Fantastic Females – Rachael Dines, founder of Shake It Up Creative

FANTASTIC FEMALES – RACHAEL DINES, FOUNDER OF SHAKE IT UP CREATIVE

Rachael Dines is a Chartered Marketer and founder of Shake It Up Creative, an award-winning marketing, design & web company based in West Sussex.  She has a busy life, being Mum to 3 boys, running her company, mentoring others and being an expert advisor on various funded business support programmes.  Just before Rachael started working for herself, she was awarded a UKTI scholarship to study B2B Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.  She’s been the live SEO expert on the LBC Radio Business Show with Clive Bull, been in The Guardian and jumped out of a plane for charity.

How did you balance being a mother and professional? I became a freelancer marketer when I was made redundant whilst pregnant with my first child and then I founded my own marketing and design company, Shake It Up Creative.  I have set working days and hours, but these are also flexible, so I can do things like go to the school assembly, drop the forgotten bag off and work once the kids are in bed if I’ve got a lot on.

RACHAEL DINES, FOUNDER OF SHAKE IT UP CREATIVE

FANTASTIC FEMALES – RACHAEL DINES, FOUNDER OF SHAKE IT UP CREATIVE

What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career?

I’m glad you ask that, because I work for myself and I think that most people believe that having your own business is all positive and there are no career sacrifices.  I sacrificed the career ladder and career opportunities – I’d like to have worked for big agencies or known brands.  And I also sacrificed a decent salary with pay-rises – I haven’t had a pay-rise in twelve years!

Who inspired you and why?

In terms of famous people – Beyoncé, J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson, Serena Williams, Barack Obama.  Think women’s rights, self-built influence, dedication, positive use of voice and serious multi-tasking.  In terms of close to me, my Mum, she raised three of us during a time when Dads worked full-time and weren’t encouraged to be hands-on, whilst simultaneously holding down her nursing career and always being there for us.  She normalised working parents in my eyes and is simply incredible, a true example of “women can have it all”.

What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?

Oh I have lots of advice haha.  Don’t lose your ambition and your assertiveness; ask for the pay-rise when you deserve it, apply for the promotion.  Make sure you’re valued and seen as equal and if you’re not and can’t change the mentality, move on.  And, don’t burn any bridges, you’d be surprised at how people reappear in your life and who people are connected to.

Do you think women feel intimidated in business?

Yes, but I also think that is decreasing.  There’s certain language, assumptions, behaviour, comprehension gaps and areas of under-representation that lead to this feeling.  There is also a lot of brilliant work going on to change the narrative and support women in business and in their careers.

Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.? 

By the side of the astro pitch for football training or with my musical son at his lesson.  Unfortunately, not sleeping or brunching with prosecco!

FANTASTIC FEMALES – RACHAEL DINES, FOUNDER OF SHAKE IT UP CREATIVE

What do you love about your job?

I love lots of things about my job but mostly the chance to make a difference to someone else’s business combined with the ongoing flexibility I have.  It’s nice to be in control of your own destiny but that is also incredibly hard as you don’t get paid regardless.

What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?

To be brave.  I said to myself that I was experienced and knowledgeable enough to advise startup business owners, to mentor those in junior marketing roles and to speak on stage at business events.  These decisions propelled my confidence and opened doors for me, both then and now.

What’s the worst career decision you’ve ever made?

To walk out on a job without a job to go to.  After a certain time, it was the hardest financial period of my life and it made my choices become more desperate. 

How do you organise your time?

I plan ahead, I prepare and I set calendar entries for EVERYTHING!  My phone calendar is a shared one with both work and home things on it so that I don’t double-book myself.  I have a children’s weekly timetable stuck up on the door at home.  I’m also not afraid to say no to things being asked of me if needed, but I am diplomatic.

What do you think is your greatest strength?

My planning and organisation skills.  They help me to not let my family down, to maintain a good business reputation and constantly juggle all the balls and some!  At Shake It Up Creative I always have several projects on the go and I have to manage them efficiently.

What do you think is your greatest weakness?

Control – I don’t find it easy to let go of things or to take risks. But I’m working on that and recently I let an intern launch my company Instagram page (check it out!), so that was a big positive step for me.

FANTASTIC FEMALES – RACHAEL DINES, FOUNDER OF SHAKE IT UP CREATIVE

How do you make decisions?

In a very practically-thinking way!  Too practical sometimes.  For example, if I’m being asked to do something for free; is it going to lead to paid work or positively impact the visibility of my brand to my target audience?  If not, then I need to let it go.  I generally don’t over-worry about situations that are completely outside of my control either. 

What do you read?

I’m more of a listener, I listen to podcast episodes and audio books.  I do read lots of online articles, but my physical book-reading activity is pretty much non-existent.  The last time I read a whole book it was because I was proof-reading it and again, it was on-screen!

What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you’ve got to?

Perseverance, particularly through the past 18 months, and working on my weaknesses.  Over the years, turning my weaknesses into strengths through learning and mentoring, has been very rewarding. I think that also, I look for opportunities, and that has helped my marketing company survive.  You can see more of my work history at www.linkedin.com/in/rachaeldines

FANTASTIC FEMALES – RACHAEL DINES, FOUNDER OF SHAKE IT UP CREATIVE

RACHAEL DINES, FOUNDER OF SHAKE IT UP CREATIVE

https://www.facebook.com/ShakeItUpCreative/

More Fantastic Females HERE