I have to admit, it seems like a lifetime, but it has been just 5 years since I decided to hand in my notice at the Marketing Agency I worked at and start up my own small business! And what a journey it has been!
Initially 43k Creative was just me, offering copywriting and editorial services as Written and selling crafty bits and bobs as McCarthy Arts. Soon after, Ant came on board with the photography side of things as Fortythree Photography.
During the first couple of years I worked hard to build my client base, gathered a spectacular team of freelance writers and proof readers, and even took on the role of Editor at a bridal magazine. Then came Ruben, amazing human number three.
Ant made the most of the new Shared Parental Leave and took a year out from his Retail Design and Shopfitting position so he could fully embrace the parental role, and I could keep the business running.
It only took about 6 months to realise my new work/life balance wasn’t working, and for Ant to realise that he really wanted to “do his own thing”.
So, I cut my hours down, focussed more on my own skills and enjoyment of writing and being creative rather than running a team, and Ant built up his retail design business tonic-design and the woodwork side, tonic-design Woodwork.
I also began to realise a desire to “do more to help people be happy”, and as such changed the focus of my artwork, collaborated with brands and companies I feel I can be emotionally and energetically invested in, and dipped my toes in the wellbeing side of work by starting my DTO training and hosting yoga retreats – the first of which is this one in Sri Lanka!
It took the ability to create space and step back to do this. To let go of perceived goals, and really concentrate on what we wanted life to be like, and believe it or not clear any blocks around achieving that. I used a mix of DTO, Law of Attraction journalling, and meditation for both my stuff and Ant’s stuff.
Today we are rocking it as a team with a firm eye on what we want our lives to look like by balancing home, work, love, and family.
We are learning all the time about compromise, what works, how we divide time, whose schedule should take priority if family needs demand to come first…
It’s not easy breaking out of the mould and following your own path, but it is rewarding. It’s not easy running your own show especially when it overlaps with family time and commitment, and even shared living and working spaces – but it can work if everyone is available to discuss what is right, not who is right, and not just hear, but actually listen to what is going on for the other person. It also takes accepting that time out to focus on what you really want in life is essential.
I wonder where we’ll be in another 5 years?