The Business of Writing

Former coaching client, Chené Koscielny tells Inspired Mums how her life-long passion for writing and desire to be her own boss inspired her to leave the world of journalism to set up her own PR and communication business.

CheneTell me about how you started your career?

I worked as a journalist and editor for newspapers and magazines for many years in South Africa, France (freelance) and the UK.

When was your light bulb moment, when you knew you wanted to be your own boss?

I became increasingly fed up with reporting to people, sometimes less creative and experienced, and in limiting roles because I didn’t want to work full time. I also really liked the idea of being able to choose the type of projects that excited me, rather than having to be given assignments that bored me to tears.

Secondly, when I had my third child four years ago, I realised I wanted to spend more time at home, but also that I needed to diversify as the world of journalism was changing drastically.

How did you transition from the world of journalism to marketing communications?

I did a part-time Advanced Public Relations Course and started working part-time as a Communications Officer for a national charity, who later became my first client. I also completed a Digital Communications Certificate with the PR Academy in London.

What services does your business offer?

My business, PicknMix Communications, is aimed at helping small to medium sized businesses raise their profile – both online and in the media – through sparkling, strategic content. This includes website content, email campaigns, blogs, guest blogs, thought leadership articles, social media, e-book publishing, news releases and features – all working together to help the business achieve its goals. My combination of journalism, PR and digital marketing skills enable me to make a real difference to a company’s profile at a very affordable rate.

How did voluntary work help you identify what you wanted to do?

I was editor of a newsletter for expat mums in Paris, for a few months when we lived there which was great for my CV.

What’s the best thing about working for yourself?

The flexibility that allows me to be there for my children and the ability to choose the projects I want to work on.

And the most challenging?

Staying motivated and confident when you’re having an off day and making sure you don’t become too isolated.

With the benefit of hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently when you set up your own business?

I should have started working for myself earlier, rather than waiting for other people to create opportunities for me.

 What do you think were the main benefits of coaching? And how did this help you with your career change?

I meet a lot of people who think coaching is common sense. I can honestly say, that working with Fiona gave me the confidence to believe I have a product that companies need and would be willing to pay for.

Coaching also helped me set clear, manageable goals for both my business and novel writing aspirations, which made all the difference between being overwhelmed and doing nothing and getting out there and doing it!

You’ve obviously always had a love of writing, how has this evolved over time?

As a skilled and experienced writer I am able to write about most topics, but I’ve learned that I need to choose assignments where I am able to use my creativity. I once freelanced for an industrial cleaning PR agency and although I did a very good job, I wanted to cry every time I sat down to write an article.

You have lived and worked in a lot of different countries – do you think this helps with your writing?

I think living in different countries opens you to new experiences and perspectives, which for a writer is a huge asset. It means you’ve got a much wider repertoire to draw from for your writing.

Because it’s not always easy to integrate as a foreigner, you end up having to rely on yourself a lot more and it makes you less afraid to be different and be seen to be different, which is important for a writer.

For further information about how coaching can help you change direction and find a flexible and family friendly career, please contact or tel. 07789 597209.

Chené Koscielny runs PicknMix Communications.

She helps businesses raise their profile online and in the media – through sparkling, strategic content.

Services include: strategic, search-engine optimised website content, copywriting, email campaigns, e-book publishing, social media, blogs, guest blogs, news releases and features.

Subscribe to her newsletter to get free communication tips for your business:

Twitter @CheneKoscielny



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