Office Job to Magazine Success: an interview with TLL’s Founder

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Growfox Team

Graham from Watb interviews Theresa, owner of The Lifestyle Library magazine who tells us all about what it’s like to move from a full time comfortable and well-paid home office job, to following your dreams and starting your own business.

Theresa also gives us the secret to networking, and how she managed to secure content from celebs such as Joe Wicks of Lean in 15, and Tips on losing weight from Olympian Jamie Baulch.

Can you tell us a little about The Lifestyle Library?

The Lifestyle Library is an online community and magazine aimed at people interested in Beauty & Lifestyle, Health & Fitness and Travel & Wellbeing. We pride ourselves on our ethos of bringing REAL content to REAL people by telling things how they are and not being swayed or influenced by being paid to promote products and services. We have a monthly digital magazine, and a print version.

The Lifestyle Library on iPhone

What have been some of the challenges in creating The Lifestyle Library brand?

From a personal perspective, although I have had 20 years’ experience in media, it has always been in B2B, recruitment and HR. I have had to learn a whole new industry and get to grips with the consumer marketplace without having any contacts at all – I very much started from scratch. It’s also such a competitive market!

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone looking to start their own business, in an industry they haven’t got much experience in, what would it be?

I think having passion and believing in what I’m doing has helped me a lot. It’s important to be flexible and have an open mind to look at options you didn’t think of when starting with your initial business ideas. Of course, having a great team of people behind you that you can rely on is also super important.

As a magazine, producing great content is key to engaging readers. How have you found the time to put out so much content?

If I’m honest, I never have enough time. It’s taken lots of hours and sadly having no life other than The Lifestyle Library to get the magazine off the ground. I am always looking to meet new people in the industry as one thing I’ve learnt is to lean on people as much as you can – it’s surprising how many people genuinely want to help!

Much of your content is curated by well-known celebs. How have you managed to secure such great content contributors?

By having passion and a story to tell. Again, it’s amazing how many people genuinely care and want to get involved in something that has passion and believes in a good cause (for us it’s being authentic and true to our messaging). It’s also a bit of luck with the contacts that I’ve made.

What was the transition like from working full time and running TLL, to full time on TLL? How did you know the time was right, and how did you cope with the change?

The transition was the hardest thing for me. I was in a very well-paid job in London, as a director of a company. I worked from home most days so had it good compared to a lot of people. For me it was exciting to do something different and through TLL I was challenging myself, which is what I needed.

I then realised that people loved what TLL was all about and so decided to go part time and give it go to test the water. After 6 months of running the magazine part time, I needed to make a decision on whether to make the leap or not – TLL was getting busier and needed more time spent on it and my job was demanding too… so something had to give.

going from a comfortable, nice life to not earning, and working all the hours. I was sacrificing the nicer things in life.

It was a huge risk – going from a comfortable, nice life to not earning, and working all the hours. I was sacrificing the nicer things in life. It took me a few months to decide to make the leap but once I did (although scary) I haven’t looked back. It’s still early days for TLL but if all else fails then I have learnt a whole lot of new skills I never knew I had – something I can take into anything I do in the future.

Any final advice for business owners looking to build an online magazine?

Don’t expect it to happen overnight. I’m the most impatient person there is and I have had to learn that good things take time. Follow your dream, believe, and hopefully all will work out. Reach out to like-minded people and don’t be afraid to ask for help. But most of all enjoy the roller coaster of a ride…that keeps on going!

What’s next for The Lifestyle Library?

We have just agreed to have our magazine in the UK airports which is a big step. We are continuing to build the brand and get it out there as much as possible, listen to our audience and expand into events from October 2017.

We are always looking to hear from people who want to get involved or anyone interested in networking opportunities, including possible mentor opportunities. If it sounds of interest, I can be reached on

Theresa, owner of The Lifestyle Library