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The challenge of micro business ownership, illness & life.

It’s been a while since I added a blog here. Despite me extolling the virtues of blogging to my clients on a regular basis, I have singularly failed to prioritise on my own website. However, not blogging for a while doesn’t make a broken blog.

So what’s the topic?

Micro business ownership has come back into the spotlight for a number of reasons of late including an impending Royal Mail strike causing havoc for micro makers who rely on a bumper Christmas run up and the overwhelming stress of rising fuel bills for many more.

It got me thinking again about the unique pressures that a micro business owner is under – being Jack or Jill of all trades, managing multiple areas of the business, coping with bad news and trying to have a life. Don’t get me wrong, I, like many many others, opted for this life on purpose. I left the corporate world after my eldest was born (now 21!) and my first business was an eco holiday let near home. The actual purpose of this was to occupy more roles – Mum, business owner, host, accountant, marketer, book keeper, bed changer, cleaner….you get the picture. BUT the result of a decision to opt for a micro business life is often challenging. The challenge produces the reward and is worth it, but I suspect it’s super useful to share these challenges so that other don’t feel alone; so that we really get to understand the magic and the mayhem micro business life is and, of course, to shine a light on important lives being lived all over the UK that often go unseen and certainly not celebrated nearly enough.

So my little story over the last 12-24 months

I have been building up my own business as a business coach, mentor and trainer with some consulting thrown in for the last 17 years. I work with universities, small and large businesses, with organisations that safeguard the planet and individuals. I love love love what I do. My favourite part is getting to work right inside my personal values of connection and making a difference. I have also been setting up, taking care of and starting the process of growing a micro business club (yes here at Simply GB!).

The last few years like so many, have been exhausting. For all the reasons that are well documented, like Covid, world news, climate crisis and more, but also because I have been very blessed with lots of work. What the last few years have brought into sharp focus for me is that I am a woman of middle age now and energy has been harder to come by. I am one of the many who have been enlightened by the tireless work of Davina McCall and others on the #menopausematters campaign. I think I have also had a dose of long covid which is now easing with new levels of self care and pacing. All these experiences have afforded me the gift of discernment and I have managed to curate the work a truly love and focus on an exciting future for the business that won’t kill me!

Why am I telling you this?

Well, partly as a pathetic excuse for being an inconsistent blog writer, but also to shine a spotlight on the real lives of so many in our country. There are over 5 million micro businesses in the UK and about 60% of them don’t employ, leading us to understand that they likely work largely alone. And yet, these business owners are living life with purpose and often deep care for our planet. On top of this, they are breathing life giving air into our communities – keeping retail units alive, focussing on high street experiences, delivering markets, provided skilled services, teaching others, leading the young and campaigning for their sector. However, they have access to the least funded support, financial help and spotlight.

And yet…Micro business owners are the difference so many of us crave.

Slower lives, planet friendly existences, working with purpose, delivering memorable experiences. I guess what I am saying is that now, perhaps more than ever, is a time to take time to get to know and understand the 96% of all UK business. How they impact us all, what they do for us and what they might be experiencing right now. It’s so important that we really value what we don’t want to lose.

Contrary to mainstream business conversations (not wrong, just very very prominent), growth is often not the core driver. Often core drivers are sustainability, giving back and creating something special that may stay very small.

So, here I am and here we are. Surviving, muddling on, making a difference, making mistakes, loving what we do, changing the world, one kind act at a time.

Please take time this Autumn to get to know those micro business owners inside the Simply Club and those where you are. Dive into the micro business world with their fabulous stories, magical experiences and deep purpose.


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