It has taken me several attempts at writing this post, and I'm not entirely sure why. It could be that I'm still nervous of selling myself as a coach and mentor, even though I have started working with clients, and am already receiving the most joyous testimonials!
Or it could be that I'm not sure how far back to go. The more I talk to people about why I chose to start down this path, the more I've realised it's been on the horizon for me for a long time. Maybe since childhood when I was sought out in the playground as the one who could cheer friends up, or solve an argument. Maybe since adolescence when I wanted to be a counsellor or careers advisor (but failed to get the grades or build up the desire to go into further education) and was still that friend relied on for support and solutions.
And definitely since I entered the world of work where I did everything from make coffee, to sell books, to telesales (please don't judge me, I lasted 4 hours). From HR, recruitment, and talent management (where the only thing that saved my sanity was talking to people about what they wanted to do with their life, and helping them get it down on paper), to copywriting and subediting where I took other people's content and stories, and showed them how good writing could make their business glow.
And finally, in running my own small business, teaching letterpress workshops and meeting so many people who felt that overwhelming need to build creativity back into their lives. I knew I wanted to keep talking with these people, and somehow support them in their journey to learn new skills and build new businesses.
Time For Change
During the Summer last year I was forced to take a step back when our beloved part time nanny left to have her own baby (so selfish!), my mother was hospitalised and had an extended stay in intensive care when her appendix burst, and still having no driving licence the heatwave turned me and the girls into hermits. Hiding in the house day in and day out (between taxi dashes to the hospital to visit my mum), it was intense and stressful, my inbox became unmanageable and I was forced to revaluate what was important to me, and the direction I wanted to move in when I was able to get back to work.
I realised I had been running on auto pilot since having the girls, adding elements to my business that I didn't enjoy because they seemed a natural progression. Commissions that had me pulling the night shift (I mean, I was up all night anyway but that's not the point), pre-designed stationery for the wedding market, a multitude of half finished ideas for products that my heart wasn't really in but which might sell well.
I took a step back and really thought about what aspects of my business I still enjoyed. I thought about what I'd like to be doing a year down the line. I thought about what I could do that would make me happy and that would fit around raising my daughters.
One, I wanted to focus on workshops. Two, I wanted to do more with the amazing creative people I was meeting in my studio. Three, I wanted time to write.
Everything else could go.
I needed to simplify my business, and it bothered me that it had taken such an extreme change of circumstances to get me to see it clearly. If I'd had someone to talk to who knew what it was like to run a small business, and what it was like to try and get that momentum back up around raising a family, it could have saved me a whole lot of time, heartache and money.
After I simplified everything down, it didn't take long to realise I wanted to be that person for others. My brain went into overdrive as ideas started to click into place. I sent an email off to the most amazing trainer and mentor who I'd met through my print workshops, asking her advice on how I could start, she recommended The Coaching Academy to me, and so began my more intentional journey into a new career.
And here we are! I'm so excited about this new path, which feels more natural than any I've taken before. More in line with who I am, and more in line with who I still hope to become.
If you have a new path you're excited, or even nervous to take then I'd love to chat with you. You can see the ways we can work together and book an introductory chat over on the Work With Me page.