Almost three years ago to the day I woke up to the fact that I wanted something different than just ‘more, bigger, better’.
I had achieved my ultimate business goal in terms of numbers, mastered the art of marketing and passive income generation and more and bigger didn’t hit the spot.
So I decided maybe it was ‘better’ I needed to take a look at and I created this very first post for the Simplicity Project.
However as my journey unfolded from that point, I decided that it was WHAT I was doing that might be the problem – I needed a new project to add to JigsawBox.
Any of you who follow this blog will know that ‘What shall I do?’ became my burning question.
And when I saw the title of the book ‘Clarity’ by Jamie Smart, I thought ‘this will answer the question’ and devoured it from cover to cover.
I had no fucking idea what he was on about (sorry Jamie).
But then a memory sparked for me that Jamie had worked with Michael Neill as his mentor (someone I had followed back in my NLP days but lost touch with) and I went to look him up.
I saw he had a new book, the Inside Out Revolution so to find out more about what he was teaching I read that one.
I had no fucking idea what he was on about (sorry Michael).
Then I read that Michael’s mentor had been George Pransky, so I google him, found The Relationship Handbook and read that one. (I love to read books to get a sense of a person, in case you hadn’t realised).
I had no fucking idea what he was on about (sorry George).
But through reading the books I managed to end up on their mailing lists and when the invitation came out for a training on ‘Building a Successful Three Principles Business’, I thought, ‘that could be my new thing’ and signed up. With no understanding of what these Three Principles might be but I assumed they would be three step-by-step strategies I could coach people around in this new thing I was going to create.
I didn’t know what I was signing up for, I just knew that despite having no fucking idea what any of them were on about, there was something there for me.
That’s how I was introduced to the Three Principles, and the rest, as they say, is history.
But the quest for the answer to ‘What shall I do?’ continued.
(Even though what I was actually doing what learning about the Principles and sharing what I was seeing.)
I got into food, I fell in love with cupcakes, I created coaching programs, tried retirement (lasted about a day), helped the Hunger Project out, applied for a job in their New York office (!) continued to work on JigsawBox, tried yoga teacher training and nutrition training, kept surfing local charity sites looking for a ‘real’ job – all trying to find the thing.
If you have had a conversation with me in the last 3 years, you will know that somehow I will always manage to get the conversation round to the ‘What should I do next?’ topic.
It has filled my head and driven me barmy. I kind of thought understanding the Three Principles would help me get clarity on it but it didn’t. (Well, a bit every now and again).
That’s a total lie.
In all the time I’ve been trying to work out what to do, I have posted 118 blog posts here and run numerous coaching program and intensives.
And worked with Michael Neill, Robin Charbit and Ken Manning, Barb Patterson and George and Linda Pransky.
My Simplicity Circle is up to over 80 members right now and my coaching intensives are booked solid with clients until the end of the year.
Oh and I have a book coming out soon too.
With so little effort, it doesn’t seem like I’ve been ‘working’ on anything:)
For the last three years I’ve flirted with the idea of making a clean break from JigsawBox to create the space for this new unknown thing.
But because I wasn’t certain what it was, and because I’d poured so much time, energy and love into my JigsawBoxers, I always backed off at the last moment.
Then one day I woke up and I just knew it was time.
On Monday I signed the papers and JigsawBox got a wonderful new owner.
It was 9.24am.
For 29 minutes then an email arrived.
It was from Sophie at The Hunger Project asking me to call her about an idea she had.
“I saw your cakes you’ve been posting and I know you’ve always wanted to get more involved in the Hunger Project – we’ve got this idea for a cooking/baking challenge to be held at at premier kitchen in London with high profile entrepreneurial women doing some kind of bake-off, while at the same time selling tickets for their friends to come watch them and network with some other amazing business women as we raise funds and awareness for the Hunger Project. Would you help us run the project?”
‘Work for the Hunger Project’ has been on my New Year’s Resolution list for the past 5 years.
Five years ago I was massively into money and wealth creation and attended a workshop where one of the attendees recommended a book: The Soul of Money.
Had I not been totally money-obsessed, that would not have happened.
That book touched me profoundly and I fell in love with the work at the Hunger Project from that moment as they focus on women as the backbone of their communities and as the means to ending chronic hunger.
I have been a global sponsor, helped them run events and taken part in their Live Below the Line and A Day In Her Food campaigns, but have never been able to contribute as much as I’d like to – but I did what I could and that’s how Sophie got to know me.
As a result of wanting to focus on ‘more and bigger’, I had learned every single marketing strategy in the book – I thought for the benefit of my own bank balance, but suddenly with Sophie’s phone-call I realised – all this knowledge I have about speaking to people in a language they resonate with, getting people to take action, reaching them where they are on social media – how cool would that knowledge be for this Hunger Project project?
What I’ve learned in business that means sales conversations are easy for me and that I don’t give a shit if you say ‘no’, I’m not afraid to ask – that’s got to stand me in good stead.
All that cake baking that I told myself off for because ‘there’s no money in it’ and ‘it’s evil because it’s full of sugar’ – if it hadn’t been for that, Sophie wouldn’t have asked me to run a food-based challenge. Which is good because if she’d asked me to support the Mud Run, it would not have caught my interest at all.
And what’s really cool is my understanding of the Principles means that even though I have absolutely no idea how to make this thing happen – I’ve never done anything like this before in my life, chances are ideas will come through me just at the point I need them. Ones I haven’t thought of, can’t think of yet, because they don’t exist as ideas today but will next week.
(If you are connected to any high profile entrepreneurial women, in fact high-achieving women in any area (I’m thinking Theresa May), know anyone in TV, media, event management or baking that might be helpful for me to talk to, pleeeese help me out here and be a part of the project by emailing me!!)
And…. THIS IS THE COOLEST THING OF ALL ABOUT THIS WHOLE STORY.
Three years I spent in a head-fuck trying my best to figure out what to do next.
And all the time it was being taken care of.
Three years it took me to follow that tiny quiet voice that urged me to move on from JigsawBox.
And the moment I did (well, 29 minutes after I did), the next thing showed up.
It couldn’t have showed up three years ago, I hadn’t got my understanding of the Principles, my cake baking or food photography skills under my belt by then.
I hadn’t yet truly seen that my income and well-being are unrelated (a good thing to see if you want to do more work for charity).
I needed to have three years of what looked like random experimentation and life experience to create all the pieces of the puzzle to bring me to this moment.
What was probably completely unnecessary was the three years of head-fuck, sleepless nights and journal entries trying to figure it all out with my little mind that went with them.
The answer just hadn’t arrived yet.
But it was being taken care of.
It always is.