Why I finally decided it was time to be my own boss!
Do you ever wonder what it would be like wake up in the morning and have the freedom to plan your day as you wish? To not be at the mercy of your annoying boss, or be chasing up someone in accounts. I can't pretend it will be easy, this is not a decision for the faint hearted. But taking that leap of faith and deciding to become your own boss could be the best thing you ever did! This post is an brief overview of how things came about. I hope to share more posts with you about my journey and the things that I have learned.
I ended up working in retail completely by accident. My plan had always been to go to work in the head office of a big fashion label, but my plans unraveled when my placement year fell through at university. I decided to take a job in Selfridges while I came up with a plan B. Two years later and much to my horror I was still there. It was the recession and my initial optimism at finding “my dream job” or even any job that was better than this, had died. Then out of the blue I was offered a job at Burberry.
I was so delighted to finally be moving forward, this was the opportunity I needed. I realised not long after I started there and was given my first pay-rise that this was a job I was born to do. I loved the products, helping people discover what they wanted and that no two days were the same. I was extremely fortunate, I had bosses who supported me and colleagues who became close friends. I loved it so much I stayed for six years. The time had come for a change.
I moved to London and took a job managing a Mary’s Living and Giving shop for Save the Children. I had been in luxury fashion for a long time and felt I needed to do something completely different. It helped of course that Mary Portas was one of my idols. The shop was fantastic! I had a wonderful team of volunteers who helped me keep the place going. We received all sorts of weird and wonderful donations and had frequent visits from customers saying it was their favourite shop. Sadly my position there was only temporary and I was faced with a decision.
I had always wanted to run my own business, it had been something I would dream about from time to time. I never imagined it would actually happen! After a discussion with my boyfriend’s dad one day, it came to light that he had a friend who was looking to invest in a startup. It was the was of those golden opportunity moments, now all I needed was an idea! I knew that it would be in retail, as that is what I know and love. From there I decided I would take a foray into the world of jewellery, starting with bracelets. How hard could it be?
Well if I’m honest, a lot harder than I expected! I had been talking to lots of people about my plans and everyone kept telling me how good it was going to be, and how I would be brilliant at it. But how did they know? I suddenly felt very much out of my depth. I didn't know the first thing about setting up a company or making jewellery. I began to feel like it was a big mistake and that I was a fraud for actually telling people I could do this. Fortunately after what felt like a long time I saw some light at the end of the tunnel. I had had some fairly major breakthroughs and I was finally finding my feet. I realised it was ok to feel a little lost. Changing careers had meant I had lost a big part of my identity and now I was crafting a new one.
Starting your own business is exciting and terrifying in equal measure. I have had a lot of dark days but thanks to my very supportive friends and family, I have survived. When you have those breakthrough moments you can really enjoy that feeling of pride because you know how hard you have worked to get there. I’m sure I will have many more challenges to come but I am ready and excited to see where the journey takes me.