I’m not quite sure how it came around so quickly, but I’m very proud to be celebrating the first birthday of Yellow Bird Digital at the beginning of July this year.  If I’m honest the anniversary kind of crept up on me because I’ve been so busy lately, and it’s been a year of ups and downs in my personal life as well as in my business, so it’s been great to take a little time out to reflect on my year gone by, and also to look forward to what’s coming next!

Making the move into running my own business was a relatively easy decision, due to the work position I was in at the time.  My London-based job was winding down, the traveling was getting on top on me, and I wanted the freedom of making my own business decisions.  In theory all I needed was a laptop, a mobile phone and some clients, right? And so, I went for it and Yellow Bird Digital was born on a very productive Sunday afternoon.

The name is something I’m asked about regularly.  Yellow birds are symbols of good luck and joy, and I love bright colours and birds – my flat is full of various bird decorations and I’ve also got a tattoo of a magpie on my side.  I wanted a brand that reflected my personality and work ethos, which I feel my name and logo does.

So, with that sorted I just had to bring in those clients – which is easier said than done!  In my first month I made barely any money, and spent most days worrying that I’d done the right thing.  If I’m honest I didn’t stop worrying until month three when something just clicked and I realised that running my own business is amazing!

The great bits

  • I get to be my own boss and live life on my own terms – I work really bloody hard and rarely switch off completely, but if I want to go to the gym at 9am or meet a friend for coffee, I can. I can also work pretty much wherever I like!
  • I’ve met a bunch of amazing people, from clients to fellow small business owners, my network of likeminded people in Glasgow is growing every day.
  • Getting to work on all sorts of projects – this week I’m overseeing a food photoshoot and last week I sat on an interview panel for a client. My day-to-day is never the same and I love that.
  • Feeling like Beyoncé! There’s something about running your own business that makes you feel so empowered and amazing, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
  • Seeing my clients succeed – there’s truly no better feeling knowing that I helped that happen!

The not so great bits

  • Juggling and wearing lots of hats – admin, finance, salesperson, all while trying to juggle all my clients’ needs – but it comes with practice and gets easier when you ask for help!
  • Being solo can be lonely – having a network of supportive friends and family is a godsend, and hot-desking has really helped me, as has having a business mentor.
  • Money worries – they never go away completely but you just have to believe in yourself – see above on the supportive friends and family!

What I’ve learned so far

  • Yes, you are amazing – if running a business was easy, everyone would do it. I have a blackboard in my kitchen and a board above my desk with my 2018 mantras on them and I read them every day.
  • Keep those supportive people around you – they will supply you with hugs, advice, high-fives and more.
  • Take time out for you – I go to the gym or run most days – it keeps my sane and lets me switch off which is invaluable.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself – sometimes things go wrong, potential clients say no, you lose a day through being ill – shit happens and you’ll always get through it!

What’s next for Yellow Bird Digital in year two? 

Year two marks the beginning of a new chapter for my business which I’m really excited about – I’m teaming up with my fellow marketer and long-time supporter Lindsay Hammond – who also happens to be my sister! We’ve been chatting about it for some time and as the business as grown I’ve seen the opportunity for us to grow our brand and look after more clients as a team of two.

So what does that mean for me? Someone to bounce my ideas off, someone to help my bring in more clients and someone with lots more amazing marketing ideas. It also means someone to hold me accountable for my business decisions and someone who won’t put up with any of my shit (even though she’s the younger one!) so it’s going to be an interesting year ahead.

So here’s to another year of Yellow Bird Digital (with two birds in the nest this time) – I can’t wait to see what this one brings!

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