We have become accustomed to the new term PPE, relating it to the front line workers equipment but instead to me it also means something else entirely. It means- Productive, Perspective, Educate.
Throughout the pandemic, I decided to try turning something negative into a positive. The negative – the pandemic and its long term effects. The positive – starting a new business.
My business is in the writing field and has always been in my life but on the back burner. Life can get in the way and children can delay your dreams for a little while. In January, I wrote down my goals for this year; I am getting through some of them. One of them was to learn more about social media platforms and find the right one for me and another goal was to network.
Before the pandemic, I was teaching creative writing classes in my local community centre so when everything closed, I brought my writing class online. I felt if people were scared, perhaps some of them could find a way through writing- to cope. I needed an outlet as well to keep my brain occupied and it filled my time for eight weeks.
My friend who is successful in her business ventures, suggested also to join linkedin. I did in February. Slowly, I made connections and learned about this type of platform.
Next was zoom and I couldn’t believe all the free webinars online. I went to them all, to see which ones suited what I needed. I didn’t really know how to say what I could offer a business. I knew I could write but how could I market it as a business?
Through meeting other business owners, I found the right groups and community. From another suggestion in March, I had an interest also to learn about women in politics and topics around councils, active citizenship and how to become more vocal in your community. Of course, there must be a reason why you want to be active; mine has always been the lack of support for lone parents. I have always struggled with financial insecurity and childcare was always difficult for me therefore prolonging where I wanted to be career wise. By the time, I got my Journalism degree, I was 40 and felt I was too old to go and work for a paper/magazine etc. There was just so much competition for freelancers.
My path went on a detour anyway for the next five years as I fell pregnant with twins, two months after I graduated from college. I felt I would never reach my goal of making something of myself. I continued writing while bringing up the children and managed to set up a blog on lone parenting twins and a teenager. It kept me kind of on track and active in writing.
Moving on to when the twins started school, I also went back to do a Post Grad in teaching for Adult Education. It got me going again and on the right track, a completely different one. I swore I would never study again after my college degree but education never stops. If you have the learning impulse in you, courses will always come up that interest you. I’m a firm believer in life-long learning.
And hear I am again, learning through a crisis. I have always wanted to develop a teaching programme for communities, particularly aimed at single mams like myself, carers or anyone at home needing an affordable social outlet. Because of the inability to meet people in a classroom environment meant I needed to rethink my plans.
I developed a profile piece in an article format consisting of five questions directed at business owners- big and small. I named it Talk Learn Connect (TLC) as I wanted it to be a soft version of interviewing and to learn more about the person behind the brand.
I approached people from all backgrounds in business and no one has declined. It has been such an interesting project for me and again forging new connections through writing and sharing experiences. There are many more TLC’s to come as I keep finding the most inspirational people along my journey.
Productive- most certainly, Perspective – I changed mine, Educate – never ceases to amaze me.