From PR to powerlifting: How I excel in my career and sport

Aneela Rose is a multi-award winning PR and marketing agency owner. The Rose Media Group is based in Burgess Hill.

Aneela Rose powerlifting
Aneela Rose

I have three cogs in my life that intertwine and complement each other. My family, my business and my sport. Without one I wouldn’t be who I am or work the way I do.

When I graduated from university I worked in PR for a flight simulation company. It was very technical and involved PR for the aviation sector. It wasn’t an area I was intending to go into but I found I was interested in evidence-based things, facts and figures.

I knew I wasn’t interested in puff and fluff PR but b2b (business to business) marketing was where my heart was.

Going it alone

After eight years I decided I wanted to go it alone. I had a manager who was from a sales background rather than PR, and I just knew that I wanted to do what I wanted to do rather than having someone tell me. I have always been very independent so my husband just said do it.

Read more: They said I’d never amount to anything – but now I run my own PR agency

This was in 2004. But it was a massive change to be self-employed. I had to learn about tax, figure out whether to charge a daily or hourly rate, I had to learn a lot. 

But when I left I told my editor friend what I was doing and she mentioned that Amberley Castle was looking for PR and I should contact the owner.

I was asked for an interview and the owner asked me what hospitality clients I had. I knew I couldn’t blag about what other luxury hotel brands I was looking after… so I said no one. And he told me that he liked that, he liked me and he liked that I was coming to it fresh and with no conflict of interest. That was my first contract.

Pictures: Aslan Steele

Growing a business

Over two years my clients just grew and grew.

I see us as a high-end PR consultancy. I didn’t want a massive PR agency, I wanted to work with small, really successful businesses.

It all started in my bedroom and now I have seven of us working with 18 associates.

I am always on the move, always on to the next challenge. I am always looking forward.

The business has envolved three times over the years and I believe if itt hadn’t evolved I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have made some howlers, but I have learned from those failures and believe in the growth mindset.

Sound advice

Theo Paphitis once told me to surround myself with people who know more than me. At the time I didn’t understand what he meant but over the years I have seen that to grow a business you have to surround yourself with people who know more than you and know different things.

When I interview people I look for that nugget of information about things I don’t know.

How I got into powerlifting

In my business, I am the boss nurturing my employees, at home I am there emotionally for my family as a wife and mother.

I tell people what to do as a boss but in powerlifting, it is my place to be told what to do by people who know more than me. It is my place to get support and have a release.

In the 1980s I loved sport and the javelin, I looked up to people like Fatima Whitbread and Daly Thompson.

And then the 2012 Olympics ignited my love again so I decided to pick up the javelin.

I got in touch with Tessa Thompson who invited me to her academy but I couldn’t go so I got in touch with British Athletics and starting training in Crawley 25 years after I trained there before.

But I kept getting injured in my throwing arm and my javelin coach said I need to build strength in my arm.

I started training

I got a personal trainer and they said about how good and strong I was at powerlifting and my javelin coach told me I was better at lifting than I was at javelin!

Pictures: Aslan Steele

I bench press, squat and deadlift, but can’t do much cardio as I want to keep the muscle and don’t want to lose muscle definition. 

I am in my 40s, petite 5’2 and 8 stone so I don’t look muscular to lift but I can do it.

I’ve not seen many Asians in the field but I think it is because sport isn’t really pushed with girls. It is a very male-dominated sport so it can be a bit intimidating.

But I have broken British records, they say if you can deadlift double your weight or bench press your weight then you are at league level. I love the adrenaline as I lift.

My advice

You need goals, to be open to challenges and changes. But also you need to be open to accepting help when you need it from people who can help you. You have to believe in yourself.

I don’t see where I have come from as a barrier but a challenge. I just always think what’s the worst that could happen and if it doesn’t work then I can try something else.

You have to like yourself first, and then if you are passionate about something go for it. Ignore the people who say you can’t do it and ignore the negativity. I have had it in my career people saying I can’t do certain things but if you are passionate about it go for it.

To find out more about Aneela Rose, visit: www.aneelarosepr.co.uk

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