• Madeleine Bonser

Spotlight on George Grahame

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

At Spotlight, we got the opportunity to talk to George Grahame, Owner & Social Media Manager of GBranding and Karbon Creative LTD. We chatted about overcoming setbacks, managing a team and top tips to being successful.

Business background

I started making youtube videos. It sounds very cliché I know. But I loved it and I will admit I was doing it for the money and to get fans it was a dream and aim of mine, It may have been the wrong mindset but no one is perfect. I sunk my teeth into youtube and I learned a lot. I even started making commentary videos for a channel in America which I got paid pennies for but to me that was amazing. As I got more and more into youtube I started paying for advertising from the money I earned at my part-time job (I recently checked that Adword account I spent 900 pounds in total) ouch! If only I knew how to use it. Once I saw how much I enjoyed youtube I started paying for online courses and reading articles in my spare time whilst having my full-time job elsewhere and it has snowballed from there really. Youtube is why I am in a career and I do really enjoy it!

So my company right now is my side project but it was previously my main source of income and I have been running it for about 2 years now. It is my SEO and social media agency as I like to focus on them as my main fields of work. I can’t handle all of the work so I outsourced some work to people I knew to help me with the load at times (which I will admit was not loads) but it is all very new to me and I have had no help with knowledge or money as no one I know is in that position. Which I like, I love independence. So basically a small insight is that it is my SEO and social media agency run by just me.

Overcoming setbacks

My biggest challenge is not following the typical path my family has taken through life, going to uni. It just is not my thing. My dad is a builder. He has his own small company that has been in the family for two generations and he wanted me to take that on. I couldn’t, I really did not want to do that for the rest of my life and killed me so much to tell him that as I know how much hard work goes into that industry but it’s not right for me. It may seem selfish but it is for the best for me and him I hope. I think about it often but I know he would understand my decision. Both my sisters have been and finished Uni and they both did very well. But I did not see the point, not for the path I want to take anyway, it is hard when you have family asking and questioning your life choices when your siblings kind of have it all figured out so it was difficult going against natural instinct on that.

I sound really selfish but I did what I wanted. In the end, when I am in retirement I do not want to sit there and think why the f**k did I not do that. I want to have a life where I do not struggle to get up for work. I want it to be as stress-free and fun as possible. I think most people do but they get comfortable in mediocre jobs and will stay in that safe zone because you guessed it. It is safe. I worked hard and grafted until I landed a role I thought I could not get. I worked my full hour weeks and in my spare time teaching myself with online courses and articles. I just overcame my setbacks with determination to prove people I can get where I want to be.

Life lessons

People always want something for nothing. You pay for someone’s knowledge, anyone can post on social media but knowing what to do to squeeze as much ROI off that is what you pay for. I had one guy I was making a brochure for. We are well over a month into this project and he was starting to get pushy (fair enough). I had sent him updates every other day of how it is looking and then the day before I was sending the invoice I messaged to check how he was feeling about the project…he hated all of it and he did not like the look of the brochure at all! I stupidly sent the original files so he could open them himself conveniently. That's when he does not like the design. He started asking for the price to be knocked off after he had plenty of time to tell me to change the look. I feel like I need to trust people less as you never truly know who they are which sounds cruel but in business, a lot of people do whatever necessary to get their goals.

Top tips

Do what you want to do, not what others tell you too. Do not give up just because you failed at the first hurdle. I was shot down from 8 interviews before I got a role and then after 5 months the role turned bad and was awful. The owner of the company had no idea what he was doing and basically bankrupted himself and laid off everyone and sold his studio…I tried for months to get that job and I went back to square one. Enjoy it! You have to remember you are doing this to better yourself in the long run and it is all 100% worth it.

You will make mistakes and some things will go horribly wrong. Trust me they always do. Do not look for shortcuts if something seems too good. It is every time. Unless you have a winning lottery ticket then lucky you. For example, I have paid for certain things promising to help me cut corners because let’s admit it everyone has tried it once. They have not delivered at all and it put me at a loss. Good times….. They are all lessons to be learned so don’t beat yourself up too much. It is incredibly hard work and you will doubt yourself but just have a cuppa and keep going.

Take advice from people who are where you want to be. But don’t copy them, take their advice or strategy and make it better. Don’t step over others unnecessarily to better yourself, imagine if you screw over 3 people to get to the top then 3 people who now work in your team hate you and will probably make your life a lot harder as they know you take the brunt when something goes wrong.

If you are wanting to manage a team I would suggest working with them, do not get them to work for you. If that makes sense do not be that person who throws themselves around but will not help with heavy lifting when it is needed. Nobody likes that. Basically, be a team player. Also use the perks of being a manager, delicate. Do not run yourself into the ground when you have the privilege of handing the work to others when it is needed it is not beneficial for anyone if you do it all yourself it creates more room for mistakes.

Career highs and lows

The great thing about my job is that It changes every day, no two days are the same. I work with many industries so one minute I am talking to someone about hospital waiting times and 10 minutes later I am speaking to Steve on Facebook about an engine on a mustang. I love the fast-paced environment.

The worst part of my job is the high possibility of making a mistake which could have large consequences. Imagine if posted a post on the wrong account…..bad news! The risk worries me the most and sometimes I do try to move too quickly.

If you enjoyed this blog check out Spotlight for more. Learn more about George Grahame here.

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