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Female Entrepreneurship: A Freelancer's Tale

by Mary Philip

Noelia Martinez Castellanos

Noelia is a freelance journalist, translator and communication expert. Editor in Chief of a new Scottish digital publication, Cosmopolita Scotland, Head of European Operations for Road Amico, Head of Spanish Sales and Marketing for Global Treasure Apps, and more. Noelia is passionate about helping integrate the Spanish speaking community in Scotland and using her writing skills to help people become aware of the world around her.

Our Marketing Director, Mary Philip, met up with her to find out more about how her freelance journey can help the WeAreTheFuture community.

“I am an independent person with no interest on stepping on anyone’s head to be successful. I want to do something that I like and I can survive off and help people with my work and writing.”

What inspired you to become a freelancer?

""I studied journalism back in Spain. When I moved to Edinburgh I have to put that aside because of the language barrier. But It has been in the back of my head all of the time. Also, I was getting frustrated because in my previous job I felt like I wasn’t achieving anything and was not getting the sense of full accomplishment. I hit the roof - I tried to prove to them that I could be more than a basic worker and they were taking me for granted. It was depressing for me to go there and during the last month of working there I felt like I didn’t want to get out of bed. It wasn't the role itself as much as the attitude. I have always been very positive about every job position. My first job in Scotland was as a kitchen porter. I knew it was not the job of my life but it helped me to improve my English. However, I wasn’t getting anything else out of my previous job and I wanted to change that.

It was not an easy decision though. And if you are a women of a certain age it is even more difficult. You reach an age and you think, maybe I want to have a family. And you have to work that out as well. You have to work with your clock. Although it shouldn't be that way. But then I though, If I don't do it now, when will I?"

Following on from that thought, have you ever felt that being a woman has disadvantaged you in business?

"I have always done want I wanted to do and at the moment, I haven't felt that being a woman has been a disadvantage. But I am very aware that is out there: in the salaries, in the way society portraits women, in the way we are addressed … Some attitudes towards women are so assume as normal that we don't perceive them as sexist, but they are. So until now I haven’t felt that I have had less opportunities but it might very much the case that I haven’t realized of it. Also, I am at an age that it could affect me. People could start asking, 'are you going to have children?', and that might stop them contracting you. It happens. I haven’t experienced it yet but I am aware of it and that it is unfair."

What advice would you give those thinking about becoming freelancers or entrepreneurs?

"Go for it. Don’t psych yourself out. Of course, think about the logistics but don’t overthink it. Give it a try and have the time to do it. I understand that in certain situations a part time job is needed to pay the bills, for me it got in the way and took all of the strength. I prefer to focus on my own business. Make sure you know where you stand on this.

For me, the value of doing my own thing has more worth than money – although, sometimes it is difficult when you think how am I going to do it this month? Save a bit more money and then go for it. Use all of the resources out there because there is a lot and don’t be afraid of asking people that are your competition. In my case, everyone has been willing to help me and offer advice."

What is coming up for you in the next 6 months?

"In the next 6 months, I want to build a website for my own portfolio. For Cosmopolitan Scotland, as we are a charity we will require some funding and I will be looking to help get that. And for Global Treasure Apps and Road Amico to gain more sales for them in Spain."

You can get in touch with Noelia on her LinkedIn to discuss further.

Many thanks to Noelia for taking the time out of her schedule to meet with us! All the best for the future and we look forward to hearing about how you get on. 

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