I go through phases with podcasts. Sometimes I love them, and sometimes I think they’re just tedious… and don’t get me started on the terrible adverts. I tend to listen to American podcasts, but the more popular they are, the more god-awful adverts you have to sit through. Aren’t they just the worst?!
My latest podcast obsession is How I Built This With Guy Raz. It’s all about discovering the stories behind the companies you know and love. And some businesses you don’t even know about yet. I haven’t listened to each and every one of them, but so far I have loved finding out about how Instagram started, DryBy, Slack and Lyft. All of these simple ideas and yet these guys (and gal) are laughing all the way to the bank. Jealous would be an understatement.
I’ve got to say, I’ve always been interested in people with an entrepreneurial streak – and it’s not just because I like watching Dragon’s Den. Some of you might not know about my first ever grown-up job – I even forget about it and it’s not on my CV – but when I left University I worked for a nonprofit organisation called ‘Make Your Mark’. It was a government initiative to encourage 11-18 year-olds to get inspired to start their own business and be more entrepreneurial. I have to laugh – I can’t even imagine me doing this job, so I don’t know if you can. How did I even get this job?!
I remember being so out of my depth and I had to go to secondary schools and youth centres to talk about the pros of being your own boss and why lining someone else’s pockets wasn’t something to strive for. We had a whole squad of young ambassadors and they were all self-made success stories. It was my job to work with them to get them in the press and to spread the message of the campaign. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very good – terrible in fact, but it’s probably because I had always dreamed of moving to the big smoke to work on a woman’s magazine and write about fashion, beauty and celebrities.
My dream came true and I left the job to move to London for an internship at ELLE. I wouldn’t change my career path for the world, but I have to ask, why the hell didn’t I start my own business back then? Even if it was just a little side-hustle. Practice what you preach, ‘n’ all that jazz. Maybe one day the light bulb will go off but until then, I’ll carry on being inspired by this podcast – it’s really good.
Leanne Bayley, CEO of Daily Bayley.
And if you want to see a photo of me back in my ELLE days… here you go!
This was taken September 2008 during my very first fashion show at LFW – the Vivienne Westwood show, no less. Kate Moss waved to us from her car. The end.