I’m a big fan of author Daniel Priestley whose book Entrepreneur Revolution is a masterclass in developing your entrepreneurial mind-set, showing you how to change the way you think, the way you network and the way you make a living.
He has an uncanny knack of articulating the multiple, sometimes intangible frustrations many people feel at work but never really express or fully get a grasp on.
Point in case, he writes: “When I look around, I see people living according to a system that makes very little sense to me anymore. I see people giving up the best part of their day to push power to a vision that doesn’t inspire them for a small amount of money that barely affords them an exciting life.”
If you are anything like me, the chances are you want to work somewhere where you are recognised and where you feel the work you do can make a difference. For that reason, I stepped away from the rat race, woke up to the part of myself that is OK with change and that loves a challenge and set up Carlin Creative ‘Time to Shine’ Events and Communications.
Its dual offer includes an artisan, highly customised creative service that takes the pain out of organising stunning events and celebrations and a strategic media relations, PR, copywriting, content and crisis management service that promotes and protects corporate reputation.
Carlin Creative is different because it combines my own particular set of skills and experiences working in media relations and event management for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC for over twenty years with a very real and life-long passion for creativity, production and the process of transformation.
In my first blog I wrote: “I am the type of person, weirdly or not, who likes nothing better than taking a recipe, a dining table, an empty restaurant or a corporate venue and turning it into something remarkable. It’s less a mantra, more a way of life and it applies to almost everything I do.
“Whether it is drafting a press release, writing content for a website, running an event or giving someone a gift , there is joy to be had from taking the standard and elevating it into something unique and the pleasure doubles when it is to someone else’s benefit.”
When I am working with clients, it’s in my nature to care just as much about their brands, their promise of value and reputation, as much as I do about my own. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your work and doing the very best job you can do. I just don’t do things by half measures.
Neither does my new partner Joanna Braniff. Sometimes through the ‘fell clutch of circumstance,’ the stars align and the universe delivers us something in the form of pure good luck. I’m never one to turn that down or miss out on an opportunity.
In my case, it was crossing paths again with an old friend who I have worked successfully with in an informal capacity for many years. Joanna is a Belfast-based veteran journalist, creative copywriter and award-winning author with a passion and expertise for food writing and has an in-depth knowledge of the local food scene and well, probably just about everything else.
Last week she announced the launch of a new food, drink and hospitality copywriting and PR service for Northern Ireland called Eat Your Words www.eatyourwordsfoodcopywriting.com, where she will deliver engaging copy for global brands, local agencies, independent food producers, chefs, restaurants, government departments and luxury retailers.
Rolling stones, however gather no moss! This week, we jointly announced a new creative, strategic partnership in which our companies will both operate independently but where there is opportunity; form an alliance to offer a full agency, marketing, communications, creative, content and events service. Together we are stronger!
Great things really do happen when we work together. We’ve already had a trial run joining forces before Christmas to collaborate on a Carlin Creative commission to deck out Coppi and Il Pirata; two of NI’s finest Italian eateries for Christmas. I asked Joanna to help because, well there are just some things she can do better than me! One of them is flower arranging which includes hand decorating festive wreaths. She is brilliant at it while I’ve no patience.
I think it is the ability to recognise skill and talent in somebody else and playing to their strengths as well as your own that makes for great team and partnership working. Frankly, neither of us are interested in the ‘your logo is bigger than my logo’ game or in Donald Trump’s case, ‘my inauguration had more attendees than Obama’s’. Nor will we deal or engage in office politics, rivalry or petty jealousies. The world does not need more divisiveness.
It’s our aim to be independently successful but mutually supportive so that we can both have thriving businesses, earn a living and have great fun and satisfaction while doing it. We both believe a good partnership can be a powerful driving force. It’s about working together, thinking about the needs of others to create long term success for everyone involved, now and in the future.
Coming from media backgrounds in print and broadcasting at local and national level, we have fully interchangeable creative, copywriting and crisis management skills and importantly the trust is there which means we are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to getting a job done and to the highest standards.
On a purely practical basis that also means we can be there for each other when the going gets tough, extra pairs of hands are needed or someone is on holiday or gets ill. Our priority is always to ensure our clients are served with a consistently high quality service and that projects are delivered on time and to budget.
I have to say, I love this new way of working. Technology has made it possible for small enterprises like ours, to be supportive of each other, to find a market, define a niche, to build a brand, to be open out-of-hours and to be highly flexible and responsive to delivering to customer needs and expectations.
Super-tankers take a long time to turn. We can manoeuvre on a pin head.
Daniel Priestley sums it up: “The nature of work, lifestyle and wealth is changing….Small businesses can now do almost all the things big businesses can do, sometimes more. Small businesses have spirit. It has people who really know their customers, love what they do and respond faster.
“They are places where there is less red tape and where the workplace is more fun and everyone has a say. There is a tribal feeling that gets lost in big companies. Entrepreneurial teams will be faster, more cost effective, more nimble and more responsive.”
I for one am really glad to have taken the entrepreneurial leap and even more to be working in creative partnership with Eat Your Words and my good friend Joanna Braniff!
To find out more about Carlin Creative contact Una Carlin on (07764) 354917 and
for Eat Your Words, Joanna Braniff on (07808) 862141.