Thank you for popping into check out my guest blog with Emma, you are very welcome.
My name, as you probably know by now, is Yvonne Seymour and I am a very proud Business Owner and Business Mentor.
I have had a really fruitful career with lots of good experiences and not so good experiences, which is the one of the reasons I decided to become a mentor for others starting out. In 2016 I thought I had landed firmly on my feet by securing a Senior Management position as a Senior Recruitment Consultant and Business Developer.I was thrilled. The purpose of my role was to grow and develop a brand new division in the Healthcare Sector.
But in January 2017 I received what I thought was one of the biggest blows of my career!!!
Over night my career and financial situation went from hero to zero and I decided, after a lot of tears and a couple of sleepless nights that no one was ever again going to put me in this situation. Hence the reason I wrote this blog called “Life according to the Egg Timer!” which I think you might enjoy. I hope it will inspire you to take that leap that you might just be afraid of.
How did I come about starting my own business?
Well, I never had any intention of starting my own business until one day I arrived at work, as a Recruitment Consultant and Business Developer, and my boss sat me down to tell me things weren’t working out! As I let his words sink in all I could hear from that moment on was my heart pounding at the realisation that I was being “let go”, “fired”! He then proceeded to read out a Letter of Termination, which basically stated that I wasn’t suitable for the role he had hired me to do, as I wasn’t going to reach my target for that month. Now bare in mind this was a week before month end. Anyone who has worked in Recruitment knows full well that anything is possible in just a week. You could equally be having the best month of your career with a week to go to month end and suddenly your candidates receive “Counter Offers” from their current employers and withdraw their “acceptance of offer” from you. A Recruiter’s worst nightmare!!!
With that said if you have a strong pipeline, now is a good time to call on it.
I have done this in the past. I remember one time I was in the second last day of the month and my sales (placement of candidates) were at €16k, my target was €10k. Happy days. Delighted with myself, having over achieved my target, I sat at my desk purring like a Cheshire Cat. My work here for the month was done and still with a whole 24 hours to go. Put your feet up girl, you’ve nailed it!
Then, just as all seemed well with the world disaster stuck!
My phone rang and in a split second changed everything. COUNTER OFFERS!!! One after another! I thought to myself “Seriously Universe???” And just like that my sales of €16k started to slip through the funnel like the grains of sand in an egg timer. Suddenly my sales had gone from over target at €16k to desperately under target at €5k! Time now became a ticking bomb as the end of the month approached with speed.
My initial reaction was to wallow in my own self pity and feel completely cheated at the fickleness of the industry. I went from loving my job to hating it in 0 – 60 seconds. However, I have never been one to let defeat take me down so I took a deep breath (probably more like 10), made myself a cuppa, sat back down at my desk and reached for my list, my pipeline! Who could I convert in the next 18 hours? Who could I help to make a decision and what additional information did they need to help them make it? I worked my way furiously down my list, circled names and made my calls. I also decided to make a head start on next month’s target as this month was probably a right off at this stage. Armed with my “pick myself up and dust myself off” attitude I got to work and decided to put this month behind me. Toodles!
I sent out a batch of emails, got to work on group text/whats app and before long the phone started to ring. An hour passed quickly and I started feel like it was all possible again. Onward and upward. Finishing time was approaching so I decided to create my to-do-list for tomorrow so I hit the ground running in the morning. Content that I had done all I could do I headed off to catch my bus for my 2 hour commute home. Usually I would jump on the bus, open the lap top and continue to work for the duration of my journey home but considering the day I’d had I decided to be kind to myself and switch off. I grabbed a window seat on the bus, stuck my headphones in my ears, pressed play and sank my head back into the head rest. I must have fallen asleep more or less straight away because before I knew it I was just one stop away from home.
Home sweet home. I was lovingly greeted by my little dog Millie, Mr. Seymour Training and my Mini Me’s. Dinner was ready and so was I! Time to retire to the couch and watch some mindless TV, because my brain couldn’t possibly process anything else today.
At around 8pm my mobile phone rang. Tempted to ignore it, after the day I’d had, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to answer it. Well thank god I did. It was a candidate who had received an offer of a Management Position directly from my client earlier that day. Seriously? I wasn’t sure I could take this in. The candidate wanted to formally accept the offer but wanted to negotiate a couple of the terms. My client hadn’t got an opportunity to update me that day because they had been busy interviewing. And just like that my sales went from €5k to €12k and I’m back in the game!
Now you might asked yourself why would a candidate ring me at 8pm in the evening and why would I answer? Well the answer is easy. You see I recruited Nurses and in order to be able to do that I had to make myself available to them before and after their working day which was either before 8am or after 8pm as majority of Nurses worked 12 hour shifts. Otherwise the recruitment process for them would have been difficult and this may have detered them from working with a recruiter in the first place. I also have huge respect and admiration for Nurses and the job that they do and I understand the demands of their job. I was a medical secretary in days gone by and Nurses were a critical part of any medical team.
As a Recruiter it was important to me that these Nurses worked in an environment that they enjoyed. Sales targets never came into it for me and were never my objective! I cared too much, hence the reason why I was deemed unsuitable by my boss for my role.
So, what is the point of my story and why have I taken so long to get to this point?
The point of my story is if you work hard (or as I prefer to call it – Smart) and take action, particularly when the shit hits the fan, the results will inevitably follow. If you wallow and make excuses, which I could’ve done, things will stay the same. I lost my job because my boss couldn’t see my skills and attributes. His focus was money, he didn’t care about candidates, they were just names on a database to him that could make him money. People buy from people. We hear this statement everyday but do we really take it in?
If we nurture the people around us and help them to achieve their objectives then we will be successful in growing our own businesses.
Why did I start my own business? So I could help others take the next step in their career. I love watching people develop and grow to become the person they want to be. Money doesn’t come into it for me. Yes I need it to run my business but it’s not what makes me tick! I chased money during my Recruitment career because I could and I was good at my job but I quickly realised that money was NOT my motivator. I became frustrated at sales targets always being the objective of the job when my real objective was to help people secure a job they loved.
Now let me be clear on something, the purpose of this blog is not to give my previous employer a hard time. I actually admire him for making his decision to let me go. We didn’t have the same vision. I wasn’t the right match for his company and vice versa. His objective was to make money, my objective was to nurture and grow a business. And here is the moment when the man behind the woman, Mr. Seymour Training, stepped in, pointed this out and made the scariest of suggestions!!!
My Company – Yvonne Seymour Training was born!
I was busy building other people’s businesses, why not build my own! I don’t claim to be an expert in growing a business but I am an expert of my own experience. I am resiliant and possess all the determination and capability I need to succeed and I am quite happy to share my experience in growing my business with you so that you can grow yours.
If you would like to find out the different ways that I can help you then just click here>>
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