5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started My Public Relations Agency

It seems like yesterday when I packed my life into 2 suitcases and moved to London, England with my husband to pursue my master’s degree. How does time go by so quickly!? My dream was to work with global brands and London was the centre of international business. I wanted to have my own PR agency to help other business owners build their reputation and influence.

When I was completing my master’s degree, we spent as much time as possible traveling around Europe. I remember feeling so exhausted from studying and my husband was working for the London Olympic Games so we planned a much needed trip. We both love to travel so I couldn’t think of anything better for a distraction!

We went away for the weekend and I came up with the idea for Pink Pearl PR on a cocktail napkin in a pub in Cardiff, Wales. I reached out to my network in Canada to tell them about my business plans. Through my network, I was able to get started with a few PR contracts and my agency grew quickly.

Before I set up my public relations agency, there are 5 things I wish someone had told me (so now I’m telling you).

1. Success does not happen overnight. True failure is never trying. 

The most successful female entrepreneurs are not the ones that instantly succeed. They are the ones that get up, take notes of what did not work, brainstorm, and keep going! True failure is never trying in the first place and you cannot build a successful career or business if you give up too quickly.

2. Confidence comes from taking action and helping others. 

Focus on how you are going to help the person you are writing that book for or how much it will help not just your client, but other members of the team if you get your project in on time. When you are focused on helping others, you are taking action and your confidence will grow.

3. A side-hustle will increase your career success. 

There is a common misconception that having a side hustle that makes you money outside of your full-time job will make you less successful, and less focused, on your employer. However, the opposite is true. By having a side business, you are showing ambition. You are building your network and personal portfolio. You are in a constant state of learning whereas many employees may not be, putting you at an advantage. Grab my side-hustle planner here.

4. Nurture your relationships. 

If you want to be truly in touch with life and build a successful career, do not lose touch with the people that matter to you. Make time for close friends and appreciate your team members. Truly successful, happy people are not all about work. They know the importance of nurturing and maintaining the relationships that make all that hard work worthwhile.

5. Narrow your focus. Stop and listen. 

If you are overwhelmed by distractions, try focusing only on one single task at a time, ignoring everything else. When so much emphasis is on doing, achieving, producing in the entrepreneurial landscape, many entrepreneurs forget to really stop and listen so they can focus. Listen to your customers and clients. Listen to your followers. Listen to your peers and especially to your team. The most successful people know how to listen and follow through.

After listening to what my clients needed, I created the Public Relations Academy, an online membership to help business owners build their reputation and influence. If someone wants to hire me to work on their public relations strategy, they need to have a healthy marketing budget because they are buying my time to pitch them to the media. I recognize that there are a lot of start-ups that want to take a DIY approach and inside the academy I give them the tools to get publicity.

Read my interview in Thrive Global about my public relations career journey and a few MORE lessons learned along the way.

Isabella Oliver Ltd. (Canada)

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