A spotlight on: Charlotte Johnson, 33, Founder of Live Consultancy

As far as company offices go, Tea Building in Shoreditch is up there with the best.

From the cobbled floors that line each hallway and allude to the buildings history; Shoreditch House, the private members club, complete with swimming pool, that occupies the top two floors; to the quirky cafés and lounge areas on standby for informal meetings; the former tea factory-turned-office-space has become a landmark in Shoreditch and one that Charlotte Johnson and her team at Live Consultancy call home.

Having seen international growth and worked with some of the world’s most influential brands since launching Live in 2016 – a full-service creative agency with ‘mobile on the mind’ – I caught up with Charlotte (once I eventually found my way to the fourth floor – it took me a good few minutes to work out where the button for the old-fashioned lifts were!) to unravel the ins and outs of her story so far…

Charlotte Johnson, 33, Founder of Live Consultancy

CJ. I’d always wanted to build a full-service agency and Live Consultancy is exactly that. Live is very simply about getting brands in the moment with the people that matter to them. “Oh, so you do PR? Oh, so you do events? Oh, so you do digital?” Yes, we do all of that but we don’t think like that.

What is their brand? Who is important to them? What moments can we actually connect them in a way that falls into their budget? (Unless they’re a huge multinational company where they can throw millions at it!) How do we make those connections and what moments can we build?

We always go back to that mentality and I think that’s why it’s become successful, so quickly.

Covering everything in-house from digital, social media, events, marketing and creative content, in just over two years, Live has grown at a tremendous rate.

CJ. People always ask how we do it all but take Olympia London for example. We do PPC, SEO and blogs for them, purely focused on how to connect the space with more event organisers but then for Estée Lauder Companies, we’re working on a project that’s looking at how we revolutionise retail space as a whole? How do we make it experiential? How do we utilise and make money from that space when there’s no footfall in it? Becca (an Australian Beauty brand recently acquired by Estée Lauder Companies) is all about finding your glow so on June 21st, we’re in Covent Garden with this really beautiful light dial, where customers will have to physically go into the light dial, turn the dial to find their shade and test their glow. There’re mirrors everywhere so they can take a mirrored selfie and it falls on ‘National Selfie Day’ so there’s a whole other PR element in it for them. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

With clients including The Health Lottery and Nectar too, I comment on how different the industries Live works with are…

CJ. Hugely different and the projects are all so different too! Sometimes my staff really struggle explaining their job role because they don’t just specialise in one thing. The minute they’ve nailed one project, the next is so different so they’re constantly learning. I could never have set up a business that does the same thing all the time!

SC.SD. Was it a case of not wanting to feel boxed in?

CJ. Absolutely and from a survival point of view, the market is changing all the time. The mobile revolution changed everything and the speed of which our daily habits in life are evolving is so rapid,  I want to make sure we keep up with that. We now have what I refer to as, “the power of the palm.” Everything we can do, we can do in one minute so if you’re not in that moment, your business isn’t going to survive. Because I’ve said that so many times it doesn’t impact me as much now but it’s so, so true and it still amazes me how many businesses are not actually thinking about moments and connections!

Having secured a job at a PR agency during her first year at university, Charlotte left studies behind after completing a foundation degree in Marketing and Business, opting to work both in-house and for big agencies thereafter.

CJ. I found that I was learning so much more on the job than I was at uni, so for me it was just easier getting out there and it now means I have a good idea of what the clients really need along with the challenges the agencies face.

Charlotte’s career in traditional employment peaked when she became Head of Marketing at Alexandra Palace.

CJ. Ally Pally went on an incredible journey in the five years I was there. It was a business in deficit, it had fallen off the map, no one was talking about it and five years on it had a very well-defined brand, an incredible database and a profitable business, even though its not-for-profit. It got one of the largest HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund) grants ever given. It’s an incredible thing to be a part of.

SC.SD. Why leave then?

CJ. I was twenty-nine at the time and I couldn’t go any higher. I’d always wanted to do this and I just felt like it was the right time. I didn’t have children, I didn’t have a fixed mortgage, I just felt like, ‘this is really the only time that will ever feel right’ but leaving was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done as it had become a lifestyle job. I worked with four of my best friends, the job had become a big part of my life, so it was hard to make the decision but I thought, ‘will this keep you satisfied if you stay here?’ Ultimately though, had I looked back at eighty and I hadn’t left, I would have regretted it, so I couldn’t let that pass me by.

SC.SD. Did that realisation come over night or had it been building for a while?

CJ. It definitely built up. I was looking at other jobs and there were fantastic opportunities but when you get 5-6 interviews in and then the role changes, it’s not what I wanted so it was nice to just take that leap of faith and go for it. I remember saying to my family, “I have no idea where my next pay cheque is coming from and whether this will work but we’ll know in about two years! If not, I’ll go and get a job.”

SC.SD. And that sat well with you?

CJ. Yeh, although it’s easier to say that now! The thought of it not going well and then reapplying for jobs would have felt like a massive failure and one I didn’t give myself as an option in my mind. It sat well with me in the sense that it was a challenge and I felt like I was coming alive again because I’d become too comfortable.

Finding her glow in the Becca light dial pop-up!

SC.SD. So you’ve made the decision to launch… What did setting up Live involve in reality?

CJ. The good thing was that there weren’t any huge overheads because we weren’t developing a product. It’s you, your laptop, Office 365 etc… and marketing and sales is what we do so that bit was easy.

It was more the psychological aspect. You’re going from full-time employment to freelance to Founder. I took about a month off as I was turning thirty (!) and then I buckled down and thought, ‘right I’m going to do this!’

To cover the initial business set up costs, Charlotte used her savings as well as additional money she earnt consulting on a day rate.

CJ. I needed a transition that helped me mentally move from full time to freelance, that paid well too, so I could prepare myself to really start the agency as a Founder and you get paid such a good day rate when you do consulting and luckily I had lots of work coming in. All of that money just sat in the bank and you just take out your personal survival budget; the bare minimum that you really need.

Taking time to make this transition is really important in my opinion. Your world becomes about your business and you become second for a while.

SC.SD. I’m always interested in the nittty gritty details so given what you do and how much emphasis you put on brands standing out, how did you approach your own branding? The name? The logo? All of it!

CJ. The name is normally driven by the domains! After handing my notice in at Ally Pally, it took about three or four days of negotiations to make it clear in my head that it was the right thing to do. There were lots of emotional wobbles (!) but I registered the company in that time and whilst I was doing that, I was trying to work out what to call it. You know back in the day how we all had hotmail.co.uk?

SC.SD. I do indeed!

CJ. It was the year that Hotmail changed to Live so I had charlotte@live.com and I’d always loved that email! I remember looking at it and thinking, ‘that really encapsulates what this business is all about’ so I went straight on to GoDaddy and Live Consultancy was available so I bought it.

Then in the same way that we’d go through a rebrand for a client, I followed that process with Live. What’s our brand about? Who are we targeting? Why are we unique? And that’s where ‘business in the moment’ came from which we’ve evolved a bit since but the words I originally wrote are still on the homepage now.

And then for the logo, it was just a case of going for a walk and finding inspiration! I made lots of mood boards but I kept coming back to this little postcard that I’d found in the Camden Passage in Islington and I just loved the style. I bought it  and showed my designer and just said, “can you just draw Live Consultancy in this style please?” and I picked a combination from the options she designed! I’ve never liked how in our industry, all the agency websites look the same so we’ve played around with the colours, have lots of animations and just always make sure that we never lose that playful mentality. It’s a very video-focused brand.

SC.SD.  I love that! It’s all too easy to say, ‘then we designed the logo’ but there’s always a story behind branding and I love that one!

CJ. Thank you! There was no grand plan. Just go for a walk, find inspiration and that’s it! Yes it’s evolved slightly and we’ve refined our offering so that it’s a stronger pitch since then but the ethos of the company is still very much the same.

In the space of two years, Live Consultancy has grown from Charlotte working with a couple of freelancers in April 2016 to an international agency with a team of ten in 2018, working with some of the world’s biggest names.

SC.SD.  You’ve been on such an incredible journey with such rapid growth so let’s talk about how you’ve managed to do that starting with the team… What made you decide to take freelancers on so soon?

CJ. Ok! So every project I took on, I needed a designer, I needed a content manager etc… and because I’d been working in the industry for a while, I had a team of people I knew I could reach out to that I knew would do the job well and that team hasn’t changed which is lovely.

SC.SD. And in terms of getting clients on board for the first time, how did you approach that initially?

CJ. Every client’s different! Some say, “I want to do this kind of thing” and some say, “I want this exact thing”. To that I’d say always give them an example of what they asked for exactly but for us, we always push the boundaries and offer more.

Early on, Charlotte and her team were approached by the licensing team at Candy Crush…

CJ. They came to us and said, “we’ve got these three new board games which are our three most challenging products. We need to get them into more retailers…” Now obviously people came up with ideas about getting them into retail magazines etc… whereas we said, “no! If you want to get the retailers on board you need to show that there’s consumer demand!”

Having recognised the emerging trend towards childhood nostalgia at the time – Cadbury Crème Egg had just launched a pop-up in Soho that attracted endless queues outside for its six-week run; Draughts, London’s first board games café had just opened in Haggerston; and The Crystal Maze had just re-launched – Charlotte and her team came up with an idea that cemented its place as an internationally recognised agency.

CJ. We built a Candy Crush Board Game in the middle of Soho which took up four floors, each of which represented a level of the game so that customers physically moved through every level. There were board games, you could colour in the walls, every corner offered a sensory experience…

SC.SD. And your business is two years old?! How on earth did you get a client like Candy Crush on board so early on!?

CJ. Haha! So I’m not brilliant at opening doors and that’s ok – you just need to know your strengths. All I need is a foot in it and then I’ll convert that company into business or build a relationship that leads to business later down the line. The owner of our old office owned a really successful printing company and I noticed a good business opportunity for both of us because he has an incredible list of contacts but in a declining business. I said to him, “this is what my company does. If you open doors for me, I’ll give you a fee for anything that I convert” and he had done print for the contact at Candy Crush.

Candy Crush is an interesting one though because initially we were just working with their licensing team and they didn’t have much influence within the company but we said, “look, we know what we’ve suggested is slightly radical but this is what we can deliver. We’ll film it, we’ll get it in all the publications” and we ended up reaching 15 million people worldwide in the end. Because of that, we suddenly gave that team incredible profile within their own company and within three weeks, everyone from Candy Crush’s wider marketing teams and agencies etc … were talking about it and that worked for us because it opened up a door into the whole company.

SC.SD.  That’s honestly incredible! How confident were you at the beginning that you’d be able to secure clients like that?

CJ. I think you have to be confident. There’s no guarantee to it; we work in one of the most competitive industries in the world. Every job you go for there will be five other agencies going for it too…

SC.SD. Even just in Shoreditch!

CJ. Exactly! And those five will be bigger, they’re more established, they’ve got finance behind them so you need that confidence to tell yourself, ‘if you’re not willing to go and fight for that, no one else will for you.’ When I know who we’re up against, I don’t tell the team because I think you have to go in with the mentality that we’ve got the same chance as everyone else. Also, as the underdog, you have to make your ideas better!

SC.SD. Do you play the underdog card?

CJ. Never! I share our story, ethos and show what we can do through our creds and I truly believe we are equal in that pitch process as I know how strong we are as a team. All credentials do is get you into the right room and get people to listen. It’s your ideas that win the business so you have to make sure your team are energised and protect their energy so they’re able to come up with all of these ideas.

The Candy Crush Board Game Pop-Up in Soho

SC.SD. What’ve you found to be the most challenging aspects of launching and running this business since day one?

CJ. Cash flow and payment terms. The smaller companies that you work with are better because they pay on time. Obviously it’s smaller brands so it’s smaller money but it’s coming in and that’s the important bit. It’s the bigger brands – and they know it – that have zero disregard for the consequences of paying late. Big brands want to work with smaller agencies because we’re innovative, we’re agile, we work quickly but on the flipside, that bigger brand will say, “we’re sixty day payment terms, no negotiations” and that’s sixty days if they pay you on time; sometimes it’s ninety and that’s a killer for a small business.

There are days where I think, ‘we’re not going to survive’ and the challenge is keeping that under wraps because the minute you let them know that, you look like a weak company which isn’t the case. I understand it from all sides though. Banks don’t lend to small businesses because you’re not stable but then not having that cash to hand could break what is an incredible business.

SC.SD. And in terms of managing that reality, what do you do?

CJ. It’s hard because there’s no answer. You scrape by, by the skin of your teeth! When you’re forecasting, you’ve got millions of spreadsheets. You’ve got your balance sheet which shows how healthy the business is and you’ve got your cash flow sheet. For me, that breaks down in columns the exact amount coming in each day and what’s still outstanding and I look at that constantly every day so I know how much money I have to play with.

You also learn more with experience. Now I’m able to look at it and say, “that person definitely won’t pay on time so will I hit?” and when things are really tough, you say, “right, who will accept a late payment from us?” and start making those phone calls..! I’ve always kept a savings buffer which has helped on a bad month and then when the money eventually comes in, I boost that buffer up again.

Financial security for me would be getting to a point where I have six months of payments sitting in the bank, excluding VAT payments etc.. and my personal savings not being touched in months. We’re not quite there yet!

SC.SD. But that’s where you can take comfort in the fact that you’re still just two years in?

CJ. Well that’s it! Financially, we’re where we’re meant to be. It’s a bit Del Trotter sometimes having to constantly juggle but something always comes in and saves it! The week before the end of the month, I call every single client and say, “is there any problem with the payment? Will this be paid?” Just to start flagging where the issues will be, but you learn to do that! At the beginning you just think everyone will pay on time!

My business scaled up so quickly so I’ve had to adapt really quickly and think about all of my options. Who are our allies? Who could I go to for bridging loans? Which banks are willing to lend short term on a low interest rate? Where do I draw the line? How much money do I actually feel comfortable borrowing? That should always be up against a really conservative pipeline too. If you’re in a position – and this always happens in start-ups – where your foot’s on the delivery pedal and you’ve taken it off new business, you look up and realise, ‘sugar, the next quarter is really quiet!’ That isn’t the time to be borrowing, that’s the time to be selling. If not, that’s where the bad risks happen.

Charlotte speaking at Oxford University in front of the global leadership team at Estee Lauder

SC.SD. What does your coping mechanism look like when you’re faced with that kind of pressure?

CJ. It’s so hard because you do get used to that heart-in-mouth panic feeling! You just have to take one big belly breath. Has anyone ever explained that to you?

SC.SD. I’m all ears!

CJ. When you panic, you breathe into your chest which isn’t calming. When you breathe into your tummy, your belly goes in and out and your whole body relaxes. Having exercises like that really helps to calm you because the minute you start panicking, you make silly decisions.

In every part of the start-up life though, it comes down to emotional resilience. There will always be moments that knock you sideways and sometimes you just have to own that feeling. Even if it means stepping out of the office for an hour, just do it. The issue is that people take that knock and don’t bounce back quick enough. Time waits for no one and you have to jump back into, “right, what’s next?” mode.

SC.SD. Absolutely! Cash flow aside, have you had any days that have made you think, ‘this is so not what I signed up for’?

CJ. Oh yeah! In start-up life, I think that happens so regularly. A key example is when we did that Candy Crush event. It was a huge international brand and I knew the opportunity but it was a tricky project because we pushed the brief to a whole new level and with that comes risk. We didn’t realise quite how much internal attention it would get and that attention meant suddenly everyone wanted a lot more out of it which is great but the budget never grew. When we opened the doors to that event, I was £5000 down because we’d gone over on production but it was on purpose. I knew that it was a stage for us and all eyes would be on us. On the day you’re the event manager so you’re on show, you have a thousand and one things to be thinking about and even though money is on your brain, you have to just switch off and say, ‘I’ll deal with that later.’

Thank God we did that though because that content reached New York and one day I was sitting at home suffering with a cold and a little bit of burn out and an email came through from Estée Lauder Companies in New York saying, “we saw what you did with Candy Crush… we’ve got this event and we’d love you to speak at it!” My initial thought was, ‘is this a joke?!’ but they wanted me to deliver a speech on ‘driving revenue through social media and content’ at Oxford University. That was on August Bank Holiday last year. I stood up in front of seventy people who led the senior positions within the Estée Lauder Companies globally and that talk then landed four new projects with them!

So yes, in that moment last June/July 2017, I’d lost £5k and questioned everything but two months down the line, it meant that I was speaking in front of a very influential audience and by the end of that year, we’d become an international agency!

SC.SD. Swings and roundabouts?!

CJ. Swings and roundabouts, definitely! In those moments, people say you’re mad but sometimes you have to take those risks. You need to hold your bottle. I’d mentally prepared myself for the fact that I’d lost £5k and nothing was going to come of it but I knew it had potential so it was a case of, ‘there’s an opportunity here, I’m going for it, regardless of what happens!’

Speaking on the panel in front of Estee Lauders senior management…

SC.SD. I presume that speech has gone on to become one of your proudest moments so far?

CJ. I think so! I think my proudest moment was November/December 2017 when I realised, we’ve gone from three to eleven in under two years and we’re now an international agency. I’d gone from Paris to Munich to New York to London and whilst we’re still a small team, we’re working internationally with household names. It was that point where I thought, ‘we need to look at how we’re marketing ourselves’ and that’s when we built the animation on the homepage because we realised it was time to tell our story. I didn’t think we’d be sharing this story so early on. My strategy was stay under the radar, build up and then start sharing out story but it all happened a lot sooner than expected. There’s been a lot of amazing moments but I have a feeling in ten years’ time when I look back, that November/December realisation will really stand out.

With that though, you get excited, start dreaming and then we had the worst March ever! I now know that March was bad for a lot of people, but I hadn’t planned for it, I hadn’t budgeted for it, I’d taken my foot of the pedal in terms of getting new clients…

You get a bit of imposter syndrome where you think ‘was that early success all a fluke?’ Now I have to keep reminding myself that it’s about making sure it’s sustainable because yes, we’ve proved that we can deliver but the challenge is maintaining it.

The Live team in Munich with Estee Lauder…

SC.SD. Let’s talk about life at the helm when it comes to managing a growing team… What’s your experience as boss been like so far?

CJ. I’ve always managed teams in previous roles but it’s very different when it’s your business, your money and your risk! It’s very rare or I should say, I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to find people that are as passionate about this business as I am. If we’re hit by something, everyone feels it and that’s so important. The challenge now is how to keep them here? What’s great about working here? What are the benefits I can offer?

SC.SD. And if you don’t have the big budgets to play with that the bigger agencies have, how do you keep them here?

CJ. I suppose as a team, we’re always thinking together about who we want to be working with and we prioritise the projects that everyone wants to work on. I think what’s special about this team is that everyone has the freedom to do what they want here and when I say freedom I mean it. None of this, “we offer flexible working so you can work 8-4 or 9-5!”

They’re all encouraged to have projects on the side as a creative outlet too and just keep their fingers on the pulse so we all know what’s going on. I find that works really well because they feel like their free spirits but they also have a home and a hub where their birthdays are celebrated and they get presents and they get bonuses on projects etc… We make it fun too; sometimes we go upstairs to the pool and brainstorm there. It’s basically trying to take advantage of what we have at our disposal here, as opposed to saying, “here’s your salary!” Then of course, in terms of their portfolios, the projects they get to work on here are amazing!

I actually ended up employing one of my best friends!

SC.SD. I trust that some ground rules were set?!

CJ. Exactly! We sat down and said, “the moment this effects our friendship, we have to stop.” I also had to make it clear that she was joining a start-up so whilst I’d never leave her without, the moment I couldn’t afford her anymore, redundancies are something we’d have to prepare ourselves for. Also, at the beginning you take a pay cut to do this without many benefits but I’m so lucky she’s here because she’s become my right-hand girl.

SC.SD. If you’re a small, close-knit team, how would you describe yourself as a boss?

CJ. Friendly. I’m chatty in that I understand what’s going on in their life because it impacts their performance but I do distance myself when it gets too chatty so they have a safe space between them. I think it comes down to your ability to switch in the moment and the tone you say things in. Shouting doesn’t drive respect in my opinion. For me, it’s more, “what can we do to make this better?” The team know that they can come to me with a problem though, it’s a learning experience at the end of the day.

It doesn’t matter what I’m feeling on the inside though; they don’t need to know about that!

SC.SD. On the days where you’re not feeling happy but have to show face, what’s your coping mechanism?

CJ. Have you ever seen a burnout chart?

She grabs a pen and a paper and draws one for me!

CJ. As soon as you start tipping to here (post high) signs of burn out start to emerge, be it that you’re snappy, you’re tired, you’re emotional, you’re making bad decisions… You have to make sure that when you’re at that level, you do something for yourself that removes you from work. Every quarter I take a few days out for myself be it that it’s hiking or a weekend break or a trip home.

For women especially, our to-do lists each day before we even get to work is crazy. “I should be eating ten tonnes of kale, I should be doing yoga, I should be dating more, I should be married by now…” There’s so many things we’re told we should be thinking about when actually, all we need in that moment really is to be the best version of you that you can be at that time. Just breathe!

Charlotte in action!

SC.SD. Let’s talk about life outside of work… how have your relationships with family and friends evolved since launching Live?

She pauses.

CJ. Mixed reactions! There was the group that said, “if anyone can do it, you can” regardless of whether they understood what I was actually doing! I think they hear the brand names and think that’s cool! Then you have the people that were apprehensive, “oh is that really what you should be doing? You could earn a lot of money if you stick with a proper job” and that’s fine because it’s who they are as characters, although it’s hard to hear… especially when it comes from family. And then you have the odd, “you’re crazy! It won’t work” and those people were met with a tight smile and a ‘you wait’ in my head!

SC.SD. Always!

CJ. It was emotionally draining though and to a certain extent, still is with some family and friends because they aren’t as supportive as I’d hoped. They’ll see the challenges I face and rather than say things like, “you’ve got this, we believe in you” – the support that you need in those moments – they say, “well if it fails, at least you know you can get a proper job.”

SC.SD. Which is not what you want to hear in those moments?

CJ. It’s the worst thing you can hear but you just have to say, “thanks for your opinion” and not let it get to you. That’s definitely easier said than done though when it’s coming from people so close to you.

There’s a lot of social sacrifice that you need to do to launch businesses and naturally you do filter down relationships or they become more digital catch ups (!) but in any stage of life, no matter what happens, strong friendships stay together.  Some of my friends had babies which changed the friendship dynamic, I launched a business that changed the dynamic; you just make more of an effort to see each other and cherish that time when you do.

It’s nice having different friendship groups to energise you though. When I go back home I don’t talk about work with those friends because it’s boring to them and that’s fine because it’s a nice escape. Then I have friends who really get it and have businesses of their own and that becomes more of a counselling session! “THIS IS SO HARD! WHAT DO I DO?!” I notice it with things like Whatsapp groups; my home friends know to just summarise it for me now. “From those 100 notifications, what do I actually need to know?” and it ends up being three lines!

Part of survival in business is surrounding yourself with positive energy and one of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard is by Pip Jamieson, Founder of The Dots who said, “every room you go into, you want to be level 5. You’re energising 1-4 but 6-10 are energising you and if that’s not the case then move rooms.” For me, that’s so true and you start applying that to who you spend time with.

SC.SD. I’ve never heard that before but I love it. On a day to day basis though, how do you switch off from work and do you find that easy?

CJ. Generally, yes but there are times when it’s more difficult. When I’m going through the creative process for example, it’s harder because you’re constantly thinking about the idea until you nail it. I think the days where I can’t switch off though – where sleep is impacted – are few and far between.

I try and stick to a ‘no work at home’ rule so if I have a lot to do, I’d much rather stay in the office late than take work home. The minute I am home though, cooking dinner and running always helps and trying to stay social and go to events to get out of the same space is good for me too. You obviously have the ideal day you want but I don’t aim for perfection. It’s not reality.

SC.SD. What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made since launching Live?

CJ. I think just time. I could have spent more time dating, I could have spent more time out with the girls, but to me they’re not sacrifices. I’ve just set them back for now. When you launch a business it’s just a decision you make that that will be your focus for the next three to five years.

SC.SD. I always find it so odd when we face pressure to be married off by a certain age. I always thing of Amal Clooney! She built up such an incredible career for herself as a human rights lawyer and didn’t meet George Clooney until she was 35 or 36!

CJ. Exactly! In my mind it’s not an issue. It’s when I go home I’m reminded of it more and you start questioning things but once I’m back in London and surrounded by my London friends who are perhaps more liberal, I’m fine!

SC.SD. Rounding up then, what does the future hold for Live? Where do you see this going?

CJ. At the moment, I’m just focusing on maintaining the standard we’ve set and walking the walk. I want to see the team grow but grow the amount of work they’re doing, and the number of clients we’re taking on board and obviously keep getting amazing brands on board..

SC.SD. Ideal brand?!

CJ. Oooh that’s tough! Ideal would be Asos or any company that’s used technology well like the Uber’s, the Just Eat’s, Netflix… they really, truly understand modern behaviour and how technology enables that so they’re at the top of my list I think!

SC.SD. Very last question then, do you consider yourself to be successful?

CJ. Erm, I think so! The growth we’ve had, the results we’ve had, the clients we’ve worked with etc… all suggests a level of success but I think you have to constantly re-evaluate what success is and means to you. I’m constantly thinking, ‘what’s next?’ but I think it’s important to also step back and look at what you’ve achieved. One of my coaches says, “at the end of each week, look back at what you’ve achieved” and for me, it really helps! It’s so positive!

From her candid thoughts on learning to block out unwanted negative energy (a challenge that she readily admits, is easier said than done at times);  her commitment to ensuring that her team stay eager to perform and energised, by allowing them the freedom to work on their own terms and choose projects of their choice;  to her no-nonsense take on why she doesn’t strive for perfection on a daily basis and why it’s important to walk away for a few days every few months to recharge; Charlotte is one of the most down to earth business women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, having managed to keep a level-head on her as her business has scaled at an alarming rate.

And whilst with growth comes a pressure to maintain that level of success going forward, with Charlotte at the helm, something tells me that Live will be just fine.

The perfect example of why the ability to hold your nerve is crucial to survival in business, Charlotte’s story is a testament to her emotional resilience and determination as the woman in charge.

A vital combination for any successful Founder, I’m sure you’d agree.

For more information on Live Consultancy, visit the website here or find them on Instagram: @liveconsultancy


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