You could say that you are on a “career adventure” instead of a career path. Welcome to “Choose Your Own Adventure”! Our “career adventure” interview series charts the joys & challenges, and many different directions our career adventures can take us. Anything from career changes, working remotely, freelancing, contracting, self-employment, starting your own business, working on your own projects alongside your day job, having a side hustle or a portfolio career – all depending on what choices we make, what steps we choose to take, what opportunities or challenges that come our way in the most unlikely of places that help you to choose your own adventure.
In this interview we speak to Jes Bailey who is a Crowdfunding Specialist and Founder of Crowdfund 360. Her aim is to empower people to increase their social impact and she does that by helping amazing founders and leaders run successful crowdfunding campaigns!
Jes started Crowdfund 360 because she loves seeing people challenge themselves and succeed. She believes great ideas and passionate people should not be held back due to a lack of funding: “Crowdfunding is not magic, it is a science and an art. I want to share this recipe for success with startups, social entrepreneurs and charities to enable more amazing people to bring their projects to life.”
Read on to find out more! Thank you, Jes, for telling your story!
1. Tell us about yourself
I am Jes. I am 28 years old. British, but have spent most of my adult life abroad. I love watersports, beaches, being warm and working with clients who change the world for good. Hopefully this interview will explain who I am a bit further.
2. What are you working on now?
Right now, I have 6 crowdfunding campaigns live for my clients. They vary from tech-for-good, sustainable fashion, animal rescue, community development. Other than that I am working on preparing my business, Crowdfund 360 for 2020.
3. Could you tell us about how your career adventure(s) started, about what experiences, challenges or opportunities you came across over the years that led you to choose your own adventure? Where has your career adventure taken you in the past leading you to where you are now?
My first full time job was during my summer holiday at age 16, where I moved away from home and worked as a surf photographer in Cornwall. This combined my two passions of the time: surfing and photography. Then, during university I spent every summer working in a 5-star hotel in Turkey looking after rich people’s kids. This got me somewhere hot, exotic and allowed me to learn Turkish too. After graduating university, I moved to Holland and then, as I worked in the charity sector I also worked in Egypt and Bangladesh. After my masters, I moved to London, got a real job for a crowdfunding platform and fell in love with the concept
However, my contract came to an end, and I thought, London isn’t for me, 9-5 isn’t for me and, even though I asked, other crowdfunding platforms weren’t hiring specialists (only techy-backend people) so I decided to set up my own consultancy. Since then I have worked in over 15 countries and have a cute little base in Brighton, UK where I can call home.
I had no plan to ever set up a business, I always thought I would work in the charity sector so I had a lot to learn and a mindset shift to take. I also suffered travel burn out in 2018 from travelling too much for work.
4. What past projects or anything that you have worked on spark joy for you when you look back at what you have worked on?
I have done 7 refugee crowdfunding campaigns now. We have helped raise over £250k for different refugee charities. It makes me happy to see the impact this makes. e.g when we hear stories about children reunited with their families in UK thanks to the projects we worked with in the past. Or when I hear of women who receive help for PTSD and other trauma suffered by the charities we worked with or when I hear about these organisations being recognised and winning awards from UN organisations and others.
5. How do you choose what to work on?
If the project does good for the world, the client seems genuinely passionate about the project and they’re willing to learn, we will no doubt work with them
6. What advice, practical or otherwise, would you give to someone looking to start a career adventure similar to your own?
Just go for it. Even if and when things don’t go to plan, you will learn so much, potentially more than if they go right – so either way you have nothing to lose. However, you do need to be super passionate about what you’re going to do and believe you can do it. Finally, be smart about it if you know you’re a worrier, get some potential clients lined up before you begin, or take a small part time job to ensure you don’t have all your eggs in one basket at the beginning. Your mental health is very important and if you suffer, your work and clients will too. So protect it where possible by knowing what will make you anxious and that you can control and doing that – because there will be so much you can’t control that will come your way.
7. Could you describe your day-to-day at “the office(s)”?
It’s hard! Monday/Tuesday is usually a lot of calls. I speak to each client weekly on these days and also chat to potential clients too. The rest of the week is more to do with content creation, strategy, reviewing work or working on the business itself.
8. Where do you feel you work best and thrive the most? (This could be ways of working or environments)
At a table for sure! I love co-working spaces (especially if they have dogs!) Otherwise my van with a really great view! I really need a great view to stare out into occasionally. Also I need to be warm. I hate being cold. And ideally somewhere I can go out and take a great walk when I need a break. That’s why my home co-working space is right next to the beach in Brighton. (Not that I am high maintenance or anything, but if I think about an ideal situation…)
9. What inspires and drives you every day?
Knowing that all the clients I work with are pushing hard to help more people in the world and make it a better place for everyone
10. What advice would you give to your younger self, knowing what you know now?
Just go for it. See what happens! (Even if I say that to myself now, it is absolutely terrifying even though I know I should do it!)
Feel free to contact us at Project Anywhere if you have any questions about any of our career adventure stories. Come back soon to read more career adventures! Contact us here if you’d like to be featured here to share your own career adventures story or if you would like to write a guest blog for Project Anywhere.