Jane Braithwaite set up Designated PA to provide exceptional EA/ PA services to organisations looking for a flexible business support solution, and private individuals looking for assistance with their personal admin.In this interview, we discover how Jane tackles the stress of running a business, as well as learning more about what it takes to leave the corporate life and set up your own operation.
As part of this episode we have a special offer of a free consultation from Designated PA, so if you feel your business could benefit from their services then simple email ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and put Breaking Biz in the subject line to secure your free consultation.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I had worked in large corporates for many, many years and I had got to the point where I wanted to do something completely different. I really wanted to do something that could fit in with my life and my family but still give me the self esteem of doing something that I really cared about, working with clients and really caring about their requirements and working with a great team of people.
I wasn’t particularly hung up on what the business should be, but it had to meet those criteria and after months of thinking about what would be the right thing to do, the idea of Designated PA was born.
What skill or ability is most important and why?
I think you can have lots of skills and lots of experience that’s helpful, but I think the thing you absolutely have to have is the confidence to just keep going and believing that things will work out well.
There are often times when things aren’t going your way and you’re working incredibly hard and you have those moments of questioning ‘is it all worth it’ and you have to have that inner belief in yourself and in what you’re doing to get you through those times. I think it’s about having that inner confidence.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned?
To always have a contract whether it’s with a client or a supplier. There are times when you feel like you really know someone quite well and you trust them completely and you go into business with them, whether it’s you supplying things to them or them supplying things to you.
I think you absolutely always have to have a written agreement so there’s clarity and something to come back on if you need to.
How do you manage the stress of running a business?
I actually quite like the stress, I quite like the buzz that it gives me. I feel like the tiredness is more of a problem, trying to get everything done and still have some energy left. You can have good stress and bad stress. Running a business, in my mind, is good stress.
What’s the best part of your job?
Meeting new clients. When I meet a new client I generally sit down with them and I ask lots of questions about their business and why they’ve chosen to do it, what their goals are, what they’re trying to achieve.
I get the opportunity to get very, very close to what a lot of other people are trying to achieve in their businesses and I really, really enjoy that. It’s quite a privileged position to be in, to have that inside knowledge of what someone’s trying to achieve.