Tell us something about you by way of introduction. What’s your name? How long have you worked for yourself? And perhaps something surprising readers may not know about you, Judith.
My name is Judith Morgan. I am the Small Business Oracle and I have worked for myself since 1977. Yes, you did read that right! Something surprising? I have a couple of those, maybe more. Let’s go with this one. The Duke of Edinburgh took his clothes off in my bedroom. That always gets people going!
Now tell us about your business. What’s it all about, how do you think and feel about it now, do you have staff and premises or work mainly alone at home? What aims and ambitions do you still have for your business?
My first business was my own firm of accountants. I started it alone but twenty years later I had over 250 clients and six staff. We had office premises. That experience caused me to work alone at home ever since!
I have been a business coach for the last 12 years and I love it. I do still have aims and ambitions for my newer business and I am very much in love with it right now.
This series of interviews is designed to inspire others, mainly women, on the same path. What tips would you share with them which would short-cut their journey to happiness being their own boss?
You must prioritise having a wonderful life even while you are building your business. Looking after yourself, practising extreme self-care, having a laugh and a life has only a positive impact on the business you are creating. The reverse is also true. All the very best things happen to my business when I am out and about, assuming I have done all the right things before I leave home to have fun. They do not happen when I am sweating over the laptop or trying to force success. That isn’t even possible.
What did you struggle with most in your start-up phase, and how did you crack that?
Gratuitous “helpful” advice from people in jobs. I cracked it by thanking them and ignoring them.
What have you learned about yourself while working solo?
I am strong, resilient, creative, infinitely wonderful and full of brilliant ideas. I work really well on my own from home. I am a hard worker. My best learning was how creative I am. Typically that isn’t the first thing one thinks of when it comes to accountants but taking my Wealth Dynamics profile test just confirmed what in my soul I already knew.
Did you choose self-employment or did it choose you? Any regrets?
I think it was both. I worked in a handful of jobs between 1973 and 1977. It didn’t go well – ever. I wanted to be the boss and I wanted to be paid about three times what my employers thought I was worth. I then chose self-employment in 1977 and I’ve never looked back so no, no regrets, ever.
What one encouraging thoughts sum it all up?
There’s no test to start-up and run your own business. That’s because it’s relatively easy. Any idiot can do it with the right support. Hard work reaps rewards. Smarter working reaps even faster and better rewards financially. Be prepared to get it wrong. Experiment. Failure is your best learning. Most of the blocks to success we put in our own way. Learn patience.
Do you have a project you would like readers to know about? A book, a service, a coaching programme?
I am building my own bookshop and realise that I have been writing so long that I have enough content to create about a dozen ebooks which is very exciting. I am bringing my own books back off Kindle as I make more money when I market them myself on a PWYW (pay what you want) model. I love the abundance of that, inviting people to donate whatever they choose to afford.
My coaching programme is Small Business Big Magic which, right now, costs only £50 a month. After an initial personal 1-2-1 induction with me on Skype, clients can call into as many as 10 x 90-minute group phone calls each month. They are run as drop-ins and I encourage clients to phone in for 10-15 minutes each week. This helps you keep on track very affordably. I also run a Facebook Group with it and an Ask the Oracle email group and offer further 1-2-1s if they want them at a 75% discount on normal cost. My aim is to offer massive value for start-ups and solopreneurs so they can get whatever help they need in the vital early stages of building their own businesses.
Do you feel lonely and isolated when working for yourself? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How do you get your social needs met? What do you recommend to others in this regard?
No, I never feel lonely or isolated. I feel very fortunate that I have a really wide network of virtual colleagues who I can ask for help or advice at any time and that feels really great. I am right on the cusp between introvert/extrovert, another thing which my Wealth Dynamics profile helped me to understand and which explained a lot, why I find extrovert stuff so very draining and why I am successful at working on my own. My social needs are minimal as I am very self-sufficient.
I recommend knowing for certain whether you are introvert or extrovert. All it means is where you get your “feed” from. Introverts get it from within. Extroverts get it from others. Once you know that, you know what you need to do to feel good about yourself.
And Like my Facebook Page: facebook.com/TheSmallBusinessOracle