Phoebe

Dodds

01.

What is your professional title, purpose or passion?

My everyday purpose is helping female entrepreneurs create digital content with clear business goals. My passion is combining my writing skills, honed through almost 10 years as a freelance journalist, and my business skills, gained through a Master in Entrepreneurship and various start-up experience, to help small businesses achieve their goals.

03.

What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?

When I was little, I wanted to be a marine biologist. Let’s face it – who didn’t? I was obsessed with sharks, and thought it would be cool to study them. Once I realised I’d have to study science for A Levels and beyond, I quickly shelved that idea. I then decided journalism was the path for me. I started writing for a couple of magazines at the age of 14, and a year later I became a regular teen writer for the Huffington Post. I continued on that career path for a few years, writing for publications like The Guardian, the Next Web and the Holland Times. After interning at Google for Entrepreneurs’ start-up hub in Amsterdam, I realised I wanted to run my own business and be my own boss.

05.

What's the best career advice you've ever been given?

My mum has always told me to make myself indispensable. It’s something that I always remind myself when I’m working with my clients. I ask myself how I can provide the most value to my clients so that they’re essentially not able to work without me… that’s the goal, at least! It motivates me to produce the best possible work, so that they hopefully become repeat customers. 

07.

What is the best thing about your current working environment?

Being my own boss! I love creating a work environment at home that works perfectly for me. I make sure the table is completely clean, and then arrange my favourite vase and some inspiring books. I light a candle - right now I’m obsessed with Skandinavisk’s pine scent, which is perfect for autumn. I also love Morrocan Spa by the White Company, and Baies by Diptyque. When my work environment is set, I’m ready to get to work.

09.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

Hopefully with a baby and a French bulldog, running a successful six figure business. I’d like to be living in a classy European city like Copenhagen or Madrid, in an apartment full of furniture from HAY.

11.

Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.

I love Beauty Banks, who are working to end hygiene poverty in the UK. Much like food banks, they provide hygiene products to homeless people and those in need who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. It’s such a simple idea for a charity, yet one that can have a massive positive impact on the self esteem of the people they help. 

13.

What drives you?

A desire to be the boss of my own life. I know that the more work I put in now, the more freedom I’ll have in the future - whether that’s to travel, raise children, or do charity work (or hopefully a combination of all three). 

15.

Any final comments?

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02.

What does a normal day look like for you?

There’s no such thing! A typical day might involve client calls, social media management, and writing a few articles. I spend a lot of my time working on article series for clients – that’s BURO155’s speciality. Over the course of a month or two, I’ll produce 8 interviews or articles for a client, interviewing change makers in their field and creating content that’s both entertaining and informative. I also like to spend a bit of time every day working on my own business development, usually through reaching out to people via social media.

04.

What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?

I’m most proud of graduating from my Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship, having had zero formal business education prior. Most people on my course had an undergraduate degree in Finance, Economics or Business, but I had studied Global Culture… which basically involved endless essays on literature, and absolutely no numbers. So it was a bit of a shock to the system to be confronted with profit margins, spreadsheets and EBITDA. It was VERY hard work, but I’m so proud of myself for getting through the Master, and graduating with a First!

06.

Tell us about a woman who inspires you

I love Cyndi Ramirez, the NYC-based founder of Chillhouse. Chillhouse is a spa and nail salon, and they have some of the coolest branding I’ve ever come across. I love how Cyndi finds endless ways to diversify her brand, creating product lines like candles, starting a cafe in her salon complete with custom-made Chill Blends, events series and brand collaborations, including with Art Basel Miami. The woman is unstoppable - she’s just opened Chillhouse’s second NYC location, and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a European branch soon!

08.

What was your biggest failure?

I’m lucky not to have had any disastrous failures yet, but I’m sure they’re just around the corner. One of my biggest struggles is deciphering the letters I get from the tax office… I’m always in trouble for misunderstanding something or other, so I’m trying to get that sorted before it gets more complicated down the line.

10.

What do you like most about yourself?

I like that I don’t take life seriously. Even in tough situations, I’m usually still cracking jokes and messing around. I’ve always been like that - from walking across the stage barefoot at my graduation because I was scared I’d trip in my heels, to getting a tattoo of a logic symbol after my university lecturer dared me…

12.

How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?

Through communication. I think often, people react in excluding ways because they don’t understand another person’s way of life or belief system. Social media has made everyone into a social justice warrior, and while it’s great and important to stand up for what you believe in, I think the way we make progress is by helping people contextualise topics by putting it in terms they understand and can relate to. That goes for Brexit, Trump, gun control, abortion rights… I think it’s all about communication and open conversation, not attacking everyone who doesn’t share your liberal viewpoint. 

14.

What skills have been key to your journey so far?

My skill set lies in combining business strategy with creative thinking. This helps me produce original and exciting content for clients, and also helps in my own business development - I think I’m good at coming up with fun ideas for new services and ways of approaching potential clients thanks to these skills.

FOUNDER OF BURO155

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