Most of my blog post revolve around me and my travels but I didn’t want my blog to be just about physical journeys. I wanted it to be about life journeys to show people that no matter what your goals are in life, its your life journey that will get you to your goal destination. Me and Amy met on a business platform on a social site and she honestly inspired me so much that I couldn’t wait to hear her story!
The thing with life is it can chuck you so many curve balls that you can easily take you off track, but Amy is a hard working woman who wanted what’s best for her and her family. She knew the only way to do it was to put herself in control and that’s just what she did! Now at the top of her game as a Virtual Assistant (VA) she’s living her life and following her own path to success. It tells you that even when you’re at your lowest, if you have the will power and determination, you can make your own road to success because lets face it, following the beaten track is boring anyway!
Amy’s journey has got her at the top of game. She now has her own website theamyjohnson.com and has even given her hand at blogging, her writing is amazing and I can’t wait to see where her journey takes her! I’ll be following her work to see where she ends up. I know she’ll get far, her drive is amazing, her energy to her work is outstanding and I know she has the motivation to grow as far as she wants.
Without further ado check out Amy’s post below as she tells us about how she came to be the woman she is whilst running the business she does. Don’t forget to check out her work on her website here.
Hello! You may not know me but my name is Amy and I am a tea addict with a penchant for rom coms and punk music. I’m a 36 year old mum of 1 who decided, without warning, to start my own business earlier this year.
What does this have to do with travel I hear you ask; after all Roannes blog is all about travel? You see Roanne and I connected in the online world and we quickly discovered that not all travel is about seeing new countries, sometimes we go on a different sort of journey.
I have always been a secret career girl but buying a house at 20, getting married at 21, having a baby at 22 and then filing for divorce and losing our home by 26 was a sure fire way to hide that light under a bushel. The truth is by the time I was ‘ready’ to really achieve, I was in my 30s and a single mum. I was lucky though, I have always had great support from my family and they are all slightly bohemian types that understand that success is different for everyone. I worked well in some pretty awesome places and was soon heading up the customer service department in a construction company. I was, I thought where I wanted to be however, I still wasn’t feeling satisfied.
I had no idea why I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t exactly unhappy either. I just knew that I always felt a little like I was hitting my head against a brick wall, all whilst lining someone else’s pockets. This period of my life lasted from around 2015 through to 2017/18. I would call it my period of discontent but it would probably be over stating it. Simply put, I felt like I was sleep walking through life and was headed nowhere.
Over the last few years though, other things started to change. The dreaded referendum to leave the EU came and went with a flurry of hype and a whole lot of nothing, I became poorly – I had an abnormal cervical smear which has plagued me ever since and I also got diagnosed with PCOS and massively out of whack hormones. I also changed companies with the promise of something greater.
I met someone too! I mean who wouldn’t want to meet their person whilst having your nethers poked and prodded on the regular by the hospital, sporting facial hair growth and massive weight gain due to PCOS and becoming increasingly frustrated in the career/job/company you were in. You know what Marilyn said about if he can’t deal with me at my worst…To make a long story short I knew something had to change I really did, this journey I had been on had to be leading me somewhere and I was so done with it feeling like walking through tar.
The final straw came over this last year, in October 2017 I was happily washing up my lasagna dish when it broke and sliced through my right hand severing 2 tendons, an artery and the nerve running up my middle finger. I had to have an operation straight away and wasn’t allowed to work for almost three months. It was horrible and glorious all at the same time.
For obvious reasons, I didn’t love the physical element of this injury but my company sick pay helped and I was able to get a little clarity (that’s where the glorious part comes in!), I knew I no longer wanted my role but I wasn’t sure what to do about that as I really loved the stable income, especially with private renting and a hungry 13 year old to mother.
When I returned to work in the January of this year I knew I would need two further surgeries on my hand and tried to discuss my options with my immediate boss however, lovely though she was, unbeknown to me she was planning on leaving in the February and I felt I had to stay and live with the status quo for the time being. The company I was in tried to help where they could but it was not enough for me. I was acutely aware that I was replaceable and my level of security waned with every physio appointment and every early morning and late night.
If you have ever been in that position, a role that doesn’t satisfy you but you feel stuck in, then you will know you begin to become a little resentful and a lot frustrated. This was no different for me and as a huge advocate of self-development this is what I focused on. I read book after book, did webinar after webinar and finally in April 2018, whilst I had some annual leave to spend with my son during school holidays, I listened to an audio book that changed the way I looked at myself and my life forever I cannot overstate the impact this had on me then and now. Mrs Rachel Hollis and Girl Wash Your Face, have a lot to answer for and it is all good.
I finally admitted to myself that there were a few things on my mind.
- I no longer enjoyed the work I did and I would not do it as well as my own code would allow because of it.
- I was no longer eligible for company sick pay so I would get into debt during the recovery periods of my next two surgeries when signed off. This was terrifying (my partner and I don’t live together and being a single mum on a single salary with no additional financial support I did not have a nest egg to fall back on)
- I hated having my hands tied by corporate policy and being limited to what and who I was contractually allowed to support.
- If anyone was going to make things better for me it was going to have to be me and only me. After all I am the master of my own ship.
It. Blew. My. Mind.
The day I returned to work after annual leave I unintentionally informed my interim manager of these feelings and whilst we did look into other alternatives I ended up handing in my notice. On May 20th I officially became self-employed and it was the most exciting and right feeling I had had in a long time!
My journey started long before I ever realised it. Now I have my own Virtual Assistant business with 3 regular clients and a number of ad –hoc ones. I spread my skills over multiple businesses, industries and am in the unique position to be able to support them all. The single biggest problem I had getting from point A to point B was all about 1 thing. Putting too much stock in what other people believed was the done thing and my reaction to that.
When I came to the realisation that nobody would care about my future as much as me, my dreams as much as me, my career and business and health and wellness as much as me, then I began to peel away the authority I had given the rest of the world over my life. The crazy thing is it has taken me 36 years to realise that they don’t even want the responsibility of my life, they might have a fleeting thought about what I am doing but that’s exactly what it is in the grand scheme of things. Fleeting.
My journey has been about self discovery, self acceptance and building my dreams. The most awesome thing about that is that not only is it ever evolving, it can really take me anywhere. I mean that in both literal and figurative terms. Multi 6 figures and Bali are both on my list for the next 2 years!
My business is designed so that I can work from anywhere with a decent internet connection and with the businesses who resonate with me and need my support the most. I hope that the next guest blog I write for Roanne will be from some exotic location I can tell you all about as I sit there, laptop in one hand helping my clients smash their goals and mojito in the other enjoying the blessings that this journey of mine has afforded me!