So my name, as you know, is Laura Jane and my friends call me LJ. One day I was doing an event with one of my clients Georgina Jones, TLO, and she told me we had a speaker called LJ. First I paniced that it was me! Then I realised that it was this amazing lady Lisa-Jane Meates, or LJ.
LJ and I got on straight away and we started talking about when she started her business LJM Photography. I could tell you what she said…or I could let her. Over to LJ
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Lisa-Jane but everyone calls me LJ and I’m the Creative Director of LJM Photography.
How long you been doing it?
I’ve been interested in photography for years and had been freelancing here and there before finally biting the bullet by going into it full time and setting up my own business in August 2013.
What did you do before?
After receiving my degree in Fashion & Advertising photography, I worked as a Marketing Executive for a digital marketing company which was based in a kind of entrepreneurial hub called ICE in Caerphilly.
What made you decide to finally take the leap and go for it?
During my time as a Marketing Executive, I was surrounded by Start Ups and directors of small businesses, many of which were quite creative. It was these people that inspired me and also encouraged me to “take the leap” and full on go for it!
What was the best and worse thing when you started?
The best thing was the excitement that came with plunging into the unknown! There’s an appeal in starting something from scratch and the mystery of how it’s all going to turn out. At the same time this probably also was the hardest thing as well! Not knowing where your next pay cheque was coming from was frightening at times.
What advice would you give someone who was considering starting their own business?
Surround yourself with people that inspire you. It’s these people that will encourage you through the inevitable difficult times and uncertainty that lie ahead. When you’re discouraged and feel like giving up, these people will pick you up again and come along side you through the struggles until you come out the other side.
If you could go back and talk to yourself or do something different when you started your business what would it be?
That’s a tricky one! Hindsight is a wonderful thing… I made many mistakes for sure, but it was these mistakes that keep me humble and helped me to grow and work even harder, so in a way I wouldn’t want to do anything different. The one thing I would tell myself to get me through is to not worry so much. It’s a waste of precious life!
Well, I’m currently working on a really exciting collaboration, but it’s all very hush hush still so I guess you’ll just have to wait and see! Watch this space…