Where do I even begin to start? The last few months have been an absolute whirlwind of madness & emotion. I have struggled to keep on top of things, and there are many gaps that I want to fill you all in on.
At the end of May 2019, I left my job as Senior Lecturer in Equine Science and Programme Leader for the BSc(Hons) in Equine Science, Management and Training, which I had spent 3 years writing & delivering. I had been employed as an equine lecturer at Derby College for over 10 years, and while I have had some of the very best times there over the years, I was feeling that I was no longer in love with the job. For any of you who have been or are currently in the teaching profession, the demands of the job are enormous; the pressure to do more and more with fewer resources (and no prospect of a pay rise) is relentless, and the role was really going nowhere in terms of my own professional development. I had no desire to go down the management route, and in all honesty I was getting bored, frustrated & fed up.
For two years I have developed The Everyday Equestrian, teaching & coaching on the days when I was not at work, so I’ve been working 7 days a week for most of that time. I began to realise that my heart belonged to coaching horses & riders to achieve their goals, whatever their level of skill or expertise. I simply love seeing them make progress and do/feel things they never thought that they could. I also knew that I had to get the business to a financial point where I could leave employmentand still be able to pay the bills. Part of my brain was telling me that I was mad to leave a secure job for the unknown, but I also knew that if I didn’t make a change now, then I never would.
Scary? You bet.
So here I am, having got my brave pants on and taken on the challenge of running my own business. 5 weeks on (following a week’s holiday to Lanzarote to help us make a fresh start), and so far, so good. However, I’m realising that I really need to get more organized and start managing myself. It has felt like a ridiculously busy few weeks, with freelance lessons, clinics, having a horse in for schooling, developing resources for The Everyday Equestrian Academy, launching the Rider Development Programme, alongside a whole heap of admin and strategy work. But I haven’t looked back; do I miss my old job? No. Do I miss my dear friends and colleagues that I worked with? Yes absolutely.
It has felt like a rather epic life change, and it is taking some time to adjust and figure out the best systems. I’m a creature of routine and habit, and I really don’t think I’m anywhere near working as efficiently and effectively as I could be. In an effort to please everybody and to make the most of the busy summer period, I’m cramming in as much teaching as I can, and doing my best to accommodate everyone, but I’m realising that there has to be some sort of balance in my life, alongside my 3-year-old daughter, hubby and 2 ridiculous horses on DIY livery!
I guess this is a work in progress and that I’m learning as I go, but what I do know is that it’s so exciting to be able to do what I love. I have all sorts of ideas and projects that I want to implement, so over the next few months I hope you’ll watch this space…