I was checking something on the Companies House website yesterday and a familiar name popped up. It was a guy who in the late 1980s had worked in a similar sales role to me, but for a competitor to my then employer. He now has his own company, which is why he popped up in my search result. . . . .
It’s so good to see a social enterprise I founded six years ago diversify and use its recruitment expertise to do more than just help people hire apprentices. Swarm-Be is I think going to be a huge success
You may be reluctant to drop a fiver in a collecting tin, but you'll happily spend it on coffee and cake in a community owned cafe.
I was at Friends House on Tuesday, attending a meeting organised by the Plunkett Foundation. The subject was the huge opportunity that exists for community businesses to be located within places of worship. Finding premises is the biggest barrier people find when trying to establish a community business, yet every village has at least one church.
Rotational burning is an established practice on manged moorland. As they age, heather plants become tough and lose their palatability. A controlled burn takes away the old growth, leaving space for new more tender young plants to take their place. It’s what my career has needed for some time and now I’ve struck the match.
There's plenty of evidence to show that after a stressful period in our lives, we become addicted to cortisol, the hormone that powers us to 'fight or take flight' when in danger. Being stressed becomes the new normal and we unwittingly put ourselves under unnecessary pressure to maintain what has become our new equilibrium. It's probably why I drink industrial volumes of coffee each day.
In the summer of 2020 I will pass my 65th birthday, and also I hope, have a freshly printed MA in Creative Non-Fiction tucked under my arm. It will be my first experience of university life and will see me make the transition from social entrepreneur to biographer.
But now with just six months before I become a full time student, the pace of my work has shown no sign of slowing. I’ve continued to be hopelessly addicted to solving those enterprise conundrums that get in the way of good people striving to make life better for others. Some have even doubted my ability to make the transition to student, then later, to full time writer.
I too have had my doubts. But over the past week, things have somehow changed. I have lost the urge to jump in to solve other people’s challenges. I have also discovered how easy it is to say no, because pro-bono work was threatening to fill the creative time I’m trying to create. My body and my mind are telling me that the time really has come to make that change.
I’m lucky in that I no longer need to work to earn money. So the problem has I guess been one of confidence. Will my chosen career change will deliver the social impact by which I now measure my success? But now I know that the skills that have made me a successful social entrepreneur will also make me a successful non-fiction author. I’ve written 19 books already, but never given any one of them the time they deserve to truly change the word.
The next 18 months are going to be both interesting and exciting. Watch this space!
Every now and then you meet someone so transparently authentic, it forces you to question your own values. Am I really spending my time being the person I need to be, or I am still sacrificing vision for the comfort of familiar routines?
I visited Canary Wharf this week for a meeting. As usual, it was crowded with people purposefully striding from one place to another. There were none of the dawdling old folk you find in your local high street. Docklands is a young persons world; most were aged under 50.