Amanda Perry- ”Run your own race.”
We speak to Amanda Perry, Founder of SOUP agency. Amanda talks to us about success, leadership and being your own person.
I’m Amanda, I was born in Leeds and grew up in Cornwall, with a few stop off’s along the way, I settled in Sheffield, where I have lived for the last 20 years.
I have been in business for 15 years, starting off in brick and mortar food business, then moving online. I have started, scaled and sold 3 business which finally lead me to where I am today – running an e-com growth agency, where I help others do the same.
As cliché as it is, no day is the same in my career. My day usually starts with a team meeting - I have a team of 10 in the agency and it’s important for us to stay across performance internally.
I have my own work schedule which I dedicate a few core hours a day to, and the rest of the day is usually filled with meetings, calls and travel.
When I reflected on my previous businesses, it was clear that the area I succeeded in and was most passionate about was the marketing. I didn’t so much choose marketing as it chose me – when I sold my third business, I had a lot of people asking for help and advice. This quickly developed into the agency I have today.
I have faced some huge challenges – not least bankruptcy from my first business. It was a long process to overcome the experience and deal with the shame and feeling of failure. It’s a very, very difficult thing to go through but ultimately you have to use your setbacks to approach new challenges with the experience and lessons you have learnt.
In terms of equality in business, I do feel I was judged differently to the way a man going through bankruptcy would be judged for sure. For example, I had 8 articles in the local press written about me, when I know similar situations with businessmen weren’t covered at all. That hurt and was a really difficult time in my life.
I credit my tenacity – or bounce-back-ability as my friend coined it – for getting me through. It really is a non-negotiable in the business world, as failure is inevitable. The only thing you can control is how you recover from it.
So many people suggested I get a job or opt for an ‘easy life’ when my first business failed, but it was never on the cards. I think if you are an entrepreneurial person then the idea of employment is just totally alien. I think I would be completely unemployable now!
My dad once said to me ‘run your own race’ and I often think of that when I start comparing my life or business journey to others. It is really good advice, and applies to so many situations and makes me feel much calmer when I say it to myself.
I have always been of the view that I am a person who runs a business, I think when we start approaching things from a place of inequality, then we start with a scarcity mindset. However, there is no denying as women, we have a long way to go in business and leadership to compete with the guys. I heard recently that there are more CEO’s in the US called John than there are women. That’s sad. But rather than feeling victimised, we need to stand up and be counted, and be really good at what we do.
Be the right person for the job, whether that means training, getting some more experience in that field or networking in the right circles. If you are the right person for the job and don’t get it, then that is a problem.
Move fast and fail fast. Anything else means you aren’t growing and a business that isn’t growing, isn’t a business!
What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
It’s all going to be fine, I know you can’t see it now but I promise you, one day you will have it all.
Thanks so much to Amanda for sharing her story with us! You can check out more inspirational women here.