To be or not to be…Self Employed

The thing about taking action, working on your priorities and making plans is that when focusing on positive stuff your mind goes crazy with so many ideas. I’ve been making lots of notes to try and focus a bit and had some really interesting results. I’ve started making sure I do one thing from my list of priorities daily even if like yesterday it was only spending 5 minutes browsing a website. That actually triggered something towards my ‘day job’ plans so was 5 minutes well spent. 

 My biggest focus seems to be what do I want to do when I grow up….I’ve been doing this for years now and got nowhere and I’ve come up with a few reasons why;

1.     In this Someday book I’m reading it talks about Fear and Faith and making a list under both as to why you want something and what is stopping you. I’ve noticed that when friends try and help my inner critic (chimp if you’ve read the Chimp Paradox) throws an absolute strop and starts telling me people are interfering, they should shut up and go away because it’s not going to work anyway. Then I’ve listened to it rather than them and given up before I’ve even tried to do something. I also recall spending a lot of time reading online articles about how hard it would be to be self employed and paid far too much attention to the negatives rather than finding some small business owners and asking for a counterpoint. I’ve definitely let fear rule me on this.

2.     My mum said a few years ago that she had never known me happy in a job. I think she said something along the lines of ‘Does any job make you happy’? I remember getting into a huff about it (truth hurts…) and well…not doing anything much except trying more jobs. Sitting an doing some honest thinking and looking at what my values are and what I would want from work the answer probably is to work for myself. However, the problem this is WHAT to do. Again I think this is why I’ve got nowhere. I’ve looked at a crafting business, a holistic business and the one that comes back all the time – my tea shop. I think that I spend so much time trying to do bits of each of them I ended up doing none of them. And the fear again I think links into this. If you subconsciously mess things up, everything goes wrong and your inner critic gets to be smug for being right. There is the possibility fo a tea shop that sells crafts and does the odd bit of crystal healing upstairs but blimey that sounds exhausting. Instead I need to pick one (I have) and make plans. My first step is to print off a blank business plan and use it as a goal planning exercise. The questions on these really make you dig deep. I’m going to use it on 2 of the ideas just in case one does turn out to be more feasible than the other. The other thing is something I took from the book which is to ‘make your project visible’. Part of that is to tell people but it also discussed a writer that couldn’t get started. She printed out a mock up of what she thought her book cover would be, pinned it up near her writing space and in no time at all had written her book. So step 2 will be a poster or similar of what I want my business to show.

3.     I need to re-evaluate what I want a business to be. I have some very grandiose ideas which really probably won’t happen. So while ‘thinking small’ can be a terrible thing that stifles people this is probably going to be a bit more realistic in this instance. It’s hard to set in motion plans which are just not going to work (to start with anyway) and again we start feeding the inner critic

4.     Yeah that inner critic really needs kicking into touch…..

So, the ideas are there now and I just need to make a few decisions to take everything forward. I wanted this year to be a year of action and so far I’ve got my wish.




Let’s Go Fly A Kite

I’m reading a book at the minute called I’ll Meet You At The Lost & Found and the initial few chapters are about self-love and not living your life for the acceptance of others but to value and respect yourself first and it got me thinking about employment. I’ve spent the last year on a development course at work where we’ve looked at what we want out of our lives and careers. I’ve one more module left but after 10 months I’ve been around in a circle with the result being I’m no wiser than I started (or so I thought up to an hour ago). 

I work in the corporate arm of the civil service. Afters years of working on the front-line it’s a very different atmosphere and there’s constant chatter about developing, building competencies and ‘getting the next grade’. This started from my first day on the job and seems to be the measure against everything. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve done a piece of work for someone to say well done, that’ll be good for your competencies. And I definitely fell into the idea of wanting to please others rather than myself as I got caught up in this probably to the detriment of what I might really want to do. And when I think about promotions it does feel like I’d be doing so to both please others and because they think it’s the right thing to do not me. 

As part of the course I have given thought to other types of work. I’m 18 months away from graduating with a degree and the plan is to follow that up with teacher training. However again a lot of that is based on wanting to please others by having an acceptable job type. When I’ve looked into the post degree study, the need to gain classroom experience, the continuous development rather than be energised I just felt old and demotivated. If it’s what I really wanted then surely I would be the opposite. I’ve actually spent a few weeks doing a 3 day training course as part of my job and by the end of day 2 have been exhausted. I don’t think I have the energy or desire to do it 5 days a week continuously. 

And this brings me back to the idea of a tea shop, crystal therapy business or something to do with crafting. Or all 3 combined. Talking about this DOES enthuse me. I’ve reams of research and done an awful lot of planning. I even started to put things into place to do something but am hampered until the debt repayment plan is cleared. Even better, these are things that I want to do regardless of other people’s opinions or wage drop or it not being a career everyone else wants. I can get very excited talking about tea, coffee and feeding people cheese & ham toasties no matter how strange that may seem to others. 

So where does it leave me? Well it leaves me with 18 months to fill. 18 months to graduation and the end of my debt plan. 18 months to being able to truly make decisions that best suit me. Until that time I’m going to talk about the career ideas that do fill me with joy and unless it’s a job that makes my heart sing I’ll be avoid any promotion activity. Then in 18 months I can start work on the last part of my working life to make sure when I retire I can say I’ve really given myself some self-love when it comes to earning money.

Finally I’m a big believer in synchronicity and following my inner thoughts (apart from work!) and was trying to think how to title this blog when the song Let’s Go Fly a Kite popped into my head. Banks puts his work above all else until he loses his job after a visit to the bank by his children. After which he realises that feeding the birds or flying his kite is a wonderful thing to do regardless of what his (former) employers think. Let’s all go fly some kites 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 5 – Dream Jobs #365daychallenge

One of the items on various blog challenge lists is to talk about ideal jobs. I’m 45 and still haven’t figured this bit out! I never had much of a dream about work when I was younger except maybe do some writing. My best school friend wanted to be a teacher and a teacher she became for over 20 years. I just wanted to bet out of school and had no thought beyond that.

Over the years I’ve done several different styles of jobs but the one that keeps drawing me back is ‘helping people’. I’ve been a mortgage seller helping people afford a dream home, I’ve been an employment adviser and I’ve worked in the community helping those with homelessness and addictions move forward with their lives. I even looked into starting my own business in holistic treatments and while it’s on hold I may go back to it n a few years time.

I’ve been in my current job for the last 15 months. It took me  along time to see that it does fit into the ‘helping people’ description as I’m now really far removed from seeing customers every day. I research benefits, find issues and write a report for others to fix. It’s only now that the identified problems are being resolved that I can see how I’ve been able to change something for the better. So while it’s not an obvious helping role I have the opportunity to make lives better.

I don’t think I’m ever gonna have the perfect job in terms of a title (teacher, nurse etc) but as long as I can feel I’m making a difference I’ll be happy in my work 🙂

Starting my new business

I haven’t updated this page in 3 months. I’ve been so busy trying to start up my holistic business. Talk about hard work and I’m only aiming for part time alongside my day job (for now).

Anyway just a short post – I’ve got a bunch of posts on my various blogs to do over the next few days but I wanted to share my newest one. This is my business one. I’m really proud of it. It covers the type of things I offer as well as (to me) a fab new book club. It’s based in Leeds but feel free to read the book and leave some comments on the post.

The details of book club are on both a post and it’s own part of the website.

Please feel free to give me a follow and if you are in the are come along and try some treatments


Achievement Jar

About 18 months ago after a bit of sulking on how my life was going I decided to keep an achievements jar rather than a gratitude jar. I’ve emptied it today to free it up for my 2017 goals and thought I;d take a look at what I’ve done

Self Employment

I’ve given some thought (and written a few blogs) on setting up as self employed. I was pretty much ready to go then got a promotion in my day job so decided to put everything on hold to get to grips with the one that pays my wages. Hopefully at some point in 2017 I’ll revisit as everything is set up to do so and I enjoy it.

I found in the jar:

  • I qualified as a EFT therapist
  • I qualified as a crystal therapist
  • I qualified as a Angelic Reiki therapist
  • I’ve almost finished both my Business/Life Coach diploma and when I find some enjoyment again for it my hypnotherapist diploma.
  • I’ve started a course in CBT
  • My house was redecorated to enable me to work from home. I got the insurance and all the equipment.
  • I got a promotion.

There are also some Get Out of Debt achievements in the jar:

  • I gave my debts to Stepchange and set up a repayment plan
  • I read Marie Kondo’s de-cluttering book and too action by de-cluttering the house. I went through my precious bookcases and gave up any book that I did not love and would not read again, I traded them in and used the money to pay towards bills
  • I did the same with the shed and my wardrobes. I took part in a number of car boot sales and made myself a little money.

It’s not a huge list but it’s still god to be able to look back and see some of the good things I worked on in the last year. I’m looking forward to seeing what will go in the jar in 2017

Career Opportunities

This week I’ve put aside issues of being feminine as the last seven days has been all about business and ambition. I’ve written a couple of posts before about wanting to leave the rat race and go self employed. I’ve also written about learning to trust again and the need to tell people things without the fear of ridicule.  Learning to trust in my own abilities is quite difficult but I’m getting there.

Last week I went to a Business Start Up seminar. Three hours of speakers who can offer lots of help in setting up your own business. As expected the guy talking about tax was very dull but the company he was from are offering a free no obligation meeting on a one to one basis to ask more questions. And boy do I have questions! I can do Maths if I sit and concentrate but it’s dull and I can usually find far more interesting things to do instead. Such as having all my teeth pulled!! So going forward once I start this little adventure I think that it will make more sense to hire at least a book keeper (or try and enlist my mum to do it!) otherwise I’ll end up in trouble.

We had a very interesting talk from Leeds Libraries about the support they offer including more specialised shorter workshops. I’ve signed myself up over the summer to ones on marketing and how to effectively use social media. Far more fun than tax J They had a lot of talk about intellectual property. I’m not an artist but I have an idea about how I want my brand and logo’s to look. Hopefully my son or a friend will make my ideas into a usable design so I need to research this further as to who it would belong to. Although I suppose if I pay them a fee for services then hopefully it will mean it is mine.

While this was going on I started thinking about my business idea. It started off as knitted scarves and accessories with some beads, blossomed into a million other things before settling on an idea that I’ve been playing with for over 5 years now (and this is where I start to get honest about things I want from life and stop fearing people will laugh at them).  Way back then I spent a lot of time thinking of ways to work for myself and came up with the idea of wedding planning. I may be divorced and useless at love (Hey I’m J-Lo in that film I’ve not actually seen J ) but I adore the idea of weddings and the happy ending. I spent time with a friend swapping ideas and making plans. For her I think it was some escapism from every day work life but for me I’d got a note book filled with all the ideas, I’d done my research. I’d even talked to a Muslim friend about how Asian weddings work so I could appeal to everyone. And then it all fizzled out. I started on my downward slide and she is one of the people I now sadly no longer have contact with.

But the little idea has never gone away. I’ve recently started knitting a wedding cake for a friends wedding. Which has started me off on the theme again. I had hoped I could knit more cakes but it’s been very intricate and time consuming I’m not sure a sensible cost would match the hours put in. I do think though that wedding dolls would be sweet, a little something quirky to last forever so I’m playing around with designs at the minute. I also plan to change my colours of beads to those more suited to wedding colours. I get to play at helping create someone’s magical day and make some money while I do it. Hopefully this is now my way forward. It’s very exciting and I feel like this is exactly what I should be doing with my life.

Working 9-5

I have never really had a solid work plan. I vaguely remember at school wanting to be either a human right lawyer (although if pressed I’d not be able to tell you why, I think it just sounded glamorous and worthy!) or a journalist. It’s funny how I remember that bit when with my memory issues I did for many years forget I could write and wanted to write!

I ended up not going to college to pursue this though. My parents divorced during my exam times and that started a long line of issues that resulted in me hardly going to school and then not bothering to revise. Shame looking back as I was expected to get all A’s. Funnily enough there was another girl with the same issue but who came from a privileged background who was offered the chance to continue her studies as it wasn’t my fault. Me, from a poor working class family, was told tough.

That I believe now started me off on a spiral of no career plans. I fell into jobs as a hotel maid. This actually suited me just fine at the time, it’s a transient role and one that enabled me to travel round the country while I worked and left me with some of the best times I will ever have (only wish I could remember half of them!). then I had my son and became a full time mother and carer as he has some learning difficulties (not so obvious ones as he is now at university but certainly very hard to deal with when he was smaller)

Going back to work as a single parent to a 6 year old brought it’s own problems such as childcare. There was also the fact that I hadn’t worked in 6 years and only knew how to clean and serve people in a canteen. So I took the first job I was offered and started a 10 year history of banking. First just 16 hours a week serving customers but by the time I left I’d become a mortgage and insurance adviser, the next step up was running an actual bank. Not bad for a girl with my background. But I was never happy.

Just before I started at the bank I’d managed to get myself on a European funded part time degree course in Social Policy at Leeds University. I had to give it up to start work but the year I spent on it was a massive boost to my confidence and restored my faith in myself that depsite all that had happened I did actually have a decent brain. During this time I revisited the idea of journalism. I spoke to the careers adviser there about swapping degrees, going full time and pursuing this career. That was met with a resounding no. I was told I’d left it too late and was now too old to do this. I was 26!!!! This was in the mid-90’s and before internet writing took off as it now has. It was still very heavily a print media occupation. So dreams shattered again I went into banking.

And pretty much hated everything about it. I trained to be a mortgage adviser and spent my whole time in the role feeling like I’d sold my soul to the devil digging into people’s greatest fears to sell them insurance. And the worse thing was…I was bloody good at it!

So I became a civil servant! From one devil to another. Again I’ve spent 5 years working my little socks off in various roles and always felt something was missing. More & more when I’ve had time off work I’ve not wanted to go back. Not in a depressed I hate my job way but just that I’m sure there’s something better way.

So I’ve put my thinking cap on and the only thing I can think of to make me happy is working for myself. I could write but my creative non-blogging side is still in its infancy so I’ve been thinking about the crafts. There are several to choose from and the return to handmade goods moving  away from the identi-town chain stores is growing rapidly so there is room for me and the things I can do. I had my annual review meeting with my team leader last week and discussed this with him. As his wife is a big fan of card maker and frustrated employee herself, he understood exactly where I was coming from. I can’t afford to leave my job and try and support myself so we have a plan of reducing days down as things progress. So from October I will be losing a day per week.

It’s scary but exhilarating at the same time. I’ll lose around £200 a month and will need to sell items to try and make that up. So the next 6 months will be frantically trying to pay bills off and make preparations. Not to mention the fact that my next Open University course starts the same month. I can never be accused of doing things in small doses!!! I’m setting up online shops with a view to putting some small things on now to test waters. And if it fails…then I’ll have a day off a week to study! But I hope it doesn’t. This is the first time in my life I feel like I am doing something to earn money in a way that I want and not because I have to.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, not tomorrow and so if you really want something it’s time to stand up and go for it…..