My History on a page

Morning everyone, it’s Monday an possibly the first full week back for most of us. So how’s that going so far?

Some of us will have set our new year resolutions, some will join a gym, start out on a diet, decide the job we are in is just not ticking all the boxes and decide its time for change. Maybe you are thinking about starting your own business or you have a business but you need to set some new goals or get motivated again?

For me this year is one of change, which I love. It is the result of a lot of thinking, chatting it through with mentors- a lot of reflection and self assessment. As part of that, I wrote my life story on a page. This is an incredibly powerful thing to do as when you reflect on your past its amazing what you can take out. So I thought I’d share mine with you guys…

A child of the late 60s with two amazing parents, Bob and Sylvia. I have 2 older brothers Andy just turned 60 and Mike just turned 53. Andy was kind of like my second Dad (he taught me how to play poker so I could ‘help’ him …. say no more) and Mike was the brother I messed around with and bickered with causing no small amount of angst for the parents. Teenagers huh? they are great.

I had an amazing childhood where I developed a passion for dance tap, ballet and modern, which I carried on with until I went to Uni. I loved being on stage and loved the creativity dance offered.. I also met my best friend there,called Gilly, at just 4 years old, and we are still friends today.

My dad and my eldest brother have been self employed most of their lives. When I was 12, sadly my mum and dad struggled with their business (due to a dodgy business partner in London )which meant we lost our home so we had to move. They picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and kept going. However then we had to move again as the business collapsed. This was devastating to them especially my dad and was a very difficult time for us as a family. I kind of had to really grow up and be a bit more self sufficient, but at the same time pull together. Which, as I look back stood me in good stead.

There was a gap then, between moving into our new house when we had to put all our belongings into Pickford storage in Sheffield, and sadly in December 1984 the whole warehouse set on fire and we lost everything we owned. Pictures, memories, the lot. Wow that was a hard blow, especially for my parents. Their life had literally just gone up in smoke.

But again they picked themselves up, (themes starting to show through?) my dad got a job in Stockport as a sales director and they started rebuilding their lives again. How amazing are they? Whilst it happened to them really there response impacted on me .

Schools were as exciting as they can be, I had some great friends at school but by the time I was 16, a wannabe goth with various spiky hair do’s and doc martins, it lost its appeal, my older boyfriend and his friends were much more fun, and I scraped through with 6 O’ levels (yep I’m that old I’m pre GCSE) Then Dad got relocated down south and they moved to Newbury Berkshire. So I stayed and moved out of home. aged 17, to complete my A levels, I passed 3 A’ levels.

Which was enough … just … to get me to Uni

I had no idea what I wanted to do in life at this point, so very few of us do, so I chose a business studies degree and It was then I was Uni bound.

I went to Wolverhampton Uni in September 1987 , in October 1987 I met this rebellious young man named Chris, whom I subsequently married 8 years later. I had an amazing 4 years at Uni, really loved every minute of it, even the squalor and coping with the lack of warmth and food lol. Made some lifetime friends.

After leaving Uni Chris and I bought our first house which we renovated top to bottom.. Great fun . Then we married in 1995 … 25 years this year eeeek. In 1999 Luke was born. Then followed Tom (Harrison) and Skye (yep there is a Star Wars link …) . What can I say. They are my reason for being now albeit they’ve grown up. Amazing and totally refocused me.

In 2000 I set up my own business to give me flexibility around having children and I just love being a Mum (which I really didn’t expect) . This was a very successful marketing consultancy which evolved over time into magazines and websites then I moved into dance teaching for a while as I missed my dance.

Chris by this time was also self employed refocusing and moving from production to landscaping and garden design. So scary stuff but we are still alive lol. Since having the kids we’ve moved house three times, impulse purchased a house in Devon whilst camping in Dawlish , sold it and now bought a caravan in wales. We like the sea too!

I have had a few jobs starting in market research, moving to retail marketing, private label marketing, trade marketing and brand marketing , running my own business before eventually becoming a marketing director. Needless to say I’ve been consistently in marketing, I love brand marketing and working in food , but what I now really live is supporting my teams which today has led me to a career coaching too.

My take on this was

1. my family take priority, we stick together as a team to make things work!

2. I’ve been surrounded by self employed people all my life, so for me maybe being self employed is normal and therefore less scary? (my hubby’s parents are very successful entrepreneurs too)

3. My past has made me independent, steely and a bit of a risk taker – after all when you have lost everything the only way is up right? My Mum and Dad are happy and they’ve really been through it all. Plus I love change

4. I have developed my parents determination to pick myself up, brush myself down and keep going and I am wary of business partners so it takes me time to trust people! But I do get there and caution is a good thing right?

5. But also coming out strong and clear is I love change I love helping people (ask anyone who knows me) and I have lots of life experiences by virtue of the changes that have happened. Which is an amazing thing to be able to draw on.

So now I’m back being self employed, taking risks, creating change and helping others … wow!

So there it is. So much more to tell but what patterns can you see in my story? Why not have a go and write yours then write the top 5 take outs so far you can learn from and use to help shape your future?

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