By Molly Pennington
THIS TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD woman built a six-figure business in just six months—and now she earns EIGHT TIMES her old salary.
Emily Pearl (25), from London, UK, launched The Social Manager in January 2021 after she lost her “dream” job in talent management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just six months later, her startup, The Social Manager, was a successful six-figure business with a team of five people.
Then, in October 2022, she co-founded Merge The Agency, a 360 digital agency specialising in social media management and marketing. It helps small businesses to grow by offering everything from social media management to content creation and web design.
She also has a coaching business, Emily Pearl Coaching, that offers one-to-one business and mindset coaching, an 8-week intensive programme, and is in the process of building an online course.
Now Emily earns EIGHT TIMES her old salary of £20,000 by providing valuable tools to businesses, brands, and creators and acting as a social media coach, creator, and mentor.
She has travelled all around Europe and South America, owns her own home in an expensive part of London, and just purchased her dream car, a Jeep Wrangler.
Emily’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges. She was hugely let down by one of her first team members—something that almost cost her her business—and has had to face cruel comments made about her body and personality. But she refuses to allow these setbacks to slow her down and instead is completely focused on becoming the best version of herself and continuing to grow personally and professionally.
“In February of 2020 I got my ‘dream job’ in talent management,” Emily said.
“On reflection, I only went into talent management as it was the only job that would scratch the itch of my inner performer.
“I was furloughed until September 2020 and then heartbreakingly made redundant.
“I had just moved into my first property and being unemployed was not an option.
“I turned to spirituality and started really working on myself. I kept seeing signs to start a career in social media and thought it was the most incredible thing to be able to be the person that helps small and growing businesses to excel online.
“I actually had my first, and only, session with a psychic at the very start of my business in which she told me, ‘I don’t know how you’ll get there but I know within the next year you’ll see growth you didn’t even know was possible’.
“She also told me I’d get to ten thousand followers far quicker than most and one month later that’s exactly what happened.
“I’m HUGLEY into journaling, visualisation and meditation. I’m really big on affirmations and talking to myself in the MOST loving way possible.
“I’ve also got rid of a LOT of toxic people in my life over the last two years and do the best I can to protect my peace in every situation. My inner-circle is VERY small and I only surround myself with positive, inspiring people.
“One of the biggest life lessons for me has been: Surround yourself with negative people, receive negativity, surround yourself with incredible people and just watch your life change.
“I spent everything I had on courses, mentors and masterclasses to teach me everything possible about the industry and thought, the only way I’m doing this is if I go all in.
“In January of 2021, my business was born. Within six months, I’d become fully booked and hired a team of four.
“I truly believe that there are certain people in this world that are just not meant to work for anyone other than themselves, and one of them is me.
“I have uncapped earnings, uncapped holiday days, and the ability to help the most insane amount of people and businesses. It honestly still sounds like a dream to me but somehow it’s my reality.
“It actually feels like I’m talking about someone else every time I think about this but I’m currently on track this year to be earning eight times my old salary.”
Despite her obvious and remarkable successes, Emily refuses to only show the highlights of running a business. Instead, she has been exceptionally honest and transparent about the difficulties she has faced.
“I’ve had my fair share of knockbacks over the past two years,” Emily said.
“I am a very trusting person and this whole process taught me a lot.
“Because of how quickly I grew, it led me to need a big team quickly. I put a lot of trust into my first team members and unfortunately was let down massively.
“Having bad months is scary when you work for yourself and there have been periods where I could barely pay my bills.
“I’ve lost family members and our home was broken into but I just had to keep working through it or my business would fail.
“But categorically the hardest obstacle for me is the number of people I’ve lost in the process. Best Friends who I once thought would be my bridesmaids are now just ‘someone I see on a night out’, and family members who I was once close to have shown zero support.
“Balance is nearly impossible in your first few years of business, but if anything, it’s truly shown me who is really there.
Emily’s Instagram—@itsemilypearl—has over 60 thousand followers. And with that has come intense trolling.
“When experiencing growth, it comes with pros and cons, one of which is trolls,” Emily said.
“I wasn’t shocked by the ‘daddy’s money’ comments and the ‘get a real job’ messages but what really shocked me was the number of women that have bashed me online.
“There have been numerous times I’ve actually had grown women (with children) having debates in my comments about the way I look or slut shaming me for wearing a vest.
“I have pretty thick skin and I actually use those comments to fuel me even more.
“Plus, comments equal engagement so actually they’re only helping my business even more.”
Emily has refused to allow any of this negativity to hold her back and encourages others to keep a positive mindset in the face of adversity.
“Manifestation works. Visualisation works. And patience is a virtue,” Emily said.
“You want to make mistakes at the beginning to learn quicker.
“Our generation seems to have this undying need to achieve success instantly. I was one of those people. But businesses will go through ups and downs.
“Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you are able to achieve your dreams in business by yourself, then you’re not dreaming big enough.
“You can never stop learning, so invest in that business coach, buy that course and speak to that family member that has ten times more life experience than you.”
Emily also has no plans to slow down any time soon.
“I can’t give everything away just yet, but short-term goals are to get an office and a small team for the agency this year,” Emily said.
“For my personal plans, I would love to be invited to give talks at more events, speak on more podcasts and hopefully start my own.
“I’m still in the super early stages of my career and want to enjoy every second of it.”