Hello everyone, Wow so we're in lockdown again in Victoria, I hope that everyone is doing OK and hanging in there. It all seems a bit too soon since we just got out of version 5.0, but fret not, I've got the perfect way to lift your spirits and mood as I bring you a new edition of 'Female Figures', and this week I am so honoured to have had the privilege to chat with Fiona Killackey of My Daily Business Coach.
Fiona is no stranger to the business community as she has supported and coached thousands of small business owners and helped start ups embark on their business journey. Fiona is an established Business and Marketing consultant with over two decades of experience managing marketing portfolios for mega companies like Amazon, Audible, Open University and Mimco. Fiona now runs her own consulting business providing coaching to large and small companies alike, from various industries ranging from lifestyle, retail, design and health.
I first got to know Fiona in 2019 when I was starting out, and subscribed to her email list (highly recommend if you're not on it yet!! Sign up here) It was the most valuable avenue for accessing information from an expert in their trade, as every Sunday night without fail, Fiona would post her weekly newsletter on hard hitting and relevant topics on growing your business. So informative, addictive and absolutely FREE. Fiona's generosity didn't stop there as she has been extremely kind and supportive with providing feedback whenever I've reached out with a query, and not many people would do that these days! Fiona is passionate about helping others pursue their passions and build the business of their dreams. I'm such a fan of her work and it gives me great pleasure to share with you a bit more about Fiona, her business, and family life!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? Have you always wanted to be in business?
Fiona: I guess I have always had that entrepreneurial spirit and want to determine my own future. In my late teens I made earrings and sold them at Camberwell Market. I then started my own fashion label and stocked to a few stores in Melbourne - mainly sweaters I sewed myself and some amazing jackets a family friend made at his factory in Brunswick. I’ve been a published writer since 2000 and in my late 20s I had a branded content business and did everything from writing a newspaper column for Fairfax through to ghostwriting celebrity books, and creating a load of content for eCommerce and fashion “websites” — blogs and content on sites was still kinda “new” back then :). I then moved to London and worked at places like Open University on their MBA program, Amazon UK and Audible UK in senior marketing roles. We came back to Melbourne (after having our first son and realising we needed family support to raise a child) and I fully intended to start my own business, but stalled, lured by security of an exec role and good money. I ended up feeling detached from the company I was working for and realising I could make a real difference to small business owners, who were telling me how stressed they were when it came to brand content and marketing. I spent 5-6 months planning an exit strategy from my last role, Head of Marketing at MIMCO and then took the leap into consulting and business coaching.
2. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped with your line of work?
Fiona: Firstly, I love that it’s in pink which is one of my brand colours! I am kinda obsessed with whiteboards & cork boards and have an entire wall of them in my office. The Moodyboard is the one only that looks really nice as well as being so functional! I use it to keep myself focused on what’s most important - things I want to achieve, mottos to keep me going when life gets challenging, oracle and inspiration cards for moments when I’m feeling uninspired and photos of my support crew and those I’ve love.
3. What does your typical work day look like?
Fiona: I work three days a week and have two days off with my youngest son. I took up time blocking a few years ago and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Mondays are usually for my own admin, meetings with my team, updating Asana, recording podcasts and working on my own marketing as well as catching up on a mastermind I’m part of in the US (the time difference means I miss some of the calls, so I usually have them playing in the background). Tuesdays it’s all about my groups; I run two group coaching programs, another 9-week live coaching program in line with my Marketing for Your Small Business course (open now for enrolments!) and I present classes for other people’s mastermind groups as well on Tuesday. Thursdays it’s 1:1 coaching back to back. I start around 9:30am after school drop off, then finish right at 3pm in time for pick up, apart from Thursdays when I work a bit later and my amazing husband picks up the kids.
4. As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges ?
Fiona: Gosh, so many, especially with lockdowns! Where do I start? Haha. I think the biggest challenge is feeling like you’re not doing a great job at either (work or parenting) sometimes. I try to remind myself that I don’t work weekends or evenings and I’m there for my kids in the way I want to be. This has meant that, at times, I’ve had to turn down amazing work opportunities that others can say yes to, or to miss events that clash with my son’s basketball training or my other son’s commitments. In the end though, I know this time (when they’re young and more dependent on me) is so short and I want to never look back with regrets. On the days when it feels a bit too much juggling it all, I make sure to take some time out just for myself — whether having a cup of tea outside, going for a walk alone, lying in the hammock for 10 mins or calling another mum-in-business friend. Actually, having some friends who have young kids and also run businesses has been brilliant; they completely get what you’re going through.
5. What advice do you have for people who are still struggling to turn their Passion and Purpose into a business to generate Profit?
Fiona: This comes down to knowing the value of what you’re offering and who most benefits from it. Too often I see people get all excited about what their brand will look like - the visuals, logo and social media feed - rather than what the brand stands for and how it’s different, or better, than what’s already out there. Money is something people don’t talk about openly and I really wish they would. Understanding your revenue streams and profitability is absolutely key. In Australia half of all businesses fail in their first three years and a lot of the time it’s down to lack of cash flow and not understanding basic financial figures. I’ve had a number of clients who look “good” and successful by vanity metrics (large IG followings, regular guests on panels and podcasts) but they are working two extra jobs to make ends meet. Really take the time to map out how you’ll make money, who will pay for what you offer and validate and test both of those assumptions before going to market.
You can purchase Fiona's Passion, Purpose, Profit book here.
6. As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out/ thinking of starting a business?
Fiona: So many! I think the big things are to figure out where your money will come from and make sure you’re working to your own financial goals (rather than some random person on social media who told you that your brand should make $X). Spend some time validating your ideas and really getting to know your audience/s. I would also make sure you cultivate a good support network around you because starting a business will put you through the full spectrum of emotions and it’s great to have people to celebrate (and cry!) with. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, really take the time to figure out who you are and what you most want from life and how your business will support that. I always work with my clients on their values and beliefs as these are crucial to understand if you want to create a business that supports your lifestyle.
Exciting news, If you're thinking of starting your own business or just need to get organised with your current business, My Daily Business Coach and Growme Melbourne are also bringing you an awesome giveaway!
Work from home Giveaway(Launching 8am, 7-13th August) where you get to win these amazing prizes to help you with your business setup!
Access to an online course with My Daily Business Coach
A copy of Fiona's book - Passion, Purpose, Profit
A Moodyboard in your colour of choice
A set of Moodyshape Magnets in design of your choice
Head to our Instagram page for the details! Good Luck!
#WFHGiveaway campaign designed by @naiacreative_
Work from home setup, Styled by The Co Laboratory