Being made redundant: from financial services to Story Mama
As Debbie approaches and celebrates the 1st birthday of her business, Story Mama, she reflects on the emotions leading up to leaving her busy corporate life and starting her own business.
Once upon a time there was a corporate career girl attempting to manage a full time role in 4 days and a small child. She worked in financial services and whilst she loved her team and the challenge, she felt guilty all the time. Guilty when she was at work that someone else was looking after her child, guilty when she was at home that there was still stuff to be done in the office.
When a redundancy became available, she jumped at the opportunity with mixed emotions, but was determined to make it life changing and to truly crack the flexible working and work from home challenge. Redundancy is often a difficult situation, as it bangs up your self esteem, messes with your head and takes you way out of your comfort zone. However, it can also be a blessing. This is because it gives you an amazing opportunity to re-evaluate how you are living your life, and somehow gives you permission to try something else.
It was during this time, the girl was getting frustrated when buying picture books for her child and his little friends, that information about age suitability was limited and she couldn’t get her hands on some helpful top 10 lists – like the best 10 books for a 2 year old. She hated ordinary picture books and just wanted to be able to identify the great ones.
So… with a giant leap of faith, a supportive family, a little bit of mentoring, and a handful of capital, she started writing a business case…. to cement the dream in her own head and to see whether the idea stacked up… and what do you know, it did!
It was out of the ashes of my financial services career that Story Mama was born. We stock just the best picture books, recommended by mums and loved by little kids.
My small business adventure has been a massive learning curve so far, but I am loving the challenge. We will be celebrating our first birthday in early December. It’s amazing and completely empowering to have built a brand, a business and new career.
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