Karen Skidmore Q&A Interview
Can you share your back story with us, a bit about your childhood?
I was the eldest, with 2 younger brothers so I guess my early years bossiness has given me the solid foundations to being a business leader today. I had a very happy, comfortable family life; moved around a lot because my father worked for Shell so we followed the classic route of Cheshire, 4 years in Holland, back to Cheshire before heading South to live my teenage years in Surrey as my father went to work at London HQ. I remember at the time being quite fed up with always changing schools and having to make new friends but it allowed me to fear little as I went off to Uni, travelling and starting my career. I’ve grown to love change and constant evolution over the years.
Were you a determined child or has that developed?
I was very determined, according to my mother. Fiercely independent, too which my mother loved about me but also felt sad at times that I didn’t reach out to hold her hands as I went into strange rooms and new surroundings. I never really knew what she meant until I had my own determined, fiercely independent daughter; proud of her strength but also wishing I could mummify her a times, too!
Can you share something about yourself that is not widely known?
I’m actually an introvert. A lot of people who get to know me online, from my FB posts, videos and email newsletters, and then meet me, often assume I am a natural extrovert. Believe me, I love to party and enjoy a good night out on the tiles, but if I have the choice, I’d always choose PJs, sofa and a good book. I get the bulk of my energy from solitude and it’s taken me many years to understand this.
How and when did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
I had no choice, really. When I decided to move on from my Director role with Hays Pl, it was because I wanted to spend more time as a mum. And there really was only way to go back in 2004. I wasn’t prepared to get a part time job in a library or as a teaching assistant. I knew I still needed challenging and I wanted to develop my creativity. So I initially trained as a life coach and it was started up as a self-employed coach that got me off the corporate career ladder and into entrepreneurship.
Tell us about your businesses…
I’ve done a lot over the past 14 years; from running a successful membership site for 4 years through to online courses and group coaching programmes, I now focus on designing and creating business models and marketing systems for coaches, consultants and experts. I’m a natural business mechanic and thrive when teaching and creating lead generation and sales systems for people wanting more freedom in their businesses.
What did you give up to get to where you are today? What did you have to sacrifice?
I don’t feel I’ve sacrificed anything, to be honest. Anything I’ve said no to or decided not to do, was because at the time it wasn’t right and I’ve never regretted it. I have had to give up being a control freak, though. This is still very much a work-in-progress but I know that building a team is critical to my long term success right now.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?
Admit that I am good enough. No one can grow their business without first growing themselves. And although I’ve plenty of opportunities over the years to double, treble, quadruple my business, I was not ready back then. I believed I wasn’t good enough and admitting that was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do … apart from giving birth to my 2 children, of course!
What are your goals for 2016 and beyond?
To double my business turnover in the next 12 months. I’ve just recruited my first employee so I now have a VA and a marketing assistant. And I’m starting to build my tech team, too. Without a team, my double turnover goal would be just a pipe dream.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Do you have any big Goals?
I see myself as the CEO of my business. At the moment I am a business owner. But for me to get my business to where I know it’s capable, I have to make a shift in how I see myself. I have to grow myself first and my business will follow.
Can you share 3 #BizTips for Women in Business (that people can take away and implement)
1) Know yourself. The better you know yourself, the quicker and faster you can grow.
2) Ask for help. You can NEVER do what you need to do alone. So the sooner you realise you need help, the easier business becomes.
3) Invest before you get the sales in. It’s real easy to have a shopping list of things you will want to invest in once you make X amount of money. But the truth of it is that you have to spend and outsource and invest in your business systems to get you the sales you want. It’s not about being silly with your cashflow of course, but your mindset about investing first will transform your business growth.
How can people best connect with you online? twitter, website, youtube?
I’m mainly on Facebook over at www.facebook.com/karenskidmoremarketing,but you can also get me on twitter.com/karenskidmore, youtube.com/karenskidmoretv and instragram.com/karenskidmore and Linkedin, too.
You can read more from Karen Skidmore – What’s Your True Profit? inside #BizRocks Magazine Issue 40