I've come across so many inspirational stories lately, about how creative business owners have come to be where they are today and they have really resonated with me. I have been learning so much lately and growing in ways I had never expected and it has got me thinking about my journey, where I've come from, how different I am as a person and where I'm going, or at least where I intend to go.
It seems to me, the more and more people I meet through the business and through networking, that we all seem to share similar journeys and moments of inspiration that drive us and that we take a roundabout route over a long period of time to get there and have often overcome a few obstacles along the way. It's great to find out from others that overnight success doesn't exist and that hard work and determination can get you where you want to be and that everyone feels like they are winging it from time to time too, just like me....thank you for that!
My background is a mish mash of industries, starting out in retail and banking (banking = not for me!) whilst living in Somerset. I took a degree in Psychology and always intended to pursue that but ended up working in shops instead! Along with a move to another area of the country in my early twenties, a change in career followed and I took the opportunity to get into Human Resources, something I had been keen on for some time. After 2 years of hard work studying and working full time, I was qualified and a 10 year stint as a HR Generalist in several different companies followed. Life was good, we had a decent income as my now ex-husband was doing well in IT and we had a lot of holidays and great experiences, met some amazing friends too along the way.
But after my divorce 7 years ago and a return to Somerset to be close to family, I had to rebuild my life; my goals, dreams and priorities changed in a dramatic way. I was no longer the person I thought I was and certainly wasn't leading the life I thought I would at the age of 35! Moving back in with mum and dad at this age was not on the agenda! But they were brilliant and the support I desperately needed at that time, along with some very close friends who I couldn't live without (you know who you are!). After an amazing holiday in New Zealand, I found work again and continued to use my HR knowledge in subsequent jobs, along with gaining experience as a PA, Office Manager and general dogsbody!
All very useful experience and skills I need today along with newly found commercial skills. But fast approaching the ripe old age of 40, I decided that in order to preserve my sanity (I was fed up of doing disciplinaries almost every day and feeling unappreciated), I needed to check out of corporate life and do something, that for the first time in my life, was just for me.
I had met my partner and it was an exciting time, everything was changing but was getting better and better. We got our cats Bailey and Teasel, had a few holidays and had fun. I knew I had his support and that of my family and friends so felt the fear and went for it. I started out in my new self-employed world renovating properties, but this wasn't quite what I wanted. I was having to temp still as well, so after 18 months I knew I had to do what I really loved, and that was to turn my (some new and some long held) hobbies into a business, or at least attempt to!
And that is how I came to be running a creative business, not sure I would call myself a solopreneur just yet - I have a million miles to go before that - but I'm on the way and loving it and determined to make it a success. It's a wonderful feeling knowing that I'm working hard for me and my family (ok, two of them are cats but I can't have children so they are family to me instead!) everyday and that is motivation enough.
I would love to hear of other business owners and women out there doing it for themselves and their special journey to get there, let me know your story in the comments.