Before The Blog
Probably, if you're reading this, you read a lot of blogs and social media posts, and, like me, often wonder afterwards why you've taken such interest in somebody else's life, viewpoint, beliefs and feelings. Personally, I justify late-night blog reading indulgences with a mantra of 'understanding' 'educating' and 'thinking' we all have a voice and a view and I find it empowering to consider the voices of others when shaping my thoughts and plans, (call it mindfulness if you will). So, on that note, why did I decide to write my own when I love reading everybody else's? Here's a little bit about me and my time 'Before The Blog' which might help explain why EnterAnnaBYY was started. In 2011, I found myself, a Textile Design graduate with a bright future planned, suddenly feeling disillusioned, confused and at a loss with employment prospects and opportunity. I had achieved everything that 18 years of education had prepared me for, gained the degree, lucky enough to be supported by an amazing family and the fashion design job was just the next step in the plan. Like millions of other graduates, employees and folks from every walk of life, the plan went off course, having gained all I had worked for I suddenly felt isolated and vulnerable, exposed and unprepared for the disappointment of heading out in the working world.
Step-in 'The Princes Trust' and Silky Bouquets Ltd. was born. A tiny concept of acorn like proportion, working with silk flowers, focussing on a goal of my own, I found a desire, urge and enjoyment in carving out a life, not just a job, but a way of life that I could adopt and adapt as my own. Supported by the Princes Trust I found my spirit again, the initial feelings of failure, that I'd gone backwards on the education spectrum, ripped up the 18years of schooling plan and avoided the office chit-chat disappeared rapidly as I got stuck in, working in my boyfriends mums garage, wearing wellys, fleeces and a bobble hat-the new plan, the change of course quickly went from daunting to liberating. Plans were made, friendships built, aims and goals recognised, with my mentors support, my boyfriends mum Linda (now business partner at Silky Bouquets Ltd.) my family and friends, I spoke out more, found my voice, my feet and about a million different type of silk flowers in the process...truly I found my character. The planning and shaping of the business educated me, grew me, rounded and grounded me and after two years of trading came quite a rapid growth from that seedling of an online offering of silk flowers that had been launched in 2011.
In continued meetings with the Princes Trust I was asked if I could tell my story, no holes barred, not focussing solely on the rosy days but giving a true reflection of the ups, downs, trials, tribulations, the real roses and thorns, to many new mentees just starting out on their plan, their first steps to a self-made way of life. After an initial 'brown-paper bag moment', I bit my lip and went for it, 2013, I'd came a long way, from a dishevelled, shy and vulnerable me to a lively, energetic and confident me, all thanks to that massive change of route. On that day in 2013, I don't know if the mentees on the course (there were around 30 of them) will remember my 'Inspirational Talk' or even if I inspired any of them, but one thing I realised is that I enjoyed talking, answering their questions and sharing my experiences. This blog is an extension of that, those Inspirational Talks that I've shared regularly, the speeches made as a Princes Trust Young Ambassador and now the thought processes, challenges and changes I face, 5 years into a continually growing business and still carving, growing and finding my way while focussing on 'living the life I love and loving the life I live'.
So that was me before the blog, I've grown and learned, developed and changed and am now adapting my lifestyle into the New Level Results programme. Every year since starting Silky Bouquets Ltd. has been-on the whole-invigorating, despite many personal challenges along the way. Now with the help of Andrew and my Best Year Yet I have started to decipher my life-goals, disecting them separately from my dreams and aspirations for the business and focussing, very self indulgently on me, myself and I. For the first time in five years I have pulled myself out of SB's and realised the need to lift my head and live for now, achieving things personally, building relationships and identifying what is my priceless. What's your priceless? The thing you cant buy that you want, and will always want. In my first meeting with Andrew i considered the three things I see as priceless: Love, time with my family and inner-contentment/satisfaction, and soon after was asked, whats the three things I neglect and put to the back of my list in a busy working weekly schedule, queue the same answers: love, time with family, finding my inner-contentment/satisfaction. Why do we assume that the people we love will always be there and focus our time on unnecessary distractions? Life gets in the way if we let it, nows the time to set the plan to stop that process, change my mindset and focus on making those priceless-prospects my main priority.
Enter the plan, EnterAnnaBYY
And thats where it started.