Google ‘How To Start A Business.’ What results do you get? It was on my ShopShop list, so I was keen to cross it off. Super excited and armed with a shiny new book to make notes, I was ready to dissect the process and feel empowered. I’d even bought my own pen!
Then I came across this – The .Gov website on how to. How to WHAT? I was feeling MASSIVELY overwhelmed… Sole trader or limited company? Need to register this and that, intellectual property and how to protect it, licence, permits, business rates, online presence, working from home, insurance, public liability, renting premises, tax, national insurance, tax deductions, self-assessment etc. etc. etc. Mind=Blown. But, I studiously made notes – but if I’m honest, I was totally out of my depth.
Flicking through the notes I’d made, I was genuinely re-thinking the whole start up process. Surely there was another way? Could I get around it somehow? It was like learning a new language without the translation or guidance on pronunciation. I had these garbled notes; this alien formula in my possession and hoped one day, it would all make sense. (It certainly wasn’t making any sense today).
I’d relayed my findings to a friend (also an ex-teacher and also considering starting her own business). Oh, how we laughed at the impossibility of the task that lay ahead for us both! During my ‘time off’ (‘time out,’ call it what you will), this particular friend and I met regularly and I found her to be very spiritual; healing, almost. She’d often soothe with how ‘when one door shut, another opened.’ I was feeling less optimistic.
She mentioned a talk that was at the Inspire Centre in Levenshulme the following evening and suggested we both go. It was a friend of hers who was going to be sharing her personal experience of starting her own business; the Year 6 Graduation ceremony for primaries. Maybe we’d be inspired and everything would become clear – like a magic eye picture.
It was interesting – she’d started up in her house in Moss Side with 10 handmade gowns (despite not being a seamstress). Her story was interspersed with three other young women sharing their experiences of starting up. Strong black role models – I went into teacher-mode and had already booked them in my diary for a year group assembly to inspire future generations!
But alas, as interesting as it was, I was searching for something more practical. Something that was going to translate the notes I’d made; something that was going to dilute this other language. As the evening drew to a close, my friend and I were heading out. I was, in all honesty, feeling rather despondent. And then, an excitable voice from the back of the room shouted “Don’t forget! The Women in Business group starts this Friday, in Gorton (Belle Vue House)!!!”
And that was it! This was the open door that my Healing Friend had talked about! This was what I needed – a course, where I get to make notes, discuss and most importantly, ask questions! I was going back to school and I couldn’t wait!