As a little girl my favourite thing to do was to pack up my dolls and go adventuring pretending we were living in different countries. By lunchtime we’d usually moved 3 times. Fast forward a few decades and I have lived on three continents and in five different countries with each one teaching me different things.
A born and bred Essex girl I spent the first 15 years of my life playing the violin and piano and I didn’t immediately have the makings of a creative entrepreneur. However, music gave me more life lessons than school ever did. It taught me discipline, focus, commitment, and an ability to apply myself and work hard. It also brought out my competitive streak and a determination to never give up, ever.
When I left school I followed my heart and studied at the Royal College of Music in London, which was all I had ever dreamed of, but when it came time to graduate and think about what was next in my life for some reason music wasn’t top of the list. There was a hunger inside me to try something new and see what else was out there. Other people took a year off to find themselves so why shouldn’t I?
That year turned into a lifetime and I never went back to a career in music. What I did do though was discover a passion for business. By the age of 22 I was running my first company, or should I say it was running me. It wasn’t the easiest road as there weren’t any courses, eBooks or step-by-step videos to show you the way you had to be prepared to sink or swim. Social media didn’t exist, advertising was only for the corporate giants and you really had to go knocking on doors to get yourself noticed. But I loved it and it ignited a fire in me.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though, not by any stretch of the imagination. I made a tonne of mistakes, nearly bankrupted myself and learnt very early on to never, ever, ever, ignore my gut instinct because when I did it spelt trouble. Would I change any of it? Of course I wouldn’t.
I sold my first company after nine years when I moved to Australia and it felt like I had lost someone close to me. As an entrepreneur you invest so much of yourself into your business that it becomes like another part of the family. There was only one thing for it and that was to start business number two, but this time in Australia.
Today, I live in rural France with my husband Richard and my Border Collie Lottie running the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning that now operates from six campuses around the world. In 2017 the Academy celebrated ten years in business with over 3,000 careers successfully launched. Its been quite a journey.