When I first started The Wardrobe Angel I met Isla from Ruby Star Associates at a networking event. What struck me, alongside the bright red lips and the vintage dress, was the sheer energy that Isla expended. There were over 40 women in that room that day and Isla stuck out. A year later I was in need of some help - my business was off the ground but it wasn’t moving as fast as I wanted it to. I seemed to be unable to articulate what made me special and different: in other words I couldn’t distil my own awesomeness into words. I needed help with sales and could’ve gone to a hardcore sales pit-bull for some wise words but I cowered at the thought of using language to ‘hard sell’ and ‘close a deal’. So I called on Isla, and thankfully I am still here today.
I wanted to kick February off by finding out what was next for this sales powerhouse. And after about 10 minutes of Skype chat we hit gold: in conjunction with Salford University, Ruby Starr Associates are interviewing the spouses of entrepreneurs to find out what effect self-employment has on children, money, time, sex – everything. By finding out what really goes on in those relationships, Isla and her team of associates can start to tailor make their products to suit those people: by finding out what people really want, they can give them what they need. The interviews will be conducted anonymously but I have a feeling that the information will be wildly anticipated, sought after and shared. Here’s one example of self-employment affecting a relationship which Isla shared with me:
“A stand-up comic is working the comedy circuit work all weekend. His partner is doing a normal Monday - Friday job. Consequently they get little time together. The partner was able to change her work pattern to work Wednesday – Sunday thus giving the couple a full ‘weekend’ together on Monday and Tuesday, when the comic returns from the stand-up circuit. The mind shift that took place in the relationship was that days aren’t so traditional anymore.”
This is so true! Being self-employed I set my own hours and yes, sometimes they are crazy: when I’m listing items on eBay I can work up until 2am in the morning if I am on a roll. I am also available to clients 7 days a week which is my choice but this has affected some friendships along my self-employed journey with people who worked that typical Monday – Friday and simply didn’t understand the effort and commitment having your own business demands.
Just take a look at the cool, childish images on rotation on their website homepage: this research is anything far from dry and ordinary.
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