When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! That's what came to mind when interviewing Hayley and her journey to becoming an award winning entrepreneur. It's only in the hard times, when you find your strength and your resilience, that you never knew you've had within you the whole time.
Hi Hayley, tell us a bit about yourself!
Up until 2019, I worked in several industries. Recruitment, retail, non-profit, local government and in the corporate sector.
I have always had a knack and passion for adapting to new businesses, industries, situations and been a problem solver. So every job I took on, I was excelled at. Giving 110%.
In February 2019, my husband was made redundant and I went through a major period of depression and anxiety. And it made me realise, after a lot of time off and the help of the wonderful NHS that I needed a change. I had never thought of starting my own business.
Since then, unfortunately my husband has been made redundant twice more, but I have been lucky to have been successful in my own business to help deal with the fallout. I now feel that this was where life was leading me all the time. After spending the last 18 months feeling like my family have been on a rollercoaster, I know the adage “Everything happens for a reason” is true. And I couldn’t be happier.
We don't realise how strong we are until we are put a situation like this, do you? Talk to us about your business - Myriad Services...
Myriad was created to champion small businesses. Myriad Services provides consulting, education and support to start-ups and small businesses in their first 5yrs. This is because over 70% of business fail in the first 5yrs. I am impassioned with utilising my 10+yrs in business to ensure that small businesses continue to be created and not only survive but thrive. Giving them the tools, knowledge and support for strong foundations to allow for growth to be built upon.
I also have a virtual assistance agency where we can help business owners get ahead on their admin, marketing, project management, events, lead generation and more. Letting you do what you do the best, while we take care of the rest. And giving you the gift of time.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
One day, during my recovery, I was chatting to my best friend, helping her solve some issue with her business she was trying to get off the ground. I had done this many times with different friends and told them what they needed to look at, and who to talk to. One day my friend turned to me and said
“In a 30 minute chat, you have just solved 4 problems for me, why don’t you start your own business!”
My first thought was that of laughter. My reply being “what would my title be, coach? Telling people what to do? That’s silly”. Later that week it went round in my head. And eventually, I realised what I know can help others, not just my friends.
In August 2019, Myriad was born. So now I focus on helping small businesses every day, with whatever situations they have, or whatever tasks they need help with, which gives me a great sense of purpose.
What have been your biggest learning experiences since becoming a business owner?
My biggest learning experience was actually more around the mental health and awareness of being a business owner. It is hard when you run a business by yourself and at first, at times I struggled. But the one good thing that came out the COVID pandemic for me, was that I jumped into online networking. There, I met loads of new people. Including a few people that became like family to me over the lockdown period. We had never met in person, never spoke before March, but by the end of April, we felt like we had known each other for years. Speaking everyday, sometimes at 1am if we couldn’t sleep. And being there for each other. We have our own chat group and message every day still.
If you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?
Take the leap! It’s scary and it is a big commitment, but if you have the passion and drive, you will succeed.
Nothing is easy and I am not going to sugar coat it, it takes a lot of hard work. But in the end, you will be proud of what you have achieved. Make sure you have the plan in place, this will make things clearer for you to know where you are going.
What has your biggest success/accomplishment/achievement been since starting your business?
To be honest, my first big achievement was just to make enough money to pay the bills each month. Honestly, that was my first goal. And I hit it in the first 2 months. After that, I have been nominated for awards and won some. I am shortlisted for a couple more for later this year.
But my biggest achievement so far must be me! I have learnt to take time to myself when I need it. Not to feel guilty if I need a day off. That is a big thing to overcome when spending so much time in a high stress environment beforehand.
Congratulations on smashing your goals so early on in your business and winning awards! Who is your inspiration?
I am inspired everyday by the people I work with and the other business owners I meet through networking. They are there, they show up and they work hard to make sure they are doing what they can to make their business successful for them.
What book/article/podcast really gave you that OMG moment?
For me it was PR School by Natalie Trice. Reading her book made me realise that I need to be the face of my business. I am the talent I need to shine. I need to be my own media maker. And since reading her book and taking her advice, it has helped me gain more of a presence in helping small businesses. I have since been booked to speak at various events and done multiple webinars.
➡️ You can find Hayley:
Emma Downey | Founder, Women Who Do
Emma can be found glued to her laptop/kindle or embarking on her next favourite hobby. Avid cake-eater, Disney-superfan and passionate about female empowerment, Emma founded WWD in 2017. She's currently travelling around Europe in her converted camper van and eating far too many croissants. You can contact Emma: email@example.com