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Laura Emerick - Fallen Angel Gallery

Laura Emerick - Fallen Angel Gallery

Inspiration comes in all different shapes and sizes, in forms of people and things, places and sounds. I know I’ve touched on this subject before, but it has became a bit of a passion over the last few months and I want to talk to you a little bit about networking. The networking that I have been doing since June this year, attending events, courses, classes and much more. I want to tell you about how much it’s changed my life by helping my business, clearing my mind, keeping me focused, but that’s not the main thing that it’s helped. I think in some ways that it may well have saved my life! Times were tough, I was feeling like I was dragging myself from place to place, merely existing, too tired to even dream let alone live. I decided that I needed to drag myself out of the hole that I was in, but had absolutely no idea how to do it – but, I did have a dream, a fire – of which the flame hadn’t quite gone out, I had an offer of investment from my mum to start a business and well, as you all know I took her up on it! I took myself down that Jobcentre, all alone and I told them that I wanted to start my own business – I had a plan, a name and a few ideas and that I wanted to sign off ESA. They were kind, helpful and went out of their way to make sure I felt sure and comfortable taking one of the biggest steps of my life. I was scared, very scared. It took every ounce of courage that I had in me, to walk in there that day – I took my appointment to see an advisor, bit my nails down and waited… When I went into the Jobcentre that day, little did I know that I wouldn’t be signing off, I would be given a golden opportunity to succeed – that day they gave me the opportunity to live, not just exist but to live – it’s a day that I will never forget. My journey started that day, when I accepted an appointment with to find out about the New Enterprise Allowance. I walked into the Derwentside Enterprise Agency without a clue, I thought I knew it all and that I was going to spend the day there and I’d walk out a business woman! It didn’t work like that, I had to sign up to three one to one appointments with a business advisor, Gillian, then I had to write a business plan to send off for approval at my local council – I mean what the hell even was a business plan anyway?! Then I had to get it approved and I would get extra help instead of jumping in at the deep end, it was a scary time, a really scary time, but Gillian had my back and that was what I needed more than I knew. I also signed up to a course for an accreditation in setting up my own business, I didn’t have to, I was invited and I decided if I was going to go for it then I was going to give it my all – I threw my social anxiety to one side, put on my happy face and tried my best to be “normal” and I think it worked! I contributed, I spoke and I asked questions – I listened and more importantly I learned. I learned that I knew absolutely nothing about business when I walked in, I learned that I needed to speak to people that knew and I went to that course every day, worked hard, drank coffee, laughed, cried and I made friends too! I lived in a place where I knew nobody, barely spoke to people and just got on with life in a bubble, I thought I was happy that way and I guess to an extent that I was but, I didn’t know how lifeless I felt until I felt life. Making friends made the place where I lived a home, making friends led to me not only being part of a community, but gave me a chance to contribute to the community that I had fell in love with warts and all – it might not be to everyone’s taste, but I love where I live and I wanted to finally be part of it. From that course I met Karen and Kim, two other business advisors at the DEA and I couldn’t be more grateful, I not only class them as lifesavers, I class them as friends – they helped make me, bring me out of my shell and give me the confidence to be myself. I also met Ruth, a lady that took the course with me, somebody that I had things in common with, we breathed our businesses, talked lots and bounced ideas backwards and forwards, we ate ALOT of cake and drank a lot of coffees/hot chocolates – I made a life long friend in her and for that I am truly grateful. I then moved on to other things, I have met local business women and men from my local area – from Bakers/Confectioners to Wedding Photographers, Stationers to Artists, Local Shopkeepers to Marketing Experts and everything inbetween. I walked into a group of women and men and never once felt alone, we talk business, eat more cake, drink more coffee and we more importantly support each other, through times of success as well as the times of need. They’ve taught me that if we all stick together then we can’t go wrong, we support each other’s passions and businesses as well as listen when each other need an ear, I have never met such an amazing bunch of ladies. I guess that what I’m trying to share is my story of inspiration, so that maybe one day whoever you may be, it may inspire you too. Helping you to see that when it feels like life is pointless or over that it’s really the opportunity to start again. It may be starting over with your marriage, your job, the place where you live, the people you meet – whatever it may be, wherever it may be all I am saying is give it your all, no half measures, no one foot in one foot out, follow your heart, chase your dreams and don’t ever feel like you’re not good enough because there’s a million people out there waiting to tell you just how amazing you are. I would like to dedicate my blog tonight to my new friends Gillian Khachikian, Karen Parkin, Kim (Derwentside Enterprise Agency), Ruth Nicholaidis (Mrs Nerds Wonder Emporium), Michelle Rose (Custard & Bear), Rachel Locke (Arlo Private PA Services), Nicola Little (Digital Sparkles), Aimee Smith (Kitty O’hara’s Corsetry and Couture) Lorraine Hall (Flutter by Lorraine), Lisa Dobson (Keeper’s Cafe), Ali Bergstrand (Ali’s Ark) , Carole Harris (Consett Pet and Aquatic Centre) and to the many others that I’ve met and yet to meet along the way. I’d like to thank you all for every little piece of help and support that you have given me, whether it being a friendly smile when I walk in the room, advice, a comment on my page, or putting business my way – you will never know how hard it is for me sometimes to walk into a room full of people and not feel totally scared and you have made it so much easier and even enjoyable for me socialise, when I didn’t think I had it in me. All of my love The (not so) Fallen Angel