HerStory Number 10 - Julia Day, Independent Girls Collective
I’ve brought back my female empowerment blog series - HerStory. It’s all about celebrating the career journeys of some fabulous women in business, their highs, lows and the lessons they’d like to pass on.
There’s no better person to relaunch it with, than my gorgeous pal in business and IRL, Julia Day from the Independent Girls Collective.
So Julia, thank you for being my first new guest! Do you want to introduce yourself & what your business is?
My name is Julia Day and I'm a business coach and founder of The Independent Girls Collective, which is a community and learning platform for female business owners combining practical need to knows like accounting and pitching with mindset help - because you can know you need to do something, but if you aren't in the wrong mindset you'll never actually do it!
I also work one to one with creative female business owners to help them build unstoppable self-belief, map out the steps they need to take to reach their goals and build businesses which give them freedom, flexibility and fulfilment.
This is incredible! I absolutely LOVE everything your business is about. What you did before you launched the incredible business?
Before I was self-employed I worked as an accountant and business project manager helping small businesses to get off the ground by helping them create their business plans, financial forecasts and helping them to get all the legal stuff like forming a limited company and registering with HMRC sorted. It was a bit like Chandler's job in Friends, hard to describe! I also managed a team and helped them to develop their skills, which is where I first fell in love with coaching. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing someone go from being terrified to do something to being super competent and confident and knowing you did your bit to help them get there.
Quite a difference to an office accounting job, but incredible you’ve been able to make use of those coaching skills! What made you take the leap?
The company I worked for was tiny, and as a result we had no boundaries - I'd be contacted during evenings, weekends and even while I was on annual leave! Unfortunately, this impacted our work environment hugely and although I've always dealt with anxiety, it started to get much worse and take a turn into depression as a result of this toxic work atmosphere. I was signed off work and the way my employer handled this was so bad that I ended up resigning. Not the most inspiring story, but sadly I know many business owners who have gone through something similar. I'd started a blog teaching freelancers how to manage the financial side of their business a couple of months before and it had gained a bit of attention, so I decided to turn it into a business.
It sounds like you’ve had quite a journey! I love that you’ve been able to use all of those lessons and experiences to fuel how you shape your own business and self-employed life. What would you say the proudest moment you’ve had so far is?
I can't pick one! It sounds so cheesy, but anytime someone tells me that I've helped them to feel more confident or take the next step in their journey it just makes my heart glow. I guess achievement wise, writing for Blogosphere magazine was a huge achievement for me as when I was younger my dream was to be a magazine journalist.
I LOVE a bit of cheese! And yes, it might be cheesy but it is your truth and I can see how much that genuinely radiates throughout what you do. Looking at your business growth, what part would you say social media has played?
Social media has been the single biggest factor in building and growing my business. When I first started out I would use Twitter to find freelancers who were struggling with tax or finance and share blog posts I thought would help them which really helped me to make a name for myself as the go-to girl for all things money in business. More recently I've switched to Instagram as I love the visual nature of the platform and its features make it really easy to share your personality and what you're up to, and I host my community in a Facebook group which allows us to share content, support each other and hold live workshops.
So social media has had a huge impact! I honestly probably couldn't have built the strong business and incredible community I have now without it.
That is honestly flipping awesome to here! I am all about the power of online community! Have you got any advice for anyone thinking of starting up on their own?
Any problems you face can be solved, so don't let anything put you off starting your own business if it's what you really want to do. Every obstacle you find can be overcome. It can be hard work, but then again, every job has its difficult moments.
That is such a good thing to remember! Doesn’t matter how overwhelming something might seem, there’s always steps that can be taken to resolve it. Is there any advice you wish you'd had at the start of your journey?
I wish someone had told me to get over my shyness and just be more confident instead of worrying about what others might think! I held myself back so much in my first year of business because I was afraid to shout about what I did in case somebody criticised me. It really stopped me from reaching my full potential and getting more clients and it's so important that we show women that it's okay to believe in themselves and be able to say that they do great work.
Oh, I completely relate to that. I had a horrid mix of shyness and people-pleasing until about 7 months in. It’s difficult to shift, but when it does you can really come into your own as a business owner I think!
Final question, just a little fun. If you could pick one song to fire you up for the working day, what would it be?
Thunder - Imagine Dragons (Listen to the playlist so far - HERE)