I’ve done my best to be an employee over the years, I really have. But it’s been 20 odd years now (give or take some bouts of self-employment) and I’m done. I’m 44, it’s about time the rest of my life began.
From employee to digital entrepreneur, I’m now committed to helping like-minded individuals achieve success in life and business. And I’m proud to work with some of the top digital experts in the world. I’ve designed my business around my values and passions. And I’ve redesigned my life from scratch, on my terms and at my own pace.
I spent my late 20s and early 30s being aspirational and, back when I cared (more) about what people thought of me, I had a different definition of success. Like having a full-time desk job which I hated but with prospects and my own flat. As opposed to a house share which is all I could afford in London. And other things I thought I should do. But when I relocated to Bournemouth in 2009, I knew I wanted to live a more bohemian life, I just didn’t know how to get there.
From childhood we’re bamboozled and brainwashed into believing that we own houses mortgaged to the hilt and have a nice nest egg and pension pot, we will have ‘made it’. There are other ways to secure a pension than slaving away in a job until the state says you can retire. I’ve always believed that this is a form of social control and it never rang true for me. I never really got it, especially in my twenties. I still don’t really. So many people work to retirement age then die, or I could die before then and for what?
Dave (the husband) and I knew we didn’t want to live a conventional life or do what other people ‘expected’ of us. And for a long time we looked for a solution that would enable us to work from anywhere and travel for long periods in our campervan. To not be tied to a geographical base or reliant on one income stream.
For several years I ran a business providing B2B social media consultancy, training and management. But I fell into the trap of trading my time for money. Whilst I dreamt of the laptop lifestyle, I struggled with the selling aspect of my work not to mention B2B networking events. None of it sat comfortably with me or aligned with my values and it was no longer enjoyable or fulfilling.
Then Dave had an accident which meant he couldn’t work for a year so I took a job at the university and resumed life as an employee. And so the laptop lifestyle went on hold again for a while. Six years passed and I was earning good money but I was far from happy and fulfilled. And I no longer bought into the organization’s vision and not having any interest in building somebody else’s dream.
Covid-19 hit the world and changed everything
Working from home, not having to attend endless face to face meetings, commute or deal with office politics. Being an introvert and a home bird, I thrived. And the time working from home really gave me insight into what changes I needed to make in my working life and how this could impact my personal life.
During that time I was also helping to care for my aunt who was terminally ill. As a family we took the heart-wrenching decision to move her to a care home, knowing full well that, in the midst of a pandemic, we wouldn’t be able to sit with her, hold her hand, kiss or cuddle her. Visits at her home were to be replaced by awkward chats through the window of her room or the railings of the garden where she liked to sit.
And then I discovered the power of digital marketing
But nine days after I had decided to take action and learn about online business, my aunt passed away at the age of 64. Shortly after that, the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy arose and I took it. These two life-changing events further cemented my view that life is too short not to live it on your terms.
For me, it’s about choosing to live a life of gratitude, authenticity and fulfillment. But which also allows me to focus on writing, travel and other things I enjoy in life. We love van life and spending time with family, friends and our dog. I’ve learnt that I can sustain my lifestyle. Through work which is reflective of my values, my mission, my purpose in life, what I believe I am here to do. Instead of searching for a non-existent job which would tick all these boxes I’ve created one for myself. To me, this is the definition of freedom.
In the course of my own journey I’ve finally been able to embrace the laptop lifestyle. I’ve stripped back and reconnected with my authentic self. And I feel incredibly grateful.
Now that I’m in the business of H2H (Human to Human), I’m proud to work with some of the top digital experts in the world. This also means a holistic approach to learning with the ongoing support of a community. What I’ve really benefited from alongside the digital skills I learnt, was self-development, discovery and empowerment.
I started an online business without a product or idea
I didn’t have the digital skills. I hadn’t reskilled in a long time. But do you know what else? Digital marketing is recession proof, with no or next to no overheads. I’ve designed my business around my values and passions, on my terms and at my own pace.
I’d now like to guide others to empower themselves to benefit from the power of digital marketing. To help them to discover a new way to work and live.
My biggest fear with digital marketing or online entrepreneurship was what if I couldn’t match or exceed my salary and ended up staying in employment until retirement. But more scary than that was the prospect that if I didn’t take action, I may never fulfill my potential. And it’s not just about money, it’s about choices. Digital skills have bought me location independence, a laptop lifestyle, vanlife, freedom and I’m living life on my own terms.
“Real wealth, security, and contentment come not from the trinkets we amass, but from how we spend the one life we’ve been given”. [The Minimalists]