12 months on – was it worth the gamble? Absolutely.
Is it easy? No.
Do I love it? Yes.
Is it challenging? Every day.
How would I describe it? A rollercoaster.
I was very naïve when I first started Freckles, I thought with some hard work and a few long days everything would come together; business would grow and the money would role in. I didn’t realise how mentally challenging and exhausting it would be. There are many things I’ve done that I would do differently and many things I wish someone would have told me before (although I’m not necessarily sure I would have listened!).
The past 12 months have been a huge journey both personally and professionally. Freckles has grown from strength to strength and we have placed a record 36 Kayas to date (a number I never dreamed of when we first launched). We have introduced Emotional Wellbeing training for our Kayas, developed a comprehensive training program, established clients in Kent and Surrey as well as Bath and Bristol and launched our Emotional Wellbeing Series of talks, securing some amazing speakers. And yet there are many more plans coming along. We are looking at rebranding, a name change, website developments, price changes, employment changes – the list goes on.
Personally I have learnt a lot about what makes me tick and what I find challenging.
I find it so hard not to compare myself to others, which is never a good trait as you constantly feel like a failure. Action – let’s shelve this one.
I find it hard to take time out and keep perspective. I get so engrossed in the details and day to day running that I can’t see the big picture. Action - I’m going to take a day a week to work on our growth strategy and enable me to take Freckles forward.
I need external support, someone objective and big thinking to get me out of the nitty gritty and into the big picture. Action – get a mentor.
But that all said and done - I love my job, I love families, I adore children, I think solving problems is awesome but it’s hard, it’s mentally exhausting, I learn so much every day (I genuinely didn’t think it was possible to learn as much as I have done in the last year!) but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am passionate about families and am a huge advocate for mental health.
However, some days I still cry. I still bawl. I still question why I'm doing this. I still wonder (possibly less frequently) why I don’t just get a regular job. But I always get back to the point (it can take a while) where I know why I am doing this. Why? Because Freckles is changing the childcare market, Freckles is solving childcare problems, Freckles is changing views on mental health. And just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it and if it was easy then it wouldn’t be a challenge and where would be the fun in that!
I’m still here, still going and I have no intention of stopping any time soon! Roll on the next 12 months, I for one am excited for the crazy journey! And remember Jo, it’s not about being the best but it’s about being better than you were yesterday.