In a previous life before children, I had a long and successful career within the the hospitality trade. Many stories to tell, lots of fun and hard work was had, it has to be said I had a ball. After settling down gaining 2 stepchildren and looking forward to becoming a mother myself, I knew the industry was not conducive with my new lifestyle, long hours and late nights would not mix well with the early mornings and sleepless nights. Something had to change, so I said cheerio to the late night lock ins and relished in being a stay at home mum for 6 and 1/2 years.

Within this time I did the cliche ‘new mum baby business’, starting as a hobby and ‘something to do’ it grew into a littler earner for me, but I soon outgrew this as the youngest became older and started school. Then one day after trawling the internet for over an hour, for another present, for another party I decided enough was enough. I had to do something for ME….. But what ??? That was the problem — I didn’t know.

How did I get into Social Media?

I was away for the weekend with some girlfriends of mine, and Kate was buzzing with excitement, telling us about a social media course that she had signed up for and was just about to start. It sounded perfect, ahead of the game at the time, fitted in within family life, learning a new skill and wasn’t overly priced and well out of my comfort zone, (anyone who knows me knows that I am rubbish with computers and technology).

Once she had started her course she kept telling me I should apply for it, but I had no marketing degree, I had no confidence, I’d been out of the workforce for over 6 years, I barely went on FB, had no idea what a Tweetchat was, and had never heard of Instagram. After a fair few conversations with Kate about her course, I started warming to the idea.

I spoke to my very non Social Media husband (who had no interest in SM, and had never used it for his business), so I though this was never going to happen, BUT to my surprise, he said ‘you’d be a fool not to do it, all businesses need SM’. I thought this is the green light, YES he’s right, I had a lightbulb moment, 10 years ago if you set up a business you may have had a website, nowadays you wouldn’t dream of setting a business up without one, and this is the way I saw Social Media in the workforce going… the next thing I knew was that I had taken the plunge and had applied!

I remember sitting in the kitchen waiting for my interview call, petrified, clammy, that nervous sick feeling, I had it all…. BUT my word I shouldn’t have done, Kathryn made me feel at ease straight away, and I soon forgot I was being interviewed more like having a chat with someone I had know for years. So you can imagine my delight when the email came through saying I had got a place on the course. The next few weeks passed very quickly I was nervous BUT very excited – a new chapter was about to start, a new journey, a new me.

Late October came, I sat down at my laptop staring at it, the sweats started happening, the nervous sick feeling came back, what the hell am I doing, I left school years ago, I haven’t got the capacity to learn new information, especially on a subject I no nothing about, I only went on FB to see what everyone else was doing, I never really used it! Twitter well what was that all about – who tweets, I’d never heard of a tweetchat, the same with Instagram, and as for Snapchat and YouTube that’s for the kids isn’t it, and Tik Tok,  well that wasn’t even talked about. What have I signed up for, what was I expecting – I don’t know was the answer, panic set in…. Finally I got a grip, I opened the laptop up and logged on to find module one, I read through it, took a breath and smiled, PHWEEE I thought, I had a feeling the next six months were going to be an exciting journey…. Which they were!

Life has changed very quickly in the last four years – The children are growing up FAST…. My husband is now on social media! And  I carried on with my BR6Life campaign and have actually turned it into a successful local business directory, however lines were getting slightly blurred as my social media business blossomed, did you know  I am now an accredited trainer and host various social media workshops in and around my local area and online! So finally thanks to our recent lockdown weeks I have managed to split the business in two, hence the birth of The Social Surgery. The Social Surgery focuses purely on my social media coaching and social media services I provide and BR6Life has gone back to its routes of showcasing local independent businesses and events in and around the local BR6 and surrounding areas.

I have loved the journey so far and look forward to continuing it, Social media is constantly changing and so I’m constantly learning which I love, just think you would never set up a business now without setting up at least one social media channel for it, my how quickly things change.

Lets see what the next four years bring.  

Thanks for reading.

Helen