Not knowing what the future holds is part of the fun of life..
As the year ends, and 2020 is finally classed as one of the worst years ever, I have a moment to reflect on the changes on not just the world, but myself and my business.
So as we speak, Be Inspired Online is changing and 2021 will see new and exciting things, I am working with people I never considered as a partner, I am developing a whole new pocket of the industry and opening up my inspired home to educators just like me looking to better their business.
But it is the role I am playing which is a far far cry from nails, that I would never have considered when I made the very scary decision to fork out over £2000 on an online course on staying organised. I didn’t even realise it was a course on being organised, in actual fact it was the bonus access to a different marketing coach which changed the direction of my business forever.
I started my nail career in my late 20’s, the children were going to school and it was not what I had thought I would be doing when I did my A-Levels.
I wanted to be a graphic designer and flirt with the marketing world even at 16. During the summer holidays, I persuaded a local graphic design firm to take me on as an unpaid intern and I loved it. I never went to university though, because just as I finished school the bottom dropped in the marketing and advertising world and going ahead with my dream would have been foolish. So opting not to rack up debt at university, I got married to the love of my life and started a business as a potter. Hand building lamps with cute little clowns all over the bases out of clay, I had a little kiln and studio in my shed in Colchester. Working at craft markets all over England at the tender age of just 19. My parents at the time owned a successful pottery business in Dorset, so it wasn’t a far stretch to learn the trade.
With my new husband disenchanted with his army career after a serious fall on exercise and putting paid to his future rise up the army ranks, he left and we both moved back to Dorset at 25 to run the family pottery business. He retrained, from solider to potter and worked with my mum creating our very popular water gardens. Selling all over the world and to prestigious places like Harrods and Chelsea Flower Show, we were kept very busy. I worked in the office with my dad and took care of all the business, financial and marketing side.
I was pregnant with Jorden at 25, and soon after Devon. Life at Glen Pottery wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was fun and I have fond memories of everyone who worked there, the craft and garden shows we worked at and the early morning deliveries to London, we worked hard, and it gave us a great life.
But then my parents decided to split, my father leaving, my mother devastated, it fell on Jon and myself to run the family business alone. Looking after the 12 staff and 2 small children, our hearts just weren’t in it any more and we sold it all. My mum left alone in a large house, going through the steps of divorce and the business, this dark time was the turning point for all of us.
I won’t go into the finer points of this 3-year battle, but it brought me to nails. The children where now at school, I had no business to run and my love for nail art was distracting me from the trauma of a broken family.
My husband had his own demons to slay and isolated in our own nightmares, I am amazed we are still together to be honest.
So why the history? Well, you might have heard me say this before, that I could never have imagined that I would be doing what I do now…
But what if I did know? What if I could see the future, would I have taken the steps to this point? Would I have embraced the risks and worried about the little things enough to make them big and beautiful things?
I think the unknown is precisely why we move forward in our lives, the fear that is always present in everything should be set aside because otherwise, we wouldn’t have what we do today.
If my mother had known my dad would leave her, would she have left her home country and followed him around the world, had the adventures and children with him, set up the Glen Pottery and given me the opportunity to find my creativity and taught me about business and marketing?
If my husband had followed his dream of becoming a medical professional after leaving school and not allowed his father to railroad and abuse him into joining the army. He would never have had the opportunity to find himself, to live through his torment and be the medical professional he is today, with compassion and understanding. He might not have had the drive to write and to figure out who he really is away from his abuser.
If I had gone after my dream of being a graphic designer, I would never have found the love of marketing, of art and learned more about running a business than anyone could ever have done at university. I would never have married Jon, and had my beautiful babies and been able to connect with women all over the world. To help them plan and market their own businesses.
I would never have understood the psychology of people and their actions and I would never have had the insight to figure out what they need even before they knew it.
If we let fear stand in our way, if we look at the situations we are in good and bad and believe they are the end result of our actions instead of just the beginning, we will never get anywhere.
Today I am running a successful space online where I can help educators deliver professional online education (something covid and 2020 has shown us we need) but it is more than that, I have realised that it is not the space, but it is my ability to market individuals. To come up with a strategy to help them grow their business. I never would have thought that when I was making little clowns and windmills in 1991. I am not just creating an online space for nail technicians but beauty professionals, for life coaches and artists. A creative hub for anyone who wants more than a place to house their courses.
But it wasn’t immediate and it is the small examples that I am doing the right thing which helps me see. I helped my mother grow her art business online, showing her how and what to post. She now has a virtual assistant helping her to post content weekly, producing sales of 3 – 4 painting a week and she is now starting to produce videos for YouTube, this is my 75-year-old mum, the broken women in 1997, who thought she had lost everything. The potter who hadn’t considered picking up a paintbrush and the wife who loved her husband. Look at her now, what if she had known that the heartache would result in this.
My husband, the soldier, turned potter, turned beauty therapist & nail educator, turned medical professional is now a published author having written 5 books and has a podcast. He is now working on a new subscription service, and I help him with his marketing strategy and concept planning. Using his experience with PTSD from childhood abuse to help other men, he writes from his experience and understanding and has been able to impact others with his humour and honesty. What if he had never had that experience to build him into the strong man he is today?
When I look at little old sole trader me, running a tiny children’s lamps business, growing the family business into a massive enterprise, the little nail tech who just wanted to do nail art.
What if I had never said yes to running the family business, never learned the vital things I did back then.
Then maybe the life coach who is developing a new coaching concept wouldn’t have asked me to partner with her to develop a coaching platform for other people looking to invest in themselves.
I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with a therapist to A-listers who want to utilise my knowledge in marketing to help her bring her 2021 strategy to life.
Perhaps I would never have been able to collaborate with some of the nail superstars in the industry and watched them develop their own brands into something they could never have imagined either.
So what has this to do with 2020. I want you to think of your experience throughout this year as a stepping stone, an opportunity for you to learn how to do something you need in the future. The decisions you make today based on your life as it stands will be because your future self needs you to.
Sometimes we look at the shit times, the poor and lonely moments and the rainy days as a sign we are worthless and a failure, but it is the opposite. Those times are there to show you that you’re at your strongest, that you are learning and growing.
Like black and white, light and dark, yin and yang, you will always end up with a balance, you can’t have one without the other.
So as you go through the Christmas week, take a moment to consider the opportunities evolving before you.
I never ever imagined I would be doing what I am doing today, and sometimes can’t even see myself as the genius I am because I am still the little girl who finished her A levels and wanted to be a graphic designer and work in advertising.
I can’t see that it what I am.
I was inspired by my 30 Days Portrait Challenge through Sketchy, to create a nail art and nail application course, with 5 other celebrated and award-winning educators. We have all been working hard over the last few months to bring you a set of lessons, 30 of them. which will help you in your business and your confidence.
Now you need to decide which set of values you hold that will say yes to investing in this course and in your self.
Check out this link – Doors opened November 1st and is discounted until December.