Good Hustlers: Jules Brooke || Handle Your Own PR

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I met Jules Brook what seems like a lifetime ago, but in reality it was about ten years, the same ten years that it takes to be an overnight success. Jules is a born entrepreneur, ideas run in her veins, as does courage, grit and resilience, the critical traits needed to make it when you are birthing a big new idea into the world. But more than that, Jules is that person who you want to hang out with, who is so warm and funny and compelling that she lights up a room and you can hear her laugh from the next room.

Jules was a PR gal amongst many other things, and had an audacious idea to lift the veil on the industry and show customers how it was done so they could handle their own PR. She was well ahead of the curve when it came to the democratisation of information and creating digital platforms for B2B use. Her idea was gold, but it took some educating and time to get the platform right. Throw in the usual funding issues and life, and you have the classic entrepreneur story of the ten year overnight success, which doesn’t ever tell the true tales of tears, frustration, unexpected wins and the drive to get up and do it again tomorrow.

I love seeing Jules get traction, and all the people she is helping to get their own stories into the media to promote their brands. It’s a truly innovative concept that is scalable, investible and exitable and even better, empowers users. Did someone say Good Hustler? You BET!

1. Describe your business in one powerful sentence 

Handle Your Own PR helps small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs to get free media coverage for their business by offering information, access to media contacts, support and guidance.

2. How do you integrate service to others in your business model?

My business is totally about offering help and support. I like to work with people who are often short of funds and not sure what they should be doing! I tend to end up helping them with a lot more than just their PR and messaging. I have been lucky enough to be able to work with some amazing people, mainly women, who are giving back, and I help them spread awareness for their initiative. I have been working with Naomi Lambert from The Cool to be Kind Project, Rochelle Courtnay from Share the Dignity and many more. I get such pleasure and satisfaction from seeing the excitement when they finally 'get it' and get published. i also love to see what the publicity does for their business and their personal self confidence. It's an incredibly rewarding job helping people help themselves!

3. What were some of the highlights and lowlights of your journey to where you are now?

Oh my goodness. Such a simple sentence to incorporate a decade of highs and lows! Ok bear with me as I cast my mind back!! Many of the highs come from seeing people I have helped get ahead themselves and watching their businesses grow as they gain confidence and experience but personal highs for me also include creating the PR platform to make it easy for people to handle their own PR with our templates and media contact lists, launching the online PR bootcamp a few years ago and realising that I can show people how easy it is to get the media to cover stories on their business and then morphing into the PR Accelerator program. A couple of recent highs: Knowing that at my last 7 events, people have been published AT the event  (to much excitement and a lot of squeals of delight!), and being contacted by Mia Freedman to have my programme included in her Lady Start Up Activation Program. I couldn't believe it at the time!!

Of lows there have been plenty. From our initial launch when not one customer bought for the first few months (we had to rebuild the website almost immediately!), to having my bestie dump me after working on the business for a short while (she has never spoken to me again), to running out of cash for the business (happened far too many times for my liking), and the best one: My business partner and digital guru leaving me mid-website build with no cash and having taken a sizeable slice of my business. All awful. Most of them froze me for a few weeks - I just didn't know what to do - but something always happens to put things back on track. My current business partner is beyond fabulous and makes up for all the disappointments that came before!

4. Do you have a spiritual practice? (this can be anything from meditation, yoga, prayer to knitting or playing drums!)

I would love to say that I have taken up yoga as it has been on my radar for the last few years but I still haven't gotten started! I guess my spiritual practice, and one that makes me feel good, is helping people with their business. I think I have helped many more people for free than have ever paid me. But I love the feeling it gives me when someone gets clarity after chatting or working with me, and their business takes off. It is immensely satisfying! I tend to be a bit of a fix-it person for my friends too. If they are lost or stuck and don't know what to do next, I love to be able to help set them on the right path again.

5. Advice for others who want to start their own good hustle

I am obviously biased but I would encourage anyone to set up their side hustle or business as soon as they can! I think a lot of people procrastinate and wonder whether they should do it, and often give up before they have really gotten started. I believe that being self employed is the ultimate high! It can be scary financially (especially at first) but the joy that comes from running things the way YOU want to, taking time off when it suits YOU, and living your own best life is heady stuff. And what's the worst that could happen? It might not work and you would be back to looking for a job or starting another venture, but you will have lost nothing - and gained a whole lot of experience along the way.

Check it out here: https://www.handleyourownpr.com.au/

Polly McGee