What’s in a name? Everyone thinks that ‘ollie and fred’ are my kids but in fact they are my parents. They have an extraordinary zest for life, have so much energy and are a huge inspiration to me. My mum and dad both came from very poor families in East Manchester and left school with very little education. By the time they were 16 they were married and had a baby, my older sister.
In 1966, when they were just 22 and my sister was 6, they drove all the way to Italy in a Hillman Minx. They had no language skills and barely any education but somehow managed to drive all the way through Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy – on a 2 week holiday! They didn’t understand the road signs, had never seen pasta before, and had to carry five different currencies with them. They have pretty much carried on through life the same ever since.
My mum and dad would never call themselves entrepreneurial but they are, and they’ve given me the confidence to approach life in the same way. My dad ran his own business and my mum had loads of jobs/small businesses to help make ends meet. I’ve had a lot of jobs too, and seeing my parents trying new things and not being afraid of change has given me the confidence to change my life and move in different directions.
After many career changes including jobs in IT, forensics (I used to be a fingerprint officer) and advertising, I had a family and spent 8 years as a stay at home mum. I didn't realise how much smaller my world had become and how much I'd lost my confidence. Once the kids were both settled at primary school I felt bored and a bit lost but I didn't want to give up the flexibility I had enjoyed for so long. I needed a job on my own terms that I could do from home - so I created one.
I don't know where the confidence came from to make a start but here I am in my mid forties learning something completely new, and I love it! I know I can trace this fearlessness back to my parents; they are proper grafters and have taught me that hard work and having a go pays off.
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