For my first ever blog I thought I had to start with how I got here. In September 2010, I had my first baby, Zac and shortly after this I received noticed of redundancy, it wasn’t a surprise, and at the time I didn’t mind because I was on cloud nine with my perfect little family.
In the New Year I started to think about going back to work? For the next few months I looked, in vain for a job, but living in Helston there really wasn’t much demand for an Environmental Manager / Consultant. I love my job, I loving seeing businesses undertake environmental improvement actions and realise the positive impacts this can have on both the culture of their organisation and the financial savings it can result in. The only thing that I knew for sure is that I wasn’t prepared to retrain and I wanted to carry on providing environmental support to businesses. I’d spent five years at university studying environmental management and another seven years working as an environmental professional across a whole range of sectors.
A few friends started talking to me about me becoming self-employed, but to be honest I did not have the confidence to take that step. Further to this, I’ve got a little boy, my husband’s in the navy and my nearest family live 320 miles away – how on earth was it going to be possible for me to set up my own business. It just felt like there were too many obstacles.
The Job Centre introduced me to a support program called Outset Cornwall, they provide support to individuals wanting to start their own business. To get the Job Centre off my back a little I went along and after the very first session, I was hooked. I am not sure what happened however, I skipped back home and decided I was going to set up my own business, now was as good as time as any…. even during a recession (I must be mad)!
The next few weeks were really exciting, developing my strategy, starting to do a little freelance work, thinking of a name for my business etc. A friend did my website and logo, thank you Creative Keane. However, I didn’t want to just play around with being freelance I’d turned a corner, and decided that I wanted to run a viable Cornish Environmental Consultancy. The entrepreneur in me had been unleashed, where it had been hiding for the last 32 years I’m unsure!!
The next big step was being invited to attend the Unlocking Cornish Potential Enterprise Boot Camp. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was inspirational; fantastic mentors, stimulating presentations and lots of very motivated delegates. Since then I have been accepted onto the Graduate Start-Up Scheme and at present I am just waiting to get started. I’ve currently got a few clients on my books, I’ve started going networking crazy and I now feel really positive about the future.
So in summary, any mum’s out there who are thinking about setting up their own business the only advice I can give is DO IT! There will never be a good time, it is hard and you/I may very well not succeed with our venture(s) (it’s a very tough climate out there). However, I have taken a positive step and I can’t help but want to give myself a pat on the back. The worse that can happen is that I go back to working for someone else, however now I think I have more to offer. Good luck!