FurCats – A Shop. For Cats. Day 44

A PopUp Miracle

Time On My Hands

You know, it’s amazing when you slowly give your world permission to open again and it begins to filter in things you might need; might want.  Mine kind of did just that. I think it was something to do with being rather cautious and only allowing good things to fall into the vacuum that had suddenly appeared. It was as if my previous life had been deleted and I was starting again. From scratch. After a difficult time, it looked as though good things (on the whole) might just happen.

I was rescued by the women on ‘The Women in Business’ group which was free, spanning (initially) four months. We met once a week and not only was it vital in terms of the tools I needed to start my own business, it also gave me structure. Structure was what I was lacking and having been at school my whole life, I often felt constrained by it. But now I was living without it, ironically I craved it (a bit Stockholm syndrome). I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, but rather than feeling free, I felt lost and unable to motivate myself. Being a creature of habit, structure was what I needed to get me out of bed.

Another brilliant outcome of the WiB, was finding out about other courses and groups that were available. To add to the magic of this group, there was another fabulous FREE course; A PopUp Business School, which ran from 20th-24th June at Z-Arts, Stretford (during Brexit Week).  I was working through some tough personal issues at the time but was determined to attend as many days as I could. We had a trio of brilliant and enthusiastic teachers; Simon Paine, Alan Donegan and Henry Nicholson – all male. I admit to having a bit of a tricky relationship with men; so this formed some of my challenge. In fact, if the truth be told, my decision to adopt a male kitten was a deliberate attempt at trying to be ‘more comfortable’ with the opposite sex. (Nothing is purely accidental).

The premise of the group was how to start a business for free (how lovely is that word)?!  We explored different marketing methods, different business structures, culminating in 12 PopUp gifts at the end of the week! It was intense and very rewarding; revising things already touched upon as well as learning new skills such as hardcore techy-stuff like building a website! At this particular point in my life, I seemed to have become more of a kinaesthetic learner so this course was perfect. (But, despite my intentions, I missed a few hours here and there; whether that was because I was physically not present, or because I was just absent).

Driving home on the Tuesday, It struck me how fortunate the teachers were coordinating such a large group of us at such different stages of our ‘business lives.’ I remember relaying this to Simon at the end of the following day. I started with ‘You’re so lucky teaching… I really miss it…’ and tears escaped before recognising my own grief. My emotions were so raw at the time and things seemed pretty messy and tangled. In my head, it played like the Juliette Stevenson moment, mourning the loss of a loved one.

Standing Firm; Standing Strong

Embarrassed by the betrayal of my emotions, the only appropriate solution was to turn around and Forrest Gump my way out of that world. Obviously. But I stayed put and snot dribbling, eyes wet, we all *just persevered until it passed (Thank you Simon for not choosing to FG either). Despite my inner turmoil, good things did manage to filter through to build on the blocks that were already beginning to materialise. I was going to stand strong so I quickly grabbed and squirrelled away everything that helped!

Thank you Simon, Alan and Henry; just what the doctor ordered.  Check out their site and meet the DreamTeam.



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