Pivotal Moments

In creative writing, they teach you that you should always ‘drop your reader in the middle of the action’. So when I decided to write my business memoir ‘A Better Entrepreneur’ I endeavoured to do just that.

I dropped you in my living room in Kensal Rise just as the younger Nicola was standing in a ray of sunlight, one baby asleep upstairs and one cooking inside.  She was in the middle of having an existential crisis about why she was such a failure at business, minutes before she had a bolt-of-lightning revelation that was to change her life forever!

I allowed myself twenty-five chapters in that book, but because I wanted to include a lesson learned along the way, one after each chapter, there were many experiences I had to leave out.

The fun, early stuff were the experiences that made me the woman I was, for good or ill, standing in that ray of sunshine, about to be struck by that bolt of lightning.

You could argue that I would never have BEEN struck by that bolt of lightning if I had NOT had those early experiences.

In business, there’s a popular saying that goes “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

Before that moment in the living room in Kensal Rise I had already:

* Survived the sudden disappearance of my mother at the age of 6

* Lived in Wales and Scotland

* Bought a house with my best friend for £27,500 at the age of 19 (now worth £525,000)

* Lived in about 20 houses by the time I was twenty (my mother reappeared reincarnated as a property entrepreneur)

* Talked my way into Art College as a mature student.

* Survived my mother's subsequent second psychotic break, leaving me looking after two bewildered siblings and a houseful of tenants.  Yes, that's where she'd been the first time.

* Put myself through Art College by selling stunning (but fragile) New Romantic waistcoats made of old curtains bought at local junk shops.  1000% plus profit margin (just don't put them in the washing machine)

* Organised and hosted a fashion show at the Escape Club Brighton, bringing together about 20 of the high fashion designers and shops, with live models on a catwalk, DJs and Creole food.

* Sewn stage jackets for The Pasadena’s (remember ‘Riding On A Train’?)

* Started an award-nominated house & garage record label Esoteric Records with my then-husband, releasing four critically acclaimed compilation albums..

* Managed an American garage DJ/Producer team, 95 North, who played Ministry Of Sound.

* Delivered my first baby Phoebe underwater with no painkillers, using the Leboyer Method, in Hammersmith Hospital overlooking Wormwood Scrubs.  A miracle I was about to repeat in three months time...

* Learned how to trade stocks and shares from scratch in the days before the internet.

And still, there I stood, having achieved so much but still feeling like a failure.

Which I was, in financial terms.

Does any of this sound familiar?

However long you’ve been in business, how do you feel about how it’s been going?

Is there a moment, a pivotal moment, when you look back and think ‘There’s what happened BEFORE that time and AFTER that time!’

I would love to hear about your pivotal moment!

Helen Pritchard, who inspired this post with her own story of where she was in 2017 and how much has happened since, says “It’s such a good exercise to look back and review instead of always looking forward and ‘what’s next’ and feeling frustrated with where you are…when I write this list I can only imagine what 2017 me would have said if I said that’s what’s going to happen for you next”.

So true. When I look back on the person standing in that living room, I think it’s a miracle what happened next.

It’s also a miracle that I had no idea what was going to happen next. I don’t know what I’d have done if I’d known what was to come!

I wonder, would I have been excited enough about the good bits to be able to face the bad? Because there have been some very bad bits.

I like to think I would have been.

At the very least, the people I have met along the way have been amazing and contributed so much to my personal growth.  People who have become friends for life.  

Was it T.Harv Ecker that said "The best reason to set a goal to become a millionaire is for the people you'll meet and the things you will learn along the way!"

So true!

What about you?  

Have the fun and exciting bits of your business journey been enough to outweigh the tough times, the times when you didn't know what to do?

Drop me in the middle of your action!

Photo by Raden Prasetya on Unsplash


Business, channelling, entrepreneur, epiphany, insight, lightning bolt, pivotal moments, turning point

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