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  • FIRST POST
    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 2nd Oct 15, 8:24 AM
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    somerandom
    A Leap of Faith
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 15, 8:24 AM
    A Leap of Faith 2nd Oct 15 at 8:24 AM
    ... with £8k of debt strapped to my back....

    I’m newly self-employed - and when I say “newly” I mean brand spanking new! Yesterday was my first day of being fully self-employed! For over a year I’ve been partially self-employed alongside working part time in paid employment. I’ve been squirrelling away money so that I’ve got some savings to act as a buffer for the early months of this venture. (I raised a significant part of that through the MSE £10 a day challenge so thanks to all the folk on that thread who have been a great support.)

    I have around £8,000 of debt - £3,000 on a 0% interest credit card which expires in in 22 months & the rest is a loan which has 3 years left to run. Both debts were taken out to pay for training courses etc. so that I could set up and develop my business – so an investment (I think this counts as “good debt”) - but still a debt!.) At the moment I only earn the equivalent of around a third of my previous take home salary through my self-employed work so I need to up my game sharpish (definitely in the next 6 months after which my buffer will be gone!).

    What else do you need to know …? I’m the lone parent of a teenage son, I’m no spring-chicken. Oh & I’ve got an elderly boiler that is on the blink and is causing me much anxiety – it’ll seriously eat into my buffer if it breaks down…

    So this is a diary about living frugally but well, working hard but smart, busting those debts (no matter how “good” they are) and most of all, about taking a leap of faith to follow my dreams ….

    I’ve never done an online diary before; this is the sort of thing I’d normally journal about privately. But since I anticipate that my biggest challenge will be holding my nerve, I figure that I need to go public - so any support and tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You
    Last edited by somerandom; 02-10-2015 at 12:49 PM.
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Page 10
    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 27th Aug 16, 9:48 PM
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    somerandom
    Thanks for good wishes OrangeEna
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    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 27th Aug 16, 11:18 PM
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    Hiya

    Sounds like you're having a great time on your working holiday and I agree that you should take some time off to enjoy yourself as well. Strolling about and relaxing for a few days will probably do you good and you'll come back feeling more refreshed.

    I often read your first post on here and am soo pleased that it all seems to be panning out for you so well - so far and fingers xd. It seemed such a huge leap to take and I bet you wish you'd done it before now. Forty/forty hindsight eh.

    Really hope you enjoy the rest of your holibobs and talk to you soon

    Hasta luego
    Lx
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 28th Aug 16, 8:50 PM
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    somerandom
    Awww thanks Lynne - I've thought of you while I've been here because of our Nerja connection! I've finally realised just how important it is for me to be able to speak Spanish - nothing is more important to my plan than that - so I will give it my full attention when I get back. I really appreciate your support on that front
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    • Clarey008
    • By Clarey008 31st Aug 16, 7:41 PM
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    Glad you are enjoying yourself, that is a good idea to go back to a familiar place. You have reminded me that I need to press on with learning German. My sister lives in Germany and I would like the option of living out there one day. I usually sign up to a course at University or college but haven't signed up to one for September yet.
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 2nd Sep 16, 11:04 AM
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    somerandom
    How far are you along with learning German Clarey?

    I'm going to sign up for a Spanish course now I'm home as well as doing the self-study & online courses. This will be the third time I've signed up for a beginners course its a bit frustrating covering the same stuff again - (the first time I did it a I was pretty confident speaking Spanish by the time I'd finished). I need to let go of that feeling of wanting to kick myself for not building on what I'd learned , and focus on the idea that by next June I could be feeling confident speaking it again.
    Last edited by somerandom; 02-09-2016 at 11:12 AM.
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    • Clarey008
    • By Clarey008 2nd Sep 16, 12:07 PM
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    Clarey008
    I've done it for two years, so technically should be on level 3 but I am debating whether to repeat level 2 as I found it hard and redoing it might consolidate what I learnt. On the other hand maybe I should have a big push and go for level 3, decisions decisions. One thing I have definitely learnt is that although online courses are cheaper, I need the motivation of a teacher and a class to really notice a difference.
    Are you sure you need a beginners course? Could you revise what you learnt previously and go for the next level?
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 2nd Sep 16, 6:37 PM
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    somerandom
    That's fantastic that you have kept at it Clarey. Is there any option of you swapping if for example you started level 3 & realised it was too much of a stretch?

    I was debating whether I do in fact need beginners too but I feel so rusty & unconfident at the moment I think I'm going to err on the side of caution & start from the beginning again. Plus I remember now that when I moved from level 1 to level 2 I found it a struggle quite quickly and dropped out - (I had literally forgotten that until now!!).

    I have come to the conclusion that I need the discipline of the classroom too - I have really been enjoying the online course though - it's been like WD40 for my rustiness
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    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 2nd Sep 16, 11:02 PM
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    lynnejk
    Hiya

    Hope you had a lovely time and are back feeling refreshed and revitalised. I didn't know how long you had gone for but it's never long enough eh

    I can't find a Spanish course here that I can get to on a regular basis. They cut all the funding for adult education and amalgamated lots of the teaching so not much left here as a bit of a back-water. I don't have a car as not really economically viable and DH uses our car to get to work - he can't get there using public transport.

    So I'm carrying on with my on-line courses and am actually starting to feel a bit more confident. Some of the things I was struggling with are beginning to make more sense - getting kind of mini light-bulb moments now and then. I definitely think it's helping that I do some Spanish every day now.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy getting back into the work routine next week.

    All the best and hope to hear from you soon
    Lx
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 4th Sep 16, 11:41 AM
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    somerandom
    Good Morning All

    I'm back from Spain - got back on Thursday eve ( & Lynne you are quite right - its never long enough.)

    Work-wise: I managed to Coach seven people while I was away, I had a virtual meeting and also made a great contact while I was there who was a mine of useful information about how I might organise a retreat. Other than that I really pressed that "pause button" - re-read novels, walked, swam & snoozed .. It was blissful...

    I've yet to switch back on and, to be honest there's a big part of me that doesn't want to & just yearns to be back there ...

    Work-wise - since I've been back I've been doing some admin tasks, had a chat with someone that might lead to work and today had a lovely conversation with the woman who will be filming me on Tuesday. On reflection that's not bad going given I've only been back since Thursday & technically this IS the weekend. The line between "work" & "life" is so much more blurred these days.

    So Aug was my lowest earning month since I became self-employed - but only just and I earned enough to comfortably pay the bills. As it stands September looks fairly quiet too but I guess this is the time of year that the seeds are sown for the rest of the year. So I'd better get sowing

    Next week: I have 6 people booked in for coaching & a few more to follow up. I am being filmed on Tuesday morning - I feel a lot less nervous about it now that I have spoken to the woman who will be filming me - she was lovely

    And I WILL be signing up for that Spanish Course! Lynne - what a shame there aren't any courses locally but it sounds that you are doing really well with the online courses. I still want to continue with those too - I need to catch up on the last week of the Future Learn one as my wi-fi wasn't reliable enough while I was away.

    Have a great week everyone...
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    • Clarey008
    • By Clarey008 9th Sep 16, 10:52 PM
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    Clarey008
    I signed up to a German course again. I have been doing a University course but they weren't offering level 3 so I have signed up for the level 3 at college (with a couple of friends I made on the university course). The tutor assured us the college course was a bit easier than university, so cross fingers it's the right level. I need to do some intensive revision before it starts.
    Don't forget to sign up Somerandom!
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 11th Sep 16, 9:02 AM
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    somerandom
    Well done on signing up for your German Clarey - sounds like that course level could be just right for you. I have signed up for my Spanish! - beginners ! I start the week after next. I've been listening to Spanish recordings while I've been pottering around the garden recently to get me in the right frame of mind and I am delighted to find that the online course that Lynne introduced me too has a follow up module - thanks so much for that Lynne - I hadn't realised.

    Update: Good Morning - I hope you have all had a good week.

    For a lot of the week I was struggling being back in UK. The overcast weather was really getting me down & I had an awful migraine on Thurs triggered by allergies. I've got to the bottom of the triggers and I've made some adjustments including starting to take my prescription antihistamine at night and its working really well so far.

    Anyway - it's a pleasure to feel so differently - clear headed and positive - this weekend & looking back, in spite of the migraine its been a productive week. In addition to Coaching 9 people - Highlights of the week were:

    - I was filmed on Tuesday for a short video portrait as part of a film project about Londoners. This series of films is about Londoners who help other Londoners (actually my clients come from all over but include people from London) & I was one of them - it focussed on the work I do for a Charity. It was great fun. They interviewed me then we did lots of filming like me walking, me looking at the Thames, me on the phone, me typing etc so they could cut that in. It was amusing seeing people look to see if they recognise me when I was being filmed. (sorry not famous - YET ) - I enjoyed it !! I'm less looking forward to watching the film due to self consciousness about pretty much everything (my voice & I was definitely having a bad hair day) but I'll get over it.) It was an experience!!!

    - I started an online course (MOOC) about Positive Psychology - The Science of Happiness. It's really high standard - created by Berkeley - University of California. I can't believe its free! I'm taking the study really seriously and doing all the exercises - learning lots of new stuff and consolidating stuff I knew already. I'm certainly finding out that being engaged and learning knew things is a contributor to me being happy . If you are interested in the course look on the edX website. If you are just interested in doing some positivity exercises - take a look at the website for the Greater Good Science Center. (US sp.) I can't recommend it highly enough!!

    - Almost forgot - I found out that the person who took over my old job has already handed in their notice (after less than a year of doing it full time) - Someone forwarded the job advert for the interim replacement to me as a joke - I felt tired just reading it. If I ever need motivation to make this work I will read that advert !!!

    Next week: First things first - Loving the weather forecast . Only got about 4 clients booked in so far but I imagine that will increase as there's been lots of rebooking as people get settled back in after the holidays. A couple of meetings up Town & a couple of workshops - other than that - I plan to continue with my Spanish & Happiness studies and make the most of the late Summer sun

    Have a great week
    Last edited by somerandom; 11-09-2016 at 9:16 AM. Reason: forgot something....
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 18th Sep 16, 1:07 PM
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    somerandom
    Good Afternoon I hope you've all had a good week.

    I'm feeling a bit unmotivated at the moment. I think some of it is plain old coming back from holiday but I also think that my unmotivated mood is trying to tell me something. I'm not sure what it's telling me but I'm listening hard ! I'm coming up for a year of being self-employed (I left work at the end of September last year) so now seems a really good time to look back and review then make some plans for the future. I think it'd be a good idea for me get someone to help me with that. I'll have a think about who would be suitable and what would be a helpful structure.

    So last week I was up Town for a couple of meetings and a workshop on Monday - it felt like a very long day but was productive. I really made the most of the sunny days and spent time chilling out in my garden in between coaching sessions. I was up in town all day yesterday socially too and I'm feeling very tired today - thankfully I've got a clear day today so I will do some catching up on life and work - my son is at his Dad's so i may also incorporate a "nap" into my day...

    I'm still loving my "Science of Happiness Course" - in spite of my general lack of motivation - I feel massively energised by that . My Spanish Classes start next week. Also I haven't been suffering from headaches since i started taking my anti-histamine at night rather than in the morning.

    Next week: I've got about 6 coaching sessions booked - there's a few people that have got MIA over the holidays who I need to pin down so that may end up being more (hopefully!!). I'm also meeting a Coach friend on Weds who I know will be a great person to speak to about my review & we will be going to an event together that afternoon. I'm really looking forward to that. It's a "Street Wisdom" event - I think I mentioned it before. You get to be inspired by your environment while pondering a question. Thinking about it - what a great start to my review process

    Reading this post back - I realise I really need to take some action to step out of this "lull" - I've allowed it to go on long enough. So borrowing from a Coaching technique I use - I'm saying to that unmotivated part of myself "It's OK I've listened to you - I'm planning a review - now please let me get on with things..." - I'll let you know next week how that works for me.

    Have a great week
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    • Clarey008
    • By Clarey008 24th Sep 16, 12:55 PM
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    Clarey008
    How have you got on this week? I would be interested to hear how you get on getting out of the "lull". I have felt really demotivated at work myself this week. So much to do, that I don't know where to start and a general feeling of "I can't actually be bothered to start!"
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 25th Sep 16, 2:15 PM
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    somerandom
    Good Afternoon All – I hope you’ve had a good week.

    I’ve made good Progress on shifting the “lull” - I feel a lot less stuck than I was this time last week. Still a little lower in energy than I’d like but a big improvement. Last week felt a bit like a “quest” and I really enjoyed it.

    Clarey – sorry to hear you’re going through a similar thing - it’s horrible to feel like that isn’t it - like being stuck in mud or something!!! … I hope some of my findings over the past week might prove helpful. Feel free to PM me if you want to brainstorm ideas…

    - initially it really helped me to stick with the feeling of discontent and listen to what it was telling me.. (more on that below)

    - then, when I realised that it’d tipped into being a little self- indulgent - It really helped me to state the intention to change how I was feeling.

    I found that talking to a range of people about it – mostly just thinking out-loud – helped me gain perspective – I walked more – it always grounds me and helps my thinking. It was also good to start something new – I started my Spanish Class .

    So out of all this - I realised that a couple of things were simply natural rhythms ie the time of year – not wanting the summer to end & coming up to the end of the first year of business.

    The big thing that stood out that I can do something about – is that after a year of trading – even though it’s gone better than I expected – I have drifted away from the “free-range dream” that I had - the vast majority of my coaching is done virtually from my living room. So my task now is to focus on how to move closer to the dream I started with. Also – and I’m always telling my clients to do this – I need to acknowledge my achievements over the past year – I would never have guessed it had gone so well yet I have glossed over it and just focussed on what's not so good. So I will be working on those over the next week.

    So that’s my quest dealt with for now. Workwise – it’s got busier – I’ve had quite a few new referrals which is great. It dawns on me as I write this that haven’t done any group work since the end of July so I need to make a push on that front as it gives me a buzz and pays well . In fact when I was on my quest last week I came across a sign for a very reasonably priced space for hire in Central London – I’m wondering whether I should take a chance and hire it for a few months– (they want someone to hire it for a morning or afternoon every week) – then come up with things to experiment with. It really excites me thinking about doing that. I’m going to contact them on Monday to at least go look at the space !!

    Next week : A fairly “bog standard” week – not too busy and nothing out of the ordinary planned – I guess it makes it a good week for reviewing, planning and sewing seeds…

    I hope you all have a lovely week.
    Last edited by somerandom; 25-09-2016 at 2:40 PM.
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    • Clarey008
    • By Clarey008 29th Sep 16, 7:36 PM
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    Thanks Somerandom I find your posts really useful and I may well take up the offer to pm you at some stage and brainstorm. I am feeling a bit better as I had a course at work about Performance Management and Coaching. We practiced coaching on each other and it was really nice being coached and having someone focus their attention on you. I also realised a couple of the jobs I was worrying about at work were nearly done and I just needed a final push to finish them, which I have done this week.
    How is the Spanish going?
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 2nd Oct 16, 7:47 AM
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    somerandom
    Clarey - so cool that you got so much from the Performance Management & Coaching Course. I got my first taste of Coaching that way & couldn't believe how effective it was. I remember we did a "silent coaching" exercise where the tutor literally just read questions out to the whole group - with no interaction other than that & it still got me to a different perspective on my issue. Its an amazing process.

    Spanish - ermmmm not so good as I've been ill but recovered now so back on track from today. How's your German going?
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 2nd Oct 16, 8:57 AM
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    somerandom
    I'm ONE year old today !!! Or at least my thread is

    I've been ill this week. Thankfully not too ill to work but ill enough that I've spent the time between clients resting. The negative side of that is that I've not been out or to the gym, didn't visit the venue I mentioned and I've got behind on my Spanish class already. The positive side is that its given me a good chunk of time for reflection. As part of my continuing review - I used that post as the basis for how well I've done this year.

    So on 2nd October 2015 I wrote:

    ... with £8k of debt strapped to my back....

    I’m newly self-employed - and when I say “newly” I mean brand spanking new! Yesterday was my first day of being fully self-employed! For over a year I’ve been partially self-employed alongside working part time in paid employment. I’ve been squirrelling away money so that I’ve got some savings to act as a buffer for the early months of this venture. (I raised a significant part of that through the MSE £10 a day challenge so thanks to all the folk on that thread who have been a great support.)

    I have around £8,000 of debt - £3,000 on a 0% interest credit card which expires in in 22 months & the rest is a loan which has 3 years left to run. Both debts were taken out to pay for training courses etc. so that I could set up and develop my business – so an investment (I think this counts as “good debt”) - but still a debt!.) At the moment I only earn the equivalent of around a third of my previous take home salary through my self-employed work so I need to up my game sharpish (definitely in the next 6 months after which my buffer will be gone!).

    What else do you need to know …? I’m the lone parent of a teenage son, I’m no spring-chicken. Oh & I’ve got an elderly boiler that is on the blink and is causing me much anxiety – it’ll seriously eat into my buffer if it breaks down…

    So this is a diary about living frugally but well, working hard but smart, busting those debts (no matter how “good” they are) and most of all, about taking a leap of faith to follow my dreams ….

    I’ve never done an online diary before; this is the sort of thing I’d normally journal about privately. But since I anticipate that my biggest challenge will be holding my nerve, I figure that I need to go public - so any support and tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You
    Originally posted by somerandom
    So how did I do according to the criteria I set?:

    Living frugally but well: I've been pretty frugal - I've lived within my means - haven't eaten into my financial buffer. By living well I had a vision in my head of having lots of free time to go to the gym (every day), buy veg from markets & cook from scratch, have a really well maintained / organised home, work from nice venues. There are just not enough ROTFL emoticons that I could put for that one !! It's been chaos !! I've been more disorganised than when I was working if anything, I spent a lot of the winter working from bed because I hated the cold .... There have been good times of course- I do go up to the South Bank a lot to work, I go out to lovely workshops & meet nice friends for lunch, I've been to Spain twice and I've even had brief periods of being more organised. This is the biggest potential "area for improvement" of all of them.

    - working hard but smart : I have worked hard (most of the time) sometimes smart sometimes not. I've had plenty of rest time - but not always on the days / times I'd expect. Likewise I've worked on days I would have normally thought of as rest days (ie coaching someone at 9am this morning). I worked out my turnover for the year and it almost exactly corresponds to my gross pay in my old job - even taking into account the quieter Summer period.

    -busting those debts - I can't say that I've "busted" them but simply by sticking to the regular monthly payments I've reduced them by 25% so I now have a debt liability of £6k rather than £8k. I haven't touched my financial buffer so in theory I could pay these off (& that would feel nice) but I looked into it and it would save me so little money £100 over 2 years - that for me it makes sense to maintain regular payments and have the psychological comfort of a larger financial buffer (& I really will have to replace the boiler this year).

    - taking a leap of faith to follow my dreams …. Well yes, I did take that leap. At the beginning of this I felt like I was jumping off a cliff and couldn't see how far down the ground was. I remember feeling so scared & jittery for the first couple of weeks then making a conscious decision to shift my mindset from one of scarcity to abundance (or at least "enough"). That was the single most useful thing I did all year. It was like at that point I could feel my feet on the ground and I could just get on with things. There have things that haven't come off that I'd expected to, and other things that appeared out of the blue. I'm pleased that I have said "yes" to opportunities that scared me - working in a prison, being in a film, facilitating events that put me outside my comfort zone. Once I'd done them - they just became something I do...

    Writing that review has made me feel really pleased with the way things have gone - but it took me way longer than I expected so I need to rush off & coach someone .... I will try to pop back on later today to finish off xxx
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    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 2nd Oct 16, 11:10 PM
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    lynnejk
    Hiya


    Just popped in to wish you and your 'leap' a very happy birthday


    ** **


    Gosh - it seems to have flown past from my point of view


    Love your review above and am soo pleased things are still going well for you - apart from feeling ill and hope you're soon fully recovered

    All the best going forward and I hope the next year is an even better one for you.
    Lx
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    • somerandom
    • By somerandom 4th Oct 16, 8:58 PM
    • 697 Posts
    • 5,097 Thanks
    somerandom
    Thanks Lynne - I really appreciate your support
    Check out My Debt Free Diary "My Leap of Faith"
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5334341&highlight=
    Completely Crazy Clothes Challenge 2016 - £441.15/£300.00
    • Clarey008
    • By Clarey008 9th Oct 16, 8:50 AM
    • 156 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Clarey008
    Happy Birthday to your leap. German is going really well although I was actually dreading the lesson last Thursday. We had missed a week due to the teacher being off and I think I had built it up in my mind as being worse than it was. The lesson was good and although I'm at the lower end of the class in terms of language level, it is forcing me to do lots of work and try hard. It is also nice doing something different just for myself and meeting new people.
    Mortgage Dec 2015 - £21545 Apr 2016 - £19930
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2016 £79.98/£150
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