I never thought I would see the day where I would be writing about 2 businesses that I have ...for me it's a bit of a pinch me moment so I will start at the beginning! Darcy the Dingo, my first love in business that it is, began simply with an uncle (my brother) in Australia, wanting to connect with his niece and nephew (my children) in Ireland. As the ideas progressed into a business, Darcy the Dingo is now a character who wants to be able to teach and encourage children in a fun new way through letters, postcards and online (with a parents / guardians consent) With learning so much setting up Darcy the Dingo and with the encouragement of Samantha Kelly, I set up Socially Solved. Socially Solved aims to help start-ups and small businesses to solve any of their social media needs and a little more to help them on their journey. Both businesses are my passion and work hand in hand along with my family who were my inspiration to finally became the entrepreneur I always dreamed of being.
A lesson I learned and share with others in business is to truly trust your gut. There are many people out there who will want to "big" your business up (this cost me a lot of euros) and then unfortunately some who will not believe and trust your passion. After my business journey to date I tell people in business to remember the following: - Why did you set up your business? - define what success means to you ..... not others! - Believe in your own instincts and not others
Where do I start with the best tip - I think don't believe all that you hear. There are many "experts" out here who claim that they know all the answers and want to help you. While their charge may appeal, it really doesn't mean they are real. Make sure you know who you are working with, research who they are.
I have learned that taking time out is very important and I think with working from home it can be harder to get away. I have set a space set aside for work and work alone so once the door is closed, that is it (sometimes I sneak in!!). on days when it can take over, I try to remind myself as to why I am doing this for myself and my family and I make the time to step away.
I think for me it has been to have the confidence to believe in myself. While in many ways I am a confident person, deep down I can place a lot of doubt in myself. With associating myself with the right people around me, I have learned to dispel those doubts and believe that not only that I can but that I will succeed and I will achieve the success that I have defined for me.
I'm smiling thinking of this! Had I been asked two years ago I would have said it was gaining a grant and matched funding from the bank for the business plan I presented in 2016. The reality is that while I had a great plan, had great support and advice ...it didn't go to plan and this held me back in myself. Today, my proudest moment is just doing it, trying and reaching out to the right people who really want to support and work with me.
Ha, ha, funniest mistake now looking back was believing the initial business plan I made! It was as per financial advice a conservative plan of the market I wanted to target and I really dis strip the figures back so much so to 0.0001% of the market in some areas. The reality was there were a lot more factors that should have been considered further that seemed easier to help me reach my target market. I laugh now as it really was a learning curve and I am on the way out the other end and I am doing it!
I think I would tell myself to be open to what people say and to be aware, what do they really want from you? Or do they genuinely want to be able to help you?
Flip, this is VERY tough to answer as I love music to inspire me and I love to sing away to myself as I listen to them and feel excited about the journey ahead, so with that in mind, I am going to name a few ...sorry. - Greatest Day - Take That - Shine - Take That - This is me - Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman) - Get back up again - Anna Kendrick (The Trolls movie) - Happy - Pharrell Williams Above are to name but a few along with "Thank you for the Days", Kirstie McColl, which was played at my mothers funeral. It makes me cry but it makes me smile too as I am grateful for all that I am blessed to have.
Along with it always being a dram to set up my own business, my "why" has changed from those initial dreams to become, I am doing it for ME! With these changes I am benefiting my family along with myself not just in a financial way but by me now feeling there more to me, than just someone who gave up their career to become a stay at home mum. I feel, now "This is me"!
Since my first summer job at aged 12 in J.F.K Arboretum in Rosslare I have held may roles with my career progressing to Hotels, where my final role was as a Reception Manager and was involved in the opening of a new hotel. I then became the Office Manager of a new Recruitment office, then an Office Manager within an IT Company leading to one of the best roles, becoming a stay at home mother which now has been topped off with becoming an entrepreneur who can work from home!
My personal mission which ties with my professional mission is to remember my why so that I will reach my success which is simple but for me, but it will make a difference not only for me but our family. I have a set figure and when that is achieved = success ..... when it exceeds, I will be bopping to many an happy tune!
I think my own personal USP is that I am open to learning, ideas and I am willing to learn from my mistakes.
There are many, so many that I would love to help but my starting point is Crumlin Hospital. Not only did they help many young family members but they helped our little lady two years ago after an accident she had and we couldn't be more grateful for.
If I was in a position to and they were to, I would offer them mentorship and depending on the direction of their business and internship too. Along with that, I would suggest to them places as to who they could speak to such as WIN, LEO etc.
For WIN members, you know where to find me! For others, you can find me as follows:
Darcy the Dingo www.darcythedingo.com
Socially Solved www.socially-solved.com
Not sure if these are interesting but here it goes!
1. I was on the RTE Today Show for a "drop a dress size" programme for about 6 weeks
2. I competed in the main arena in the RDS for an inter-schools competition
3. I have a false tooth for over 10 years and as my mother-in-law says "you'd put teeth in hens" ..... and yes, I did, this hen!
While I could do with a new laptop for work, I would treat our kids to their first foreign holiday.
I actually cannot remember my first unaccompanied concert. My first proper gig besides Christy Moore & Stocktons Wing in Maynooth Uni was with one of my brothers when I was about 14 to see Eric Clapton. I think my first unaccompanied gig was Bon Jovi.