The story of ‘Mums in Marketing’
I am often asked how ‘Mums in Marketing’ came about – how I went from being a marketing manager to where I am now?
To answer that question, I thought I would share the ‘story’ of HOW Mums in Marketing came to be.
(*Cue fake smoke and atmospheric music as we head back through the mists of time)
I come from the “I fell into marketing actually” stable.
After leaving school I bounced around various jobs, including training to be an estate agent and training to do car bodywork repairs – talk about not knowing what the hell I wanted to do!
For a while, it looked like it was going to be sales, but I bloody HATED the targets So after some travelling, a stint of living in London, working in various admin roles and back to sales via a detour as a customer service agent for a car rental company, and a stint as a mature student on a journalism degree, I finally shuffled myself over to marketing.
I’m going to be painfully honest. I blagged my way in and hoped for the best.
After a trip to New Zealand, I worked in radio and even on-air for a bit (with my Barnsley accent I am not sure how!) but this led me to radio events.
When I came back from NZ, I was hired by Real Radio in Leeds, part of the Guardian Media Group, and under the steerage of John Myers (a sadly departed radio legend!) My MD, Steve was amazing, and the team were like family. I had found my ‘marketing home’
During this time, I met my husband (that story is another post!) and we had our first baby Claudia
I remember spending my pregnancy telling everyone ‘this baby is going to ‘FIT IN’ with my life, not the other way around’.
HA!!! Yes, I really did use those words. Talk about the winner of first prize in the no–idea competition!
The arrival of Claudia built me and destroyed me on the same day (Christ …bit dramatic I know!) But to cut a long story short, I didn’t go back after maternity.
Instead, I became the most annoying mum at baby groups.
I always had ‘a good idea’ or an ‘angle’ to make it happen.
Bless them, they were literally just trying to run the group, but post my ‘important job’, (in my head it was anyway) I was desperate to keep up the pace, and for me that was to ‘encrouage’ them to do things bigger and better!
Jesus, they must have absolutely dreaded me arriving!
I went freelance when Claudia was two. My first client was someone who KNEW what I could do, who had worked with me previously and was CONFIDENT that I could deliver.
Except I was NONE of those things. I suffered from crippling imposter syndrome.
Worrying in the night, overthinking, triple-checking work, doing well OVER my hours… driving up and down the motorway in terror that I was going to be ‘found out’.
This led to me having panic attacks and going into shut-down for a bit.
I did work in between and did pretty well – but I was always trying to ‘over-deliver’ and I never sorted out the balance between ‘Career Claire’ and ‘Mummy Claire’.
I landed a decent job after my son was born. It was a traditional marketing manager role – which my GUT told me was not right, because it has a shit load of digital stuff (which I know virtually nothing about)…. but I took it anyway…. because it was the most money I had ever earned!
I spent the next 6 months …
Freaking out that I was rubbish/a failure/going to be ‘found out’
Crying to my husband at night
Googling the shit out of everything
Struggling with the changing priorities of the ‘management’ team
Comparing myself to everyone else
And NOT HAVING A PLACE I COULD ASK FOR HELP
To be fair, I was pulling it all out of the bag and doing an OK job.
I launched a website and the new product at an event in America – it went spectacularly!
So finally, I started to settle down and think it was gonna be OK…
I was ‘making it happen’ on no sleep. My son used to wake up in the night for between 2 and 3 hours. I used to be virtually hallucinating by 10am from too much coffee.
Then guess what? I lost my job.
I went through all of that, and then I lost my job.
You couldn’t make it up
When I spoke to my two pals who are also ‘mums in marketing’ I realised I was not alone. The amount of plate spinning, that we were not talking about, blew my mind!
WE ARE AMAZING!
I also realised…MARKETING IS HUGE and it is impossible to know ALL the answers.
I started to think about how we many of us were trying to have a grasp on everything.
We needed a place to get all the swears out, to celebrate our succeses and to build confidence. Not through the pressure of having to know everything – but by being part OF something, where people felt the same way.
This led to the creation of our Facebook community, and then becoming an ‘NLP Confidence Coach and Mentor’ for Mums in Marketing, but I wanted to do MORE.
After some time, I could see we really had the potential to make things happen – to create change.
I could see the level of talent in our community, the connections that were being formed, how relationships and TRUST became our foundations.
The MiMs were creating change – Our Membership started to take shape.