One chilly day, back in February 2016, I woke to that feeling; the one that says “yup, you’ve done your time working hard as an employee for these big companies now is the time to step up, be brave and take a leap of faith. Go self employed”. It was the most risky decision I have ever made but one that has led me into the exciting place that I find myself now. Working for myself, doing what I’ve loved for almost 17 years as I’ve climbed the ranks of Health and Safety, and helping employers look after the health and safety of workers, contractors and visitors.
By a quirk of fate the same day I was taking a lunch break with Facebook (as so many of us do these days) and noticed an advertisement by Edeal for the launch of the 2016 LEAP Programme (Local Enterprise and Apprenticeship Platform) which was set up by Lewes District Council in 2013. I completed the application and literally within minutes received a call giving details and welcoming me on to the programme.
Within a fly-by month I found myself on Radio Sussex and Kent talking to the ever so delightful Danny Pyke about the LEAP programme and what it meant to me and my business idea. A few weeks on, and after a selection of Edeal’s brilliant business workshops, I had to submit my business plan to be judged by a “Dragon’s Den” of successful business people and Councillors and “Tadaaaaar” as if by magic just two weeks ago received an email from Edeal telling me I was a finalist! A FINALIST…..little old me!
Well, honestly, I could hardly believe it. I had gone from a split second thought of self employment to being launched, full blast, into running my own business with the support of some wonderful mentors, friends and family within a matter of weeks. On the 14th July the two winners will be announced at the Lewes District Councils Business Awards Ceremony (very posh black tie do – I don’t have a black tie mind you as a woman in H&S their practical application is none too clever). I am keeping everything crossed to win but realise that the other four business ideas are truly brilliant and quite unique.
Who knows where this whole experience will take me but I hope that my new found business knowledge, enthusiasm and age old saying in times like this “Onwards and Upwards” may carry me to new and exciting places and to think. All this because I took that initial LEAP of Faith.