Reflecting on my first 6 months as a new Business Owner…

In December, just 3 months on from starting my business and not long after I wrote my first Blog, the reality of being self-employed hit me with a BANG!!

I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming, I know the industry in which I operate, I understand my target customer and had written and rewritten my personal survival budget a million times.

Trouble is, my Clients are all mad busy in the run up to Christmas processing orders, meeting delivery deadlines and selling direct to consumers at Christmas Markets, Fairs and any kind of event which encourages the great British Public to part with their cash. This means their focus is on maximising existing business and not on driving new business.

So when faced with the prospect of no work and therefore no income, I had to change my thinking and call upon my transferable skills.

A friend of mine works for an agency and mentioned that they were looking for catering staff in the run up to Christmas.  Whilst this was not a line of work I had every considered before, the prospect of some short term cash to invest back into my developing business was very appealing.

Why should I do this was the questions I asked myself?  The answers were simple: I love being part of a team, I’m a hard worker, I get on with people, I can lend my hand to most things, I needed the CASH and the fact my son had broken his ankle playing rugby the week before meant my weekends were looking quite free.

When I turned up to my first shift on 14th December, I had mixed emotions and I’m ashamed to say, I felt embarrassed!  The shift went well and I turned up again the next night for more of the same.  This time, my head was held a little bit higher and I was able to smile when faced with the teachers from my children’s Primary School, my husband’s barber and two members of my running club who kept asking me to join them for a glass of wine.

4 months on and I am still waitressing on the side, not because I need the cash as my business is doing well but because it has taught me so much about myself and how resilient I can be.  I have a deeper understanding of the catering industry, I can carry THREE plates at a time, I have met some really interesting, hardworking people and I have learnt that if you are prepared to swallow your pride and lend your hand to anything, there is always work available.

As for those shoes…as a waitress, the dress code is black and white.  Those shoes are a silent nod to the non-conformist within me and I am complimented on them every time I work.

Thanks for listening