I’m a parrot with a splash of eagle, hint of dove. What about you?

Since being in business, I’ve come to realise that understanding yourself can be key to success.

There are lots of things I know about myself but when I became self-employed, there was one thing I didn’t know – could I actually do it? Could I generate any money at all through my own efforts?

You see, I didn’t want to be self-employed. I was doing a job I loved and I wanted to carry on doing that job – sadly though that job no longer wanted me. It wasn’t a personal thing, it was a business decision and about 1,000 people lost their jobs at the same time.

Now I am almost at the five year anniversary of being self-employed and I’m still here. I’m not rich by any means but I’m earning my own money, through my own efforts and endeavours and that’s got to be something to celebrate.

However, I’m also wanting to be better in what I do. So I’m taking a course! I’ve been searching for ages for something which will make me better but which will engage me. During this course, which I’ll blog about many times I’m sure, I’ve been reading text books.

I don’t know about you but reading business books has been without fail, a hideous experience. They are mostly badly written, rushing off into different directions and lacking in real life examples. Frankly, many are simply tripe.

But I’ve just read one in a single day. That’s a record. It was called Taking Flight…do look it up. It tells a very simplistic story about birds in a forest who have to act when trees start falling down…no literary masterpiece but it does the job required…it shows how certain personality types can work.

It’s all about personality types – using the DISC model – which until recently I knew nothing about. Now it’s all around me. I’ve had two personality profiles done and they do capture lots of things about me.

The truth is, I do know these things but knowing and grasping the reality are two different things. Applying that truth is also tricky.

I’ve found out – in bird analogy – that I’m a parrot, with a large element of eagle and a quite large portion of dove. I’ve got very little owl though.

If you know this book, the previous sentence will make sense.

The biggest immediate impact is that I’ve started to recognise others around me, mainly in my friendship group and realised that the dynamic is visible. For example, one of my children is very, very caring and very detailed orientated – which drives me absolutely potty. But it’s not her fault, that’s her response to things and that’s okay. Now I know it’s okay, I find I’m not so irritated by the constant questioning and asking the same thing over and over again.

I also spent some time with two old friends and hardly got a word into the conversation – very unusual for me. I ended up feeling that I was of little value as no one seemed that interested in me or anything I had to say. As I started the self-pity dance, I realised that these were two eagles vying for position without realising it. As a personality with both eagle and dove, confronted by this, I simply gave up and shut up rather than expend energy trying to be heard. I don’t feel angry at all, I’ve just realised that it’s better to see them individually if I personally want to feel listened to – otherwise I’ll continually be a spare part.

Now I’m hoping to become better at business through this learning….here goes!

No, I'm not a peacock..I'm a parrot....

No, I’m not a peacock..I’m a parrot….




Do you ever feel like the worst working mum ever?

picture of two sisters

how to do the best for your children and for your business...

Do you ever feel like I do?

As we get into June, this is one of the worst months in the year for the self-employed working mum. I get tired just thinking about it. With three kids, I’ve got three sports days, one induction evening at secondary school, end of year productions and the list goes on.

As a volunteer for a local pre-school, I also have to attend two day-long courses on safeguarding and screening of staff.
Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day or days in the week.

The thing about being self-employed is that it’s so hard to turn down work in case next month, it’s not there!

Take sports day for my four-year-old. I really want to go – but on the day it’s scheduled I’m taking a course for the pre school which my four-year-old attends. They say they’ll rearrange. Great – the suggested date is another day when I’m attending a course for the pre-school. How many times can they re-arrange for just one mum?
One of my kids is about to start secondary school – this will now involve catching buses, travelling some distance. It’s a big change – I know, as I remember it all too well myself.
There’s an evening meeting, 5pm at the school to discuss this big change in her life. Guess what, it’s the day I start making a documentary for a large broadcaster 75 miles away. It’s a 20-day contract to a deadline for transmission, so it cannot be flexible. So on my first day, I will have to leave very early in order to make this meeting, and even then I could be late. I feel like I’ll end up letting everyone down.
Schools have this habit of working to their shorter days, and not considering the needs of parents who don’t work those hours. I’m not saying for a minute that teachers don’t work hard – I trained as one so I know – but their days of delivering that work are short.
Childcare has always been great for me as I have a brilliant child minder but there are just some things where you want to be there – and where your child expects it.

I have so much respect for mums who are working and who are single. The only reason I don’t let my kids down more often is because I’ve got a partner who will do his share. But he also works hard and often cannot make things ‘fit’.

Some of you will say, well don’t work then – and I say, I have to for financial reasons and also I want to.

I took some considerable time off when I had my last child and at the end of that year, I turned into some kind of embittered, twisted creature who couldn’t bear the sight of any more housework, washing, school runs, trips out for coffee….argghhh! Some people just have to have something else in their lives and I’m one of them. But there are many, many times when I wish I wasn’t.

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