I have the builders in at the moment so the puppy has been shipped off to doggie day-care and I have set up camp in a coffee shop to spend the day working.
(Read: drinking coffee and trying to avoid the pull of the carrot cake which is begging me to eat it. I failed miserably yesterday so I’m praying for more strength today!)
This change of scenery has got me in a reflective mood and I’ve been thinking back over the last couple of years and the journey I’ve been on.
The amazing people I’ve met, the beautiful places I’ve been and most of all, the wonderful things I’ve learned about myself and those around me.
It certainly has been a manic couple of years!
However, I’ve been thinking mainly about the last 6 months and the crazy self-employed world that I now find myself in.
There was an advert on the radio this morning selling insurance for the brave people who’ve set up their own businesses. I found myself thinking, “Wow, brave people” before suddenly realising……..I was one of them!
I’ve had my head down for so long sorting out the website, getting my blog up and running, completing my exams, etc. that I haven’t taken time to step back and really take stock of what the last few months have been like.
So I thought I’d share it with you, warts and all!
The decision had been taken at the end of last year that I was going to go it alone. I’d been back from my travels for 9 months and I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I’d been frantically saving every penny (which with a wedding and buying our first house in the same year was a challenge to say the least) but I wanted to have some financial stability behind me as I stepped out into the big bad world of the entrepreneur.
I’m always amazed how doors seem to open when you start putting yourself out there and fate definitely gave me a helping hand when having written my resignation letter, a round of redundancies came up at work.
Having been at the company less than a year, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to retire and sail off into the sunset on my luxury Sunseeker but let’s face it, it was more than resigning would have given me!
So in March I took the redundancy and then started out on my own. ALONE.
Day 1 of being my own boss was AMAZING. I had arrived. I couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t stop smiling. I was literally bouncing off the walls with excitement.
My first day as my own boss. My first day as a full time coach!
So I spent the first day doing something extremely important. Making my husband’s (very male) study into an office fit for a lady entrepreneur.
By the time he came home from work, his crystal whisky carafes had been replaced with flowery china tea pots, Neom candles, vases of lilies and quotes pinned to every available surface.
First day well spent I think!
I celebrated that night with a big pat on the back and a glass of Sauvignon.
By day 2 I’d got my head down and written my action plan for the next 3 months. A day by day, step by step to do list filled with marketing, coaching and lots of studying.
The learning that happened in the first few months was nothing but incredible. I’d never even been on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, didn’t know that there was a front and a backend to a website and was completely unaware that colours came with hashtags!
I needed help and I needed it quickly.
Again the world stepped in and delivered me an angel in the shape of a fellow trainee coach. Do you know when you meet somebody and it just clicks? Well, we had one of those moments.
I spent a long, coffee fuelled Sunday afternoon picking her brains on all things marketing.
She invited me to join a group that was just being set up of like-minded female entrepreneurs who would meet on a monthly basis for dinner to discuss what this life of going it alone was really like.
So I found myself on the train to London one Wednesday afternoon in late April to meet these ladies and wow, what a bunch of women. Six incredible entrepreneurs who were out there doing their thing.
It was at this meal that Lizzy, a health coach, mentioned the marketing mentor she’d been working with.
This one comment changed the next four months completely.
I contacted Amy at I Run This Ship and suddenly my marketing virginity was blown. She held my hand as we nailed who it was that I wanted to help and how I was going to do it.
She helped me realise that the people I really wanted to help were those who were going through the same thing I’d gone through.
Women who were putting major barriers on their lives and were unhappy because of it.
The scene was set. Now I just needed a website……
So Amy set to and helped me through the crazy world of website themes, plug ins, SEO’s, all of which were a foreign language to me.
In reality, not every day has been a bouncing-off-the-wall-with-excitement kind of day.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been many, many ups – the photoshoot where I spent the day with my own personal stylist and photographer (this is not a normal day!), the day my website went live, passing my coaching exams, my first paying client!
But there have also been many lows too – the self-doubt creeping in of “Can I really do this? I mean, really?!?!?”. The worry of “What if this doesn’t work and I have to go back?”.
The nerves of putting myself out there and being judged. All the fears that every self-employed person goes through on a daily basis.
But what I noticed was, the highs were due to the things that had actually happened.
They were real.
The lows all stemmed from things that could possibly happen at some point down the line.
They were all worries about “what ifs”.
I’ve had a lot of help to get me through these fears. I’ve worked with three amazing coaches and I’ve needed every single second spent with every single one of them.
They’ve helped alleviate these fears and lifted the fog on what my next step was. They’ve celebrated the highs and sympathised on the lows.
Above all, what I’ve learnt is that I’m not alone.
There’s always somebody there to help me and pick me up when I’m having one of “those” moments.
Whether this is my husband, my friends, my coach or the man at the local coffee shop (who really should have shares in my business given the amount we’ve discussed it!).
I’ve also learnt that when you put yourself out there, things do just happen. Goodness comes to you when you start opening up and allowing it in.
And my main take away…….at least I’ve given it a go.
So, if you’re ready to be brave and have a go, let’s connect.
Soon you could be sitting in a coffee shop, slurping your flat white whilst tapping on your keyboard with a smile on your face knowing that this is what you’re meant to be doing (whilst trying not to eat that damn carrot cake!).