I recently completed a course with the Shaw Academy studying social media marketing and I’ve been asked by so many of you who it was with. I thought I’d do a little piece on them today because they have helped my business take off so much.
I started blogging last year, at the end of Sep 2020, what a year it was! I had had ten years of experience as a chef and I guess I was having a little crisis of conscience. After spending years working for independent businesses, making the owners loads of cash I thought to myself there has to be more to life than this…
I’d got stuck in a mundane routine, everyday was the same, I worked bank holidays, weekends, late nights, early mornings. They only upside was having some savings so I could go and travel on my time off. I got to see some of the world with my son, Thomas.
Determined to make a difference and thinking maybe I just feel empty because I’m making myself and someone else money, I wasn’t really doing anything else. So I decided to try and help people and got a job working in a care home as a Cook.
It was completely different to what I was used to and the staff did not like me from the get go. They weren’t interested in fancy dinning, or my skills, in fact I think that made them dislike me even more. My ego took a bit of a dent, but slowly I realised that they wanted me to have a heart.
I began to slowly win them over, it was like an uphill battle, they always suspected the worse and at times it was exhausting. In my heart I am a good person and I didn’t understand why they were giving me such a tough time. I’d taken a huge cut in my pay to be there and help them…
Then came the pandemic. All of a sudden people were calling in sick, quitting, not turning up to work. I turned up everyday, put on my mask, quietly, and got to work. Then we got Covid 19 in the care home, people started dying (older careers included) it was truly terrifying.
So I kept working until August, the first spike had gone down in the UK, I thought it was over, I wanted to forget about the worst 6 months of my working life and I applied for a random job in sales.
I started working there for 100% commission and was classed as self employed for the first time. Initially it sounded tempting, but then I started working 12 hour days, I was training and learning on the job, I was studying sales on my day off. I was working around the clock trying to make money, sometimes I would make nothing. It was horrifying. So I quit.
In the space of 7 months I’d gone from being the top of my game in the kitchen to quitting two jobs and having to live on my hard earned savings to get me through the second spike of Covid 19 in the UK.
So, I sat down, assessed my skills and I wrote down what I wanted. It looked a little something like this:
To spend time with my kids
My own business
To help people.
I stared at this list for a long time. I kept thinking to myself how on earth is this all possible. If I want to be a stay at home mum and take my kids to school everyday how will I have the time to start a business. If I want to make money, how can I help people?
They all seemed like contradicting factors to me. I can have one, without the other….
I started scrolling on Facebook and I saw this inspirational quote and it said something like:
That was it, the light bulb moment. The moment I realised I was going to have to make my own business. So I started a blog, with the intention of turning it into a business, did I get some stick for it? Yep.
In all honesty I didn’t know if it would work or not. I kept watching Youtube videos and reading other blogs that said it takes 12-18 months to make a full time wage, if you’re lucky. I thought to myself that can’t be right, there must be a quicker way.
I had very little cash left to start my business, but it turns out I didn’t need that much so it sounded perfect.
I bought my blog domain on WordPress for £18 and I got to work. Did I know what I was going to blog about? Not really, did I have an idea what my business was going to be about? Not really, I just started blogging about every topic I could.
I thought to myself, I’ll let my audience decide…
Turns out, when I eventually decided to hone down on a niche, that’s when I started to make money but first there was a lot of learning…
I decided to invest in some social media training. So I took a course with the Shaw Academy. I’d seen a few but this one seemed reasonably priced at £49.99 per month and I like the website, it was easy to use.
The Shaw Academy offer courses in all sorts of topics such as:
I like them because they record the lessons so you can fit it around your life. For me I had two kids, one a hyper active toddler that was refusing to sleep, so when she eventually conked out at 12 pm I could begin studying.
In all honesty I’m not sure how I’ve crammed everything in in just five months, there is so much to learn about blogging, but being able to study this around my life was amazing.
Social Media Marketing has helped me to grow multiple social media platforms and ultimatley help me to grow much faster. I wouldn’t be where I am now without this course and I think it would be useful to any business.
There’s even an option to sign up to a years worth of content with a subscription and study as much content as you’d like across a whole range of topics.
Whatever business you’re planning there is something for everyone.
I wouldn’t of had the confidence to go for it as much as I have without the Shaw academy, so I’m writing this article as a thank you for their course.
Five months down the line, after a lot of learning, hard work, tenacity and stubborn determination, I’ve started making money, but more importantly I can check the stuff off my check list:
Being creative. Check.
My own business. Check.
Spending time with my kids. Check.
Helping people. Check.
After last year I am feeling truly blessed to be where I am. If you’re thinking about blogging or starting an online business, my advice? Get some training first and then go for it.
Don’t forget to stick around on my blog for more tips on blogging and business…
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