The Hard Yards Book


Fiona Scott never thought she’d lose her dream job in television. Since childhood, she’d been writing and telling stories. She was a born journalist, naturally nosey and genuinely interested in people. From a working-class background, she stumbled through A levels, fell into a degree in English & History and then trained to be a teacher – and hated it. She finally made it on to a traineeship with a local newspaper.

A career in print journalism followed, alongside volunteering for Hospital Radio and within local tv until she became a researcher in regional television at the age of 29. Her dream job had arrived, she loved it and she never wanted it to end. She went from researcher to series producers and made 100s of tv programmes in regional current affairs based in the Southwest. The team she worked with won multiple awards over the years.

Imagine her horror when in 2008, her employer, ITV, decided to cut 1,000 jobs across the UK leaving only a handful of opportunities left, including the job she was already doing. Everyone had to apply for the few jobs left and Fiona applied for her own job and didn’t get it. She was deemed not good enough. Her professional world simply fell apart in a moment.



This book tells some of the story of that loss and how Fiona, now in her 50s, picked herself up, dusted herself off and reinvented herself in a world which isn’t always kind to women of middle age. With a little redundancy money, no business knowledge, training or expertise she began to build a micro business – as a freelance journalist, tv director & producer and as a PR specialist. All while having three small children to care for alongside her supportive husband Steve.

She discovers the fact that women in business are often held back and put down by others – including other women. Micro business owners are often over-looked or ignored because they are not employing people or ‘scaling up’. Fiona shares numerous lessons in how she was hoodwinked into working for free, how she discovered that some clients are not worth having and how she was physically threatened by more than one business owner. She even talks about being the victim of a minor sexual assault at the hands of a business owner. This is a no-holds barred and honest look at her experiences and shares many tips around running a business and the value of public relations.

She also shares the fact that some of her best and most treasured friends have come from the world of the small business owner and how that community is, by and large, deeply supportive and will go the extra mile to ensure everyone hits high notes in business – while supporting others in those difficult moments.

The Hard Yards shares the many and multiple mistakes Fiona made along the way towards having a six-figure turnover micro business. In sharing those mistakes, she hopes to inspire and motivate anyone who finds themselves at a crossroads in life which they did not want or choose. Fiona, through her company, Scott Media is still joyfully making mistakes today.