I'm preparing for a talk I am giving tomorrow at a Women Into Business conference in the UK. I am the keynote speaker so I need to make sure that I kick-start the conference on the right note. There are going to be ninety women there and all keen to start, or who are thinking about starting, their own business. Of course there are people around who think that now is not a good time to be doing so, but I started my own marketing and training company in the UK in 1992 three days before Black Wednesday when interest rates hit 15 per cent. They came down a little after that but they were still very high at between 8-12 percent for some time. The UK also then had nearly three million unemployed and many people were in a negative equity situation with regards to their homes - so if that wasn't bad then I don't know what was.
There's nothing new in all this gloom and doom scenario that we hear so much of today. We go through cycles of boom and bust, good times and bad times and you can always make excuses not to do something because it isn't the right time. There never seems to be a right time. I thought if I could make a success of my business in a recession (some newspapers were even calling it a slump) then I could certainly succeed when things got better. And they did.
I never regretted it and I have never looked back. It was the best thing I ever did. I ran the marketing and training company until 2003, and my small publishing business from 1998 until 2008 when earlier this year I sold the business and motivational books to Crimson Publishing who are going to re-package and re-brand them and launch them in 2009. I am now on a new career path as a full-time writer of mainly crime and thriller novels and have recently been commissioned to write a murder mystery play. I love my new career. Writing is my passion. Life is too short not to have a go at the things you really want to do. Admittedly, you make mistakes, everyone does, I've had my fair share of them and will continue to do so, but learning from your mistakes is one way of growing.
Tomorrow I want to encourage the audience to step out of their comfort zones, to embrace change and not be afraid of it; to be creative and always look for new ideas and new opportunities. To be passionate about what they do. To persist and not listen to those who will always tell them that they can't do something, or that they're bound to fail. And most important of all to enjoy what they do. If you stop enjoying something then it is time to stop doing it. Tomorrow should be a lively and entertaining day and I'm greatly looking forward to it.