My career has been one of many experience – both rewarding and challenging. With more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, I am a professional at conventional sales and marketing methods. I’ve done the training, practically implemented the skills, and made a lot of money for companies selling their products. There were times where I was remunerated generously for reaching my sales targets, but (fortunately) received a basic salary when sales were tight. During this tumultuous cycle I learned of and how to navigate my finances.
I have revelled in my several careers which included working as a national marketing manager for both local and multinational companies. However, there were time I struggled to prove a return on investment of marketing campaigns and the effectiveness of the marketing teams.
This lead to me to realise that my passion for entrepreneurship was no longer satisfied in the corporate world, and I was reminded of that every day. Furthermore, my INTJ personality also confirmed that I would be better off working for myself.
Being a baby boomer, I raised three millennial boys. They were referred to as the “born frees” in South Africa after the Apartheid regime ended in 1994. My “born free” millennial sons encouraged me not to be scared of technology, but instead to rather embrace it. I am very proud to note that they became the personal and professional mentors of my life.
After I told my family that I intended on starting my own consultancy business, they were very excited for me. The Millennials in the family advised me to upskill my digital marketing abilities, focusing on social media and other platforms as these were now the most effective means to exposing my brand and providing the desired return on investment (ROI) to my customers.
After deciding to sign up for a 16-week digital marketing course, I found myself in the same spot as a few years ago and that was, I was once again a student. Here I found myself not only learning a new skill, but learning about integrations and the digital jargon only techies used. Ironically, I was in my happy place!
With relative ease I had mastered the different social media- and online platforms – an indicator that my consultancy business model was complete and ready to start operating. The social media campaigns I’ve overseen for my previous employers were all organic, but only skimming the surface. My personality urged me to dive deeper into digital marketing, however I needed to firstly acquire that skill. To master an instrument that can prove a ROI for my customers now gives me a competitive advantage in the market. I am no longer vulnerable to depend on other peoples’ understanding of applying and integrating digital systems. A new skill now equips me to be very relevant in today’s world of business.
I have come to the realisation that I might never need or want to retire as my current career offers me a sense of longevity that I had not experienced elsewhere. At this stage, my children know that whenever the time comes, they can put me up in any retirement village on one condition: internet connectivity and internet speed are key!
My consultancy business brings me the freedom to travel and stay connected with business or family matters. Currently, it also awards me the comfort of working online during the lockdown period we are going through during the almost two year Covid-19 pandemic. Customers are as far from me as a link in their inbox; to sign up for our next online meeting.
It seems I am navigating through millennial territory with the hutzpah of a baby boomer!
I look forward to discussing the importance of digital integrations with you in my next blog post.