So I’m going to start this months blog with a confession. My deep dark secret. Come closer, closer, closer. I’m going to whisper it… I didn’t actually think I would start this business.
Well, now I feel better. You see, I talk a lot about ‘The Big Dream’ and its power, but until 12 months ago, honestly, that was all it was – a dream. Something to keep me going through endless dark days in my career, but I didn’t really think I’d truly, actually do it in ‘real life’.
Why am I telling you this (because, lets be honest, I could have just blathered on and no-one would have known . . .)?
Well, this dream of mine has been growing, developing and changing for so long that in its current state it is a rather unwieldy, pretty ugly, beast of a thing that frankly needs taming. I just haven’t been sure how to do that. It didn’t matter before because it was just ‘a dream’. Now, it’s ‘THE DREAM’ and that’s a very different ball game.
The question is, where do you go with a dream that has pretty much become about ‘World Domination’?
The answer is . . . I have absolutely no idea! But I am a very lucky lady. You see, in my corner I am blessed to have a Liz and a Gary.
Liz and Gary, knowing I have absolutely no experience of business in any way, shape or form, are helping guide me through the minefield of becoming a solopreneur. I recently attended a mental health at work conference with the lovely Liz, and throughout the day, as we buddied up and got to know each other better, she asked me a series of questions that really helped me to define my vision. Whether she knew it or not, Liz was helping me to get some clarity, and now I’m hoping it will help you out too. Here’s what she asked me:
How do you want to feel about your business?
This got me thinking on more of an emotional level, than in terms of physical achievements. It’s really important to me that I operate from an ethical standpoint and that my business is led from the heart. I have spent a long time delivering curriculums that I don’t believe in, and at their worst I feel are damaging to our children, young people and the staff who work in the education system. One of my founding principles as a teacher is that every child is different, and has very individual needs. If you scale this up, it obviously applies to everyone! I want to feel like I have approached every situation on an individual basis, for every school I work with. I intend to be truly bespoke, no ‘one size fits all’ programs, but a tailored approach to meet the specific needs of the people who employ me.
I want to feel that I am being true to myself and my principles.
How do you want other people to feel about it?
It hadn’t occurred to me to think about this at all! Because I had never really thought I’d be in this position, all I had ever considered was what this dream business meant for me. The problem is, if I don’t think about the effect I’ll be having on the people who will ultimately pay me, then I’m going to fail before I’ve even started. When Liz asked me this, my immediate response was ‘empowered’. I want anybody who works with me to feel empowered to help themselves and others. I want them to feel that they are overcoming barriers and making their little corner of the world a better, happier, more comfortable place. Speaking of comfort, I want them to feel that too. Comfortable with me, comfortable with the messages I’m delivering, comfortable to ask questions, raise concerns or even disagree. And I want them to feel safe. Safe to challenge, query and be honest. Safe to make change and move forward.
And then there’s the knock on feelings I want them to have! Less stress, clearer headed, happier, more content . . . that list is pretty much endless!
Where do you draw your energy and motivation from?
As I mentioned in my last blog I have been a teacher for a long time. This year is my sixteenth. It’s hard to keep your motivation up amidst so much change and frustration, but one thing, and one thing alone kept me doing the do everyday. I became a teacher to teach young people. As obvious as that sounds, the faces of those children, and the needs of those families was my motivation from day one to day 3000 (which is pretty much where I am now). Its one of my motivations for going forward too. I told you all about my passion for play and the opportunities it presents for us as educators, and over these 15 and a half years I have seen its decline within the education system. Alongside this I have witnessed the increase in mental health issues in young children. My background is in Early Years, and when I was starting to see stress and anxiety issues creep nefariously into my nursery classroom I decided enough was enough. My motivation is for a world of happy children.
What (or who) is your inspiration?
This brings me on to my inspiration. Mine is a ‘who’ rather than a what, although I am inspired to make change! There is one, very special little reason, and one, very special big reason, that I have made the changes of the past year. My husband is a teacher. My son will start school in less than twelve months. I will not watch them wade through the system as it stands. They inspire me, every single day, to do what I can to improve the mental health outcomes of anybody involved in the education system. They are the reason Anchor Wellbeing exists. Without them I would have ploughed on for another 16 years in a job I no longer believed in, watching my husband descend into stress and despair and my son grappling with a system ill prepared to meet his wants and needs. They are the faces who represent everyone else who struggles with the system.
Really thinking about the vision for my business has been a truly cathartic experience, and one that is not over yet. I am so excited for the wisdom of Awaken Coaching, to help me refine my ideas more, and I know there is more work to do!
Making sure we all have people in our corner who can help us with this is really important. I have Liz and Gary backing me up all the way with help and advice. The really good news is, you do too. Our wonderful community of support and learning is built by them.
Together we will learn and grow, and make a difference.
Bye for now!
Raegon Guest – gal on the ground!
About the Author
I’m Raegon Guest, your ‘Gal on the Ground’! I’m a new-start therapist and I’ll be following the member content and providing feedback to you and the team. I moved from my teaching job to become a stress management consultant. I now work with those in the education sector to implement stress reduction strategies for staff, children and families.