Women Inspiring Women – Smash Your Ceiling
“Don’t let your situation prevent you from achieving great things”……. no excuses from Cheryl Luzet, another entrepreneur/female founder interviewed for #TheWomanAlchemist #SmashThatCeiling series, #womeninspiringwomen giving an insight into successful female leaders/role model and their mindset – continuing the world of marketing theme following on the feature with Elena Kale and the popular blog on How do I get started with content marketing?
Cheryl Luzet is the Founder and Director of the website optimisation agency Wagada, specialising in usability, accessibility, search engine optimisation, web building, project management, copy editing, copywriting.
She is an expert in the online world with 15 years of managing, editing, and optimising websites, gaining her experience in the website optimisation world working in various industries, including travel, the NHS and educational publishing. Cheryl has also volunteered her online skills in the charity sector.
Cheryl Luzet She has a Master’s degree in Electronic Publishing from City University, where usability, accessibility, and writing for the web were crucial aspects of the training.
This interview is an extract from the book “STOP IT! It is all in your head” available now.
INTERVIEW WITH CHERYL LUZET
1. When you were a child, what was your dream job and why?
I wanted to be an archaeologist as I was fascinated by carbon dating. However, I’m glad I didn’t do that job as the practicality of working away from home, outdoors in a muddy field, searching for a needle in a haystack wouldn’t have agreed with me at all!
2. Can you tell me when you started to consider yourself successful?
I think being successful is all-relative. We are all successful in our way, as no one knows what challenges others face. For me, success has been about employing enough staff to create a positive atmosphere at the Christmas party. When we were just 3 or 4 staff, it was pretty tricky to make the right environment for a staff outing, particularly as we have quite a range of ages. When we got to the point of 8 or 9 staff, everyone had someone they got on well with and could spend the evening with. It is a lovely thing to see everyone enjoying themselves!
3. I’m sure you have faced adversity like every business/business person: how do you motivate yourself and force yourself through the worst times?
I am an eternal optimist! I have worked some very long hours running my business. I have young children, and it is essential that I am around for them, so every evening after they are in bed, I get back to work until late. Things are better now, but there have been periods where I haven’t sat and relaxed on the sofa for 8 or 9 months at a time. But every day, I would say to myself – tomorrow is another day and will be better!
4. What are the best things about your job?
The flexibility to be available for my family has been the best thing about running my own business and being local, so I can pop to a school event and then back to the office quickly. I needed to work, but it was essential for me to be available for my family. Because of this, it has always been crucial to me that my staff also benefit from working flexibly. Quite a few of my team members are also mums, so I have offered them part-time, flexible hours, and working from home. No one needs to miss sports day or the school Christmas play – these things are so important.
SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES
5. As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues”: what are your daily/weekly habits?
Outsourcing has been the key to getting everything done in a few hours as possible to spend time with my family. My email is the thing that takes up the vast majority of my time, so I have a virtual assistant who tidies and organises my email for me. So I have built up a team with different roles and support the business – from bookkeeping to purchasing a new kettle.
6. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
I believe confidence is an issue. Men have a very different way of communicating with women, and sometimes women can feel excluded.
WOMEN INSPIRING WOMEN
7. What women inspire you and why?
Sheryl Sandberg is a powerful character, and I admire how she has stood up for herself. Her book is inspirational, and she offers solid practical advice about being a mum and working in the business.
I love JK Rowling more and more as I follow her on Twitter. She didn’t let her situation prevent her from achieving great things but also let success go to her head. Here is a woman who has morals and will put herself on the line to stand up for what she believes in. She has kept a firm head even though she has gained substantial wealth. An excellent role model!
8. What advice would you give to your 16year old self?
Don’t be in such a hurry to start being a grown-up. And remember that my destiny is to work for myself. I was a terrible employee and utterly naïve to the politics that seem obligatory in organisations large and small. And I fell into running my business after my second child, so it almost didn’t happen – but I am so glad that did.
9. Your instant mindfulness fix…
I breathe out deeply, and it seems to ground me. Also, I have read Amy Cuddy’s book Presence that talks about using body language to make yourself feel more confident – the Starfish move always does the trick for me!
10. And finally, something frivolous: the best thing about being a woman…
Women can build relationships over a gin – we can be silly and have a laugh and still achieve great things.
Top Takeaways from Cheryl Luzet
- Define what success means to you.
- Tomorrow is another day and will be better.
- Don’t let your situation prevent you from achieving great things.
- Outsourcing is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs/ small biz.