I worked as a secretary since leaving school at 15 until I was made redundant for the FOURTH time. Three days later my husband and I found we were expecting our first child.
Having lost faith in being employed, working hard and then losing your job, we decided that this was the time to consider taking a leap of faith and setting up our own company in 2004. I was 33, my husband 35.
We set up a simple website business – this was when hardly anyone had one so we created a winning formula and quickly built up a portfolio of clients. Several years later we were approached by a company interested in taking the website company over and we decided to sell.
We regrouped and my husband a talented IT consultant set about creating a new piece of software that would attract small businesses. He also worked for some corporate organisations as a consultant. During this time I started to lose interest in the business and at the same time we were talking about having another child and in 2007 our daughter was born, followed by our son in 2009. Having my work cut out with two young children I didn’t have so much time to focus on the business, my husband had a good hold of things by now and over the years I further withdrew from the company and focused on our children.
When it was time for our youngest child to start school, I had what I called a “mid-life crisis” at 41 when I realised what a gap not having children at home would leave and I yearned to go work again but really didn’t fancy doing office work again, I wanted a new challenge / but what? I realised I wanted a role around people and helping them in some way and I stumbled upon a local beauty course available during school times.
Once I’d finally summoned up the courage to do it, that took months – I started the course and I was reassured that all the students were similar ages to me! It was hard work, you can imagine but I stuck with it due to fantastic support and passed my exam as a beauty specialist.
I set up a room and provided treatments from home yet still something was missing. I loved carrying out facial treatments and the massage elements of my treatments but didn’t enjoy the other treatments as much. My tutor had mentioned the massage course and I kept thinking I’d really like to do it so some months later I trained as a massage therapist and something totally clicked.
I loved it and before long I qualified as a massage therapist so had a new skill to offer. Some months later I stopped offering most of my beauty treatments apart from facials, trained in a couple more therapies and re-invented myself as a complementary therapist. I loved what I did so much I wanted to give something back so I volunteered at Farleigh Hospice for a year massaging terminally ill patients and their carers.
Last year I made the finals in the inspiration award for holistic therapist magazine.
In November I finally took on a room away from home in a business centre!
My journey hasn’t been easy and I’m still studying but I am now getting paid to do a job I absolutely adore and I love seeing clients leave me so much less stressed and feeling better than when they arrived.
So for anyone thinking about it – don’t hesitate – take the plunge and never look back! It’s boosted my confidence and every day I go to work I love it and I’m so happy to be there. It’s flexible too – I work part time whilst the children are at school so I can still do the school runs and take the children to their clubs etc but I am so fulfilled now and have so much more confident than before.
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