Women In Business: Keri Allan

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Members News
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Photos courtesy of ottrworks.com

In celebration of Women in Business day, Desk Cowork brings you wonderful interviews with our creative souls that make up the Women of Desk Cowork.

All week (24th to 28th September) we have a free cowork week to encourage ladies and gentlemen to come and try coworking, and celebrate with us!

 

So, Keri, what’s your name and the name of your business?

I don’t have a business name but I do have a blog! Ladies What Travel is the name. I am a self employed individual, so I have my website with keriallan.com and it’s just me doing my thing, really!

And what’s your thing?

I am a journalist, editor, copywriter, and blogger.

I was having a discussion about this about a week ago, at a training course we were doing a bio and I’m like, “Is that too much?” And he’s like, “No, that’s everything you do!”

Brilliant! What do you love most about the work that you do?

The variety. Although I fell into becoming a freelancer, it wasn’t a plan. I would not go back to a full time position where that is what I do, and it’s very structured. I get to write about a million different topics. I’ve done everything from a 2000-word article on the ink in CDs, to being whisked over to Tokyo and interviewing some of the top people at Sega. And being a big gamer, that’s amazing. Lots of travel!

Do you have a favourite inspiration quote?

I don’t. I have a very cheesy quote, which is a song lyric by Smash Mouth, which is even more cringe-worthy. And now off the top of my head, I can’t remember it. It’s from All Star. I have to get back to you on that… I know it if I’m singing it, but I’m not going to sing it.

Edit (Keri didn’t sing it to us!):

So much to do, so much to see

So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?

You’ll never know if you don’t go

You’ll never shine if you don’t glow

What are your plans and ambitions for 2019?

The key ambition, whether I achieve it is another matter, I want to do a four-day week. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do, because as I’ve got older and as I’ve got busier, my work-life balance has gone of skew, and it’s something I really want to get back. And I think it’s just great to do. And the fact I’m self-employed, I should be doing this. I’ve got the ability to do four days working and three days off. But I seem to have an issue with saying “yes” to every piece of work that comes my way.

My next question might be interesting then, because I’m going to ask you how do you achieve your work-life balance! Or how do you think you do, even?

No, I’m getting better. There are certain things I’m doing, Todoist is my dream. I love that app. And that just keeps me on top of everything, prioritising things, and getting better. And knowing to turn off. And also coming here [Desk Cowork]. This has been a big difference in that I separate everything, and when I leave here, I come home. I walk through the door, home is home. And that has been amazing, it’s been like super-exciting, that I’m co

ming home and telling people about my day.

Dividing it is a big thing. And when I moved to that house as well, I had an office space that was sort of added on the end, it was separate from the house so I didn’t even walk through it. But you have to have that split. And working hours. It’s like I’m doing a nine-to-five. I will not work evenings and weekends. Unless I absolutely have to – if there’s a deadline, I’ll do it.

And what advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in business?

You’ve got to believe in yourself. I think it is a female trait that you question things, you might not be as confident. Males do come across as more bullish, they will ask for things, whereas we might be a bit overly polite, and apologise way too much. So I would say, you know, you’ve just got to believe in yourself. And even if you’re having a day where you don’t, just keep going and do it, because you wouldn’t get the work, you wouldn’t achieve, and you wouldn’t get to where you are if you didn’t have the skills. So just remembering that and looking back at what you’ve achieved so far, and remember that.

I think that confidence seems to be a common response to this question.

Yeah. I mean, it’s still an issue for me now.

I keep emails for feedback that I get from people, and I have post-it notes around my office saying, “oh, this person said this great thing about me”, and, you know, just on those rubbishy days where you’re just like, “oh, I’m a fraud” – you know, with the imposter syndrome – You just do those kind of things. Just go no, no, this is normal, it’s okay to feel this way, but, you know, kick yourself up the butt and get on with it.

What’s your favourite breakfast food?

Pastries.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don’t want to grow up.

Good answer. Tea or coffee?

Tea.

Instagram or Facebook?

Work or pleasure?

Give an answer for each.

Facebook, fun. Instagram, work.

Cool. Apple or Microsoft?

Apple.

What time of day are you most productive?

Early morning. No… I’m a nine to before-lunch person. I can’t say morning, I don’t like getting up. I will do the creative work before lunch, and the admin afterwards. Because once I’ve eaten a big meal, I’m done. I think that’s turning 40.

And how do you wind down, after work?

Video games.

Very cool. What do you play?

At the moment it’s Zelda on the Switch, and Divinity with my other half. So we like playing couch co-op, two-player games together, so that’s what we do.

And finish the sentence: coworking is…?

Balance. For me, definitely, it’s having that work balance, and interacting, just having other people around, not being on my own in a room makes me more productive.