On Christmas morning 1999, I woke up with the buzz of anticipation that Father Christmas had visited. Usually, I would wake and see a few presents stacked at the end of my bed. Instead, I noticed the trail of tinsel running from the foot of my bed, out my door and down the hallway. I followed the tinsel along the corridor to the utility room, the excitement brimming. There I found my first pet; a small lopped ear rabbit with dappled brown and black fur. His name became Flopsy.
The rabbit I found on Christmas day was the first of many rabbits that lived as part of the Edmunds household. My hobby quickly turned into a full-time operation after I asked the question, ‘Where do baby bunnies come from?’. One Flopsy turned into several Flopsys and I became a bunny breeding expert; I can still remember the excitement and pride I felt when I discovered my first litter of kittens*, huddled in a nest of soft fur and hay.
I started my second business when I was 19. As a teenager, I had lost interest in animals and turned my attention towards psychology, health and people. I completed my first Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) course and soon after, with the same enthusiasm and determination as I had for my rabbit business, I launched a coaching service for students. I had a little financial support and a three-day business crash course from my University, which supported me in my first adult business venture. However, I discovered challenges with my product and market and uncovered limiting beliefs that stopped me from progressing.
For business number three, I utilised my health knowledge and fitness qualifications to package my coaching up as a personal training business. I had more fun with this one; I understood my target audience, overcame limiting beliefs and I was coaching regularly. Unfortunately, I quickly became disillusioned by the online fitness industry, demoralised by the butt workouts and Instagram world of 20-something personal trainers all doing the same thing as I was. Valuing enjoyment over image, I knew that personal training wasn’t going to be a lasting business for me.
With business number 4, I have the same buzz of excitement that I had when I was 5 years old. Get Unstuck feels natural. I have learnt from my previous businesses and have a better understanding of myself and a strong belief that I can make this business exactly what I want it to be. I am fortunate to be in this position because of the successes and failures of my previous businesses.
I have developed with three guiding principles that are helpful as I am developing Get Unstuck:
2. Do what brings enjoyment.
3. Learning is a key business activity.
Very typical business advice - most business owners and blogs will have something similar to say. Except 6 years ago, on business start-up number 2, I wouldn’t have valued these principles as I do now, focusing instead on time wasting activities that didn’t bring me joy. It is only with reflection on the past that I can learn and identify what is important to guide my current enterprise.
Maybe, you will draw something of value from my experiences. It is more likely, you’ll forget what I have written and find the guiding principles that will work for your life - they will be much better than mine. If you get stuck along your way, please remember this article and know that I specialise in getting people unstuck.
*kittens – the name for baby rabbits
Abbie Edmunds delivers performance consulting to individuals and businesses. Contact Abbie at firstname.lastname@example.org.