Me, actually. I have an employment history on my CV as long as my arm. Sick of working for idiots and just wanting to be my own boss has led me to the conclusion that its time to set up and run my own little enterprise. If i never try then I will never know. New year new start and all that….
So, here we go yo. Bad career advice when I was at Sixth Form College (who the hell actually knows what they want to do for the rest of their life when they are 18 years old – and I didn’t actually want to go to University?!) led me to a degree in Equine Sports Science at the University of Lincoln. I graduated with a 2:1 and went on to train as a horse riding instructor and coach. A few horsey jobs later and to cut a long story short I continued my education (serial learner syndrome here) through the University Of Huddersfield to gain a PGCE and was now working as a lecturer in Equine (horsey stuff) at a local college. A significant cut in my working hours (everything happens for a reason) led to me to a ski season in a beautiful part of the world: Les Portes du Soliel in France. I was the chalet assistant/ski guide and general Go-fer and I enjoyed every minute!
On my return I picked up a waitressing job, then another horsey job and then a retail job. Pattern beginning to show again, hey?! Whilst I was in France I would doodle away in my sketch pad with ideas and little pictures, but it wasn’t until a year later that I realised i needed to get back doing something creative. Then it dawned on me that I wasn’t a bad employee, it was the jobs I was going for that bored me senseless! I find myself daydreaming and observing everything and also asking a lot of questions. Steve Jobs (I have his autobiography lined up as my next book…) said:
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
Creative people have more diversity of experiences, and habit is the killer of diversity of experience – hence why a 9-5 job ain’t for me! In this day in age its also impossible to get a job that satisfied my creativity – so I decided to create my own. Growing up my dad had a small printing company, I ‘worked’ for him on a saturday – basically sat and did lots of drawing, photocopying and occasionally emptied a bin. When he invested in a heat press machine I was well away! I would draw my design, then photocopy it onto transfer paper then heat press it onto a t-shirt. I loved the little printing business.
So thats what I’ve done, I’ve set up my own little printing business! Initially vinyl printing onto t-shirts and hoodies, but I’ve also branched out into tote bags and aprons. So the hard stuff has started, mapping out little plans and goals that will lead onto bigger ones. I sustained a grant to build my website and funding though Enterprise4All – they also provide me with workshops and useful advice when I need it. I researched and bought a heat press and vinyl cutting machine and a mac book and set about learning how to design and print for myself!
I am currently on the biggest learning curve, had to take on two part time jobs to make sure I have a regular income, but its all systems a-go now! Website should be up and running within the next few weeks and I will be using this blog as a platform to reflect on what I’ve done and also the next step. How can you be excited and bricking it at the same time!?
Current read: ‘Shape up Your Business‘ by Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker, founders of NotOnTheHighStreet.com. I am slightly obsessed with these two at the minute and also their website. This book gives an insight into growing a small business and the hurdles these two overcame when starting theirs.
Current inspiration: www.entrepreneur.com I really have to limit the time I spend reading the articles on here, one I read last night: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240591 was about social media strategy, its on my ‘to-do’ list today to start my social media campaign and also build up a ‘bank’ of scheduled tweets and status’. I am trying to utilise lots of free marketing channels to get my business out there!
Miles run this week: Only 2.4! > off for a little jog now though, well, it has been the season for stuffing yourself silly, who has time to run when there’s so much eating to be done!? Always check my progress with the RunKeeper app so I know how many miles, keeps me motivated!