Today is A-level results day. So I wanted to share a little story with anyone not feeling particularly happy with their marks.
I left school with 5 Cs and a D. Not a stellar effort on my part.
I was strongly encouraged to go to a technikon (like a college in the UK) rather than a university because my marks weren't good enough and there was a big push in South Africa at the time to get kids into the job market with actual skills rather than theoretical knowledge. So I did.
I applied for a Diploma in Marketing with a Diploma in Public Relations as my back up. I got accepted into both but at the last minute, switched from my first choice of marketing to PR because the subjects sounded more fun. Such is the brain of an 18 year old.
Three years later I emerged with four distinctions and got my first PR job. But I didn't feel done. So while working, I studied a Small Business Management Course in which I got the highest mark in the class and was awarded distinction for my business plan. But I still had a niggle in the back of my mind that I should have studied marketing after all.
So, while working in a very busy job for a global PR company, I embarked on a three year distance learning Diploma in Marketing Management. At the end of it, I had 8 As, 2 Bs and a C. I was awarded a certificate of merit for getting the highest marks in the entire country for Marketing Communications, Practice of Marketing and Financial Aspects of Marketing.
My point? Don't let your A-level grades define you. It's what you do next and your attitude to it, that matters.
In my twenty years of working experience - 12 of which have been in self-employment, I've come to learn what really matters in the workplace and indeed, in life. These are the qualities that will make you a success regardless of what your marks are. These same qualities are just as relevant to every small business owner out there:
What qualities do you think are the most valuable? Share your thoughts in the comments below or over on my Facebook page.
PS - if you have decided that being your own boss is the way you want to go - regardless of whether you're a school leaver or have long since left school - check out my Clarity Package to help you get started.
As it's Yorkshire Day today, it is only appropriate that I share a little client case study from the city of York.
Hedley House Hotel in York is run by a born and bred Yorkshireman Greg Harrand. He got in touch saying he needed some fresh web copy. I took a look at his site and gave him some Yorkshire honesty, which was: you need a new website.
Websites date so quickly that even though you think you only recently had it done, within a few years that slick site can look a bit dull.
I know Greg, so I popped around to the hotel and took a brief. I wanted to get to the heart of what made the hotel different to all the others in York, a city not shy of hotels.
What came out strongly was that this is a hotel run by locals, who serve local food and have local knowledge. You get a proper taste of down to earth Yorkshire hospitality. Modern touches with old-fashioned friendliness.
I suggested a new logo, new fonts, new colours, new tagline and a better laid out website, with copy written in a tone of voice that matches the feel of the hotel.
Whenever I do this for a client who has their own web designer, I make it very clear how I think it should be laid out and what type of imagery should be used so that it is easy and quick to implement.
I'm pleased to say that the new site is now live - just a couple of weeks after sending the copy over! And it looks fantastic. Take a look at it here - and if you fancy a mini break in York, I can highly recommend Hedley House Hotel.
This is what the client had to say:
'I've read your work and I love it..!! A few minor amendments here and there but it's ace.'
If you need some fresh web copy and some brand direction, take a look at my Campfire Kit service.