Introducing Working Hard, Hardly Working: Grace Beverley’s new book that’ll shake up your career

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  • Her sportswear brand TALA has made £10 million since its launch two years ago.

    You’ll likely have heard of Grace Beverley.

    She’s a jack of all trades: at just 24, she’s the founder of fitness app SHREDDY and sustainable activewear brand TALA. Not just that, but she’s a social media mogul with over a million followers who landed herself a highly sought after spot on last year’s Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.

    TALA alone has made over £10 million in sales since it launched just two years ago, and while Grace is clearly highly successful, when we meet on Zoom, she doesn’t come across as smug. Far from it – she’s actually surprisingly humble for a twenty-something millionaire.

    This is perhaps because she’s built her businesses from the ground up, always sharing the ins and outs of her rise to fame with her community of Instagram followers. She originally started vlogging as ‘GraceFitUK’ back in 2017 after setting up the platform to document her own fitness journey.

    “Growing up, my idea of success was a corporate, office job,” she shares on our Zoom call. “Despite being about to launch my second business, when I graduated from university, I had this really frantic view that I had to get [a more traditional job],” she goes on.

    So how did the 24-year-old, who graduated from Oxford university with a 2:1 music degree and no idea of what career she wanted, become one of the most talked about entrepreneurs of 2021?

    By being herself. 

    Ironically, Grace’s career seems to have been so successful because she didn’t do what everyone else was doing. Instead, she’s paved her own way and carved her own blueprint for success. “I remember thinking, ‘okay, this is different, what I’m doing now is different, but I’m good at it, and I’m going to work hard to make it work'”, she shares.

    Introducing Working Hard, Hardly Working

    Her latest venture comes in book form – Working Hardly, Hardly Working promises to be the blueprint Grace didn’t have. Packed full of career advice, tips for avoiding comparison culture and productivity hacks, it’s also rammed with snappy one liners that are bound to really resonate with working millennials.

    “The premise behind the book is the idea of setting boundaries in the new working world,” she explains. “Plus defining what the new working world actually is.”

    “I want people to see productivity and self care as two sides of the same coin, rather than two separate things,” she adds.

    Why is this so important? Well, in short, because Grace herself nearly reached breaking point last year, and knew unless she changed the way she was working, she’d burn out. “I was constantly insanely busy, yet I still felt like I was working less than everyone else,” she explains. “We’re obsessed with the idea of hustle culture. Every time I was resting, I thought I should be working,” she goes on.

    So what changed? 

    In short, she started working smarter.

    Her top tips for you and your own career? “Define your idea of success, and define what success means to you,” she advises. She encourages you to discover what you enjoy most every day, and then ultimately pursue a career in it – alongside being on the ball enough to know when to change and evolve with the times.

    Working Hard, Hardly Working: How to achieve more, stress less and feel fulfilled
    Price: £12.37

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    6 tips for shaping your own success

    One of the most fascinating things about Grace is how she built her career – so how did she do it?

    Keep reading for six tips from the entrepreneur on how others can follow in her footsteps and do it themselves.

    1. Have confidence in your own ideas

    Even if you’re just starting out in your job role, know that your opinions and ideas are valid. When she was working at IBN, Grace shares that she often felt frustrated because ‘things weren’t streamlined, or they took ages to do because they had to be done a certain way’, she said.

    “I’d often say, “how about we do this instead?”. I think within a workplace, if you can really encourage not just that originality, but also that initiative, and that kind of incentive to have good ideas and know that it’s not always that your manager knows how to do your job better than you.”

    2. Establish a customer base

    Having an established customer base is also key when creating a new business. “Two of the most important things are to have an existing customer base, and to make a good enough product to sell. There’s a reason why brands are starting earlier and earlier: to try and accumulate a customer base, get people to sign up to the newsletter, and get people to follow their socials way before they even have a product to sell”, she shares.

    “There’s actually a really good book on this, called The Lean Startup. It talks about Minimum Viable products, and actually getting audiences and testing things out. That is essentially what the creator economy has become”.

    3. Take yourself seriously

    On dealing with imposter syndrome, Grace acknowledges that while other people might always see you in a certain way, how you see yourself is what’s most important.

    “The more I’ve worked on my imposter syndrome, and the more I’ve become confident in myself, the more I’ve realised it’s not that the perception of myself from others has changed, but the way I’ve accepted it has very much changed, I’ve really improved the way I deal with that, and not let it affect the way I lead my businesses or the way I do things day-to-day”.

    4. Don’t worry about oversharing on social media

    Being yourself on social media isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Grace shares. Rather, you can think of it as a way to support other female business ventures.

    “I’d rather feel like I’m oversharing a bit, but be moving towards a new, more transparent, more honest, sharing and open world that makes entrepreneurship and women in business seem a little less daunting.”

    5. Listen to your customers and you’ll always come out on top

    “Throughout the pandemic we’ve been listening to our customers and what they want and what they think would make them feel better,” Grace shares. “I think brands that can do that are inevitably going to come out on top,” she explains.

    6. The term ‘work-life balance’ is a reductive binary

    But it’s nonetheless important to prioritise your life. “I put my work phone down on a Friday evening – it goes away – my emails aren’t opened, my personal phone doesn’t have email notifications, ” she shares. “These things aren’t no brainers anymore – being conscious and intentional with those boundaries has really changed my work-life relationship”.

    Grace Beverley is the author of Working Hard, Hardly Working: How to achieve more, stress less and feel fulfilled (15th April, Hutchinson, £16.99) 

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