A year ago six of us, five men and me, decided to set up our own training consultancy for companies working in the financial sector. My official title is marketing director. My role includes getting the company in front of prospective clients, producing press releases and newsletters. Companies come to us when they have problems. Say, for instance, that they want help introducing new technology. It's not just a matter of training people how to use a computer. It's about the way they cope with different attitudes and the way they deal with change. It's very competitive. Increasingly only those consultancies who adopt a proactive approach will be the ones that survive.
How does your day start?
I get up at around seven. Either my husband will be leaving for work (he works far more hours than I do), or my son Sam will come into my bedroom and wake me up, or failing that an alarm clock will go off. I prepare breakfast and sort out things like Sam's sports bag and check he's done his homework. Breakfast is normally whatever Sam has - Shreddies or Coco Pops. I'm not a health freak. I get him to school, then it's back here to start work. As a new company we've had to keep our overheads down so for now I work from home.
What do you wear?
If I'm seeing clients I wear a suit. I still dress for work even if I'm working from home but less formally. You have to create an impression: first impressions are critical. I tend to wear black, pinstripes or navy.
What's your journey like?
When I'm visiting clients I travel all over the place. Last week I flew to Edinburgh and also had to drive to Liverpool, Bournemouth and Croydon. I have a compact disc player in the car and play loud music: James Brown, Manic Street Preachers and George Michael. Colleagues listen to Radio Four but it's not for me.
What do you do for lunch?
I don't have lunch when I'm at home - I might just have a biscuit or something. On the road I carry fruit in my bag and buy chocolates at a garage.
What stresses you out at work?
Going from being employed to taking the plunge and investing our own money in our own company has been stressful - but positively so. We could have continued in an employed position with another company, but the opportunity was too good to miss so we went for it.
What are the perks?
Being in business with friends I have known and worked with for years, and we are all equal shareholders. The present arrangements are good for family life. You can get a better balance when you're working from home.
What are your hours?
About 10 hours a day, but there have been times when we've been working from nine in the morning until midnight or later, including weekends, to get important work done. But weekends are fairly precious and I try to keep them free.
How much holiday do you take?
We agreed to give ourselves 25 days a year but one of my colleagues has taken only one day off so far. Last year we went to Minorca for a fortnight. A proper beach holiday with Sam making sandcastles and we just crashed out. Then in the second week we hired a car and travelled around a bit. Holidays are for recharging the batteries.
What do you do after work?
I'm studying for a marketing diploma but work commitments mean that I am not always able to get to the classes. I go to the gym about twice a week and I have just bought a piano and am starting to get my fingers around the keys again. I took my grades when I was at school. I play with Sam on his Nintendo.
How do you feel on a Sunday night?
I used to hate Sunday nights. Now I look forward to the new week. There's always something different to look forward to, and new challenges in the week ahead.Reuse content