I’m Taking an Extended Sabbatical from my Business
It’s the end of a Squirm-Free era. For now, at least 🙂
I’ve made the decision to wind down Squirm-Free School of Business for the foreseeable future.
I won’t be re-opening enrolment for our programs for (at least) the next 12 months. My upcoming event in September will be the last Squirm-Free get-together for the foreseeable future, after which the business will close it’s doors, and I’ll take a big ol’ break.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve gone from in-house sales and marketing dogsbody to wide-eyed freelance copywriter, to copy and sales trainer for online business owners. I’ve rapidly built a brand and business around my signature “squirm-free” style of consent-led sales training, have personally coached / mentored over 200 clients through a combination of 1:1 and group efforts, and served thousands more through courses and events.
Throughout this journey, I’ve also had the immense privilege of being supported by some of the most amazing team members over the years; I’m especially grateful to Naomi, Jenna, Krystel, Libby, Maisie, Sarah, and Farzana. Many (many) more people were involved in getting the Squirm-Free approach to selling out into the world, and I’m forever grateful to each of them.
Most significantly though, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the most incredible, innovative, kind, intelligent and visionary business owners - aka you 🧡
The offers, ideas, messages, purpose, and impact you bring into the world has been a joy to witness and be part of in some small way. I don’t quite have the words, and I truly can’t ever thank you enough.
The Real Reasons I’m Taking a Break
Over the last 18 months, and due to a number of health-related reasons, it has become less and less sustainable for me to continue to run the business full time.
My Physical Health
In 2021 I had an unexpected large non-cancerous tumour growing in my uterus. I had successful surgery last year, but have recently learned that I now have more growths developing quite rapidly, some of which have been marked “concerning” and need faaairly swift attention.
I’m going to need further surgery and recovery time at some point in the next 6 months or so, and I just can't predict when and how long it's all going to take.
The costs of having the team in place to cover myself when I'm out of action are significant, and I can't afford to 'assume' that I'll be back in the saddle again right away.
These health issues are also dramatically impacting the things I want to do with my life. I need to create space and reduce stress so that my life goals and wellbeing can start taking priority.
My Mental Health
Building and maintaining an online presence, personal brand, and ‘public persona’ has been a challenging aspect for me mental health-wise. I know I come across as outgoing and extraverted (I am!) but I’ve come to realise that making myself available for public consumption isn’t something I can or want to keep up longterm.
As you know, I’ve retreated from social media this year, and things have improved enormously in terms of managing my mood and anxiety levels. I owe it to myself to keep it that way.
I’m very grateful for what these physical and mental health issues have brought me; the opportunity to re-examine what I want and need most in this season of my life.
My Priorities in Life
I adore my work life and the incredible community of people involved that make it so magical, fulfilling, and fun… but the truth is... I’ve been somewhat neglecting the rest of my life.
My husband, my home, my family, my IRL friends, early mornings and early nights, meal prepping, hosting dinner parties for friends and neighbours, being in a routine, and being an integrated member of my local community - all of these have increasingly come second (and third, and fourth…) over the past couple of years, and I have to take the time to re-prioritise.
I’m choosing to take this extended break from running my own business in order to simplify my work life, prioritise my health, and make this all possible.
What I’m Doing Now and Next
I know the word “sabbatical” means different things to different people. I won’t be spending the next year plus watching Netflix in a deckchair, chugging mocktails (although that does sound quite lovely!)
For me, it’s more about taking my foot off the accelerator and committing to properly honouring my capacity.
Here’s what I’m making space for;
Getting Stuck in to an Exciting New Role
Even though I’ve learned that having a big public persona isn’t what I want or need in this season, I still love the online business world and all the smart, ambitious and cool people in it.
I’m absolutely thrilled to have recently joined Team Elizabeth Goddard to support Lizzy and her team behind the scenes on a part-time basis.
Learning New Skills
There are also many skills I’m keen to invest my time in learning; coding, floristry, and getting fluent in French again. I’ve even been dabbling in carpentry and joinery recently, can you believe?
The more side projects I have on the go (that I don’t feel pressure to productise, market or monetise) the better my quality of life is, both in and out of work.
Focussing on Health
The past few years have really taken their toll on my physical strength, energy and stamina - and that’s something I want to dedicate the time and effort to building up again.
Pre-illness, I used to take part in regular 50k and 100k challenges. Fingers crossed I’ll be back at it in 2023 🤞
Enjoying my Life at a Gentler Pace 🥰
“Busy” is a badge of honour I’ve worn with pride for a teeeny bit too long now. When you’re focussed on growing a business there’s always more you could be doing, and the people-pleaser / obligator in me has really struggled to strike that balance.
You’ll find me playing with my cat, taking long walks, getting involved in my neighbourhood and rebuilding a new, gentle version of my social life.
Can We Still Work Together?
Yes, we can, and I’d love to 🥰
Sales Success Live Weekend; Sept 30 - Oct 2nd, 2022
Our Autumn event is very much going ahead as planned, and - as well as being a super valuable weekend of implementation and fun - it will be a glorious celebration of all things Squirm-Free!
The good thing is, since making this decision, our Live Weekend has my undivided attention and will be even more valuable and truly unforgettable as a result. I'm under no pressure to make an excessive profit or launch a thing, and instead, I can just focus on showing up to over-deliver for three days.
Get tickets for Sales Success Live Weekend here >>>
Book a Coaching or Consulting Call
I’m not currently selling or running any Squirm-Free sales programs or courses, however I do have some (limited) availability for general coaching and consulting for small business owners, freelancers and solopreneurs.
Head to my
Cheesy as it is to say; we only get one life, and it’s reached a point in mine where it’s time to make an important choice.
After these past few (bizarre) years, I have a feeling I might not be the only person re-assessing their life, business, relationships and priorities, and making some big decisions.
Not everything has to last forever, and this feels like the appropriate moment to draw this chapter to a bittersweet close - at least for the time being.
Keep it Squirm-Free ✌🏻