Hatty shares what she has been doing to develop work opportunities in her new location
Spring is definitely in the air. Living by the sea and being so much closer to nature than I was in London, I am much more aware of the change in seasons. The daffodils are out, we have primroses in our garden and today it was even warm enough to have lunch on the deck!
We moved out of London in the cold, dark months and we were very aware that the countryside was in hibernation. Echoing nature, we have been quite inward focused, sorting out the house and hunkering down in our new community.
Spring heralds new growth and as the beautiful countryside around us changes so I find myself looking for new growth too.
One of the big unanswered questions of leaving London for the country has been how we will earn money. By selling up in London, we were able to put some money in the bank. This has bought us time to re-engineer our working lives and given us the opportunity to have more flexibility in how and when we work but we do still need to work. We have not retired!
David has already talked about what he is doing on the work front but I have been very quiet about my plans.
I have not been resting on my laurels. From the moment I arrived in our new community, I embarked on a voyage of discovery to see how I might best use my skills to support businesses in this area.
For those of you who don’t know, my passion is start-ups and small business. For the last four and a half years I have been running my own start-up, Seek & Adore (an online market place that helped designer-makers sell their unique work direct to consumers). Prior to that I spent over 15 years working in marketing and e-commerce, working for fast growing businesses. Coming out of my business, I found people were asking my advice on how to market a start-up on a tight (or non-existent) budget, or how to raise investment to grow a business. I enjoy sharing what I have learnt and am now a Growth Coach supporting businesses with marketing and investment advice and consultancy.
Imagine my excitement then, when, shortly after arriving in Dorset, statistics were published that demonstrated Poole is a conurbation with a higher than average number of start-ups and that Bournemouth has the fastest growing digital economy.
I had landed in the perfect place!
I confess this was more by luck than judgement. I didn’t do a comprehensive search to discover what my new client base would be before moving. I work virtually (via Skype and email) with many of my clients so location has never really been an issue.
Now that I’m here in Dorset I want to contribute to the community I’m in. Far from hibernating I have spent the last three months networking and this is starting to bring opportunities to the fore. Last week, two organisations invited me to join their team and I’m also proactively developing a third opportunity with some new contacts I have made since moving here. All of these opportunities would allow me to work closely with start-ups and fast growing businesses so I’d be working on something I’m passionate about. Nothing is set in stone yet but I am feeling optimistic.
It feels like Spring has sprung in more ways than one. The flowers are blooming but so are the opportunities for interesting, entrepreneurial projects. None of these would be happening if we hadn’t moved house. Proof, should it be needed, that sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and taking risks brings exciting opportunities and unexpected growth.