My name is Conor Lynch and I am the creator of Self Makers. As we kick off Self Makers and (…)
My name is Conor Lynch and I am the creator of Self Makers. As we kick off Self Makers and the Self Makers Show, I want to say hi and introduce myself.
I guess I am the original of the ‘self makers’. I’ve built a very successful and rewarding career combining employment with side-hustles and business start-ups.
I’m from Ireland, but lucky enough to have worked internationally for long periods during my career. I am a specialist digital business designer and am arguably one of Ireland’s most prolific digital entrepreneurs over the last two decades. I have created many brands and businesses like Connector, SocialMedia.ie, The Snapys, DigitalFood.ie, the Global Innovation Game and Self Makers. More new brands are on the way soon too.
Where it all began
I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been curious with an internal driving force to make ideas happen and control my own destiny. As there wasn’t a family business, I’m used to starting from scratch and being as resourceful as possible to make things happen.
My first business idea was in my early teens when we lived on a small family farm in Cavan. I convinced my dad to let me use my confirmation gift money to buy a calf for his herd – I sold her a year later for a nice profit. Then I started finding jobs painting my neighbours’ houses during the school holidays. I was on a roll and soon after the farm was sold too but I was never going to be a farmer. I might be more of a hunter …
This internet thing looks pretty amazing
Although we were lucky enough to have a Commodore 64 8-bit home computer in the 80’s as kids, the basic programming didn’t interest me. I was not really much into computer games either, as they seemed to eat up so much valuable time.
After studying marketing in university, I started my career with some graduate jobs while also working some side projects. I was always on the lookout for important future trends, which for me in the 1990’s was the internet. Wow, this looks amazing!
I decided to chance my luck trying to get a job in IT although I had no idea about anything technical. However, once I blagged my way into the job, my steep self-learning curve began and I’ve never looked back. My love affair with technology remains to this day. I can still be found at the intersection of technology, business and peoples’ lives.
Personal Branding since 1999
As a graduate from Ireland’s premier business University, I started building websites and web businesses with my techie friends back in the late 1990s as a hobby. I launched my first websites in 1998 and I had my first ‘Conor Lynch’ personal brand website way back in 1999. This website helped me secure a job with a four-year visa to Australia.
I also created a personal brand called ‘conman’ which was super edgy especially 15 years ago! I created and sold gangster style t-shirts and made short videos. Some of my early social media campaigns like ‘Bring Back Cavan Cola’ got coverage on local and international media including the BBC & RTE. However, I decided to rebrand to something a little more business friendly.
Conor the Connector
My personal brand Connector was launched as a hobby with a blog and events for the digital community in Ireland. In 2010 it became a full-time communications and technology agency, reaching annual revenues of seven figures. Along the way, I brought a software product through the NDRC Launchpad accelerator programme and became an Enterprise Ireland high potential startup with a total of €70,000 seed capital.
I’ve been involved in hundreds of websites and digital projects. Connector won awards in Ireland and internationally for its work with prestigious clients like Huawei, Volkswagen, L’Oreal, Cpl and Free Now.
During my career, I helped train over 5,000 business professionals in digital marketing. Sometimes my guidance was not enough to grow their businesses as they had lots of other business challenges apart from marketing. These challenges stayed with me and I tried to come up with a better way for people to grow their careers and one person businesses.
Although the brand was very personal to me, I sold Connector in early 2020 to spend time on new ideas. As an entrepreneur and prior to founding Self Makers, I was best known for my award-winning work in marketing. My first love is creating digital brands and businesses most of which were successful in some way. Others cost me time and money, but taught me valuable lessons that I would like to share.
Why Self Makers?
How do you become ‘self-made’? Hmm, ‘Self Makers’ might be a good name for a community of people on the same career journey as I’m on. I like the idea of being ‘self made’ as most people like me start out with a blank canvas.
With job security and job satisfaction in decline, more people want to take control of their careers. In the US, almost 50% of the workforce are now freelancers and the rest of the world will likely follow this trend. Of those who have a side hustle in the US, 58% dream of working at it full time.
Therefore, with Self Makers, my mission is to educate and support people as they become their own business through action-learning. I self-designed my career journey over the last two decades but my lifetime of experience will help others succeed faster than I did. Now I am committed to sharing these learnings, so people with whom I engage can make the most of their potential.
In order to help others achieve their goals and embark on a similar journey, I curated a lifetime of learnings in managing my career and launching start-ups. As an experienced educator and problem solver, I am committed to helping others to accelerate their career journeys.
So maybe you want to be your own business, or you want to get better at it? Who better to help you than someone who has done it before, many times.
Chat with Conor here or connect on LinkedIn.