*Just as a side note before you start this, I am very grateful to have a healthy family, to have a roof over my head and to have the opportunities that I get. I’m also happy to have developed a fondness for bright hair bows and rainbow coats. I just wanted to share a little more insight of my life this year with you all.
It has nearly been a year ago that I explained to you all that I was GIVING UP MY JOB….. Your reaction to that post was so overwhelming, I feel it only right that I share an update with you all.
I can’t believe its been a year!
What a year its been…. and not for all good reasons.
I feel that it is important for me to share this honest post with you so that you understand how this year has developed. I think it would be wrong of me to pretend that it has all been plain sailing or a huge success because that is not the truth.
I was so positive about it all when I made that decision, for those of you that don’t know my history. I worked as a Head of Year for 12 years at a High School in Newcastle. I started Disneyfind purely for fun when I was on maternity leave with James, almost four and a half years ago. As the years went by, my page grew in popularity and I was starting to get interest from companies. I felt very torn between working in school and running Disneyfind and I decided that I needed to follow my dreams and try to make it a success. Another big factor in making this decision was my family, I wanted to be able to take James to school and spend more time with Joseph.
So I handed in my notice.
I think I was a little naive and I didn’t really think it all through before making the decision. I knew that people made money from social media and I had just discovered affiliate marketing so I kind of just hoped that I could make a living following my dreams and also spend time with my children whilst they were little.
For those of you wondering, Affiliate Marketing is when I add a link directing you to a store. If you buy something using this link then I get a small commission for sending you in that direction. I didn’t have clue that this existed until about this time last year.
At first, everything seemed really positive, I was getting a small income from my affiliate stuff and just hoped that companies would work wth me and I would get paid for it. HOWEVER, ITS NOT AS EASY AS THAT. I had a successful page but I didn’t have the skills to know what to do next. I know that lots of bloggers get AD deals, but I had no idea how? So, I just kept on following my instinct, trying to reach out to people but not really getting much back.
One thing that I quickly discovered was that people don’t really want to share their knowledge with you. I couldn’t believe the number of people that I have reached out to, asking for help and they were just unwilling to share, unless I paid them thousands for the privilege. It is only in the past two months or so that people have shared their knowledge with me and two people in particular have been a real help are Charlotte Ruff and Emma (Brummy Mummy) and I will always remember their kindness.
So I started to struggle…. I’ve always had a job since I was fifteen years old (Barratts shoe shop, working for £1.73 an hour) I had three jobs when I was a single mam with Aoife working at Accesorize, in a pub and at a Youth Club all whilst studying. So, I found it tough not having an income. Just to put it in perspective for you, I was probably making about £80 a month from my affiliate schemes and this is its not enough to live on. I also hated depending on Gareth for money. I am in a lucky position that he had a good job but it made me feel pretty down.
I also had no idea about the loneliness of working at home or how hard I would find it. Most days it was just me and Joseph, I went for a coffee ever my day just to talk to another adult. I was used to having a laugh with my colleagues, having people to bounce ideas of or look to for advice. I had none of this and all of my friends were at work so it was a lonely time. Also, in my opinion I found staying at home with a baby so much harder than going to work.
In between all of this, we went through a difficult time as a family, I had a few nasty trolls who affected me far more than they should, I was shadow banned, my page stopped growing, I stopped being my positive, happy self so quite simply I was incredibly close to giving it all up.
In fact, I decided I would go back to work. I applied for a job, had the interview but didn’t get the role.
So I decided to give it one last shot, with a big prep talk from my incredibly supportive Gareth. I stopped worrying about likes, follows or what I was posting, comparing myself to others and I remembered why I had started the page in the first place. I LOVE DISNEY.
Then……things got better. Over the past couple of months, I have have had so many amazing and exciting things happening to me. I have started working with some brilliant companies and having some dream come true moments. I feel very lucky but I also wanted you to know that it has been quite a journey to get here.
Many of you have asked me if I regret giving up my job and the answer is NO. I have had one of the hardest years of my life but I know a lot of people are going through way more difficult times. I am glad I gave up my job because it allowed me to spend time with my family that I would never have been able to do if I had stayed in school.
I also feel like I have learned a lot about myself too. I have embraced wearing clothes that make me happy. I’ve learned that not everyone is going to like you no matter how hard you want them to and finally I’ve realised that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams.
I guess the moral of the story is that you should keep going. So I’ll finish with the words of Walt Disney ” All of our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them”
Thank you so much for reading and also sticking with me through this bumpy old year.
Love and hugs