averse to selling in person. I love seeing if the subtle signals that you send on your website and your social media are so like just mentioned that you'd got kids that you work from home that you know you take fares, or I tell time Tuesdays I'm off work because we got to the farm like that's the way that you repel the people that are going to be bothered by that. Like I'm not an agency. It's just me. You may wait two days for an email reply. But that's another way of boundary settings just saying this is me this is the way if you don't like it, that's absolutely fine, like a few pop, but there'll be enough people left behind that are happy with that, that I can make a living from it. So for me, their website is a really important part of the kind of like my stake in the ground, and my line in the sand like this is who I am. This is the business I'm running. If you like it move forward with that if you don't leave, and that's okay too.
It sounds like you spent a long time working on your boundaries.
I feel like my pattern of behaviour still every time like walk into something, have it smack you in the head, and then go, okay. And here's how we make sure that that doesn't happen again. Yeah, I'm not amazing at anticipating things coming, but I'm definitely getting better, like getting that feel, you know, that feels like, I'm not sure that this is going to pan out. So maybe we should bail out now. I think I don't think so. Personally, I don't even know I've got a boundary there until somebody crosses it. And then I think, Oh, I didn't want to do that. But you know, this time around, I'll do it. Because if it's really not appropriate for me to do it, you know, outside my realm of expertise, that I think I'd do a very good job on it, then I would say so. But you know, a lot of times, it's something that I can do. I think I actually don't. I don't really want to be doing this long term. But for this one person, let's just we'll go ahead and do it, see what it's like. And then remember, this is how we make sure we exclude this from the project, or you know, we don't even put a price on it. I don't want to do it, or it costs this much because we are going to do it anyway, even though we don't want to. So yeah, I'm just I'm not very good at knowing what my boundaries are until they've been crossed. But I am very good at honor it, like knowing that that person is not at fault because they crossed an invisible boundary. And if it told them about, you know, I don't take it out on them. I couldn't go into myself after, you know, after the event. I go, Okay, what did we learn from that? What was the boundary that I wasn't aware of? Was there? What can I do in the future to make sure that that's not the course? I don't know if I'll ever evolve to the point where I can, you know, anticipate it beforehand.
I always say some blessings in the lessons. So Laura, what led you to have a membership and then a course?
Yeah, so I've had the membership for like three or four years, or at least four years, and the membership came about because people were asking me for help like ad hoc help for copy asking me questions, and then say, we need a way to be able to pay you. So I created the membership as a kind of container for a small group of friends who wanted my help all the time to find some way of paying me. Then I created the materials inside it that would help them write their website content because that would be easier for me. If you know, instead of having to individually explain how to write an about page, there was just a course like, this is how you do it, and they followed it. And then I would give them feedback on what they'd written. So that kind of evolved in that direction. And then the start of last year, like the last 12 months, is such a blur. At the start of last year, I thought I needed to take out the write your website was such a separate. It was just a defined goal. You know, you could there was a beginning and end to it, it was really, you know, people who needed to rewrite their website was so much more work than the people you know, they needed so much more help and hand-holding and feedback, than people who already had a website that they were up and running they were happy with. So I can see that that was as they were separate markets, that was a separate thing. So I bought it out. People inside the membership still had access to it. But I created this separate program. So it was a higher price point to get started working with me. And we did it as like a really intensive live two-week event with dropping calls every day that was envisaged when I thought like I naively last year thought yeah, we'd have to lock down in March, and then life will be back to normal by the summer. And so I'll run this program in September, and it will be so easy. And I'd set this program up and have different kids that are out of school life was not back to normal. And it was really intense. And then I hung in there and thought, okay, we'll see what happens, we'll run it again in January, run it again, in January. Still, the whole world is upside down. And so just that format of the intensity of trying to cram everything into two weeks is too stressful for, you know, people who had other things going on. So I added on three months of support off the back of it so that it was less stressful. And now I've decided to make it like an evergreen program, but without the live calls available every day because it just that doesn't work for me either. And I'm really interested in exploring this idea that we don't like to have calls where people need to be in the same light in a particular place at a particular time. That's the thing I find difficult in my life is to commit to being in a particular place at a particular time. And I think that's something that the last few months have shown us that's really difficult to commit to because if your kids suddenly want you at that time you want to be with them, you don't want to go wait an hour, because I've got a call right now and I'll come back to you or you know, if you don't already fine, don't feel like I'm in the space where I want to work that particular hour, I want to be able to rest and then being when I feel up to it in two hours time, then I'll do it. So I'd be really interested in exploring this idea of how can I have more flexibility over when I am working when I have to concentrate? How can I make that fit with when I'm naturally productive, and when I feel engaged and inspired, and I want to be doing it. So I'm looking into what we are going to do. And we found this technology that will enable us to have a video chat button within the course so that people can leave me voice messages or video messages, or they can just type out if they prefer, and they can upload files. So it's like being on a call. But we don't have to be there at the same time so they can say what they need to say, and then I can pick it up when it's a good time for me, and I can respond at a time when I feel like most people get in the headspace to be able to respond to that. And so that's how it's gotten from being like a program inside a membership to being a program that was this like really intense live two-week event to now is essentially an experiment as an evergreen program, but to see if it can tap into making it work for the person doing the course as much It works for me. And for us to be able to work around our own, like energy and availability and time. And when it suits us, and we don't have to, like marry up, those don't have to be at the same time.
What have you learned about having your own course or membership?
I think so. What I've learned is, I looked at things looked at it as this is how it can be done. So I could see how people ran memberships and how they run programs and how they did launches, I could see what platforms they use, I never started at the point of thinking, what is it that would work? What do I want, what works for me, so I looked at what I thought was possible and then made the best of that. It was almost like looking at a box of Lego. Like these are the pieces that are available to me right now. This is the technology that's available. And in fairness to myself, the technology that was available to me when I started this business six years ago is completely different from the technology I will now be used to build the business of my future. So what I want to do now would not have been possible six years ago anyway. But I definitely had this kind of fixed mindset of here's the Lego pieces. These are the tools that are available to you. And these are the different ways you can construct them to create a business. Now, which one do you want to go for, rather than thinking, this is the kind of work I really enjoy. This is how, you know, this is the type of thing that drains me. This is a type of thing that I really enjoy doing. But it also leaves me out of energy. So I need time to recover. And I didn't know myself well enough to create a business that played to my strengths and allowed me to do the things that I most wanted to do and have enough like rest and recovery time and be like a perfect balance of, you know, stimulation, but also rest and relaxation at the same time. And so now I would say you've got the two camps, you've got what's in the box of Lego. Like what are the resources and tools that are available to you. But equally, think about if there were no limits at all, as to the tools and technology that was available? How would you design this business? It doesn't matter that everybody else does a drop-in call once a month for their membership, or the other people get guest experts in to create the content for them, or that other people launch three times you like. It doesn't matter how other people do it. Those are ways that might work for them. And they might work for you. But you can just think about what it is that you'd like and you'll be able to make it work life. I've seen so many different business models now, especially businesses on paper, like how was this a business? Like how does somebody make money from this, and then you get inside it like, oh, wow, you make a lot of money? It's very successful. And there's a really tight niche of people that absolutely love what you do in the way that you do it. So I know now that you can create something that's absolutely perfect for you. And because you will be so positive about it and so engaged and so happy to put it out in front of people, you can make that work as a business rather than just trying to cobble together something that's okay by you, but practical because you can, and you know. You can see how you put the tools and software together to make it work.
That's really interesting. I think actually, Laura, you said to me once, there are so many different ways to do things, there are gurus telling you this way and that way. But it's really important that it's aligned with us and how we want to run our business and how we should start there first.
Exactly. Say I home educate my kids before, and they've been home educated for three years. And so and since then, I've started to really see, like the patterns of behavior and thinking that the school system ingrained in us. And then we still carry it through as adults and a hunt. Like to me, that's where that line of thinking comes from. We were conditioned to believe there was a correct answer. And you will either get it or not. And your success depends on you knowing and writing down that correct answer. And that's how you are worthy. That's why you know, teachers like you, you'll be able to get whatever you want in life, if only you get this a grade because you knew what the right answer was. But in reality, that is not like life is not like that at all. It could be 101 different right answers, just pick one and keep going and test it and see if you enjoy it. And if it works for you, and it might work for five months, then you might go. I don't really like doing that anymore. And you can change it because it's your business that you can do whatever you want. So I'm really into looking at that, like what is the stuff that I'm carrying in my head? That's not true that I was the belief that I've gone into this with and that's one of them that there's this one way of doing things and you've got to you better guess it, right? Because that's your success depends on you guessing this thing, right? And you don't, and so many sales pages play on that. Like that's, you know, marketers use that to their advantage. They make you believe that? Yes, you're right. There is only one way of doing it. And I'm the only person that knows what it is. And if you give me the money, I'll show you this one way, and you'll have the secret just like I've got everything. No, there isn't. There's no one secret. There's no one way of doing it.
You know, even us marketers get sucked into thinking there's one way of doing things, don't we?
I know, and when you buy it, and then it says exactly the same thing as what everybody else says this, I've just put together a really short course I was doing over the weekend and repeatedly through it. I said like I honestly feel a bit embarrassed about putting a course together, but it's because it's so obvious and it's the same message that you've been told over and over again, but I'm that is that this is how it works. Like this is how marketing works. There isn't like this magic secret. It is this. This is what it looks like and just trying to get acceptance from people that you've seen it now, you don't need to keep paying for courses that are going to reveal the secrets of marketing because it's basically the same concept of taking someone who doesn't know you at all, and warming them up until they're happy to give you money and then keeping them so happy they introduce your friends like that's, that's it like there's not a big secret. That's all there is to it.
So do you think it starts with trusting yourself first?
Definitely, like to trust that first to be able to listen to yourself and know the difference between like your instinct saying, Oh, yes, this is something I really want. Or no, this is a terrible idea versus fear going No, no, no, don't do that. Don't do that because that's really scary. I think that it's quite difficult to know the difference between the two. And that's definitely something I've been working on. How to sit with like, what how does that feel and feel into? Like, why is that a no? Why is that a no? What could change to make it a yes? And just really explore it because it's not black? And white? Is something to Yes or no? Like, if it's a no. Okay, what would need to change for it to be a yes. What could you do about that? Is there anything that would make it a yes and start sort of poking around to see that sort of the shaded area in between the black and white? No, just like what's in that middle ground. And that's sort of helping me to make better decisions, or put things in my own terms that make a decision, but also make it work in a way that I want it to work for me. I love poking around. And so my favorite question to ask myself is wherever, wherever seen this before the little come on? Okay, what else has been a bit like this? And I'll be able to go back and figure out, you know, find, oh, there was that time when I was 17. And I had that Saturday job or eight, and that customer was rude to me because she thought I was doing this wrong, or you know, there'll be so many scenarios, it'll just pop into my head. And actually, that's as much work as I need to do just to ask the question, say, what, what does this remind me over? Where have I seen this before? And you can see like, how much baggage I'm dragging in from the last 40 years into this one scenario and loading it up in a way, you know, that's not in any way a reflection of what's happening right now. It's just all this past stuff being brought into play at the same time. And so that's definitely helping to make better decisions as well. Because then I can go like, Hey, this is what I need to deal with now. And this is the old rubbish that I need to go away and deal with later. Because obviously, it still weighs me down.
So Laura, what's the best advice you'd give to someone who wants to take that leap into having their own business?
If you can do anything to get into that space of being really curious about what's possible? So I've had so much privilege being in other people's businesses and seeing, like, what they sell and how they sell it. And what's really exciting for me is as my children get older, so she's like, my oldest son isn't interested in photography. And that's what he wants to study. And he's like, what, what's that going to get me? Like? How am I going to get a job, and I'm trying to get him into that curious space of like, imagine what is possible as we try and see like, that's someone's job. So showing them on the Formula One, like there's that photographer there, they're not using that for the newspaper that engineers use the photographs that he's taken of other people's cars, and they use it on their car like that is someone who gets paid to travel the world and take photographs of people's cars, or on film sets, like that's the continuity guy, he gets paid to take photographs of the set at the end of the day. So trying to get him to be open to like, there's literally I couldn't even list all the ways in which someone who was good at photography could make money out of photography. Rather than that, I've got to be a wedding photographer or take pictures of babies because those are the only two things that we ever see. So that's what might work. My advice would be what is the thing that you're good at the skill that you love to use, and just look out into the world and see how many different ways you could make money out of that, like make a list, try and get to 100 try and get to a ridiculous number of ways that seem ridiculous ways of making money. But like I was so outlandish that you couldn't imagine that it's even true, but you have seen that someone makes their living like that. And then that was like, just get you into that curious space of wondering what's possible for you. And you don't even have to pick one of those 100 that you've listed. But once you've seen what's possible, you'll be looking at it from the point of view of, "Okay actually, I want a bit of this and I want a bit of that I, want a bit of the other" rather than thinking about I've got to be a wedding photographer or newborn photographer because those are the only things we've seen there's a reason why so many people go into teaching and nursing and firemen because when you're at school what do you want to be a teacher nurse or a fireman? What do you see teachers nurse and felt like those are the only people you interact with in I live in a really small village, so it's the same as shopkeeper or teacher that's basically your options and so to be able to know what you want you to need to be able to look outwards and see what's possible and try and find like the more ridiculous, the better because that's where the fun stuff comes in.
What's helped you see what's possible?
I just read and watch. I feel like I'm so into stories like real-life stories made up stories. I will spend as much time as I possibly can be wrapped up in some kind of story. I've always been like that when I was a kid. I would read as I would just read a book a day. I would get through them so fast. And yeah, I can. I would just sit in my room and just read a book. So they were obviously very well, you know, before people worried about kids being addicted to video games, I shall never amount to anything sat in a room reading a book. I'm still the same. I've always got at least one book on the go, at least two or three television theories love to watch films, seeing the stories that our mixture of real-life stories that are about real people also completely made up fantastical stuff I just think has helped me to like push my imagination and think and I like to take a little bit of each story. So even if it's about something, it's not at all relatable on the surface of it, it's not relatable to me, they'll still be a little bit. So I think I'd like to be able to spend my time as that person did in that story. Or we'd like to go and see that place that we just saw in the film and watch them Monday, we watched Indiana Jones, and the Last Crusade was the last one to get us the kids. We've got the day with me, what was it you'd like to do here? Like, I would really like to watch one of the old films, at least when they were little, they would watch a film at the start of the day and runoff from play like the game of the film after they watched it. So they chose this film. And they're like them. Petra isn't a city of picture features in the film. So we're just watching a film and then the kids like, is that a place? Can you go? Oh, wow. So we're looking at the history of it. And can you go there and what's going on with it right now. So that's where I get it from is that we're always tapping into stories. And then we just take a little bit of it and go, this is the bit that we're going to keep in, and now that's part of our life, this idea that we want to go and visit that place because we've just seen in a film.
How can people find out more about you, Laura?
You can go to my website, which is wortitude.co.uk, which hopefully, by the time this goes out, we'll be up to date. Right now, it's just a holding page on Facebook. And Instagram is just forward slash wordtitude because that's a made-up word. So nobody else has it. So I'm quite easy to find.
How did you come up with the name Wordtitude?
It was a brain download like I have these moments where while I'm thinking about doing something else, and I was just sat in front of the telly. One evening, when I was thinking about having those before I had my own business, that was when I was freelancing, I probably just got the news that I was going to do another seven dampproofing websites, and I was figuring out how to bail out of that I could see it the word and then these like line of colors. That was going to be it, and as I called that the name of the business. So yeah, it just came in. But obviously, it was churning away in the background somewhere before it made its way to the front. That's how I know that that's how everyone's brain works. But that's how mine works like it will be chewing there's like different parts, and it's chewing away quietly. If I just distract myself with something else for long enough, then the piece of information that I need or the insight and will just wiggle its way to the front and go Hello, I hear you need to know this, and I'll write it down, and then I can get on with the rest of my day.
Thanks so much, Laura. It's been wonderful having you, and for everybody listening, you can find links and more about Laura in the show notes.
You're welcome. Thank you for having me.
Thanks for listening to the inspiring women in business podcast. I hope you found this episode helpful. If you did, I would love it if you would leave me a review. Also, I would love to connect with you on Instagram. That's where I hang out most of the time. I'm @Ruth_Gilbey. I'll put a link in the show notes for you as well come and connect with me. Tell me about your business. And also tell me what you'd like to hear next on the podcast. And lastly, go and check out the business building hub on my website. There you can find more amazing free resources to help you take the next step in your business. And you can also find out other ways that you can work with me. I'll see you soon.