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Small business chat update – Annabelle Beckwith

14 Oct
Small business chat update – Annabelle Beckwith

Here’s a lovely update with my friend Annabelle Beckwith of the consultancy, learning and development organisation, Yara Journeys. I’ve known Anna since our very first day at university, and now here we are, both running our own businesses, me working on my own and interacting with almost all of my clients remotely, Anna out there interacting, training, facilitating and helping people to grow. I first interviewed Anna in 2012 and again in May 2013, September 2014 and February 2016. Her goal has always been to keep growing personally and in her business, and she’s also been working on side projects such as books and online materials. Let’s see how she’s doing now …

Hello, Anna! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Yes and no: I’m still writing and delivering training programmes and travelling the world, but I’m now focused on productising my knowledge. I’m writing a book and setting up a branch of my website to sell training products and business games and scenarios

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I’ve grown a LOT in the last year in a personal development sense. I’ve realised that there’s more I can do if I just push myself out of my comfort zone a bit, so that’s what I’m doing. I’ve also realised that I don’t want to grow a huge company which I them have to ‘manage’ – I enjoy working with a range of colleagues and associates from project to project, so I’m going to carry on doing that, rather than succumb to the pressure of being an employer.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I’ve learned a lot about mindset and about finding one’s purpose and following that, rather than trying to plan life to the nth degree (and it never plays out that way anyway) In some respects I wish I’d figured this out years ago – on the other hand, if I’d come across the people and information and learning that have come my way this year, I’d have missed them because I wouldn’t have been ready to learn, if that makes sense!

Any more hints and tips for people?

INVEST in your own personal development. And do it properly – not just a few piecemeal workshops here and there or freebies from the local business enterprise agency. Invest in YOU because that’s who’s driving your freelance business!

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

I’ll still be writing and delivering programmes and travelling – but I’d like to be speaking at more events…and of course my book will be finished and my online business will be up and running

It’s always a difficult decision when you get good and well-known and then you need to choose how to grow. I’m like Annabelle, I don’t want to become an employer, and I don’t even contract work out or work in partnerships and collaborations myself – although, to be fair, that’s easier to manage when you’re in the training and development field than editing and transcription. I’m sure Anna’s chosen the right path, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops her new materials.

The Yara Journeys website can be found at www.yara-journeys.com . Anna can be contacted via email.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 14, 2017 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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2 responses to “Small business chat update – Annabelle Beckwith

  1. Stephen TIano

    October 14, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I had an interesting reaction when I read this interview. It tuned me in to the feeling I used to get when I had whole years where I was nowhere as busy as I wanted to be with paying projects. And so I kind of camouflaged all that whenever I spoke about freelancing by speaking and posting to social media in more or less the way Annabelle sounds to me. Very smart. But smarter still to realize that there won’t really ever be a time where one doesn’t benefit from expanding one’s knowledge base for the work one does or would like to do.

    Apropos of this, a pretty busy summer of work completed–the lull started much later than usual this year, I found myself–quite out of the blue, actually–staring at a whole series of free lessons for learning HTML, CSS, and some other coding languages. It happens that one of the issues–after my problem with accepting that human readers can adjust how they view ebooks to the point that any design I’ve done is gone (at least non-fixed page layouts)–is that coding skills really are necessary to tweak ebooks into finally presentable shape in most cases. So I’ve embarked on that, even tho’ the lessons are all obviously teasers for full-length courses the issuer of these lessons will hope I’ll then want to pay for. It’s been a good HTML refresher, and I’ll see whether I’m ready for some self-teaching books afterward.

    That all said, it’s smart of Annabelle to write a book that will highlight her expertise in her field. Early on, I did one such kind of book by a few doctor’s whose practice was a relatively new method called Lasik. I don’t know how their sales of the book went or whether it was a giveaway to prospect patients or what. But it was a neat little book, attractive and filled with info about the procedure. I always thought it couldn’t help but establish them as the go-to doctors for Lasik back when they published.

    Which raises the question, too, of how Annabelle plans to bring her book to press. Does she already have, or will she be seeking, a traditional publisher? Will she self-publish? If the latter, of course, I’d love to discuss doing the design and layout of her book.

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    • Liz Dexter

      October 18, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      I believe Anna’s doing her book with an organisation she did her previous one with, who handle all the production side of things, although this might not be the case. I find my books useful for establishing my expertise, but never seem to find the time to write the fuller one on transcription I want to do! Also need to push on with personal development, in my case learning more about macros!

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