Sector: PR and Marketing
After realising her strengths lay in building relationships with people, Jess Tucker decided to start her own business, Social Allies.
Where do you call home?
Tell us about your role?
I am managing director of Social Allies.
How did you get to where you are today?
Lots of hard work! I worked in marketing for 10 years and always had the goal to be my own boss. I knew I couldn’t do it without putting the work in though, so I worked my way up the ladder as a marketing manager for different companies, including Domino’s, Costa, Psyche and the Northern Echo.
I made the decision in my late twenties because I knew I was ready. I did a lot of preparation and had many sleepless nights, but I finally took the leap in 2019 and registered my company name. Two years later my agency has grown and evolved into the full-service agency it is now, and I couldn’t be happier to call myself a successful business owner.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
There have been many challenges along the way. The panic of wages and staff, knowing that you are responsible for someone’s livelihood is a hard burden to bear. It’s actually a privilege, though, and I’m grateful for it. It’s all part of the process of believing that you can.
Also building a brand and growing its reputation from the ground up is exhausting. When you can step back and see the thing you built and say, ‘I did that’, it’s all worth it. With obstacles come learning experiences. Take every opportunity you can to learn something new, it’s imperative in your personal growth.
Finally, I think the biggest challenge is self-belief. My self-belief was put to the test so many times, but the key for me was to not take it too seriously and just go for it!
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
For me my lightbulb moment is twofold. The first is all about my role models. I am lucky enough to have two incredibly strong and successful female family members, who I’ve always looked up to and aspired to be. The second was when I was building relationships with clients I had worked with in other organisations. I realised my ability to foster relationships and provide bespoke services and that’s when I realised I could do this on my own and start a business – one of which is now in its second year and has gone from strength to strength.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young females?
Don’t settle for the next best thing. If you have an idea or a dream in mind, don’t stop going until you achieve it. Trust your instincts and keep going. There are many people who will tell you that you can’t – make it your mission to show them you will.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep believing in yourself – there were so many times I almost gave up on my dream to be my own employer. There are times when the vision will become blurred, but you need to keep pushing through to achieve your goals. Persistence is key! I would also just say to my younger self that you don’t have to be anyone but yourself – as a woman you’ll face challenges that might not seem fair, but you have it in you to overcome them.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
I can do it in two! Whenever I need inspiration, I remind myself to be myself – nobody else is going to make your dream happen other than you. So, my (two) words are definitely “be yourself”.
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