Building My Own Business.
Updated: Jun 2
A little backstory...
2018 was an extremely unusual year for me.
At 26 years old, I found myself single and living alone for the first time ever; I didn't have a clue what to do, I felt extremely confused about where I was in life and what I was supposed to do next. After putting aside the heartbreak, I realised for a number of reasons (or excuses), I had missed many opportunities over the years and no matter which way I looked at it, I only had myself blame. Why didn't I go for that job interview in London? Why didn't I have my own car?
Why didn't I have any savings?
The only true answer I could come up with was that I hadn't put myself first, so I decided that needed to change a little.
I have always thought myself to be quite an independent and strong person but in hindsight, I feel my bravery is more of a coping mechanism. If I feel like I am in control of things, then life is easier for me and I am sure many of my readers can relate to that, although I will be the first to admit that I am a little bit of a control freak (in the nicest possible way)! I kept this realisation in the forefront of my mind and made a conscious effort to focus on what I wanted or what would be good for me; that was my new path. I decided that I wouldn't force it to happen in any particular order; I just had a list of things in my head I wasn't happy with (some big, some little) and a list of new things I wanted to try. At first, I was on an emotional rollercoaster but with the help of a few people I was soon on track. My parents and sister were always around if I needed them, my nan gave me independence by loaning me money to buy myself a car, my boss put me forward for progression at work and I had made a new best friend with one of the other managers as we began weekly exercise classes together. I had started going on walks and taking photographs to relax, I haddecluttered my home of my old life, I went on my first ever night out clubbing and had a new tattoo of a bee done on my wrist.
Since I was very young, my close family have called me “Bee” and to the rest of the world I was simply “Beth”. Looking back, someone referring to me as Bethany was extremely unusual; it wasn't that I disliked my full name, it just wasn't used often so maybe that's where I lost my identity a little. I felt that my new ink would remind me to be myself, that I was strong and I love it just as much now as I did that day.
One Sunday afternoon, I decided to test out the realms of Plenty of Fish (stay with me, this is not a blog about my love life I promise). Having never dated in my whole life, I had no expectations but figured going out for dinner (that I was fully prepared to pay for) and talking to new people could only be a good thing. It turned out to be one of the best things I had ever did as I almost instantly matched with the one and only Luke Granger.
I remember admiring Luke's drive and determination from before we had even met. He oozed confidence, was full of creative ideas and had self-taught most of what he had learnt. I wanted to be more like him and knew with his encouragement we could become a fantastic team. Luckily, he felt the same.
As much as I want to promote how I am an independent woman, I cannot deny that it was Luke that made me begin to realise how I needed to take even more of a leap and more focus on myself. I am extremely grateful for that and although my life is by no means perfect, having Luke and his daughter Jessica in it, has been the best influence I ever needed. In Luke's world, I am called Bethany and I have grown to love being called it, just as I have grown to love myself.
I wanted to be in control of my destiny by running my own business and as time went by, the more I began to resent my day job. I had worked hard for a well-known high street company for just shy of 5 years and felt that my skills were being taken for granted but most of all, I think I craved independence. Helping Luke build his businesses in my spare time; being able to use my creative skills, alongside learning new things was fantastic and I knew it was making a huge difference to his workload. I had built websites for both him and his clients, designed artwork for all sorts of things, managed social media, bookings and wedding fairs but most importantly, I was enjoying myself and everyday was different. Luke could see my work was benefitting him and we spoke at length about how we could make this a permanent arrangement. I juggled for a while with the voices in my head about what to do. Was I putting all my eggs in one basket? What if our relationship didn't work out, I’d be homeless, jobless and heartbroken? Could I earn enough money? Ultimately my decision boiled down to what mattered to me the most - my happiness or the security of my monthly income? Was the potential reward worth the risk?
Can you guess what I did?
Luke and I visiting Edinburgh, November 2019
We now find ourselves in Spring 2020, and for the last 6 months I have been the official personal assistant to Luke Granger, whilst also running a business of my own which I am now launching officially. My work is so varied; some days are spent on the sofa with my laptop, others in meetings or on photoshoots exploring new parts of the country. I am more relaxed, sleep better and have more time to myself. Organising both our work and home life is far easier these days; no longer working 50+ hours a week (plus commuting in rush hour) has made planning childcare for when Jessica is home a breeze and has meant we have more quality time together too. As my work is growing, I figured it was about time I had my own website to display all my projects in one place so here we are. I thought long and hard about what I should name my business but settled on Bethany Lauren and including a bee in my logo was important as it represents me in so many ways.
So that's probably enough of my ramblings for one day. If you are considering taking the plunge to be your own boss, then I highly recommend it. You don't want wake up one day and realise you let worries and excuses get in the way of dreams you never knew you had. You only get one shot at life, so make it the best it can be.
Here are photos of me with my family, they are the reason I am who I am and the reason I work so hard each day