Throughout my early years career, I have always had passion for delivering practice which gives fire in the belly to Early years practitioners in Pre schools, day nurseries as well as childminders.
Little did I know it would take me to where I am today and have the confidence to bloom on the most amazing journey of my life.
Who would ever have thought that I was in the process…actually 40% of the way through a book…yes an actual book which people might read that I am writing.
So how did I get to this stage…where do I start?
Up until July this year, I have always worked for someone else. I have always put 120% into everything I have done…whether it was setting up a day nursery or six! Or assessing students in settings, to inspecting in an early years setting ensuring children’s outcomes are being met and staff are all on board with the process and showing impact.
Eventually in 2010 I had a little wobble where I started looking at my life, not in a good way. These curve balls come to try us to see how strong we are…and this curve ball was HUGE.
It knocked me for six. It knocked my family for six including my mum and dad…this was not a good place to be in and things had to change. So since then I have still worked for someone else except I had this niggling feeling that if I was putting in 120% for someone else why am I not doing it for myself?
Why is the question, but it took until Dec 2016 to actually grow a pair and decide there was a need for an early years consultant, with early years inspector experience and a need to improve on outcomes for children as well as staff. I didn’t want to do it for the money.
I wanted to do it to make a difference.
I wanted to do it for my own work-life balance.
I wanted to do it to prove to myself I could and I can.
With little confidence and self-belief I started my Jigsaw story with one Safeguarding training course for a setting who needed my help. Of course I said I can help you…hmmm let me think is there a need for this?
The calls kept coming and my social media group grew with more requests for bespoke training.
Maybe there was a need I kept saying to myself.
I had all this information in my head and I wanted to get out and share it with others but something stopped me… self-doubt, low self-confidence, the lack of professional support and the brain space. All these things put a huge blocker in my way and it came to me finally taking a step back and looking at what I was doing.
I was being swept away by others on social media, who either used what I was doing to replicate or used my platform for their own cause. And I was letting them! Unfortunately, the pair I grew in 2010 to fight the last battle were nowhere to be seen.
I was being sucked in by the negativity of people around me and it was damaging me to the point I actually thought I was having a breakdown.
Now don’t get me wrong…not everyone are those types of people and I have met a few amazing people who I would say are my cheerleaders and have supported me from day one. Listened when I cried, cheered when I was on top form and shouted from the roof tops about what I was creating. Those people I will be in debt to for the rest of my life and they know who they are.
So with these people behind me I decided to take action and seek help. Ok I might hear you say what kind of help? Well if you knew me you would know I actually don’t like asking for help… I prefer to work it out for myself, however, this is when Abi Horne and Sarah Stone came into my life.
These two ladies have made me put my blinkers on, block out the negativity and have chanted along the sidelines. I might not always hear or see them but in my head I am now saying what would Abi and Sarah do…
These ladies have made me grow an even bigger pair now after booking in for a fab strategy call which I re-watch at all the time. They have given me the confidence to write my book… yes a book with real words not just pictures!
I am accountable to them and I love that fact.
The whole process has made me look at myself for who I am, what I give and how I look at the future.
They asked me to name one goal for my business and so I told them on the strategy call. I can honestly say that in the last two months I have smashed it out of the water!
The book is due to be finished in July and I am on track..in fact ahead…but don’t tell Abi!
It is due to be published on September 6th in time for the new term.
“Are you ready for your inspection?” is a practical guide to ensure Early Years settings are ready for the inspection and how to make an outstanding impact.
If you ever feel you are losing your way with the negativity that surrounds social media… stop and book that time in with these ladies… alongside my few cheerleaders these ladies ROCK.
Jigsaw Early Years Consultancy