"It’s good to have some realists around you but it takes balls to start your own thing" - Liz Spears
I had the pleasure of interviewing Liz Spears who has recently made the transition to self employment to support wellness businesses from a marketing perspective. I always find peoples motivations behind taking the leap into self employment so interesting, don't you? Enjoy babe!
Hi Liz, thanks so much for being involved in the Girl Gang Chat! I would love to kick off with an intro to yourself please:
I’m a freelance marketing consultant working with small businesses, mainly in the wellbeing industry.
What was the deciding factor for you to go self employed?
I absolutely loved working for Lorna Jane activewear for 3 years - getting to know the wellness industry was a huge revelation for me. I finally found my work ‘home’, an industry that set my passions alight! So for me freelancing was a decision based on the fact that I would be able to work across a range of wellness brands instead of just the 1. I met so many wonderful businesses throughout my time at LJ and identified that a lot of them needed marketing support but couldn’t necessarily afford to hire someone with my experience full time. That’s where I really saw a potential for being able to help these brands and get a lot of fulfilment from doing so.
What do you love most about working for yourself?
I love that I can choose to work with brands and people that I’m passionate about. I’m curating my own personal marketing brand through the businesses I work with and that feels fantastic! I thrive in an entrepreneurial environment and really enjoy working with company owners to diagnose and solve issues. The variation of the day-to-day, and the challenges that come with small business life is a lot of fun. The mix of working in-house with some clients, and remotely with others, allows me to have more freedom with my lifestyle which is something I was craving for. For me, the variation and flexible working set-up produces so much more creativity and a lot of fulfilment.
What advice would you give someone looking to go self employed?
Plan the work, work the plan - and trust that process! Be patient whilst working hard, it really will pay off even if it feels slow to start off with. Utilise your community - your peers are invaluable. Your friends and family can support you but people doing what you want to be doing are the ones that will give you the best advice - they really ‘get it’ and will keep you on the path that is true to what you want. It’s good to have some realists around you but it takes balls to start your own thing and seeking encouragement from people that have done it themselves is the best antidote for when doubt creeps in.
I know you have been in the fitness industry for a while, I would love to get your thoughts on diversity & inclusion within the industry and how this can be better improved?
Some brands are doing such a great job of diversity & inclusion - brands like Nike and their ‘plus size’ mannequins. I couldn’t stand the negativity around that, I think that we should be inviting absolutely everyone into the fitness and wellness community and be fiercely supporting each other. Who are we to judge someone’s ‘health’ by their size? It’s outrageous. I think that studios like F45 and Ministry of Sound Fitness have created very inclusive communities. Their foundations have been built on having trainers of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and so on, and therefore attract a varied clientele. There are a lot of brands and fitness studios who are unfortunately at the complete opposite end of the scale and have a long way to go. I think that they could improve their diversity and inclusion by firstly taking a step back and doing some real work on what business changes they need to make in order to be far more progressive in this area.
What would be your dream project to work on?
I love working with businesses that are working towards making a positive impact on people and the planet, and aren’t just churning out products for the sake of basic consumerism. A dream project would be to work on a big campaign or event that results in raising awareness for a really important issue.
Would you recommend any resources you found useful for any readers considering self employment?
I’d say have a delve into some research - find podcasts, books and email newsletters that really speak to you and what you want to achieve with your own business. I listened to and still do listen to a range of Podcasts like Kristina Karlsson’s ‘Your Dream Life’ for some big dreaming and reassurance, and business-focused ones like Strategy Hour and The Change Up for business advice and personal anecdotes from real business owners who have been through their own unique challenges inevitable come with setting up your own business.
Finally, what is your favourite quote of all time?
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.” Henry Ford.