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So I Met This Woman in a Pub...

April 25, 2019

So I Met This Woman in a Pub...

I did.

Okay, so we'd arranged it, but the call to do so came out of the blue and last night, we met in the pub.

If I back track a bit, you'll know that I have this theory for midlife women, that there's a time between 40-65 when you can star a "Power Decade", ten years of your life where you can achieve your very own dreams and ambitions.   Kids have left home, parents may not need you (sorry about the subtext), but you've still got the energy to fulfill your dreams and keep that passion running into your sixties. 

In short if, like me, you spent much of your thirties and forties compromising on what you wanted from life (not unwillingly) as you raised a family/cared for others, this is your window of opportunity for life you want.  It's a decade to set you up to achieve exactly what you want, whatever you want.  So that's the first bit.

The second bit is that I don't think midlife women realise what an amazing opportunity online is for them.  It's partly because the technology moves so fast that not all of us are as savvy as we'd like about what's out there or how it works, but it's pretty simple and for me, your own online shop is fantastic.  It can fit around your life, you can do it whenever, you control your marketplace and it can bring in a well needed income.  In short, it can be incredibly fulfilling work wise and give you the money to do what you want. 

Anyway, Nettie called me out of the blue to say that I knew her husband (I do, we do voluntary work together) and he'd told her that I help women set up businesses.  Now, I don't (yet), but I do want to launch a TOYL Business School next year for women who want to get into business online but need a bit of hand holding to do so.  In other words, Nettie agreed to be my guinea pig and so we met in the pub.

Nettie is lovely.  She's late 40's and has worked while bringing her kids up.  She's perfect for me to help, so I ask her what she wants to do as an online store.

"Embroidery.  I can't seem to find what I want online and the checkout's are really tough to navigate when you do," she said.

Okay, I thought, embroidery is a great hobby, I did it as a kid when Nana bought me one of those kits.

"It's also part of mindfulness, these days," she said, and I totally got that.  In fact, I'd been listening to a radio piece about an embroiderer who uses Grime Music as her subject matter, so it's clearly on trend.  Lovely, embroidery kits, there's definitely a market.

However.

Nettie then began to talk about her work restoring tapestries in Historic Houses, how our local Arundel Festival has asked her to decorate the outside of one of the main buildings with textiles and the commissions she's done.  I looked at her website HERE and no, Nettie is not an amateur embroiderer, she trained at the Royal College of Needlework and her pieces are extraordinary.  Have a look as I've never seen anything like them before.  What an incredible talent she is!

But.

Nettie does what most women do.  She was quite surprised when I was in awe of her work and terribly modest.  Now, why do we dismiss our achievements?  I used to do the same, but I was actively trained out of it by a mentor as it is counterproductive to what I want to achieve in my life.  We've got to stop this.  We're the fastest growing demographic in the world!

Anyway.

Nettie's been sent off with a check list of what she needs to do for this month to get going.  She's making 4-6 videos of her work or work she wants to talk about so when she launches we can use these on social media, opening a business bank account, signing up for her online store 30 day trial so she can play with the site, sorting out exactly what she wants to sell and considering her pricing.  I thought that was enough for month one.  I hope I've helped her a bit.

The thing is, if I didn't do voluntary work in the community, I'd never have met Nettie's husband and so never have met Nettie.  Her timing was perfect as I wanted a guinea pig for my business course.  I know, we could talk the Universe at work here but I tell you get into volunteering and soon.  To me, it's as essential as exercise because it widens your world and opens you to new people, viewpoints and ideas.  You will see things you'd never have seen otherwise, good and bad,  you will learn more about yourself and you will stay open to "new" in this ever-changing world.  As Roald Dahl said "Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

Let's see how Nettie gets on next month.