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I’m doing this for a reason…

Firstly, apologies for the delay in writing avid readers! I had just promised myself I would write every Sunday and Wednesday, but Wednesday turned to Thursday then Friday and before I knew it a week has passed! Its been quite a whirlwind lately, I should have been writing regularly to download all of the emotion from my brain, to journal the memories of each moment. But I hit a wall. My personal life hit a low and the same time that my business life hit a high, a very weird paradox to be in. I felt like my world might imploded at any minute so I had to stop, and breathe, and reflect, take stock and find solutions. So I am back, and pleased to report all areas on now back in the positive and we are back to jumping two footed on opportunities and seizing the day!

So, the last thing I wrote about was the Business Northumberland Big Event. Inspired and motivated, I saw a post on The Inspire Network facebook page by the lovely Krystyna Dodds who owns Curiously Wicked beautiful decadent chocolate heaven teashop in Cramlington. An offer of afternoon tea with other local business women in the company of Helen Ford from ITV Tyne Tees News was just too good an opportunity to miss! Helen was doing an article on 100 days countdown to the general election & wanted to talk to local people about their thoughts on politics – ha! But after a lovely afternoon tea with Kate Bell of kbjust4kids fashion focussed clothing for kids and Angela Dawson The Admin Doc we just about managed to cobble some opinions between us and all had our 5 minutes of fame when it was aired on Tyne Tees News last Tuesday! Cue numerous telephone phone calls from family, and text messages from friends who had seen it! My Grandad even commented he nearly didn’t recognise me now that I’m a high flying business woman! Confidence cup fit to burst! haha

So now how do I continue? After the 4 day major high, meeting celebs and getting on TV, how can I possibly top this? Well you can’t can you. The buzz comes from the inspiration and motivation, and as long as I feed that in other ways it will continue to grow. The exposure is amazing for any new business and its harnessing that, and channelling it into something that will benefit my business I need to focus on. After all, that’s what I have done it for – to get out there, to shout as loud as possible I AM HERE. Now I just need to use it, follow up on the new leads and turn them into clients. Continue to use the experiences as confidence boosters and share the pictures and stories for publicity on my social media and website! After all, if Katie Bulmer-Cooke made a success of her business on the back of a letter from HRH Kate Middleton why shouldn’t I on the back of a photo of her? They do say a photo speaks a thousand words!

I have learned a very hard lesson during this week. A lot of firsts a lot of highs during my first tax season – a very busy time of year anyway in my profession! I welcomed the few days time-out and reflection. After all, I am doing this not only for myself but also for my family. I started my business to use my skills and earn an living whilst having time with the children. I started doing this to get the best of both worlds, to contribute to the family income whilst staying at home. Working from home is hard, people will disagree but in my opinion it is harder than going to work in an office – you can’t leave it behind at the end of the day! And definitely harder than working for someone else. Its relentless – the work, the social media, the advertising and marketing, the scheduling and networking. And at the beginning its a lot of hours for little return. People who aren’t self employed and who don’t work from home can’t comprehend the enormity of work involved, I’m sure my husband thought I did little work all day long at the beginning. And working around the children makes it harder – I have been trying to write this for about 3 hours stopping and starting with the constant interruption of toddler and pre-teen! But there is no point working yourself into the ground to miss out on the reasons for doing it in the first place. So now I am getting organised. I am scheduling social media posts. I am getting a plan together of what jobs to do when things like updating website and only attending networking events that work for me. I am switching my phone off in an evening to enjoying family time and quality time with the husband. After all, what is the point without that? Other businesses are different, establishing a product sales is very different to establishing services. I am my business and I am no use to any body overtired and stressed out. Today I have ordered myself a new planner and printed this in the front cover so I always remember – its all about me!

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The Big Event

There was once a young girl who had a big imagination. She dreamed of fairies and princesses and ruling the world one day with her handsome prince charming beside her. As she grew up, the dreams of fairy tales faded, but not her ability to dream. She remained a believer. Not in magic and Disney and fairies anymore, but in herself and her ability to rule the world if that’s what she wanted to do. I am a very lucky girl, my parents are amazing and I was brought up believing anything and everything was possible. Like everyone, I still doubt myself & I am my own worst enemy sometimes, but when my confidence pot is topped up by my parents, or grandparents, or friends or the Mumpreneurs, then I really do believe I can achieve anything I set my heart on.

This weekend was the Business Northumberland Big Event. The thing that has filled me with excitement and dread in equal measure for the past month! The day didn’t start the best, I was late up after an unsettled night, the nerves getting the better of me. But when I walked through the front door I took a deep breath and tried to ignore the knots in my stomach! I signed in, picked up my name badge and strutted through the double doors into the exhibition space. I was blue zone & had a blue tshirt to put on. Seeing Gillian put me at ease & she introduced me to other members of our blue team. As well as Business Northumberland advisors, there were other entrepreneur representatives and it was great hearing their stories as we talked to delegates throughout the day. Dean from DJS Telecare Ltd was a fellow blue t-shirt wearer. I had seen his company name before, tagged on twitter in the same posts as me by Business Northumberland in the build up to the event. Dean is a really lovely guy, quiet and reserved, and his business is great – he provides “intelligent personal safety solutions to enable people to feel protected and secure in their environment” – in a nutshell he can enable the features of warden-controlled accommodation for people in their own homes – a great idea to keep an eye on elderly relatives whilst they maintain their independence. Also in the blue zone was Keith Newman of Highlights PR, I’m told the man to know and PR guru for the North East! I can’t wait to visit Keith’s floating office – that will be an interesting blog topic as I get seasick just thinking about it!

The room started to fill up with people and Colin from Business Northumberland suggested we introduce ourselves to people who had arrived early and taken a seat at one end. So hands trembling I headed over to the first table and introduced myself and asked if I could join the two ladies sitting there. After what felt like a nervous hour but was more like a few minutes I found my voice and was able to talk to them both at length, offer them advice and share my experience & expertise. I think I would have stayed there all day chatting but I heard my name being uttered and advisors were sending people my way to have a chat about my services. After giving lots of advice, and even more business cards, I was able to take a seat to hear the second of the three guest speakers Glen McCrory, I had missed the first speaker Angela Dawson, The Admin Doctor, as I was busy advising at the time! Glen shared his story, he talked about how he came from nothing to literally rule the world – in boxing circles that is becoming a world champion! Glen was keen to tell us he is not a motivational speaker but his story is one all entrepreneurs can all relate to – he wanted to be world champion and he worked and tried and worked even harder until he got there. Perseverance, determination, passion are all qualities we need to make a success of our businesses. If that’s not inspirational I’m not sure what is! Glen’s new passion is food, he loves to cook, and we Northumberland Mumprenenurs will be first in the queue for a burger when his kitchen in Newcastle opens in a few months time!

After a quick bite to eat and some more advising and networking it was time for the final speaker of the day – Katie Bulmer-Cooke. I’ll admit I don’t watch The Apprentice, its frustrates me and I find myself getting annoyed at the TV which is not my idea of entertainment! But I will be looking Katie up on YouTube as she is such an inspirational lady that I want to learn more! Katie is very down to earth and says things like they are. She feels like a breath of fresh air in a northern accent! Katie spoke about how she started, decisions she made, the determination she had, and having the courage and confidence to grasp opportunities and make the most of situations. Katie definitely hit a chord with me when she talked about getting out there, pushing and promoting your business. Like Katie, I am my business & pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is a must and I will be doing just that from now on! There was a brief question and answer session at the end and then we were able to speak to her, I told her about the Northumberland Mumpreneurs and she could completely relate to our struggles as mumpreneurs as one herself! So Katie if you are reading this on behalf of the Northumberland Mumpreneurs we would like to make you an honorary member of our group – and the most inspirational member to date!

So that was the event. It blew me away in terms of networking, confidence building, motivation. I am completely inspired by Katie and all that she has achieved and I want that! I came home to my Mum, my Grandparents and the kids and shared my excitement and basked in their admiration. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunities I have over the last few months. I feel privileged to have met the wonderful ladies of the mumpreneurs who inspire, support and encourage me on a daily basis. I feel special to have a wonderful loving supportive family. But most of all I feel proud because I achieved this. I decided to start my business & the Northumberland Mumpreneurs. I grasped the opportunities, and I used the support to fill my confidence cup and I put myself out there despite the nerves. I did this and it feels amazing! And it makes me want more!! So watch out 2015 as this bookkeeper is coming and she is on fire!!! And the toddler has just peed on the floor, champion!

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Mentor Me

For the first time in my life I feel like an actual business woman! Its funny, I’ve been to countless breakfast briefings whilst employed and been in the presence of highflying professional confident men and women before. I always felt a bit like a year 7 on the first day of high school, wearing a hand me down school blazer – a very small fish in a very big pond with something that didn’t fit quite right! I didn’t really network at these events, the only people I spoke to were the ones that were the there to professionally work the room, cool as cucumbers their sales patter slipping off their tongues as I stood there and nodded and smiled politely. Yesterday I attended the SPEDI Meet-A-Mentor Event at the Baltic. And I genuinely think this event might have changed my life! Or certainly given me what I needed in order to bring my plans to fruition! Unfamiliar with the event, I had looked up the IOEE and the kind of work they do. I like the look out of their website, and I think becoming a mentor is definitely something I would like to do further down the line when I have both life and business experience a bit more in abundance than my 32 years and 4 months respectively! Walking into the room, being given a name badge and told which table to sit at my stomach dropped and the nerves kicked in a bit! my table looked a little intimidating at first but when I sat down the two men were quick to introduce themselves and shake my hand and make me feel more at ease. The other mentees had the same startled rabbit look I first did but after some chit chat everyone seemed to relax a little! The aim of the day was to meet a mentor and to do this we were to chat with a mentor for 10 minutes, then there was an informative speech by SPEDI and then move on to the next mentor and more chat! The first chat both myself and the mentor, his first time as a mentor, were nervous and conversation wasn’t initially free flowing but he gave me some good suggestions for increasing my use of Linked In. The next mentor was from Barclays Bank and a bit more confident this time I was really able to get in the flow and sell myself for the first time. She told me that I was clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about my business, and I spoke with conviction that is sure to help my business succeed. I suddenly felt like I was flying! I am very passionate about GA Bookkeeping NE and the Northumberland Mumpreneurs and it felt nice to be acknowledged for it! The mentors all seemed very impressed with my plans for both ventures! The final mentor on my table was Dave Howarth, Business Manager with Barclays Bank who had travelled up from Hull for the occasion. We talked about value and he also advised me to pop into my own bank, introduce myself to the local business manager and build up a relationship, leave business cards and regularly pop back in. He said I would probably be surprised at how many leads I could get! So that is now high up on my every increasing to-do list. Next I spoke to Marianne Raine of Red Whippet Ltd. We talked about Linked in, about utilising the iNorthumberland service for online learning for new businesses which she teaches a class on tendering. We also talked about value, about how I am a professional with professional qualifications and should value myself as such, not undersell my services! I think I am going to look at this in more detail I know people like to know costs upfront, who doesn’t want to know how much they have to pay out for a service before they commit to that service! Her recommendation was to have a tiered system, maybe bronze silver and gold levels of service. Definitely food for thought! After a lovely buffet it was time to regroup with fellow Northumberland Mumpreneurs Cherri Bray-Bowden, Angela Purves of Monkey Mayhem Softplay Hire and Kelly Wood of Kellys Kakes and head home to process the information overload!

So now I am left pondering what it is I want from a mentor, what particular skill I require, what guidance or support I would benefit most from? In all honesty I don’t know! Perhaps on a personal level I got what I wanted out of the event, the speaking practice and the confidence boosting! I know for definite that I would like to be a mentor, perhaps I need mentoring to be a mentor? It would be a mentor mentoring a mentee to be a mentor! Get your tongue round that one! I think I might use my new lifetime affiliate membership of the IOEE to investigate that one further….

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Reflecting on a decade

The 17th January 2015 marks 10 years since I packed up all my worldly belongings, the Labradors and my then 15 month old son and headed A1 North to start a new life in Northumberland. I can’t believe it was a decade ago that the entire contents of my little house, bar a cot, a box of clothes and a box of toys, filled my Dad’s garage, and we gate-crashed my Grandparents house, filling it to the brim with the love of a toddler & the smell of labrador! We are marking the occasion by visiting Woodhorn Colliery & Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, places my Grandparents took me and my sister as kids, and that me and Matthew used to visit often, but haven’t been to for years. Megan has never been & as she’s a big fan of ducks I think she will love the swans and geese at the lake, might even have a lunchtime treat in the Lakeside pub or retreat there if there weather isn’t so good!

As this date has been approaching, I have been reflecting on this time, how far I have come and the woman I have become. I am definitely not the same person I was then, in some good ways but I’ll admit some not so good as well, but nobody’s perfect. I am more determined now, but with that determination comes stubbornness! I am strong and resilient, but also too independent for my own good sometimes. The journey that brought me to the decision to up sticks changed the course of my life. But in total honesty I have no regrets, moving here was the best decision I have ever made. So that makes me grateful to the events that led to the move, even though at the time that was the thought furthest from my mind! That’s not to say life in Northumberland hasn’t been without its stresses! Our first home was a nightmare and short-lived, couldn’t move fast enough! I remember saying to my mum at the time I couldn’t write a book about the daily dramas of living in Widdrington Station, yet thinking back now I can’t really remember them! Our second home was our first proper home, the place we set roots and started planning our future. The security of living in Pegswood, with family close by, gave me the courage to start my accounting qualifications which has brought me to where I am today with my own business! Wouldn’t have dreamed 10 years ago that I’d be a Mumpreneur, in fact not sure that term even existed then!

This morning when reading through some blog posts shared on the North East Network of Brilliant Bloggers facebook group, I read a blog by Vicky Drake motheringadream.com about the 21 Day Breathing Space challenge and I joined the facebook group to start the challenge. Given that me time and focussing on me for a change is my goal for the year it seemed very appropriate! This is about spending 20-30 mins a day doing exactly that! Habits you can do for 21 days become habits for life, its a great read I highly recommend! I had some quiet time this afternoon, out in the fresh air with Megan asleep in her pushchair. I read in a goal setting post somewhere to try to visualise yourself in 5 years time – Where are you? What are you doing? That is the ultimate goal to strive to, to then put plans in place to get you to where you want to be. I see myself sitting on a sofa covered with a grey-blue throw in a Victorian house with a big bay window, the fireplace surrounded by bookcases full to the brim, and I am sitting reading a book sipping a glass of wine! Its the kind of house I’ve always dreamed of living in (but I think its fresh in my mind as my husband was browsing on rightmove last night after I told him I want to live in Durham and he showed me a picture of a similar living room!) Ten years ago I don’t think I could ever have envisaged that 5 years on I would be doing management accounts in an engineering firm in Morpeth! And certainly not running my own business, and running Northumberland Mumpreneurs and writing a blog after a decade!

I wonder where the next 10 years will take me….!

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Bring on 2015!

What an amazing few days at GAB HQ and in Gemmaville!!! For once, I have been consumed by work and unable to write, but in a good way! I feel alive again, woken from my mummy cocoon! Don’t get me wrong I love being a mummy, I love being at home with my daughter, my son outside of school hours, the Labradors, even the husband at times! But it is so nice to experience life beyond that, I didn’t realise how much I needed it! So I am now feeling excited, electric, inspired and driven to make my business as successful as I can! Bring on 2015!

On Wednesday it was the January meet up of the Northumberland Mumpreneurs. I was excited to see the ladies, it feels such a long time since December, and we had a few new faces around the table. Lovely to finally meet Safron Mitchelson of Safrolistics beautiful custom-made jewellery and Kate Brennan who runs Aloe Amazing and Baby-2-Baby Preloved Essentials. I know I decided I wasn’t going to put pressure on myself by setting goals for the new year but I thought it might be a nice idea if we all set just one goal each, record them, laminate them and hold each other accountable for achieving them, revisiting throughout the year and supporting each other to make them happen. We have a variety of different goals, mine being to invest more in myself so that my family and business get the benefit of me being at my best. I haven’t done this enough, especially since Megan came along, and I’m definitely due some regular me time! I also raised my current problem of productivity, it is so easy to be distracted working from home. So I posted the daily planner I am now using from The Girls Mean Business onto the Facebook group so that others can benefit too. To be honest today is the first day I have actually used it, due to logistical problems of access to the printer! But today has been a busy day so it felt good to download the little hamster spinning away on his wheel inside my head on to paper which has helped me to focus today with meeting new clients.

So on to today. I had arranged two new client visits for today. I was away from home 4 hours which is the longest I have left Megan, but she thoroughly enjoyed her trip to the shops with Daddy which tired her out and she promptly fell asleep for him! Seriously no fair! First client was in Durham, and it was a lovely drive except for the wind battering the car at times! My only bug bear I wish I had updated my iPhone playlist beforehand! Anyone else get infuriated having to delete things to download the updates? It was just before Christmas so my current playlist consists of the Snowman, The Polar Express and compilation of Kids Xmas Songs! I’m not a fan of the radio as I just want to listen to music, I don’t want to have to listen through countless adverts and DJ chit chat. But after a couple of Christmas songs, radio it was! I forgot how beautiful the city of Durham is, last time I was there I was just a kid I think my auntie took me and my sister to the cathedral one summer holiday when we were up in the north east visiting. Its definitely a place I would like to explore more, so we shall be planning a few family trips there this summer I’m sure! After a lovely meeting with my client & fusses from Monty the dog it was time to head up to Heaton for meeting number two. I feel like I have had a tour of the north east today as although I have visited both places before, I haven’t really driven them and the Sat Nav took me routes I definitely hadn’t been before! I drove passed the Angel of the North which always gives me a feeling of home and being proud of my Geordie heritage! I think its because when we were younger and saw it heading up the A1 to visit family, we knew we were nearly there. I’ve never actually visited the Angel itself, today is the closest I’ve ever been! Maybe another trip this summer! The drive through Gateshead was fraught with traffic and an idiotic white BMW X3 driver and I arrived at Heaton in good time. I always have a little self doubt, a niggle at the back of my head, but sitting with new client no 2 and explaining things to her and making suggestions I suddenly thought I do know this stuff! I can do this! So then sitting in city traffic to get home I had a really content feeling, which when I got home to the biggest smiles and cuddles just absolutely made my day!

So back to my planner. It has 3 MIT’s – Most Important Tasks. I have only achieved one of those today and that is to write this! But I’m not going to reprimand myself for only achieving 1 out of 3 as its been a good day, a great day, overall. So I am going to bed at a fairly respectable hour satisfied that I have done enough today and more content than I think I have felt in a while. I wonder what tomorrow has in store….! smiley

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A dedicated workspace…!

I’m having a bit of an off day! A flat, stressy, frustrating day and I am annoyed at the day and at myself! In fact there must be something in the air or in the water as it seems a bit of an off day all round – with toddler tantrums & pre-teen cheek that resulted in a 1 day PlayStation ban! Think we all need a good nights sleep – she says typing at 1.30am! The wintry weather today did not help my temperament – instead of seeing the wonder of snow flakes fluttering about from the warmth & cosiness of indoors I was out walking the dogs and got soaked and cold and it deepened the darkness. I have been trying to have a positive 2015. I know I haven’t changed but having a positive outlook has changed how I feel about the same things, I am trying very hard to be a glass half empty kinda gal after the stresses of 2014 had made me more a pessimist. I guess everyone has bad days and I shouldn’t beat myself up about it, hopefully a better night sleep tonight and a more successful day will lie ahead tomorrow!

I am pleased to report that the banner stand I am having made is no longer causing stress I have been googling and rewriting and looking up business colour psychology so I think that is now onto a winner, finally! Can’t wait to share a picture when its all done and dusted! Asking for help and using my new decision making process certainly came into their own so thanks to Rachel of RJM Photography and Graham of Print & Design by Piggy Voucher for helping me through it!

Working from home has is benefits, and I definitely wouldn’t change it for the world right now! Certainly beats 10 hour days and rush hour traffic. But with it there are inevitably downsides as well, I’m sure many of you can relate! Being at home means the ability to work around children, and not having to fork out for childcare costs any longer. Huge plus! But it also means, particularly with young children, you are at home with the children! This is a fulltime job in itself most of the time! Megan is a very independent 18 month old – she can even peel her own satsumas! But she is going through a mummy sit and build towers or mummy sit and watch me play in my playhouse or mummy read me the book I’ve read to myself for the last half an hour kind of phase despite brother and daddy being at home! So working around children does literally mean that! She doesn’t nap much now so productivity is my current challenge! She is sitting quite happily watching TV tucking into some brioche at the minute which has given me time to get this finished thankfully! There’s also the downside of being at home and therefore surrounded by the housework! Frustratingly when I finally get a child free couple of hours and think right time to focus on work, there’s always something I think I’ll just do this first (loading dishwasher or washing machine takes considerably less time without the assistance of a little person!) and then before I know it the whirlwind is home again! I still haven’t watched Broadchurch!! Another plus of working from home is the flexability to set your own hours or work when you want to. But on the downside of things can easily pile up if life takes over for a little while or if you’ve been busy focussing on one thing. And I often find myself working in the early hours as Megan’s sleep pattern is all over the place since the festive period so I spend an exhausting few hours in an evening trying to get her to bed and then switch on the laptop to start and work! Not good for my own sleep pattern!!

I have mentioned before I think that we moved house in the summer. The new house has potential to be the family house we’ve always wanted, when funds allow! It is all open plan downstairs which is great with a toddler. I am sitting at the dining table now whilst she is happily playing away in the living room. The problem I am having and I’m sure many can relate is a dedicated workspace that I can dip in and out of when time allows. It is a 3 bedroomed house so no spare room upstairs and no-where downstairs in the house for a desk so I set up my “office” in the huge conservatory. I had a lovely couple of months setting things up, watching the birds & Megan play in the garden and enjoying the sunshine. There’s even something relaxing in the pitter pattering of the summer rain on the glass roof. But then came the Autumn and the great freeze! There is currently no heating in the conservatory and the second you step inside you feel like you have been transported to Antarctica! So I moved to the dining table, but the downside of this is that I have to pack and unpack every time I get a chance to work! The nature of my work with lots of papers, receipts, bank statements etc and the amount of time it takes to pack it all up again in an organised way to save time the next time I can unpack is another hiccup I am having to manage. Plus there’s the mental challenge of knowing before I can even start working I have to unpack everything! Roll on the spring time and getting my office back. And hopefully here’s to 2015 and making some money to get the garage converted into an office I can work in without needing a coat hat scarf and gloves!

All these little hurdles make for a much more interesting race though I’m sure you will agree! smiley

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A week later…

Woo hoo I managed to make it to a week writing a blog every day! And to celebrate The Northumberland Mumpreneur is going on twitter! So you can now follow the blog on @nlandmumpreneur!

I felt guilty when I woke up this morning as I didn’t post last night, not sure if I have any regular followers yet (if I have leave me a comment to say hi!) but after a lovely reflexology session from Claire Gardner I was so chilled out I nodded off curled up in bed with the toddler! Cue knackered aching legs today as curled up in a cotbed is not the most comfortable of experiences! So apologies for not posting last night I will try and make todays extra special!

So I had a right mixture of a day yesterday! The morning started badly, after a poor nights sleep due to the toddler stirring every hour! (Is it any wonder I fell asleep with her last night!) After chomping down my capsules a bowl of porridge and several cups of tea I finally started to feel human again around 10am! This is the plus side of working from home! Didn’t have much on my task list so thought I’d have an fairly easy lazy day – big mistake! Three phone calls with a tornado toddler in the background later and I was ready to pull my hair out, and hers, and the dogs! Three phone calls that all required a decision to be made. Cue a new weakness – indecisiveness!!!! Who knew?! My husband, apparently! He said I am a nightmare if he asks me what I want for lunch, or what I want to do, or anything where there is a choice to be made! I’ve never realised before! But yesterday I have never been more frustrated with myself! The downside of working from home and working alone! I did post on the Mumpreneur Facebook group to let off some steam and as usual the ladies were quick to assist, and after a shower some lunch and some fresh air walking the dogs I regrouped and managed to make two out of the three! Number three is still plaguing me but I will get there eventually I just need to not stress about it and think things through logically, tomorrow!

This aftermoon I met with my business advisor Gillian Middleton from Business Northumberland. I haven’t seen her since before Christmas and I had a lot to offload and to get her advice on! She is fab, after casting her critics eye on my Foundations idea she has managed to make it even better! So I am getting to work on this now so that I have something ready to showcase at the Start Your Business event on 24 January. The new product is to help new businesses and startups get to grips with their accounts in an affordable way with full support. I am looking forward to getting excited about it and sharing the idea with others, Gillian thinks it there is a market for things like this so fingers crossed! I am really going to miss her when Business Northumberland’s funding ends in March. So now to harass Graham my print and design guy some more! Hard not knowing what I want and he has had some great ideas, I feel like an awful client to keep changing the goal posts but he is fab and hasn’t complained one bit when I’ve asked him to change this font or change that word or redo the whole thing as I’ve changed my mind completely about what I want it to say!! I highly recommend Print & Design by Piggy Voucher especially for indecisive people like me, he even gave me some valuable advise on having a decision making process!! Much appreciated!

Right as I am currently child free and STILL haven’t managed to watch Broadchurch yet I shall sign off for now as the kettle has just boiled! Happy Friday everyone! smiley

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7.1.15

Today has been a good day! I am feeling so full of energy and so focussed, despite late night blogging and the little person climbing into our bed last night! I definitely think starting 2015 with a positive attitude is key. I’ve never really been driven in a business sense but I am just so excited for all the possibilities! I guess I am feeling well & truly inspired! smiley

As a stay at home mum whose husband works away I can go days or weeks without seeing another adult. Much as I love my children, conversations with an 18 month old are a bit one sided and conversations with an 11 year old are just as one-sided – only the other way! I can sit and listen to him waffling on about footballers or zombies or Minecraft for what feels like HOURS! I guess that’s one of the reasons social media took off in the way it did – contact. I started the Northumberland Mumpreneurs group to make ‘online’ friends whilst I’m at home with the baby, with the hope that one day it could possibly become more. In just two short months I have gained some great friends, learnt a great deal and felt more supported than I think I ever have before! Having a support network is definitely helping my confidence and I was all happy and smiley out walking the dogs this afternoon after conversations on the group earlier, despite the gale that was blowing. I am a happy dog walker, I like the fresh air, I like to fuss other peoples dogs and say hello maybe have a brief conversation, especially when Chris is away as it could be the only adult contact I have. Since we moved house last summer, hate to say I am disappointed compared to the dog walking community at our old house! People don’t say hello, people rarely even make eye contact. Today, I had the pushchair parked up at the side of the path with the brake on whilst I was picking up the dogs biz and the wind started to rock the pushchair. I was a few steps too far away to steady the buggy and finish the pick up. So I just stood there poo bag in my hand between the two with my foot on the buggy waiting for the wind to die down so that I could complete said pick up! Several people walked passed it was very obvious what I was trying to do and not one person offered to help. If I saw someone in my position I would offer assistance! I would offer to hold the buggy, maybe even acknowledge the little person strapped inside it, and have a brief conversation about the awful weather with the dog owner whilst giving the dog a pat on the head! Multitasking at its best! All of the passers by were men and older than my 32 years perhaps that’s why no-one offered any assistance, maybe they instinctively thought this women is a well oiled super functioning mumpreneur machine she’s got this! Or maybe I should have just asked a passer-by for help. I’ve never been very good at asking for help, in fact I think its my biggest weakness. Even now as the time ticks on and I am still typing away (despite promising I was going to chill tonight, finally watch Broadchurch and get to bed at a reasonable hour for a change!) school uniform remains unironed and the packed lunch unmade. I should have asked the hubby to do it before he went to bed, he is very good at doing jobs I ask him to do but not so good at reading my mind! It annoys him greatly! :-/ Maybe I should set myself a task of asking for help, no matter how small, once a day. Starting from tomorrow…! smiley