Claire Morley, the editor of Business Fit Magazine, talks to The Industry Leaders about her many spinning plates, from journalism and publishing to running her own wedding planning business.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
Before taking off to backpack around the world in 1996, I worked in marketing. In 2002, I moved to North Cyprus to work as a journalist where I edited for newspapers and magazines before putting to use my organisational skills by setting up as a wedding planner for foreigners wishing to marry in North Cyprus.
After volunteering in the Philippines, I used my experiences as inspiration for a fictional book. Unable to find a publisher, I learned how to self-publish and promote my book. I then set up a small business to help other writers.
Three years ago I became the editor of Business Fit Magazine, a publication aimed at entrepreneurs.
What kind of work does your role involve?
For the magazine, I seek out contributors who are able to give our readers inspiration or advice on their entrepreneurial journey. Once their articles are received, I edit them for grammar and spelling, and ensure the content meets our guidelines. This may involve completely re-writing some articles, or it may only need a few tweaks. I then work with the designer to produce a beautiful magazine for our readers.
On the self-publishing side, I format books for Kindle and paperback, then formulate a social media marketing plan to promote them.
On the wedding side, the work involves all aspects of planning a couple's special day: from venue, to transport, to flowers and entertainment, and then managing the day from start to finish.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Being editor of Business Fit Magazine gives me access to many different people, their stories and their advice. The articles we include are always informative, and provide me with different ideas for myself, so I feel we are able to inspire up and coming entrepreneurs with useful material to help them get started and new ideas for those already on their entrepreneurial journey.
For my book publishing, I find a lot of satisfaction in seeing a book published and promoted, and having people start buying and reading the books.
For the wedding planning, having a day run smoothly, giving the bride and groom the day they dreamed of, gives me a sense of great wellbeing. Although it can be very stressful, it is one of the most important days of the wedding couple's lives, after all.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
"If you want something badly enough, you can make it happen!"
My father told me that a very long time ago, and it instilled in me the confidence that I can make things happen with hard work and determination, and, so far, it hasn't let me down.
My life has been pretty unconventional, but I have lived it on my terms. I am not saying everything I have done has been a complete success, but when it hasn't I have been able to take those lessons on board and try something else.
What's the best way to support aspiring leaders in your field?
Some of the magazine contributors may be experts in their field, but they are not used to writing articles. So I offer support and guidance to ensure that their message is delivered in the best possible way.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
My go-to place to learn new skills is Udemy; I am always looking at courses on social media to keep up with the ever-changing world of digital marketing.
I love to learn, and I love to research; hours can disappear as I meander my way through the internet, in search of answers.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
The biggest challenge I have had to overcome is a very personal one.
Twenty years ago, I was struggling with depression to the point of being suicidal. I recognised that I needed help to overcome it. The hardest part was facing my demons, and all the hurt and pain that I had buried so deep inside. I had a great therapist who guided me through this incredibly painful process, and she helped me put coping mechanisms in place to ensure I didn't fall so far again, and, so far, I haven't. I can still get depressed occasionally, but now I know what I need to do to make sure I can manage it.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
When I wrote my book, I had daydreams of what I would do if it became a bestseller and I was suddenly rich. At that time, my goal would have been to set up a trust to help trafficked children in the Philippines, (this was one of the subjects covered in the book) and give them a safe place to recover.
I am not sure at this precise moment what my cause would be now, but I would find something close to my heart and try to make a difference to the lives of people who have had to endure injustice in some way.
What do you see as the key ingredients for failure?
Lack of planning; lack of determination; lack of information: a closed mind.
I have always believed that there is a solution to an issue; it just might not be the one you think it is, but if you have an open mind, you can find a way.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
That the marketing industry could develop a social conscience!
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters.
How should people connect with you?
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