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Dreaming of Your Own Business?

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Even in this tough economic climate, more and more people are realising their dreams and setting up their own business. Whilst some people have a clear idea of what business they want to own, others are trapped by the fear of the unknown? Here’s how one entrepreneur has found and followed her dream…

Abigail approached me some time ago as she was unhappy in her career; she was well paid, successful, yet unfulfilled. Sound familiar? At a major cross roads in her life Abi knew she didn’t want to continue in what she was doing, but with no idea about what she wanted to do, like many people she contacted life coach, Clare Whalley at Meta4.

The first and most important step to implementing any major life change is to explore your values. Your values are your rules for how your life is run. Research shows that successful people are successful because their values are completely aligned with the work they do. Once you have prioritised your Top 10 values, you will quickly see why your current role is not fulfilling you and will help you get one step closer to working out your perfect career path. Abigail found that her values of: creativity, positive attitude and spirit in life were being controlled by her restrictive and highly political office role.

Remind yourself of tasks or projects you’ve completed in the past that left you feeling completely rewarded. Write about the goal, the constraints, the final result and then sum up in a quantifiable statement as to why it was such a success. Once you have explored several stories you will start to notice a pattern with regards to your skills; are you geared toward mental tasks; i.e. gathering, creating, researching or the physical or people orientated tasks: referring, guiding or negotiating.

The most exciting step of all is to wave that magic wand! The wand has been waved: there are no financial restrictions, you have all the necessary skills, and you can be whoever and do whatever you want to. What does your life look like? Draw a picture, cut out images and words from magazines that you are drawn to.

Most of all what Abigail did was take action. By completing all these steps and stepping outside of her comfort zone she has now realised her dream of setting up her own Interior Styling business and will be featuring soon on Sky Bio’s Lorraine’s Big Fat Challenge as an Interior expert. She has also appeared in the Independent, the Metro and in Grand Designs Magazine. Here’s what Abigail has to say now of her new life: ‘I found raising up through the ranks of a corporate organisation fulfilling on some level as there was always a new challenge but I knew the environment and culture fundamentally didn’t ‘fit’ me and therefore there was no long term future for me in that company or industry. Having taken the time to step away from my working life and look at it objectively I was able to work out my values and understand how I achieved the most and was the happiest when using my strengths and working doing something I actually cared about!

Because I built my business off my strength and underpinned by my values I do what I choose to every day. I build relationships which are genuine and with a foundation of passion for design and honesty (things which I found lacking in my industry – and something which in the past stopped me working in it). I have achieved more self development, self understanding and arguably have grown up, ten times more in short time I’ve run my business than the entire time I worked as an employee in an unfulfilling industry. I am now reaping the rewards for this growth, professionally, financially and most of all personally. There are two lines from a poem by William Ernest Henley which sum up how I feel now:

'I am the captain of my fate, [&] I am the captain of my soul.’