Never ever in our wildest dreams, had we expected our business support skills to take us to the dizzy heights, to be the CEO of our own successful business!
Trust me, this road was not easy with many a missed (to downright did not see) opportunity! We had all dabbled in businesses (well, what we thought were businesses), but looking back we had all at different times failed to join up the business dots of marketing, sales, planning, and the many, many other skills it takes to run a business.
My skills journey starts like this – with my love of reading I decided one light bulb day to sell books to children so that they could see and share the great job of reading paper books (my head could not comprehend that children were happy reading cold hard ebooks devoid of colour and feeling) – I wanted them to experience the joy of turning pages, see the beautiful colours on the front cover illustrations that brings a book and its story alive, so in the summer of 2006 I started an outdoor book business in Brixton Station Road market. The summer was lovely and just as I thought, children (and adults) fell in love with the books and my one day sales (I only traded on a Saturday) blew away my mind. It was lovely to engage with the local community and the children, and was one of the best times of my life.
Sadly what I did not factor in was that an English summer (how could I not have realised that?) does not last very long and my book business was to come an abrupt end as my lovely books and the windy winter wet days of September 2006 did not work together. My books blew across the wet market floor as I scrambled to pick them up, book pages curled as raindrops fell fast on the pages and my market stall canopy blew like a flag in the wind.
Not to be defeated in the failings of my book business, the search for something else continued. It took 5 years of “skill” searching (what could I do, what was I good at), many a light bulb moment came on (which after the initial buzz and which did not stack up on paper, made the light bulb go out!). Age was not on my side, retirement was creeping up and I did not realise but I had developed skill stagnation (that’s another life lesson story for me to share). Bizarrely enough, I had to make business decisions long before Skillsology was created.
“In 2011, Skillsology was formed. My business plan drew on my 27 years of working in some of the top law firms in London (and Cayman Islands), my 27 years of using my business support skills in the legal sector.”
After months of self audit, and many emotional ups and downs, eventually the doors of opportunity flew open again and in 2011 a dear, dear friend of mine, Sandy Phillips, offered me the opportunity of delivering freelance employability skills training to unemployed students. I accepted the challenge with trepidation but, armed with my bag of business skills from my 32 year working career (working in legal and retail), I stood for the very first time in front of a class of 20 starring eyed students, all focused on me as the fountain of all skills and knowledge and now the only missing link to them getting a job with their new employability skills.
What a huge responsibility being a key player in other people’s dreams and aspirations I was truly blessed, I had husbands who needed skills to find jobs to build their confidence, women wanting careers to feed their families and young people need more cash to live the life!. Days turned into months and unknowingly I had found my passion and my place to commence the next chapter of my life. Skillsology (although I did not know what it was going to be called, and it had many names) was being enacted in real time.
Not to blow my own trumpet, but the students loved me and I loved training them, and my 27 years of business skills – communication, listening, personal interactions, team working, presenting, reading and writing all came together. I shared absolutely everything I had gained, heard and learned in my business years, to ensure that when the delegates left my classroom, they stood the best chance ever of getting what I had; a successful career.
In 2011, Skillsology was formed. My business plan drew on my 27 years of working in some of the top law firms in London (and Cayman Islands), my 27 years of using my business support skills in the legal sector, my new love of classroom training and my need for something different, exciting, challenging – something that I could do for the rest of my working life.
The huge reality? It is now my sole responsibility as to the success (or failure) of Skillsology (which translates itself into my life – no pressure there then!)
To follow my business “survival” skills, Skillsology’s successes (and not to many failures) and to be kept updated of our business skills courses, simply leave your name and email address and we will keep you in the loop of things happening and things not happening(!).