Interview with Litsa Smith, founder of Unscramble Me

Fin out how Litsa Smith, an experienced business leader, started her business Unscramble Me in 2022.  

Litsa is a mentor and consultant helping creative solo business owners to accelerate their progress towards their business goals, without feeling overwhelmed or going round in circles, so they can achieve financial and lifestyle freedom.

She also works with Supply Chain teams within retailers or retail suppliers to help them be more effective, feel great and get the recognition they deserve.

What’s your career background?

Oh where to start! For the last 20+ years I have worked mainly in Supply Chain across various retailers and retail suppliers within the Health and Beauty and Entertainment categories mainly, but also across Gifting, Clothing and Accessories too.

I’ve led Supply Chain and Operations teams and managed projects in businesses such as L’Oreal, THG (The Hut Group), Tesco and Warner Bros.

How did your career change after having children?

Well, I reduced to four days a week after I had my first child 14 years ago but as I think many others find, I was basically doing a five day a week job in four days.

Although I still made great progress at work and enjoyed the roles I was doing, I very much decided not to go for the more senior roles because I was worried about the toll it would take on the time I could spend with my family. Whether they were founded fears or not I’m not sure; and now we will never know!

Where did the idea for your business come from?

The idea I had for a business when I first started Unscramble Me was slightly different to where my business is today. I was feeling a little dissatisfied at work so started seeing a brilliant career coach, and it was through that work that I realised that something I was good at, being really organised and making complex concepts and situations simple, could actually help other people.

So the idea of helping people “be more organised” is where it started – though it’s developed into so much more than that today.

How did you move from idea to actual business?

I was a bit kamikaze about it! 

I didn’t really have it in me to do both my corporate job and start Unscramble Me at the same time- I didn’t want to “split myself up” in that way if I could avoid it as I thought that, with the kids and home life as well, it would just be painful– rather than a new exciting adventure. So I saved up and handed my notice in without much of a plan – just an idea and a plan to give it a go for a year.

Who’s your target audience?

Two target audiences for the two channels of my business. 

Female Business Founders who know what they need to do to get to a place where they can achieve business and lifestyle freedom – but they just don’t do it as quickly or as well as they know they have the potential to. They crave the support of working for a fab manager or in a great team in an organisation – which is missing when you’re a solo business owner (but they don’t want all the other stuff which goes with it!).

And for my other corporate channel – its busy, supply chain teams who are stressed and in the weeds fire-fighting too much. they want to be in a place where they’re autonomous and motivated and shining on strategy – and being recognised for it.

How do you spread the word about what you do?

I use Instagram and LinkedIn for my small business and corporate channels respectively, and I also try and attend relevant networking events as much as possible.

I have an email list that I use to nurture my community  – if any of your readers would like to take my free quiz and find out what is likely to motivate them most effectively (and join my email community by doing so) they can do so here: Which motivation style archetype are you?

What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?

Definitely creating a community and relationships. People buy from people is so cheesy and cliched but oh-so-true!

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

Pivoting from what I thought would be my business when I started. At first, I was thinking I could create a service to help parents “get organised” with their home life with strategies and habits and tools.

It worked for the clients I trialled with but unfortunately the model wouldn’t have provided a business income I was aiming for. So, I pivoted – business owners are more willing to invest when it comes to their business it seems.

And your proudest moment so far?

Every time I get a testimonial that says “Working with you has been life changing” – my heart wants to burst!

Why is work so important to you?

Hmm. Is it so important to me? Having a life filled with challenges, fun and laughter, and aligning everything I do with my core values is important to me.

My core values are autonomy, relationships, making a difference and problem solving. I think it’s important to me because I’m striving to always have those things in my work. When we spend our days doing things that are important to us – it makes us  happy and fulfilled doesn’t it? And that then spills over into all other areas of life.

How do you balance your work with your family?

I’m super organised! (as you would expect!) . But really – one of the big reasons that I started my own business was so I could do just that. So I’m careful to always be mindful of what my true priorities are (family and friends) and work everything else around that.

What are your four top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?

1) Go for it!

You don’t need to know all the answers and you can figure a lot out as you go. And once you start it’s definitely going to be a rollercoaster of ups and downs so my advice once you do would be:

2) Put the big rocks in first

If you haven’t watched the video that explains this do! It’s here: Big Rocks Video. It explains the principle that you have to “put your big rocks” ie your REAL priorities first – otherwise they don’t fit in. (read Family, Exercise, Wellbeing etc)

3) We are not robots

So cut yourself some slack and don’t expect to be able to function as one. Done is better than Perfect. 

4) If you don’t know – ask!

People LOVE to be asked for help and there’s always someone who knows someone who will have the answer. (This will save you time, energy and stress time and time again).

Find out more about Unscramble Me.