It’s been nearly a year since my redundancy was “official” and just over a year since I decided I wanted to change my path. For those of you that don’t know I was a senior manager in an IT department, I had a good salary, I had staff, I had/have relevant and marketable skills and yet the shine had faded. I no longer felt like I was valued, that I could make a difference. In a world more and more focussed on cost savings and survival it seemed that making peoples jobs easier, better, improving the experience just wasn’t enough. Nobody thought people were important anymore, I found that sad (still do).
So cut loose at 43 after 23 years I felt not sadness but relief, how odd. The opportunity came out of the blue but the desire to refocus had been bubbling for a quite a while. So I stepped off the travellator, had a good look around, breathed, slept (better than I had done in years) and decided the time was now. Does it seem crazy that at 43 with two young children (4 and 2) and a mortgage I would take such a risk? Did I forget to mention that that in my twenties I jumped out of a plane, went caving, abseiled off buildings….. Apparently I was still that adrenaline junkie despite the years of corporate training 🙂
Has it worked ? I don’t know. Am I happy? beyond a doubt. Is it sustainable? I’m not sure. Am I putting everything into it? you bet and then some!
So one year on in monetary terms my company is not (yet) succeeding, I am about to declare a loss of at least £7k to the tax man. But in real terms this is working for me. I am seeing more of my kids, I am developing as a person, I am helping people learn new skills, I am creative. In my space we have fun and we create beautiful things. The world needs more of both of those things!
Are you wondering if I have my head is in the sand? if my kids are going to end up on the street? The answer is no. Thanks to those corporate years I know how to track profit and loss, how to read a balance sheet, cost products, negotiate, evaluate capital investment. In short I know to run and measure my business by normal standards I just don’t choose to right now. I haven’t taken the easier option but I have created a more fulfilling one.
So I am reflecting, I am asking how long can I keep doing this? I honestly don’t know and it doesn’t matter, I will know when I have to get a “real job” again. What is important right now is people, that’s it, that’s my company strategy. I am a facilitator, I will continue to welcome people into my space, to help them with their goals. Creativity and beautiful things aren’t everything but the joy it brings that is