It’s a common mistake in society that for you to be successful you must have a millionaire financial status. The Ferrari should be parked in front of the mansion and the Rolex watch should be catching the eye of every passer-by as you lift your iPhone to your ear for yet another business call.
This was my image of success also, it’s an image that immediately seems impossible to picture yourself in. That was true for me, I was just a single mum. Nothing special, a background in the care industry along with many other minimum wage jobs over the years. Not many qualifications to be proud of with a history of failed relationships and failed career attempts.
I always felt I could be more, but over time my confidence had been knocked so often that I felt it was almost time to accept defeat….. almost!
Everyone has a turning point in life, the day you decide enough is enough. The day you decide that life is not going to always be a daily struggle of rounding up the loose change to buy toilet roll because you have 3 days to wait before any money goes into your bank account. The day you say “I am worth more than this” and you make a brave decision to just do something about it. The day you decide you have nothing to lose.
February the 27th 2014 was my day. I slipped a disc at work and found myself having to make the decision to resign from a job I loved. At 34 years old, it had been the first time I had found my dream job, or so I thought. I was caring for the elderly, organising daily activities and monthly events for the residents of a private care home. I enjoyed every day and often felt a sense of pride for what I did. I earned less than £7 an hour, but I wasn’t doing it for the money. I covered my bills and I was happy with that.
I was already suffering from M.E but I had always tried to never let it stop me from doing anything, I endured daily joint pain and severe fatigue but I managed. Slipping a disc, however, had sent me to breaking point. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, I was in extreme pain and I was taking so much pain medication that I rattled when I walked. But ironically it wasn’t my physical pain that drove me to make a brave decision, it was my emotional pain. I had my turning point, in my mind I had failed AGAIN! I accepted defeat, in that moment I felt so sorry for myself I was prepared to give up… give up on ever being more than I was.
It’s in those moments that you find strength you never knew you had. After a brief moment of self-pity I gave myself a good talking to. Maybe this was supposed to happen, maybe I am not supposed to settle for this life and this is my push from the universe to do something about it. That’s the attitude I quickly adopted and immediately set out to change the direction my life was heading.
I made a decision right there that I would never work a minimum wage job again, I would never struggle to buy school uniform for my children, I would never let a company or individual make me feel undervalued and my children would one day be proud of their mum. Failure was not an option.
I’ve never felt so many emotions in the space of a week. I was nervous, I was excited, I was scared beyond belief. What if I fail? What if people laugh? What am I going to even do?
It took 3 months of failed attempts at different businesses. I just couldn’t find anything that suited my circumstances. The little money I had in the bank was slowly declining but I was adamant I was not going to rely on the government for help. I knew if I did that I would give up on the dream. I would have a safety net again and waste another 10 years thinking about it instead of doing it.
On May 31st 2014 I had £17 in the bank and a rent demand for £527…… bleak right? I still had no business, no income and no idea what the hell I was even going to do. That was the day I met a stranger via social media who showed me a business opportunity that would be the start of a life changing year although I didn’t know it at the time.
During those following months I learnt so much about the power of belief. It wasn’t self belief I had, it was the belief others had in me that gave me the courage. So often we only take on board the negative things people say to us, the criticism and the opinions of where we are going wrong. We rarely allow any compliments to really give us a boost. I believe this is due to us being programmed that self-confidence means arrogance. If you are confident enough to stand up and say “I am good at this” so many people assume that suddenly you are full of yourself and we then shy away from being different to everyone else, scared, almost, to stand out.
It’s taken me over two years to be confident enough to now move forward in other projects I feel I can make a success of. Helping others with self belief is a huge passion of mine, due to the experience I’ve had myself and knowing what a life changing difference it can make to someone.
I’m not finished building the vision I have for my future by any means, being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle more than a job and it becomes part of who you are. This will always be my life now, I wake up every day with a smile knowing I am making a difference to someone somewhere.
Life now is not a worry or a chore. I choose when I work, where I work from and who I work with. I have fun and have some incredible friendships with people who inspire me in different ways. My confidence and self belief have changed how I view the world and the opportunities within it, I fear nothing and I’m not scared to try out the ideas and plans in my head anymore. If they work, great, if they don’t I still learn something.
My family, friends and children are proud. I promised I would never work a minimum wage job again and I haven’t. I promised I would never allow anyone to make me feel undervalued and I haven’t. I promised I would never doubt myself and never be scared to try anything and I haven’t. I promised I would look at the world more grateful and never feel self-pity again and I did. I promised I would give back to those less fortunate than myself…. and I do.
That to me is my success. You see, it very quickly becomes more about how you feel each day and how you make others feel than what you earn. Success is whatever you feel it is. I wake up knowing I have achieved everything I set out to do, that’s an amazing feeling especially when I look back and remember how far away this life seemed to me then. Knowing my purpose now is to help many others feel this way is possibly the best way I could spend my days. Helping someone else have the courage to make a change in whatever way that may be.
And the best feeling in the world?
Watching my children plan their road to success with belief that its possible.
That’s priceless…… THAT’S SUCCESS.