When I meet people, especially clients, the first thing they ask me is where I’m from. So if the same curiosity is going through your mind, here’s my potted history.
I grew up in a remote area in the Philippines where there was no toilet, no running water and no electricity. (Don’t ask me where we did “it” because I’m not telling. All I can say is that we were extremely house proud and our house and garden were always clean.) I can’t remember how far the water well was, but I remember being unhappy when I had to collect water with my sister. School was about one hour walk, so I guess it was not that far, I only had little legs. As there was no electricity, the only entertainment I had was a battery operated radio, some comics and my imagination. Of course, there were dragon flies to chase and fire flies to catch.
Entrepreneurship is in my blood. My family owned a little shop that sold everything, from salt to beer. I learned how to give change before I could count to twenty. As early as five year old, I knew the importance of customer service. We were the only shop for miles around, we were literally a monopoly but my father never took it for granted. I was told never to frown when I was minding the shop and never to argue with a customer.
It was a wonderful time. We had a little farm and a shop so we were never hungry. Since there was no television, I never saw what I was missing. Unfortunately when I was nine, in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, while my family were busy preparing and cooking for the evening’s party, rebels came and pointed guns to our heads. That afternoon changed the direction of my life forever. A few months later, we moved to the city and life became harder.
At twelve, I got a high school scholarship at a girls school ran by Benedictine Sisters. There, I learned that instead of being a problem, I could be a solution even if I didn’t have any money. I also learned that practice makes perfect. We were not allowed to speak unless we speak English. Except on Mondays, when we had to speak the national language. So, either never speak while at school or learn English. I learned English. I wrote poetry, short stories, plays and news reports in English. I also wrote a paper contending the use of the English language as a method of teaching, just to be contrary.
I went to university in 1992 and four years later, I left with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, a little knowledge of human nature and a lot of experience in writing mission statements, strap lines, advocacy campaigns and petition letters. The knowledge was courtesy of my involvement with the volunteer organisation that raised awareness amongst the youth about street children, poverty and environmental issues. After graduation, the university offered me a teaching post in one of their schools to teach English. I jumped at the opportunity.
For two years, I taught English literature and Research but I realised that if I wanted to stay, I needed to go back to university and take a post graduate teaching course. With no savings to fall back on, I decided it was not right for me. So I left and headed for the capital city. I dipped my toes into telemarketing and discovered right-away that cold-calling was just not right for me.
In 1999, while taking night classes on computer programming, I had a bizarre experience. I met someone who informed me that British Telecoms was looking for a country manager. The next day I went and applied for the job. A few weeks later, I was flying to Hong Kong for my first telecommunication training.
In 2000 I met a wonderful man who swept me off my feet and convinced me that England was the best place to live. A year later, I found myself happily shackled and back to square one with my career.
To get myself back up in the career ladder, I took small steps. For a few months I worked as a check-out girl in a supermarket until I found a job as an office administrator for a small family business. The business allowed me to grow. I was able to use my computer programming training to build a simple website, my artistic flair to design catalogues and my writing skills to write sales letters, e-mail shots, newsletters, classified ads and web content. The business grew from two men team to five men and I developed my role from office administrator to marketing manager by the time I left in 2010.
In 2005, I also set up an online shop and ran it along my day job. I used my new honed skills to market the business. In the process I learned that e-mail marketing and press release were two of the best and inexpensive marketing tools. The marketing campaigns were successful in bringing in over 3000 visitors to my website every month, but I neglected a very important part of the business, the supplier. When my supplier went, so did I. With a new baby in the family, I decided that the best way forward was to pack up and walk away from the business and continue working.
Finally, in 2010, I decided that if I was to succeed as an entrepreneur, I needed to take the risks and jump from being employed to self-employed. So I handed my notice and set up my copywriting business. All my skills were self-taught. I might not have the diploma to show for it, but all my life, I’ve been prepared to run a business. I’ve used my marketing and copywriting skills in practice, therefore I knew which worked and which didn’t.
If you need SEO articles, web contents, sales letters or e-mail shots or marketing consultation, just give me a call on 07801 952 383 or e-mail me and we can discuss how I can help. You can also visit my website at www.justwriting4u.co.uk