When I first introduced interviews to this blog I hoped to be able to share stories like Georgina’s and so it was an absolute pleasure when she approached me about discussing her experiences her at Just Geeking By. As an avid comper (someone who regularly takes part in competitions) I’ve known about Georgina’s competition site iWon-iWon.com and its sister sites since they first popped up, but I never knew that I had so much in common with the lady behind them.
I will let competition site owner Georgina tell you herself how a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis led her to become a small business owner who now runs several competitions sites including a brand new one just for students.
Hi. Please tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi, my name is Georgina and I’m a 40 plus mum of a 16 year old son (how did that happen, one minute he was toddling around and now he’s applying for College – scary!). I’m also step-mum to 3 more teenage boys and happily married to my husband Stu – who is my rock. Thanks to all the male hormones, I decided I needed someone on my side – so I am also mummy to our 3 year old Labrador Bella. I was diagnosed with MS after my son was born, and for years it had no impact on my life however, in 2015 my walking deteriorated and life changed.
How did you get into competition websites?
I had to give up my job in 2016 because I felt I couldn’t give my boss what she needed and in a small company that wasn’t going to work long term. Around the same time Stuart was putting a company together with his work associates, as part of that business we began looking at competition sites and that’s how iWon-iWon was born. It was a great fit for me, as not only could I work from home and around my health it made good use of my marketing skills that I had built up over the years. It just made sense.
How many years have you been doing it?
We’ve been live for 2 years now and the site has evolved into several competition sites including our latest addition – UniWins – – it was tricky at first as lots of people think ‘scam’ but we have built up their trust over time. We have a 5* rating on TrustPilot and on Facebook – I am so proud of this because I work 24/7 (it definitely isn’t easy starting a company) – I wear many hats including customer service, prize sourcing, marketing and so on. Thankfully multi-tasking was always a strength of mine.
What does your work mean to you?
The great thing about the business is that it keeps my brain functioning and allows me to continue using my skills. When you become ill with a long term disease, your life changes in ways you don’t envisage. Having something to focus on is so positive for my wellbeing, without it I might sit and spend time worrying about life. I’ve always been a positive person and I do believe that attitude makes such a different to my day to day health.
What was the first time you realized that was what you wanted to do?
I’ve always been creative throughout my working years, and I’ve always imagined having my own business in some capacity. Both my dad and mum came from family businesses so it feel natural to me. I used to work the markets with my dad during my younger years and then later in their family shop. This instilled great working ethics, I truly believe if you work hard and give a great service you will do well. The feedback we received reinforces this and makes the hard work of getting the company off the ground worth it.
What is your proudest moment?
Getting to the end of year 2 and not being in debt – so many businesses fail in their first year. We are a long way from where we want to be but I am so proud of what we have achieved to date.
What was the first successful competition?
Our first competition went live in October 2016, since then we have given away almost 1000 prizes worth almost £50,000. We’ve gone from having around 20 prizes live at any time to have over 60 today. We have a new prize going live pretty much daily now which is great for our users as it keeps them coming back.
What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to achieve?
We have lots of plans for how we can evolve the site further, but that takes time and money – so watch this space.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Work hard, treat your customers well and you will be successful but also everything in life happens for a reason. I may well have a horrible disease but there are worse things in the world that I could have and there are people in far worse situations than me. I have so much to be thankful for, and no matter what life throws at me I will always be thinking “onwards and upwards”.
Any advice for others wanting to start their own business?
Don’t give up, it’s not easy and the highs and lows of running your own business is hard – worrying about money, going 3 steps forward and then 10 steps back is perfectly normal.
Now for some random questions…
If you were the god/goddess of anything, what would it be?
Chocolate of course, it’s my weakness.
What would your animal form be?
A cat, always loved big cats and small cats.
Do you have any fun quirks?
Clearly, I’m dull as can’t think of anything lol!! I talk a lot, and sometimes say silly things because my brain doesn’t always catch up with my mouth.
Do you collect anything?
Kindle books, I love reading and I keep downloading samples and 99p books – who knows when I will actually get to read them all as my TBR (to be read) pile just keeps growing and growing – it’s the Facebook book café group I belong to – people keep sharing great reads and it’s so easy on the Kindle to just keep downloading more books!
And finally; time for a shameless plug:
Please sign up to my website iWon iWon , it’s free and it’s so easy to use. The idea is that you enter competitions daily – the more times you enter the more times your name will be in the virtual pot. My new UniWins site is perfect for this blog! – I will keep my fingers crossed for you all to be winners in the not too distant future!
[Note from the editor 😉 – Everyone has a chance to be a winner, but you need to actually enter to have a chance! I’ve won so much over the years, such as this amazing beauty prize, and I’m happy to discuss competitions more for anyone who has any doubts.]
Over to You
Thank you to Georgina for sharing her fantastic story and experience of starting her own business with us all!
Many people with disabilities are turning self-employment so they can tailor their working hours around their needs. Is that something you’ve done?
Are you self employed? If so let us know about your business in the comments!
Does anyone else visit Georgina’s site or other competition sites? What was your last win?
Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to check out some of the other interviews here at Just Geeking By!
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