My Working Day – Verity Blake – MD at HeadOn PR
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example and to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? We spoke to Verity Blake, Managing Director at HeadOn PR, about her working day.
What time do you wake up?
I get up at 6 am. I’m an early bird. As a PR professional, it’s important to be on top of the latest news and the mornings can often be the best time to catch any breaking stories that are relevant to our clients.
What do you have for breakfast?
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all important meals of the day for me. I couldn’t function properly without having had something to eat to start my day, whether that’s a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal, all washed down with a cup of tea.
What is your mantra for your working day?
Always stay positive. If things don’t go to plan, don’t focus on that one negative. Learn from it and just remind yourself about all the positives and amazing things you’ve achieved, and continue to achieve.
As a business leader, is it hard to separate your business and personal life?
It can be hard to switch off when you own a business and that’s ok if you enjoy what you do. However, it is equally important to make time for yourself and your family and to arrange memorable events, such as day trips to the zoo or see a movie.
It’s easy to fill your spare time with work as there’s always something that needs to be done. I try to be strict with myself and if I’ve booked time off, I try to make sure it really is time off – although that doesn’t always happen.
What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Employing the best skill and talent is critical to your business success and reputation, so take time to ensure that your team is the best version of you. Monthly one-to-ones with your team members is critical to ensure that they are listened to and have a clear path to develop.
Who is your business idol? Why?
We work with a number of inspirational start-up business owners which have grown their revenue to over a million in a very short space of time. Some of these are female owners. PR is a contributing factor to their success. However, I also take inspiration from them in other ways and would class them as my idols in growing a business in current times.
What motivates you?
Seeing our clients grow from the results we deliver as their success is our success. As the saying goes, ‘When the tide comes in, all the ships in the harbour rise at the same time’.
How do you persevere through challenging times?
Be proactive rather than reactive to what’s going on around you. Have a clear strategy for the future of the business, focus on the things you can control, not the uncontrollable, and hold people accountable, including myself.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a female entrepreneur?
Taking that leap to make my first hire. But don’t be afraid to take on your first employee. If you have great people, they will help your business to thrive. And if you don’t have the operational experience then ensure to get the support you need.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Don’t spend time worrying about previous decisions. You can’t change the past, but you can focus on the future.
Are you hopeful about the future of female entrepreneurship in the UK? Why?
There are signs of positive change happening to support female leadership such as flexible working from day one, and remote working becoming the norm. However, there is always more that needs to be done, especially with the cost of living crisis and rising childcare costs making it harder for mums to return to the workplace.
We also recently managed the PR around Empowercyber, the UK’s largest event to inspire more women into a career in tech which involved 35 schools. The more campaigns that we can do like this, the more we can equip girls with the confidence and skills we need to inspire more female entrepreneurship in the UK.