This week, I celebrated My Independence Day. The day , 12 years ago I took control of my life and decided if the corporate world didn’t want me , I didn’t want it.
Yes, it’s 12 years ago this week that the wonder of Woolworth’s finally closed its doors after many years of trading. That day 30,000 of us lost our jobs, and we didn’t get even get paid until the end of the month. We certainly didn’t get any redundancy package. And just to add final insult to injury, we had our final salary pension scheme go into the pension protection fund the following year. I had three months’ notice in my contract, so I thought I was going to be fairly safe. But what I didn’t realize, that when a company goes into administration, that contract gets torn up and I wasn’t entitled to anything.
We did manage to sue the company for a breach of contract, and they agreed that they were at fault and they would pay us the compensation that we’re entitled to. What they didn’t say in the letter was that they’re actually only paying a penny on the pound compensation. So we had a nice cheque for about £30 .
Now, I tell you this story, not to brag or big up how wonderful I am that I recovered from that situation. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your current situation allow yourself to be inspired and believe if I can do it you can to. If you remember, Woolworths was one of the first to crash at the start of the last recession.
As we find ourselves in a current recession today I believe my experiences can help some of you as I have been through it from a very dark place. And that things, although they might look really bleak and bad at the time, you can recover from them with the right knowledge, the right mindset, and surrounding yourself with the right support.
So what did I do ? I decided that I wasn’t going to go back into corporate life, I wanted to take control of my life, but I didn’t know what to do. I was an IT project manager, and I certainly wasn’t going to go back contracting. I’d already started working on a business in the multi-level networking arena, with some products which I really believed in, which I still believe in to this day, and still use to this day, but it didn’t really work for me. And I think the reason why this business never got off the ground in the beginning, while I was still gainfully employed, was because my reason why didn’t really mean enough to me. Yes, I could see maybe redundancy was coming, and yes, I could see maybe this was a way out of it, but it didn’t really hurt enough. I didn’t really want it enough. I didn’t really have enough passion about it and believe in it as a solution. I learnt a few things about networking and talking to people.
New year , new life. The torturous, soul destroying fortnightly visit to the job centre .I would meet up afterwards we a colleague from a previous employment who also had been made redundant. It was good to talk to some who understood the challenges I was going through, first lesson in how important it is to surround yourself with people who are going to help and support you, environment is everything. This became particularly relevant when one day Mike arrived looking more glum than usual. He had just been told that the job seekers allowance, the only help we could get, was ending. As his partner was working he wasn’t entitled to any help from the Government. This would be me in a months’ time! The system I paid into all my life was not going to help me through the most difficult time of my life!
I allowed myself the walk home to feel victimised and then took control and doubled my efforts to get my life back. I tried a few other things to do and ended up chatting to a good friend of mine one day, whose business was growing but he was in the trap so many business owners find themselves , he needed to grow but couldn’t afford to employ anyone. We agreed that anything he could pay me was more than I was getting now so we worked an arrangement where I looked after the marketing and would be paid by results.
It was in this role I met Nigel Botterill of Entrepreneurs Circle for the first time. Interesting how little connections and events all become a key foundation in later life.
While working with Alan I joined BNI where I learnt a lot about Networking and the discipline of rhythmic activity. The most significant event of joining BNI was meeting a solicitor who was interested in property. It was at the BNI Christmas party that we discovered you could control property , legally and ethically without having any of your own money, which was rather handy as we didn’t have any.
We were introduced to Berkshire Property meet and then Property Investors Network , and Simon Zutshi . This is when things really got back on track. Marketing Fiveway Apartments led me almost full circle signing up for the Facebook accelerator course and rediscovering Nigel Botterill.
As its Christmas I would like to give you a gift to my business owner friends which will really help you to start 2021 on a solid foundation. It is a free two month subscription to Entrepreneurs Circle, worth £198 + vat. Take a look around , fill out the marketing check , score your business and then implement two of the foundation blocks You will be amazed how you change the way you think about your business and your business starts to transform itself.
EC Membership & Bursaries https://bit.ly/3oTVYZJ