I know how hard it is to juggle life, family, friends and a creative business. I’ve been doing it for the last 25 years.
We’re human beings who long to be creative, but we also have priorities, responsibilities and a vision to grow our businesses.
I’ve been a partner, mother, leader and entrepreneur for the past 25 years. I know what it takes to build a digital strategy that’s sustainable and fits the life you live.
I know the effort it takes to build a digital business, because I’ve done it three times. It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to be scary. I’ll help you with tools, systems and approaches that makes your business goals reachable.
After high-school I pursued my journalism dream at the University of Victoria. In my third year I had major disagreement with the head of the journalism co-op program which made me realize I wanted a job that was more creative, so I switched over to the creative writing track. I wrote poetry, creative non-fiction and fiction, took photography and film classes. I felt relieved to be a part of the artistic community. I also took a computer design course where I built my first website and began tinkering online. I got a hunch that there might be something to this “internet” thing.
My first career was at a startup in Victoria BC and my second role was at a government agency in New Zealand. I learnt a huge range of skills: project management, leading my first team, e-commerce development, email newsletter design, product marketing, internal communications, intranet development, and advisory group communications. The two roles were a stark contrast and both helped me develop the skills and confidence to go out on my own.
My first digital consultancy was built with my husband from Wellington, New Zealand. I worked with government and private clients to help them build their first websites and develop a communication strategy. I learnt so much about working with clients and how to help them with a strategy, but also the importance of giving them the tools to support their growth.
In 2005 my husband and I founded our first start-up in the mobile space. We developed and launched our own independent app store for mobile phones before Apple and Google launched their app stores. This was a huge growth period where I learnt a lot about raising investment, worked with global entertainment brands and developed relationships with independent artists from all over the world. I honed my ability to listen to my gut and fleshed out my hiring and management practices. Ultimately my husband and I stepped away from the company when the board wanted to move in a different direction.
After saying I would never found a start-up again, my husband and I jumped back on the rollercoaster! We co-founded a data privacy company in the music industry. We re-located to LA and grew our business globally from Santa Monica until 2015 when we moved back to Victoria, BC. I learnt so much about sales, marketing strategies for different verticals, the power of language and story telling, levelled-up my leadership skills, developed shareholder and investor communications and took my first board seat.
Now I’m jumping back into the creative work I love the most: Helping creative business owners align their business strategy with their values. I’m so happy to be here!
Your values will help you decide where to put your time and effort.
And the beautiful part is that decisions based on your values attract the right kinds of customers.
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© 2022 Annabel Youens