This week’s blog post wasn’t a planned one. It happened a little by accident.
I am taking part in a visibility challenge this week with a coach that I follow. I’m part of her group that the challenge is taking place in and today’s challenge- day 1, is to write down ‘your story’ then share part of that in the group and on your FB page.
As I started writing my post in her group, I couldn’t stop and it turned into a blog post – so here we go, I thought I’d share here too, so you guys can get to know me a little better. It’s quite a vulnerable post for me and really got me thinking about where I am in my journey.
I started my entrepreneurial journey young- my first business was at aged 18. I think I had always known this was the route for me and I loved it. I sold the business after 3 years and went into employment but toyed with coming back to self-employment constantly.
After a holiday, my now husband and I started another business- a guest house. After 5 years, 2 difficult pregnancies and 100’s of guests, the guest house life became too much and we sold up.
At this stage, we knew I would continue to run my own business, but didn’t know what. After much research, I decided that I’d start a Shabby Chic & Vintage Home & Gift online business and my ‘3rd baby’ was born.
This was started from our kitchen worktop, where I did everything by myself and grew the business using social media. The stock was small at first and was stored in my children’s wardrobe. Each day, I’d have 2 1/4 hours whilst the little ones were at pre-school to pack and post any orders that I’d received and work on growing the business.
I had a phenomenal first Christmas thanks to a product that sold like hot-cakes and not many people were selling at the time and the business was really taking off. We moved to a bigger house- predominantly so I had more room to house the now growing stock and I had a large office and a stock room followed by staff. I moved twice more to a business unit, then another, double the size as the business continued to grow at a fast rate.
I started another side to the business- literally, overnight- a monthly box subscription that took off in month 1 and was going amazingly well. I won a ‘Mumpreneur’ business award and went on a business trip to China to start importing products direct, rather than through UK wholesalers and had an office in China, where they represented me and dealt directly with the manufacturers on my behalf.
So what happened?
So, it looked like the business was going great guns. But I wasn’t. Something had changed in me. To this day, I don’t know exactly what, but I felt like I’d ‘lost my mojo’.
This had been my baby for almost 5 years, that I’d literally ‘ate, breathed and slept’ and all of a sudden I wasn’t in love with it anymore.
This was a difficult thing to accept as I have always had that fear of failure niggling at the back of my head. I kept quiet for a while but could feel the stress building. The business started getting a little bit quieter- and that also made me feel extremely stressed. Looking back, I can see that it was predominantly my mindset that was affecting the business, but at the time I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. It was a downward spiral. I was completely overwhelmed, trying to do it all myself and not spending enough time On my business, but too much in the business. I wasn’t growing.
When I (finally) opened up to my husband – he was amazing. I had so many fears that he wouldn’t understand and would feel that I’d not involved him sooner in the way I was feeling. But he literally told me ‘just walk if it’s making you feel like this, it’s not good for you and we’ll deal with the consequences together’. I think it was knowing that I had that support that fired up something in me that hadn’t shown up for a while (the fighting spirit) and I decided that, hold on, I had a bloody viable business that I could sell- not walk away from! This was turning over multi six-figures and had an amazing following and good profit- I wasn’t walking anywhere!
The next step
So, I listed it on a business for sale site (still among feelings of failure, that nobody would be interested etc) and had around 40 enquiries in total. Those first few days I had 2 people come down and both wanted to make an offer. The first offer came the next day, I accepted and I pushed for a sale within a month!
It was one of the hardest months of my life but we did it. The business was all in my head, I didn’t have processes and systems written down, so all that had to be done, but after the month, I’d moved out of my premises and the new owner had hers. I worked closely with her for months making sure the handover went smoothly and spent the six weeks holidays just being ‘mum’!
It took me the best part of a year to realise that actually, I hadn’t failed. I had started and sold a business for a profit.
Being in that position made me think that I couldn’t be the only woman struggling with it all- the kids, the house, the business. I couldn’t be the only women trying to be the best at it all, but not actually believing in herself enough and what skills she could offer. I decided I wanted to help other women who were feeling that overwhelm, the pressure, the doubt, the lack of skills. So, I started another business as a VA.
As the year progressed I started thinking that maybe I could mentor women, but the doubt stopped me from doing too much about that. I love working as a VA and as I became more confident in the skills I could offer (and put my pricing up), I started to really attract my tribe. I changed my website to be a reflection of me- I’m girlie and wanted it to show that. I started being really strict with who I was working with. Female entrepreneurs only. As time went on, I started to naturally attract a few coaches. This is such a positive place to be – full of inspiration and motivation- I spend much of my days being surrounded by amazing, like-minded, kicking-ass women!
This made me realise that I can do this, I have plenty of experience and skills that women could learn from. I know I’m now on the right path, I feel it deeply and am so looking forward to the coming months and years. Continuing to grow as a person and continuing to help many women reach that same satisfied place.
Interested in working with me? Find out more here >>>
I know success means different things to different people.
Let’s be clear, I am money driven.
But it’s more than that. This past year I have run a viable business that I love, doing something that makes me happy, helping female entrepreneurs, all whilst taking my kids to school every day, picking them up every day, never missing a school concert or event. I’ve travelled 6 times these past 8 months and managed my work around that. I’ve certainly drank more wine than I should have and eaten amazing food (hence the additional stone I’m carrying ;)).
I’m happy and loving life. And to me that is being successful and I know I have so much more to give. If you’d like to get clarity on your business, learn how to use certain tools and systems to grow your business and feel amazing about yourself, take a look at my package here >>>
I hope you enjoyed reading a bit more about me. I know I love reading other people’s stories, so hopefully, mine can inspire one or two of you too.
Watch my video here >>
Thank you for reading! Katie x