Living in the moment

Why I’m Kicking Arse In 2015 6

This Summer I made the heartbreaking decision to close down my bakery business.

I’d put my heart, my soul, and my life savings into my company.  On the surface, it had looked hugely successful; my cakes were in magazines all around the world, I was starting to emerge as an industry expert, I was writing for magazines and guest-blogging, I’d been nominated for national awards, and also asked to feature on TV.

 I was turning away more business than I could take on, charging higher prices than most in my industry, and working 70-80 hour weeks.

 Living in the momentI was like a hamster on a wheel: Running like crazy and not getting anywhere fast. I was petrified that if I stopped, the wheel would ping me off, and I’d go crashing into the cage.

However, it didn’t matter whether I worked longer hours, or took on more projects, I just couldn’t get my business model to work. It wasnt making money.

 Let me address the elephant in the room, right now.

 My business was exactly that, a business. It wasn’t a hobby: It had to turn a profit.  I needed to earn a sustainable wage. Whilst we weren’t starving on the single income from my husband, my financial contribution would buy the little luxuries in life such as a cinema trip, having my roots done, and the occasional take-away, without having to empty the kids’ money pigs!

Making my own money was also a matter of pride. I wanted to show everyone that I could go it alone – “Look at me. Aren’t I clever?”.

But, as I was pelting along on my hamster wheel, something quite disturbing was happening.  I was turning into a horrible person.

For two years I barely spoke to my mum.

We hadn’t fallen out, in fact we have a very close and loving relationship. My mum is my backbone, my best friend and my chief Cheer Leader.  Quite simply, when I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work. And when she’d pop in for a coffee, see her grandchildren, drop off my ironing (aren’t mums great?) I’d barely have the time or energy to nod, let alone speak.

 And the killer confession?  My middle son’s first sentence was “Not now, I’m checking my emails.”.

So, in the Summer, with the support of a fabulous woman called Ann-Marie Mayling, The Business SuperNanny, I made the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and soul-destroying decision of shutting-up-shop.

Do you know something?

 I honestly wouldn’t change the past three years.  I’ve learnt so much.

My family have graciously forgiven me, my mum still does my ironing (Gawd bless ‘er), and my three sons still think I’m pretty cool (let’s see if that lasts into adolescence!).

As my wounds soften to scars, my new business emerges from its cocoon with a stronger and wiser woman at the helm.  I’m not jumping back on that hamster wheel. I refuse to juggle everything in the vain hope of being Superwoman.

It might be controversial of me to say, but, as women, we do have to work harder to get on in business.  “Equal Opportunities” are still not completely equal. We have to stand taller, be quicker, and sharper than our male colleagues.  If we pause for a few months to have children, we are knocked back years.  We’re still not represented properly at Board Level, but, we shouldnt let this pressure be the sword we fall on.

 Often we’re our own worst enemy: Addicted to the Hamster Wheel.

 So, what’s in store for 2015?

 I’m going to kick arse in 2015.   I’m going to be pacing myself: This is a marathon, not a sprint.  I’m not going to work at the weekend. I’m going to spend more time with my kids and long-suffering husband.  I’m going to surround myself with strong, independent, motivated, intelligent, and energetic women, just like you. 

Oh, and Im going to learn how to outsource..

 What are you going to do?


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About Sam Pilling

With 15 successful years in Media Sales & Marketing, combined with 3 years as a wedding cake designer, Sam Pilling offers a wealth of experience and expertise in making businesses stand out in a crowded market. As owner of Bite Me Marketing, she can help you grow your business, increase sales, and raise your profile. Sam is a Marketer, Social Media Trainer, Business Blogger, and mum to three very feral sons.

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6 thoughts on “Why I’m Kicking Arse In 2015

  • Vidya Sury

    Wow! Sam! That must have been heart-breaking – to build and then break. But it takes a very brave person to take the decisions you took! Wishing you all the best…and you Mom? Bless her ‘eart! 😀 Your family must be very proud of you! Hugs!

  • Sandy Mangis

    This is a great story. My new adventure is Blogging. Something away from the everyday rat race. Marketing tips would be awesome. I am learning how to attract and not chase. This is whole new avenue for me. Its fun and interesting.

  • Wendy Tomlinson

    Great post, very inspiring. Whenever I coach people in business, I always ask them what success means to them. As a society we often see those people who are mega busy as being successful. This is so often not the case. When I set up my coaching practice almost 4 years ago I was able to start my career over from scratch the way I wanted, based on my own idea of what success is for me. No doubt my business would have grown quicker and been more profitable quicker had I have just done everything and worked ridiculous hours (mmm, I don’t know) but it certainly wouldn’t have been the business I am so incredibly proud of now. Thank you so much for sharing your story xxx