07769 613 627 jane@aide-de-camp.co.uk

Greetings, welcome to my blog…

Life can be full of interesting twists and turns, ups and downs, and at times it feels like we are riding a roller coaster. We have no idea where we are going to end up, and at times it can feel daunting.

I believe everything happens for a reason, and over the last few years, I have found solace in that belief. I have learnt to let go, and trust that no matter what is happening in my life, there is a bigger picture unfolding. Work towards being the best version of yourself and listen to your inner voice is my best advice. Then you will end up where you need to be,

A few years ago, I found myself facing what seemed like a series of negative events. I became homeless, broke, with a broken ankle all within a small-time frame. Completely losing one’s direction and not knowing how to move forward is a scary place to be. I was lacking in motivation and inspiration, trying to figure out what to do next. At the time, little did I know that these events would lead me into creating a customized lifestyle business that I own, and I love.

I hope my story inspires you.

In early 2000 a friend and I had an idea for some lovely gift products, and with the help from a great team of people, Starke Creative and Ray Best we launched the idea into the market place. The gift ideas were received very well and over time the business was building nicely. We were stocking trendy farm shops and florists all over the South West and the prestigious Gloucester and Tebay services owned by the Westmorland Family.

Alongside this venture we were also running a small event company which was also receiving some recognition. Running two ventures, that were both picking up momentum, is a lot of hard work, especially for two people, and my business partner started running out of steam. It was tricky finding assistance on an ad hoc basis, as most people want full time or part time work with regular hours, so I kept on going, picking up the slack, working long hours to meet commitments and deadlines. I believed in the vision and focusing on building a bright future for the business.

Then, just over three years into the business, and without any warning, my business partner dropped a bombshell, and within hours the businesses that I had worked so hard to build were over, within a month I was homeless with not enough money to rent my own place, and left alone to close down the businesses as my partner had disappeared!

IT WAS INTENSE!

As I was spat out from the whirlwind of business, dismantled, my business partner gone, I broke my ankle.
Call it serendipity. It’s the best thing that could have happened to me. It snapped whilst negotiating a stray trainer shoe. The incident stopped me in my tracks, literally, and in hindsight, it made me sit still and reassess my life. Breaking my ankle became a gift, an exercise in self exploration, a search for meaning and purpose, a wonderful opportunity for a new beginning. I learnt to listen to my heart, not my busy head. It was a beautiful, invaluable experience, however, what was I going to do with all this insight?

Being creative, inspiring people, feeling inspired, and making a difference is top priority to me. I need to love my work and earn a decent living. I had to keep these values in mind. I looked at all work options, asking myself questions. Would I want to be an employee again? Does self-employment, running my own business suit me best? The demise of my last business had left me feeling vulnerable and uncertain. I didn’t have a clear picture of how to move forward.

I decided to make a start by firstly rewriting and updating my CV. It seemed a sensible thing to do. It was an interesting process. I realized that over the years I had gained a lot of skills and abilities that I had taken for granted. I felt confident that I could use these skills and abilities to contribute to the lives of others and enjoy doing this. Also, by nature, I love making things happen, I have a vision, then I can make it happen. I thought to myself, “Hey Jane, if you can make things happen for yourself, then you can make things happen for other people too”. At last, I felt a spark of inspiration, motivation. Modern life is busy. From time to time everyone would benefit from an extra pair of hands to help them achieve their life goals. I knew I could be that go-to person using my skills to add value to people’s lives and help them to achieve their goals. So, the idea for aide-de-camp was born.

I really must get around to thanking my ex business partner for turning my life upside down.

Thank you for reading and visiting. I will share my experiences and projects with you as I go along.