You may be wondering why I use the word ‘officially’ in the title – is it a bit of sarcasm or is it because I run an illegal business? No, do not fret it is neither…it is simply because I am not sure how many years it has been.
You see, for as long as I can remember I have always had some business or project on the go. When I was about 6 years old and living in Germany I remember setting up an office in my bedroom with a letter tray outside and demanding my mail and correspondence (not that I really had any at this age!) went into this letter tray. Oh, yes I learnt the bossy businesswoman skills very early on – my poor parents! The next ‘project’ I remember was a few years later when I made my own version of perfume from roses and water and attempted to sell this to the neighbours. Whilst most other children would be playing with their toys and playing hide and seek I was playing business and getting my friends to pretend they worked for me in my make-shift office.
It is funny to think back to it now as back then all I wanted to be when ‘I grew up’ was a business woman – I flitted between the idea of having my own boutique clothes shop, to a café and then on some more imaginative days it was a massive Manor House Hotel with Spa.
There is a grey time when I do not remember having any business ideas or projects on the go and this seems to fall in with when I was at High School and University. I remember feeling quite confused during this time about what I wanted to do when ‘I grew up’ and feeling very frustrated with the thought of conforming to a typical career route, but nevertheless I ploughed on with my studies and got through the other side, knowing that one day it would just slot together…somehow.
My first job after graduating from Lancaster University was as a Business Adviser – quite apt! I realised I loved working with people and advising and supporting them which is why my career has carved the coaching, training and advising path (business advice then leadership & management development, careers advice and now coaching and training.) Everytime I would go through a period of frustration with my job I would get some mini project on the go – I have done everything from having my own ebay clothes shop to being a freelance coach and trainer – working weekends and evenings on top of a demanding full time job, but not caring at all, as I loved working on my ‘projects’.
During this time my desire to be my own boss and start my own business kept growing and growing. I set myself a goal and that goal was to start my own business when I was in my 30’s. It seemed like the logical time – I would be mature enough, experienced enough and with plenty of contacts and industry insight.
I actually started my business (Career Circus) when I was 27 years old, but it wasn’t until this year when I turned 30 that I felt confident enough to build the business with staff and funding and to go solo without another job as a back-up. I am not sure if it is fate or destiny.
When I speak with other people who are on the same path as me – setting up projects or businesses in their spare hours, using their bedroom as an office and using creative ways to sell products without a budget I know that them and I are the same. Perhaps it is true what they say, people can be born with that entrepreneurial gene?
Why did I go for the name and concept of Career Circus? Well you will just have to wait for my next entrepreneurial blog to find that out!