Do you ever agree to something without letting yourself think too much about it and then wonder why later? My whole business is essentially built on me doing this, my moments of madness!
I am not an extrovert and marketing myself does not come naturally; networking was terrifying. But, the way I got around it was to Just Say Yes. If I was invited somewhere that I thought would benefit my business, I said yes instantly before giving myself a chance to come up with an excuse. Likewise, if I saw a networking event advertised, I clicked that register now button and considered the nervous consequences later. I happen to enjoy networking now. It still has its scary moments, but it is where most of my clients have come from and it provides some much-needed social interaction, else I spend all day talking to my dog, guinea pigs, and hamster!
But, why am I talking about this now? Well, because I have had two moments of madness in the past week or so, which means I have two scary things coming up. First up, is a 21 Day Facebook Live Challenge with Karen Yates - I am impressed you managed to get me to do this one Karen, I will let you know if I thank you afterwards – and the second is speaking at the February Business is Women networking event at the Slug and Lettuce. Neither video or public speaking are my thing, in fact, they both terrify me, but onwards and upwards, right?
Writing for such a variety of businesses, one of the most common questions people ask me is how do I write about an industry I am not specialised in? The answer? Science. If you don’t know already, my background is in science, not English – I am an ex-marine biologist with a passion for research, writing and, well, dolphins!
It may seem strange and a big career jump, but it isn’t as big as you may think. Writing is a huge part of science generally, but for me, it was the bulk of my previous role. When I wasn’t offshore looking or listening for marine mammals, I was sitting in front of my computer writing scientific papers, our book and other various types of content – reports, websites, social media, all sorts. But, the thing about scientific writing is that it is Written Precisely, well researched and backed-up with evidence – Google is my friend.
Once you know how and where to look for information and understand that the internet is full of nonsense, you can write factually about a whole variety of topics, and that is what I love to do. In fact, I consider to be one of the best things about my job now – every day is a school day and a chance to learn something new. So, what are you writing about today?
Mindset. It’s all about mindset. Think positive, believe you can and you will, but think negative, believe you can’t and you won’t. But, does the same work for business? Think like a business person and create a successful business, but don’t and you won’t? Perhaps. I think so. See, Written Precisely wasn’t born out of a lot of planning, it was more a set of circumstances. It was created not out of a love of business, but out of a desire for flexibility and a love of research and writing - I knew what I wanted and setting up a business was the best way to get it. But, and this where mindset comes in, a business on paper isn’t necessarily a business in the mind. Find a client, write, get paid, repeat. It works. But, think like a business, make a plan, build a strategy, and suddenly everything gets more exciting.
This isn’t a realisation I've come to on my own of course. Far from it in fact. It has dawned on me over time through talking to and, more importantly, listening to people with more experienced business brains than me, through research and absorbing information and through thinking of answers to questions that wouldn’t have crossed my mind previously. It’s a learning curve.
But, having taken the time to step back and look inwards - which I wouldn’t have done had I not attended Karen’s Ideas into Action bootcamp earlier this year - things are starting to click and ideas are starting to flow. I have gone from just doing a bit of networking to developing my own social media strategy and running my own netwalking group and just this weekend I have been pondering how Written Precisely could join forces with Dave Warley Photography - written content and photographs, there is potential there for sure, so watch this space!