Angela Jeffs is the author of a number of books and offers a range of writing workshops.
Q. How and why did you start in business?
In 1973, working for a publisher in Soho, London, I had to choose between being an editor of a magazine and Mother of the NUJ Union Chapel. I chose the latter, and went back to work immediately in the same editorial job as a freelancer. I never thought about what I did as a business; I just worked freelance in a self-employed capacity.
Q. How did you get to where you are today?
By having an open mind, I guess and by seizing opportunities when they presented themselves.
I have been an actor, a teacher and an editor and moved to Japan in 1986. I originally only planned to go for a month but ended up staying for 26 years, re-inventing myself as a journalist and feature writer while I was there.
My mother and aunt lived in Forneth between Blairgowrie and Dunkeld and I moved here in 2012.
Q. Who has helped you along the way?
Too many people to list or mention but they know who they are on a karmic level, and how grateful I have always been.
Q. What was your biggest mistake?
Mistake? That’s like asking what I regret, and the answer is nothing.
I know I could be famous by now if I had not sabotaged myself by both wanting fame but fearing celebrity.
Maybe mistakes would be double-booking working lunches, and VAT – forgetting it was not mine to spend in those heady early days working in publishing and raising a family in London, of making quite a lot of money but always having a cash flow problem.
Q. What is your greatest achievement to date?
Starting to work on myself rather than aspiring to fame and fortune while trying to change the world, as in the past.
It’s an increasingly solitary place, in some respects, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than in this beautiful rural location, except perhaps back in Japan.
Q. How has coronavirus impacted your business?
As a writer working on her own projects, I would say somewhere between it’s hard to know and very little.
It was lockdown that enabled me to focus on my latest book and see it through to being published.
Communication has been slowed, and with book shops closed, I have been forced to become more creative with social media. As for my courses, I was halfway through one when lockdown occurred and had to cancel the second part of.
Since then I have been trying to keep up the momentum with students via zoom, mail and phone.
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the future?
Writing more stories that people want to read and maybe even learn from.
Helping others who want to work on themselves through words and writing – my aim is to help people write their way to better health and improved self-awareness, gaining confidence and realising that your authentic writing voice is not only unique but of interest to others. Maintaining a degree of health and fitness that allows me to remain independent .
Q. Do you want to recruit in the future?
More readers for sure.
Q. What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Riding those days when it all seems a complete waste of time and effort.
Q. Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs?
Just do it. Take that leap.