With business we travelled all over Europe!
Originally from Estonia and Russia, I came to the UK in 2003 to join my mom who got a consulting gig in a London firm. A year later my mom, who was my rock, my support system, my role model and my greatest cheerleader got diagnosed with cancer. Like Steve Jobs she got the nastiest version - pancreas. Unlike Steve Jobs she only lasted 4 months.
I was faced with a major choice - quit my study and go back to Russia, to be with my dad. Or - hustle and juggle everything to make it on my own, for the first time in my life, in a strange new country.
3 years later I graduated with a first class degree in Computing from London Metropolitan University and a fast-rising career in large blue-chip companies in the City - all while studying for that said degree.
I got certified as a Project Manager (PRINCE2) and delivered internal IT infrastructure projects with up to £500K budgets. Project office environment was like sea for a dolphin. I loved the fast-paced delivery schedules, juggling multiple deadlines, co-ordinating people and resources, thinking 3 steps ahead, and emerging on the other side on top of things!
But I never fully fitted in. I didn't like the commute and the daily grind of the corporate routine. I wanted more learning opportunities. I craved variety and challenge. I dreamed about being my own boss, just like my mom used to be.
My first home office!
In 2007 I came across the idea of working as a virtual assistant and helping small business owners run a more efficient and more profitable business. After some initial research TJConsulting was launched in November 2007.
Like with many business, the first year was spent on me learning how to actually run a business as opposed to working for someone. 6 months later I quit my job and dived in full time to work with my first few clients, to network, and to discover what I really wanted to do!
Another year on and my life partner James became my business partner taking over more routine jobs of website maintenance, coding, testing, and making sure all things web were just right for our clients.
Fast forward to 2012 and we had a busy bustling award-winning 6-figure business. I admit I got comfortable. And I took the foot off the pedal with marketing as things were good, stable, and rolling along. We had our 3rd child, moved to Wisbech, I passed my driving test (3rd time lucky!), and did other things in between like qualifying as a school teacher (Maths if you'd like to know).
The little house of cards tumbled around me in December 2014. Our largest client pulled the rug and hired an internal development/marketing team. Suddenly over 80% of planned workload (and income!) disappeared. Things looked bleak, I'll admit. So it was time for a Business Reboot 2.0 and another period of hustling!
It's great when things are going well in your business!
In December 2014 I invoiced the pitiful £519. Less than what our core business expenses were at the time. In December 2015 our sales were over £10,820. Yes, that's 20x growth within one year.
How did I do this? I applied what I knew and what I was already successfully doing for clients: building sales funnels, investing time and money to build my email list, running webinars every 2 weeks, blogging, etc. I can share this process with you so that you can achieve great results too!
Today I’m still responsible for business development, networking and client care. I love social media marketing and running PPC ads (as it involves a perfect balance of creativity and analytics), learning about new developments in the world of IT, launching online businesses and meeting new people online and offline.
I’m a mom of 3 kids (Ellie and Michael a.k.a. Mish and Alice), living in small market town in Fenland, near Cambridge.
I’m learning about gardening and growing own vegetables when the weather is nice. And do Zumba, yoga and swimming when it’s rainy or cold.
My whole family! 🙂