Have you ever wanted to start your dream business?

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Dream businesses are meant to be things of dreams, right? Things for the people who are financially able, have funding or investment. Not for the ordinary folks with kids and bills to pay. I seriously wish I’d had the impetus to do what I did in a few months of this year a long time ago because I cannot imagine what I could have done with the time and lack of responsibility freely available to me then.

I have thought about this a lot since having my kids because work as I knew it just wasn’t working for me. At the same time I couldn’t work out how in the precious little time between the kids going to bed and my falling asleep on the sofa I would muster the energy and motivation to do something for myself that needed, you know, brain power.

I couldn’t quit my day job to chase a dream because then how would I pay rent, cover child care and eat? I had an idea, a great idea that was eating up at me and itching me to be done but where would I even start?

Then I did this one great exercise (plus a bit of squirreling away of the wine money) and a few months later I launched my own business that I love, that motivates me and gives me energy to do because growing this thing is one of the best things I have done in a long time.

Here is step-by-step what I did and I hope you find it useful too:

1.Write down the big things you want to achieve

This should be a short list of the great big things that you want to do, like now. Mine was a list of three but that was probably two things too long. Those things were launch my knitting business, expand the types of events I worked on to include subjects I love and write.

2. Take note of the first thing you need to do to make progress

Don’t make a full on list of everything you need to do to achieve your dreams, that will overwhelm you and totally sap at the motivation. Just put on the page the very first thing you need to do to take a step forward in your plan. For me that was make a budget for the knitting business so I knew how much I had to save, how long it would take me to save it and what date I could have that cash ready by. For the other two things I wrote down ‘pick a date for a craft event for my husband’s marathon fundraising’ and ‘spend the first 15 minutes of each day free-writing’.

Each of those three things were really simple and probably don’t take up too much time. I will be honest, when it came to the next step I was surprised at how much of the above I didn’t get chance to do.

3. Check in on yourself

On the last day of each month I go back and I check in on how I have progressed on the last step. Did I do that one thing in the space of the month? Most often it was no because I made my list two items too long and instead of wanting to complete one thing that month, I was trying to complete three. Make the list short. This is important else you will have completed something but not everything and that doesn’t half sap at your motivation levels. Then, and this is very important, if I hadn’t done my list from the previous month, I just accepted that and tried again the following month.

4. When you complete something, add one more thing

This bit is obvious but when I finished one step, I added another and would aim to get that one done in the same month if I could. Before I knew it those snatched minutes here and there were really adding up. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the mammoth ideas, I didn’t set myself unrealistic deadlines and most importantly…

5. Roll with it

When I look back now at that first page I wrote in January, it looks nothing like I expected it to right now, today. It is better and different. It is bigger than I could have hoped. It also moved so much faster than I anticipated.

Here’s what I’ve done in the past 8 months (which is more than I’d done in the years previous):

New Logo

Put on a crafternoon at my local community rooms and raised almost £200 for MIND.

Created my own website from scratch and launched my craft business http://www.sonicknits.com

Grown my list and following from zero to the hundreds

Interviewed lots of women who run their own craft business and learned from them.

Written a synopsis and outline for a book plus three chapters.

Filled three notebooks with writing.

Shipped out three months of craft subscription boxes and have a queue of people lined up to work with me.

Given myself the confidence to grow with my goals and acheive what once seemed impossible.

Set a fantastic example to my kids

Started to learn to drive.

I’ve learned a lot on the way these past few months and I want to share some of that too in future.

 

Acheivements

Yesterday was a day of acheivements. I ran 5.5km during the morning. The last time I ran that distance was 4 years ago while fundraising for Cancer Research. I remember specifically it took 36 minutes and feeling very disappointed as I had clearly not put inthe training, having done 10k the year before in a decent time.

I’m not great at running. I don’t put enough salt on my food and tore all my knee ligaments a few years back. I could barely walk. I didn’t run at all when pregnant and only twice in the past year. So I was over-joyed to see that yesterday’s run had not only been such a distance but that I did my 5k in 37 minutes. Woop!

I only went out with the intention of seeing how many songs I could run non-stop for and then walk-run back home. Seems it was quite a few. Same again tomorrow.

If that was not all, my husbnand annouced he needed a hat for Download this weekend, given the bad weather. So I raided my stash and knocked one up in 4 hours over last night and this morning. It’s not the best thing I have ever made but it still felt like completing an impossible task. No photo of this as he has taken it with him to the festival about 30 seconds after I finished weaving in the ends.

Long term goal block.

I am working on a few long term projects at the moment. The ones that seem to drag on at times with never an end in sight. The same might be said for my body image goal. Illness combined with a busy life has meant my time for fitness has subsided to nothing. Writing seemed to be a drag as well. I needed some quick tasks that I could start, finish and feel a sense of accomplishment to kick start enthusiasm for some of the longer term goals.

So I made my son this hat.

Crochet is admittedly not my strongest crafty skill but it was immensely satisfying to not only complete something in a short space of time but to also correctly follow a crochet pattern and understand it.

One of the other long-term projects I am working on is a crochet throw for my sofa. That really is a test of my attention span and will power to see it through.

The other upside of the warm. wooly hat is that the day I finished it, we had that glorious sunny spell. This weekend my son got to wear the hat while we stood getting damp by the Tower of London waiting to get a quarter inch glimpse of the Queen’s flotilla. I’m the least royalist person I know but my husband convinced me it would be good to take our son to at least one event in London this Summer. It convinced me that taking him through the throngs of tourists again this year will be a silly idea.

On a slight side from this, the double bank holiday has resulted in my husband taking the whole week off so this afternoon I can go for a run to kick start my long term goal to fit back into my mini-skirt. There are even some sunny spells outside and my ipod is charging up with new music.