I first met Julia (from the independent girls collective) at the blog and beyond roadshow a few months ago. After her talk, we exchanged instagrams and I have been loving her content since (and I have had huge stalk of her old content so I feel pretty up to speed). Julia is a breath of fresh air for me, I love that she talks a lot about finances and the actual business side of running your own small business. That was (and still is) the hardest thing I have found about starting my own business is my huge lack of knowledge on finance, Julia and her independent girls collective content contains practically everything you wish you had learnt at school.
After I posted my blog and beyond post, I had a few people DM’ing me and asking if Julia could feature, and of course I wanted to do that! So here we are today.
As always, my text will be in bold and hers will be in a regular font.
What made you start ‘The Independent girls collective’? Was it planned or a spontaneous decision one day?
I started The Independent Girls Collective while working as an accountant as I knew quite a few bloggers and freelancers who were unsure of how to deal with the numbers side of running a business, so I decided to start a blog to share how to manage those things. Because it’s quite niche, it gained traction quite quickly and I had a few people get in touch to ask if they could pay me to go through things like their accounts or pricing with me and that’s how it became a business!
It wasn’t a spontaneous decision, I always knew that I wanted to start a business and work for myself one day but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Once I had the idea though, I was really excited so I worked quickly!
How did the idea of having an independent girls collective membership come about? It is such a unique idea!
I was offering coaching as my main service but I really wanted things to be accessible for everyone. You have to charge quite a lot for coaching as it takes so much time and energy, and of course the number of clients you can work with is limited.
I realised that a membership would mean that I could charge much less which made my material and advice available for small businesses who don’t have a lot of money to invest. I also love the community aspect of the membership – as a business owner, it can be really scary to ask about things you aren’t sure of so we provide that safe space and support.
I think that is is amazing that you focus on empowering women, as it is so hard for women to feel inferior in the industry. Did you have any experiences of this when you worked in the corporate accountancy world?
Yes! Sometimes it’s the little things that are the most annoying, like managers treating you differently to male colleagues or making sexist comments that you feel a bit of a killjoy pulling them up on.
What is your favourite and most challenging thing about owning your own business?
My favourite thing about running a business is definitely forming positive relationships with people and helping them. I’ve made so many friends through running the IGC and I love to share their work. The most challenging thing for me is comparing myself to oter businesses, especially ones that I see as more successful than mine. It’s so easy to get sucked into a comparison spiral, and when it happens I know that I need to take a step back (and probably get off Instagram for a while)!
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
Network. You don’t have to go to physical networking events and try to sell yourself to other people, but join business Facebook groups, reply to people’s Stories on Instagram and comment on photos, just don’t be afraid to reach out and start a conversation with someone. Businesses are built on connection, so you have to put yourself out there.
Do you think that more about being self employed and managing finances should be taught in schools? There are so many things that (now I am self employed) I wish I was taught!
I do, and I don’t understand why we don’t learn about things like tax in school. It’s so important and can be really confusing, so hopefully what I do makes it a lot easier to understand.
You do so many different projects and I admire you so much for that, you are clearly a very hard worker. What are your top time management tips?
Aw, thank you! I’m a big fan of time blocking and scheduling in tasks on my calendar so I know when I need to do them, I find that really effective for productivity. And always having a notebook and pen handy!
What is your favourite social media platform to post on?
Instagram for sure, I love taking photos and making my grid look pretty.
What can we expect to see from ‘The independent girls collective’ this year?
Lots of courses and workshops! I’m also working on an app to help business owners manage their finances which will hopefully be released this year.
As I talk a lot about beauty on my blog, we will have the last question as something beauty related. What is your holy grail product?
I have really dry, sensitive skin so Aveeno Skin Relief moisturiser is my absolute can’t live without it product.
So that is the post! I hope you love Julia as much as I do and if you want to go check out the independent girls collective then click below to be redirected to her social media pages.