Being temporarily dis-engaged from your parents as a teenager might not sound like the ideal background for a successful entrepreneur.
But for Yvette Adams, it was a reality that she managed to turn into an innovative start-up business.
Adams is the founder of The Creative Collective, an award-winning creative services agency based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Founded in 2007, the business offers a wide range of services such as marketing, public relations, SEO, social media, website design and development, and graphic design and print.
“Initially, I offered these on my own and within six months I had five contractors,” Adams says.
“I now have 25 contractors – in addition to staff working for me – servicing clients locally, regionally, nationally and internationally via our collective network of creative professionals.”
“In more recent times, we have aimed to become a leading provider of education and training on business success-related topics, with a particular focus on marketing and online businesses.”
Last financial year, The Creative Collective recorded revenue of $495,000. But it’s been a long road for Adams, who left home at 17 to move in with a partner, causing a rift, thankfully now resolved, with her parents.
“I did not have the parental or financial support to go to university. I did not even have a place to live so I went into survival mode and, thankfully, someone gave me a job,” Adams says.
“Since arriving in Australia six and a half years ago, I have worked extremely hard to establish myself – to work for myself as a sole trader and now as a thriving business.”
“I think because I have not had anything handed to me on a silver platter in my life, I am not afraid of hard work and am a very determined and ambitious soul.”
After splitting from her partner, Adams moved in with her grandmother, who she says “saved her” during a tough time. She then started to think about building a better future by launching her own business.
Adams started her business from home, having recently given birth to her second child.
“Out of both desire and necessity, I wanted to create an income from home, around my two kids, with an unlimited earnings potential,” she says.
“One, because I had to – we could not afford to live on the one wage my partner was deriving – but two, because I wanted to.”
While Adams loved the thought of looking after her business and her babies under one roof, it proved to be her greatest challenge.
“I had to create a very strict time management regime, generally resorting to working when they were asleep or at night,” she says.
The situation also prompted Adams to utilise certain technologies, both in and out of the office.
“I have focused on extensive and innovative use of cloud computing or online systems to enable me to work from anywhere, anytime, including via mobile, such as in the supermarket queue,” she says.
“These systems also ensure there is consistency and quality in the service and products we provide.”
That’s not to say Adams doesn’t know how to switch off. On the contrary, she views a work/life balance as the ultimate achievement.
“The key driving factor now is my eternal quest for the ideal lifestyle,” she says.
“I love juggling the needs of my family and partner with my own personal needs, and combining time with my friends, fitness, rest and relaxation with the rigorous demands and rewards of business.”
Adams is set to add another element to her busy life – a new business. The venture, called AwardsHub.com, is a site where businesses can enter their details to find out about the most relevant awards they can enter, from around the world.