My background story begins like most other small business owners’: chasing unfulfilling dreams up the corporate ladder, with a sprinkle of solo travelling on a 1-year Career Break, and a good ol’ dose of reality upon my return, knowing that something better existed outside of the soul-sucking conveyor belt.
I had a desire to aspire, and an impressive skill for editing already, so I built on that knowledge and turned it into a copy editing business that made me want to crawl out of bed. The perks of running my own business instantly appeared ten-fold and I was adamant I’d never step foot into a corporate role again.
Little did I know, the success of the business was a vital piece to my future. A future that turned my world upside down in the blink of an eye. My beautiful partner, full of life and kicking goals on his own career path, was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer—an aggressive form of cancer that had already spread to other organs and was deemed incurable and inoperable.
Cue the importance of flexibility around appointments, chemo, 3am ER runs, sitting on the bathroom floor for 2 hours, constant temperature checks, and so on. What I didn’t know, was that the same flexibility would allow me to continue putting a roof over our head, food on the table, and enjoy the valuable time we have left together, something that would be a right battle in a ‘job’ with minimal leave balances and ‘’not being a team player’’. Being able to work from the hospital cafe without the approval of a manager is the reality of what flexibility stands for!
Given my partner had a very successful career in the music industry, it also meant we had thousands of people who wanted to support us. While ever so grateful, we were not the type of people who were open to GoFundMe, fundraising events, and so on. We had everything we wanted, and people simply giving us money was not in our wheelhouse. So instead, I started a second business to fill the need. We produced a digital design based off my partner’s tattoo “Live Fast, Die Awesome”, and partnered with a print-on-demand company to print the design on hoodies. It gave everyone a way to support us, have something to remember my partner by, and get something in return for the money they wanted to give us anyway. And the perk of this little gem? It’s now grown to include a whole bunch of digital designs on a range of products!
Let this story be a reminder for why you’re building a better life!