I was inspired to write a quick blog post on this subject whilst stumbling across a lovely blog titled “British Cream Tea” run by a lady called Ouissi, who teaches her readers to stitch and make felt cakey creations amongst other gems.
Her latest blog post was titled “The 3 reasons why I am not doing this alone” and she talks about how in business, you are advised to surround yourself by a great team, but as a sole trader or lone worker, this could sound preposterous and very expensive in time and money, not to mention those scary (in my mind as a fairly new business) changes to your business as a result.
One thing that Ouissi does touch on is that this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, as the people you surround yourself with could in fact be friends & family who help and support you and your business.
It got me thinking, as I have recently started to work for myself on a more permanent basis, not only do I love the freedom, but I love the support network around me too. I certainly don’t work alone.
Just some of the people I do have around me are as follows:
Even if I get annoyed with him from time to time(!), he has helped me from day one. I can’t EVER thank him enough for his support, his patience and his ideas & thoughts. If I get an idea (Which I get at least 10 a day!) I always waffle them at him and he tells me which ones are absurd and which are do-able! He also helped me recently to put together my own home office together, spending a morning in Ikea with me and then putting all the flatpack stuff together, he is a saint, most of the time! – Who needs a handyman?!
Both of my parents have very much supported me from the start too, they tune into each radio show I get involved in, they come to my events and they are always picking up books and props for my afternoon tea table. My dad has even gone on the hunt of the ONE item I cant get hold of anywhere and looks everywhere he can, no doubt he will beat me to finding it on his mission. Again, I can’t thank them both enough – Who needs buyers and admin support when your family enjoy getting involved?!
Jamie & Deepa
Deepa came to my VERY first “Secluded Tea Party” event and we’ve become good friends since, I love her to bits and we often catch up at our favourite tea spots to gossip over a hot cuppa. Her husband Jamie (at “A Nice Cuppa“) has been equally supportive and has recently designed my new logo and website and he is beyond patient with me when I ruin it behind the scenes, he politely puts it back together again for me, no doubt cursing my name as he does it hehe – Who needs an IT support team when you have a freelancer who completely gets you?!
Alice Ryan is my editor at the Cambridgeshire Journal Magazine and she gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, to become a columnist for this fabulously local magazine (and more recently for the Cambridge Evening News Food section) after meeting for a photo shoot in my early days. Alice is always spreading the Miss Sue Flay love and she has been there for me for years, professionally and personally. I don’t know how many people can say that about their editor, but she is a good girl, she truly is – Who needs co-workers when you have the support of other professionals surrounding you?!
When you crave a coffee break and there is no physical water cooler to hang around your home office, look no further than Twitter for some much needed support. To name but a few Twitter friends who have kept me sane, supported my endeavors and even become “real life” friends: Lynn Hill, Julie Green, The Kandula Ladies, Cat Roscoe, William Hanson, Vhari Russell, Dorothy Wood, Lucie Marina, Nora, Ireena, Rachel, Mr Kite, Tom & Lina, Debbie, ReeRee, Katherine, Emma Furness, Lisa Garwood and so many more!
Not forgetting the local hashtag that is #CambsHour… It provides weekly support for local business and I think it’s fantastic to network and surround yourself with new contacts as you connect – Who needs desk buddies when you have these guys at the tips of your fingers and in town for a physical catch up when you need or fancy meeting each other?!
I now teach baking lessons in your own home, all based around afternoon tea, as well as afternoon tea etiquette lessons both at John Lewis and virtually via webcam should you be further afield!
Without my students (or my customers) I wouldn’t have a business, I wouldn’t be inteacting with anybody, I would literally be throwing my laptop out of my third storey window in frustration – Who needs customers?… Well, we all do ; )
Who supports you whilst you work “alone”?…
Miss Sue Flay