Spotlight on Spouses – Eleanor Tweddell
Name: Eleanor Tweddell
I have set up a few businsesses and blogs…
Snuggle Truffle, howtobeonline and ETC. and now studying Digital Mums
What is your career background?
I have been in corporate communications for the last 20 years but now specialising in social media for small businesses.
Why did you choose the industry you work in and where did the idea for your business come from?
After 20 years in corporate comms it felt like the right time to do something different. A desire to find something that worked a bit more flexibly, that could move around with us was the main driver. I’ve also longed for a more creative career. I had the chance to go to art college but instead choose a Business Studies course and even though that was 25 years ago I still pine for a more creative, arty existence! When I was made redundant I took it as the opportunity to do something different and decided to learn more about social media and set up an online business – it was like an experiment to push myself out of ‘comfortable zone’ really. I still do comms freelance and contracts as it’s still something I enjoy.
How did you move from the idea to the actual business?
Lots of googling! I began to find networks and groups to join, both in person and online, and it went from there. I had 3 months garden leave so a bit of time on my hands!
How do you spread the word about what you do?
For my new online business I use social media mostly but looking at traditional press too. I feel Im in learning mode at the moment so not shouting too loudly, just building a network of experts to lear from at the moment. With my freelance comms I use my network, over 20 years I’ve made some great relationships across a lot of industries so it has helped, and feels good that I can help out others.
As a Military spouse, what has been your biggest obstacle when trying to balance work, kids and your spouses military commitments?
I can keep it all spinning most of the time. The plates wobble, and sometimes fall when my daughter is sick, or my husband is away. But I’ve ‘trained’ myself to try to relax during these moments, to only focus on things I can control and live with imperfections when times are hard. I’ve got a saying ‘ it probably doesn’t matter’ which I tell myself quite a bit! It’s not easy though and there are often some lonely times where it feels a bit isolated.
What has been your proudest moment?
Setting up my two businesses, it felt like a real start of something new, and it felt like I’d be able to support my husband more as well.
Why is work so important for you?
I have a ‘busy’ brain, I dread to think what I’d get up to without something to focus on.
What advice would you give fellow Military spouses who want to get back into work, retrain for a new career or start their own business?
There are so many great support network and forums out there now, I’d say join them and just get involved in discussions and conversations, and ask open questions, I’ve found the online community extremely supportive. The other thing I’d say is think about what you enjoy doing and then find a way to make a living from it! Sounds simple but so many people are making a success of it, why cant it be you too!