I am so very excited to launch this brand new, Rural Influencer, blog series. There are some truly wonderful people shaping the rural industries, working tirelessly and giving others inspiration and a kick into shape that they need.
In the first of this series, I spoke with Victoria Brant. She’s the fun-loving, go get ’em, blogger, self-published author, vlogger, eventer and truly inspirational face behind the much loved blog and book trilogy Diary of a Wimpy Eventer. I’ve honestly never met anyone with a bubble quite like hers. It was a real joy writing and reading this – I hope you love it too!
– Your Facebook page, Diary of a Wimpy Eventer, has over a staggering 26,000 followers. How long has it been going?
“It will be exactly 2 years to the day on 6th September, so nearly 23 months!”
– Did you ever think it could grow to this extent?
“Never in a million years did I imagine that my life would be on display to more than a couple of hundred people. I thought in the beginning, that it would just be friends and family, people that I have known and lost touch with along the way coming to see what I’m getting up to… I very nearly made it a closed group, but I thought “what have I got to hide?” and the answer was, NOTHING!! A public page was what I went for, and it grew far quicker that I ever thought it would.”
– How does it make you feel that you’re an influencer?
“Nervous. That was the first word that came into my head. I want to be a good role model, creating a place of kindness and solace for people that choose to stay and hopefully linger a while. I feel nervous about giving that right message time and time again, nervous about f*cking it up and not being that person for them. Wow… that felt near to the bone, but it’s the truth. You feel relied upon, it gives you a great sense of purpose, but it also comes with a great deal of responsibility.
I also feel the most illustrious sense of pride for what I have created. In an industry that can often be judgemental and cruel, I have helped thousands of people know that it doesn’t have to be that way.”
– Where would you love the brand to go?
“I want to start a movement, (not quite placards and chaining myself to a tree, but…) a transition, I want the world to know what I can deliver and to know that whilst I am still breathing, people will never be alone if they don’t want to be.
I want the brand to be bigger, spread further, be recognised for its big heart.
I’d love a mini documentary series on TV, like a 5 part (after watershed!).
I’d love the third book to finalise the trilogy and to sell 100,000 copies worldwide.
There are plans to start rolling out the Wimpy Weekenders at the back end of this year and do more public speaking and events …. It’s all very exciting.”
– What are your plans for the next 12 months?
“August/Sept – Write the bulk of the grand finale ‘How to get yourself off’,
I feel so sad that it’s coming to an end but excited to tell more people about the set once it’s complete.
I’m hoping for either a HOYS or Olympia official release – Pre-orders will open in October though.
Nov/Dec will bring a new 2019 calendar/planner project as they totally sold out last year.
New year, new projects… 2019 will be book tours, Wimpy Weekenders and tonnes of events. I hope to build on what I have already created and this time next year, be able to have doubled in size. I’m not just a blogger, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that’s not just what I want to be known for.
I have massive aspirations, bigger than I can fathom right now but if you don’t dare to dream, you’ll never have a vision of what you’d like to become.”
– What advice would you give to someone wanting to set up their own equestrian or rural business?
“Don’t dwell on the what if’s. Make sure your arse is covered in terms of financial risk, but don’t dawdle about… if you want something, go and get it. All you ever hear is “work hard and your dreams will come true” – it’s a load of sh*t. Work hard in the wrong direction, for the wrong goal or without real purpose and you’ll get absolutely cock all. Try tirelessly digging a hole in concrete with a rubber spade…. You can work as hard as the next man but know why, where and how before you start.
Strategic brains are needed for big ideas to come off, if you don’t have that, get help. I’m lucky in that I’m a big, fat overthinker with a creative mind, but if you’re not, that’s ok too, you’ll have other things that make you successful.
Don’t think sharing your plans gives away the secrets… other people can help, no-one is trying to steal your ideas…. and if they are, good luck to them. They get to screw it up first! There is only one you, remember that. No-one can replicate the way you do things unless you’ve already done them first… doesn’t that mean you’re already ahead?”
– What’s been the biggest contributor to your success?
“Chance. The unintended, accidental and unplanned kind.
I took a chance, it wasn’t in the life plan, it wasn’t anything I had experience in. I risked my already fragile confidence on an industry that is known for being judgemental. But it paid off.
Imagine how I felt, everyone getting their pre-ordered copies of the first book… I was ready for people to tell me it was crap, that I shouldn’t have bothered.
Chance dealt me a hand and I played it as well as I knew how. That’s the magic of building a business, the magic you can only understand once you’ve felt it happen.”
– Do you ever feel overwhelmed with your business growth/future?
“Overwhelmed, no. Over-excited…? Every damn day! I change my plans and my mind like I change my massive knickers. I come up with a different idea every day and I won’t ever be any different but I use it to my advantage and give these ideas to other people to pursue… watching someone else learning to fly is just as good as my own success.
I feel excited every day, and isn’t that what everyone wants?”
Huge thanks to Vic for opening up for the first in this new series. To follow Vic’s wonderful antics, please do go and give her Facebook page some love: https://www.facebook.com/diaryofawimpyeventer/ and get a copy of her books before the third and final instalment comes out towards the end of the year – I can’t wait to get my hands on it!