Prior to my 3 gorgeous (albeit slightly crazy) girls arriving in my life I was sure Accounting would be my life long career. After all, I did it the hard way by completing my degree whilst working full time, and over 10 years I worked my way up to secure my role of Planning and Reporting Manager, reporting to the Finance Director of an International Company. I was aiming for a Finance Director/CFO role one day in the future and could see no reason why that wouldn’t happen.
Once my first girl was 7 months old, my company gave me the opportunity to work a day or two from home, I thought that sounded great, it was a very fair arrangement and their support was amazing. I had no reason to object or feel disheartened. But once I started working I did, because something was missing. Things I cared about before seemed ridiculous, and I couldn’t believe the amount of time everyone wasted in meetings! It just wasn’t fulfilling anymore. And I realized something….
When a beautiful baby arrives in your life, as a mum something shifts in your heart and your brain follows without objection. Your perspective on the world changes. And the things that matter to you become clearer, and it’s easier to focus. For me, this meant that if I was going to leave my daughter in someone else’s care it had to be for a good reason. Something that made me happy, so I was happy for her at the end of the day. I also knew I had to be doing something where I was in control, so I could take time out to be there for her when needed. I didn’t want to be one of the mums at work complaining about school holidays – I wanted to be the mum running around doing stuff with her kids during school holidays!
It was clear to me reviewing budget variances for a company turning over millions of dollars a year wasn’t going to cut it. Running “Month End” wasn’t going to cut it. I wasn’t in control of any of it, I wasn’t passionate about it, and the corporate politics were crushing my soul – and I was hardly in the office!
I had to think of something else. But what does a management accountant do, when not doing accounting? Well you start a health and wellness blog of course, and so I did. I had high hopes that my little blog would become massive and I would soon sell advertising spots, write sponsored posts and be cashflow rich.
In the process of running my blog, I taught myself everything WordPress, SEO, Google Analytics, Mailchimp – anything I needed for my blog. I threw myself into becoming an expert on everything – I did countless online courses, attended seminars and practiced on my site. Soon friends I had met on my blogging journey were asking for help with their sites and I started to realize that what I had learnt and now found “easy” other people struggled with. I also realized there was a gap in the market for someone who could do these things, but communicate differently, and be transparent. Someone who could speak “normal folk speak” with clients so they don’t get overwhelmed. Someone tells it like it is, and doesn’t make it sound way more complicated than it is and charge them the earth. I was sure I could be that someone.
It was then I realized I had a business – and Kristy Morton Consulting was born. We offer WordPress, SEO and Google Analytics support at affordable prices. I pride myself on having an honest and transparent business, all our pricing and services are on the website so there are no smoke and mirrors. I communicate with clients in “non-tech” speak so they can understand what’s happening. My clients are my business, so I work very hard to make sure they’re happy.
Since officially starting the business it has flourished, based purely on word of mouth. The growth has been so great this year I have taken on a Developer, VA, a WordPress Consultant and I now work with several graphic designers. I continuously look at my service offerings and pricing to make sure I provide value to my clients and remain competitive on price.
I love meeting new clients and getting to know their businesses and being part of their success. When I was working in accounting, reviewing numbers in the millions, things get lost in translation and it’s easy to lose perspective on the people making the money. My clients are real, their hard-earned dollars pay the bills, so we must get things right. I’m privileged to hear to their struggles and generally I can help ease some of them, which is nice to see. For most of my clients, we have an ongoing relationship and I love to check in with them and see how they are tracking.
Longer term I would love to work more with businesses on strategy and growth, but for the moment I’m more than happy helping small business and startups get the advice they need and get online without spending thousands. I’m so passionate about giving people confidence to be able to work on their websites and not be afraid anymore!
What have I learnt along this journey
- Follow your own path – sounds corny but it’s true – some people struggle to understand the fact I turned my back on a profession I had studied and worked so hard to get into. So don’t worry about what people think, do what works for you and your family
- Be ready to flex – when you start out you really don’t know what’s going to work – so think of everything as an experiment and change as you gain new information
- Listen to your customers – they are your business and they will tell you what they need, if you listen carefully
- Don’t worry about mistakes – they are what makes you the business person you are, and they will come no matter what you do. So reflect on them once they occur, learn your lesson and move on!
- Be vulnerable – if you make a mistake, tell your clients or customers. Own it – people appreciate it when you do.
- Remember why you are doing this – I started my business so I could always be there for my kids – so when I feel stressed about what I’ve got on – I remember that reason.
I think we are very lucky today that the career you chose after school is by no means the one you are limited to for your life. If having children or another major life event starts to push you in another direction, don’t be afraid to give it a try – you never know where it might take you.