Do you have a side hustle that you really want to make public?
That was me in 2017.
I finally 'came out' and told my nearest and dearest about my Personal Styling 'side hustle' over a year ago. I shared it on social media and have been happily enjoying working my true purpose ever since.
However, I wasn't so quick to tell my clients and contacts in my Property Management business that I'd previously run full-time! It look many, many years to be taken seriously as a woman in a male dominated industry. I leaned so much into my masculine side that I didn't even know I had one until now.
There was one occasion where I had a site visit at a new development and arrived wearing black trousers and black suede heels. The site manager insisted I wore a hard hat and I gingerly stepped on to planks of wood while dodging the cables swinging from the floor above! I knew I was dressed inappropriately, but I had a job to do and that was it.
I think deep down, I was worried that I would lose clients, credibilty, etc, if I revealed my Personal Styling business to a room full of suits. That I would feel like I'd gone back nearly 20 years, when I first started my property career. I didn't want to appear 'fluffy' or that I wasn't cut out for the cut throat property industry after all.
The truth is, I'd fallen out of love with it.
In 2016, I attended a 3 day workshop to help grow and market my business. It was a great weekend with other Lettings and Estate Agents as well as other various industries. During one of the exercises when we had to talk about our business, why we do what we do and what we love about it, one of the trainers looked at my answers and said "That's good, but you need to sexy it up a bit"
"Sexy it up a bit"? There's nothing sexy about Property Management!
The thing is, I knew exactly what she meant and secretly wanted to my job to sound more exciting than it was. Unbeknown to me, that was when the first seed was planted.
Later that year I joined an online membership site for Female Entrepreneurs and found myself surrounded by women for the first time in years! It didn't matter that it was virtual, I communicated with these women every day. I learned so much in terms of growing my business in a short space of time. I soon discovered that I had a creative side that I never got to explore or enjoy before whilst running a Property Management Company.
My personal development was growing too and I threw myself into learning and became a sponge ready to soak up anything that would develop myself as a person as well as my business.
The creative side was pulling even more and I began to feel lost. I always wanted to have a Property Management business that put the Tenants first. I wanted to surprise them with a bottle of wine in the fridge, flowers on the table and and an emergency roll of toilet paper when they move in. Unfortunately, the urge wasn't strong enough to try it out.
So I explored the Serviced Accommodation market. Perfect!
In my head I had already designed the personalised candles and fluffy towels that would be awaiting every guest that arrived. Myself and my then business partner and trusted friend, researched the best companies to provide the airport transfers and soon found our first client.
I won't bore you with the details, but I soon realised that Serviced Accommodation was not enough to relight my fire with the property industry either!
You see, it wasn't the industry, but the people I was serving. I wanted to work with people that needed my help. I guess this is why I wanted a property management company that focused on the tenants needs more.
Instead I had tenants that wanted a loft style apartment with a bedsit budget and expected a concierge service even if they broke something. Landlords who believed their property was Buckingham Palace, but wouldn't dream of living in it themselves and was more concerned about the rent being paid on time than providing a 'home' to someone.
This just wasn't aligned with who I am and I was becoming more and more miserable.
It soon became apparent to me that I was running a Property Management company because I was a fantastic Property Manager and not because I wanted to. I started my company when I had a baby so it was the natural thing to do. It never once occurred to me to do what I loved instead.
I wondered how many others out there are working day to day and feeling unfulfilled.
The 'E-Myth' was the book that changed my life and career. It had been recommended to me so many times, even on that 3 day workshop, but I never 'heard' the words that would change my life until a year later.
There is a visualisation exercise in the book where the author takes the character to her funeral. Someone (a family member) is about to get up and say something about you, what do you want them to say? What do you want to be known for?" I haven't actually listened to the book past this chapter! That sentence changed everything!
Would someone at my funeral stand up and say what a great Property Manager I was? No! Would I want them too? Hell no!
The reality of anyone saying that I had recovered their rent arrears, found them the best tenant, won their court case or found them the best property to live in was never going to happen and I didn't want to be remembered for that anyway.
I know my mourning family will say I'm the best Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Mother, Friend but I wanted more. I wanted to change lives and have those people remember the impact I made in their lives.
So the soul searching began. I walked, I journalled, I prayed, I meditated. I did everything I thought would work to bring about what to do. I was being pulled in another direction, away from my property business and I didn't know where. But I trusted the process. I was actually quite excited!
The visualisation exercise was still at the forefront of my mind. What would I want someone to say at my funeral. What do I want to be known for? It's said that when you're doing work you love, it doesn't feel like work or words to that effect. So I asked myself "If money was no object, if I didn't need to work, but wanted to be of service in some way, what would I do for free?" And that was it! Styling women was a no brainer as I've always enjoyed it and do it for free when I find myself in a complete strangers changing room in a store giving styling advice!
But, I knew I wasn't going to be a just a stylist. I wanted to change lives, I wanted to work with women on their style confidence. I wanted to work with a modern day Cinderella and help her to get her man, get the job, have the dream!
And so my journey began.
I wasted no time in obtaining my qualifications and launched my business within 6 months. Since then, I have been a guest speaker on stage at women's events, frequently asked to be a guest speaker online, run styling workshops and have been working as a Style Coach & Image Consultant to female entrepreneurs ever since.
Showing women how to dress for success, how to dress the body they have now and not focus on the body they want, how to create a wardrobe of clothes that reflect their style and personality, is what sets my soul on fire.
The tears in the changing when a simple dress has transformed a womans vision of herself is what gets me out of bed, and this is what I want someone to say at my funeral.
The funny thing is, although I had found my true purpose and launched my business very quickly, I was still afraid to tell those around me for fear of being judged for changing career and continued to do both! If I ever referred to a 'Client', I pretended it was a Landlord and not a woman who had hired me for Personal Styling!
I don't regret the years I spent running Miller Management, in fact I still have the company, but with a team so I can work in my Style Coaching Business, full time, doing what I love.
Are you doing what you love and enjoy? What would you like to be remembered for?
If you would like to know more and how you can change your wardrobe in 6 simple steps, download my FREE eBook here >> 6 Simple Steps To A New Wardrobe
A Style Coach & Image Consultant.