And so, the end is near…
That’s right, folks. This is the final interview in my Meet the Megs series. I can’t believe we’re here already. If you’ve missed any of the interviews so far, or the background to this whole Meg-tastic celebration of freelancers, you can find the links at the bottom of this interview.
But don’t just scroll all the way there! Read what the lovely Meg Bell has to say, first.
Meg set up Clockwork PA & Social in 2016 with a vision to help local businesses achieve their goals by taking on admin, HR and other tasks that are often neglected or stand in the way of growth. She uses her expertise to allow business owners to concentrate on what they do best and ensure that the “back office” runs smoothly to support the business.
Hi Meg! Tell us about your (clock)work – what do you do?
I’m a virtual assistant and social media trainer. I help small businesses with their administration allowing them to concentrate on what they do best. I also advise small businesses on social media.
I love the flexibility my work offers me. I can still do the school runs and work around my kids without being tied to particular office hours. If I have a poorly child I can still do some work around them (Cbeebies is a lifesaver) but also if need to just take some time off and pick up work once the kids are asleep, I can do that too.
I also love the variety of work I do. No two clients are the same or need the same amount of support. And I love meeting new people and their businesses and seeing how I can help them achieve their goals.
I’ve met so many more people than I thought I would, working for myself. Has anyone you’ve met given you any great business advice?
Network – make sure you have a wide and varied network as people want to work with people they know or have been recommended. Word of mouth and an approachable nature work wonders.
I have to admit I don’t love networking, but I’ve taken huge steps forward in this since starting my business. I do now quite like networking groups, but more the informal ones, particularly those that involve food! I am lucky that there are some great networking groups near me which have been really welcoming.
And by networking, you meet EVEN MORE people! Brilliant. Now for a tricky one. Is there a superpower which would make your work easier?
Being able to clone myself – if there were more than one of me it would really really help at times! I’d love a clone to do things like schedule all my social media posts, keep up with social media trends and basically stop me looking at my phone all the time! Also, another one to do all the household stuff while I work or play with the kids would be amazing. Maybe like a washing, ironing and cleaning clone?
That sounds amazing, I want one. Sadly I don’t have a cloning machine, though. But if you could use a time machine to help you research or plan your work, where would you go, what would you do, who would you meet and why?
I’d use a time machine to catch my clients when they are free, able to chat and have had time to review things and provide feedback! I spend quite a lot of my time waiting for clients to review or feedback so this would massively help.
Sounds like you live a busy life! If you could work from anywhere, where would you go?
Somewhere with beautiful beaches and hot sunny weather where I could work mornings and evenings and have a few hours off every afternoon to enjoy the sunshine. I’d love to go to Thailand or travel South America while working. I think a more relaxed approach to life would be a great tonic to the last few years of setting up my business and having two small children.
Idyllic. OK, you can take your computer and phone to the tropical paradise with you. What one other tool is the most important thing you use for your work?
A notebook! I’m still a big fan of writing things down and always have a to-do list in a notebook that I can refer to. I wish I was a neat and tidy notebook person – I have bullet journal envy on Pinterest – but I’m just not that person!
I write in lots of colour, mainly using felt tip type pens, mostly using bullet points and cross things off when they are done. I love a good list and always write copious notes in meetings as you never know when you might need to refer back to them. However, they are not neat and there is no spell checker in a pen so typically I am the only one who can interpret them afterwards.
That figures – I guess you have to be organised in your role! If you’re anything like me, you’ll use phone apps to help. If I said you could only keep three apps, which would you keep and why?
Toggl – I charge an hourly rate so need to reliably track my time.
Instagram – I have a slight addiction to Insta stories.
Podcasts – I hate working in silence and find podcasts great. My current favourite is You, Me and the Big C, although it makes me cry. I also like Desert Island Dishes and My Dad Wrote a Porno (although not while working as it makes me laugh too much!). I think for me it is more about background noise whilst I work – I hate silence and miss the buzz of an office so podcasts help fill the void.
It’s funny how some people need noise to work and oth…OH NO! There’s a zombie apocalypse brewing (I’m sure you didn’t see that coming). Which three people (living, dead or, I guess, undead) would you want on your team and why?
Ellen Ripley – Alien – because she’s awesome and would protect me from anything.
Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead – I love Andrew Lincoln and he has all the knowledge of surviving zombies.
Peter Kaye – just to keep me smiling through the worst of times!
OK, while we’re running from the zombies, let’s round off with a few quickfire questions. Any Meg-related nicknames?
Excellent name! Early bird or night owl?
I wish I was an early bird too. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Fruit compote, Greek yoghurt and granola. Lots of coffee.
Wonderfully healthy (I’ll let you off for the coffee). And finally, a favourite fictional Meg?
Meg and Mog – I had a load of the books when I was little but also hated her as one of my nicknames was Meg the Witch!
I LOVE MEG AND MOG. The best answer of the whole series there, saved til last.
Thanks for sharing all that with us, Meg! I have honestly loved putting this series together. You’re all brilliant. A marvel of Megs, as someone said on Twitter. And thanks again to Meg Bell for being our final Meg.
…Or is she? I might pop up my own answers to this set of questions as a Christmas special, if I have time. I might need a clone or a time machine, though, because things are busy. We’ll see. Ooh the mystery and anticipation. I’m as in the dark on this one as you are.
You can catch up on all the other interviews here:
- Meet Megan Bowdler
- Meet Megan Davies
- Meet Meg Hapgood
- Meet Meg Harrop
- About me (the Meg behind the questions)