How am I here? – By @gnomeegnome

Naomi Taylor

By Naomi Taylor


How am I here?

I’ve had people ask me how I managed to get to    the SCA and after a great masterclass from Oli Barrett on networking, I thought it would be a good time to share my experiences.

So when I got into the SCA I was like great, amazing, this is unbelievable and then it hit me — how the hell am I going to pay for this? So to give you a bit of my background…

I was in foster care, had no savings and nobody that could support me with rent, living costs, travel and the dreaded school fees. I have a lot of lovely people in my life but none of whom would be able to financially help or any that I would have felt comfortable to lean on. 

Shit, maybe I can do a crowdfunding campaign! I set up on Hubbub with a video, story and why I needed some help. I then emailed as many people in the industry as I could, personalising every one. Because why not? I want to be in advertising so why not ask them? 

It sucked, emails were bouncing back or I didn’t hear anything at all. I guessed a lot of emails and I contacted thousands of people (I’m not kidding). From advertising and marketing to banks and Pizza Hut, you name it, I contacted them. Yes most people didn’t want to reply, but it only seemed that way at first. I kept on and on and emailed them every other week with the same email until I got a response. I sent the emails more frequently the longer that I had heard nothing and I had a checklist of who replied and who hadn’t. When I say checklist i mean a ring binder bulging full of email addresses. I documented responses, amounts donated, everything!

Then I got my story onto Campaign’s website because I contacted the amazing Claire Beale. I had renowned ad people sharing my story and I was being spoken about, people knew my name.

In the end I wasn’t far of my goal with funding but overall I was amazed that I had even got to where I did. The generosity and support that I received, the people I met and the kind feedback and advice that I received were the most beneficial and inspiring part about the whole experience. Don’t get me wrong, it was bloody hard work and there were times that I wanted to give up but I had to keep believing.

Here are 10 points I want to share…

  1. Never give up no matter how bad things may look. 
  2. Irritate people — it shows you care, have the passion and drive to succeed.
  3. Guess — guess email addresses until you get the right one. It pays off.
  4. Be humble, don’t expect things because they won’t just come to you, you have to go out there and get them.
  5. Stay in contact with people you meet, you never know when you may need their advice.
  6. Use every media output to make noise and get heard.
  7. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  8. Keep fighting.
  9. Learn from your mistakes (there is so much I wish I had done differently when crowdfunding).
  10. Be true to yourself, be honest and be you because nobody likes a fake.

If something doesn’t sound possible, seriously just give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen?

Finally I just want to thank everyone who helped me on my journey, I cannot thank you enough — you have literally changed my life. 

I would name you all but there are too many which just goes to show how much generosity there is in this world.


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