When life gives you lemons, make a lemon drizzle




I’ve been running my own business for 5 years - that’s longer than I’ve ever been employed. Today I'm saying a big ‘Yee Hah’ to running your own business!


I thought this post would take a long time to write. I spent a long time deliberating over it during the Christmas break. A celebration of business in 2020 seemed a daunting task when our movements and activities were limited for so much of the year.


In reality, once I forced myself to stop procrastinating, sit down and start writing, the words flowed quicker than I imagined. That’s usually the case with most writing tasks, so if you’re pondering over a post, please just get on with it!


I started Comma Sense with a 5-year plan, which hasn’t quite come to fruition. Five years ago, I didn’t anticipate my husband starting his own business half way through the five years. Not achieving my plan is by no means a failure to me.


We’ve all been fighting our own, very personal, battles this past year. I’ve never felt the need to share my personal woes in the public domain. I’m one of those people who tries to see the positives and just gets on with life.


I say ‘When life gives you lemons, make a lemon drizzle cake and eat it all!’ And we all did a lot of baking in 2020...


So for now I’m determined to focus on the good things that came out of 2020. My blogging focus has always been to share ideas and lessons that other small businesses can learn from and make use of - and this is what I’ll continue to do.


A head down, get it done kind of year


With little else to do but work, I worked harder and longer hours than ever before. I spent many of these hours writing outside in my garden - my happy place - which wasn’t such a bad situation to be in.


I didn’t do a great deal of planning and wasn’t overly creative. In fact, my creativity took a bit of a blow (see Why I broke the golden rule of blogging). So I’d say it’s been a ‘head down, take the work when it comes in’ kind of year.


Exciting beginnings


The year began with hope and excitement and the launch of the TedX Warrington event, which was due to take place in June. It felt fantastic to be part of the organising team that was to deliver something huge for my home town. Of course, the event had to be postponed, but we will be back in 2021, without a doubt!


The fabulous TedX Warrington team ready and waiting for the green light


Early in the year, I delivered LinkedIn training to the wonderful team at CAFT, and took briefings for new websites (all face-to-face, of course) for a photographer and a firm of financial advisers, plus creative input on a charity re-brand.


When the first lockdown kicked in, thankfully the work didn’t dry up. I went on to create website content and blogs for organisations ranging from health and safety for industry to marketing communications and a care home. The diversity of my clients never ceases to amaze me. I’m proud to know a little about a lot of different subjects and sectors.


The highlight of the second half of the year was attending an online Literary Lunch. With my ticket booked since February I'd been looking forward to it all year. Hearing the stories of how successful independent authors came to be and listening to extracts of their work really inspired me and, although I don’t think I’ll be writing my book just yet, I feel certain it’s a goal I will one day achieve. As a bonus, I also came away with some handy Christmas present ideas!


Three things I’m thankful for


Let’s finish on a super positive note...


1. Thank you to the clients and agencies who’ve stuck by me and appreciate the value of my writing and creativity. Despite some of you dealing with very challenging circumstances, you have continued to understand the importance of communicating with your customers. You know who you are.


2. I’m grateful for my strength and ability to flex and cope with change. I understand that this doesn’t come naturally to some. One thing I struggled with was adapting my Blogging Masterclass to online. Taking my time here and seeking the right advice worked out well and I had positive feedback from the delegates. There will be more sessions to come this year.


3. With everything 2020 had to throw at us, I appreciate more than ever being in control of my own destiny. As a small business, you decide when to work, flex and take a break. When work was a little slower over the summer months, I chose help my husband in his business, and I offered my services for free to a small business I knew was struggling.


If 2020 taught us anything it’s that small business owners are resilient and innovative in the face of adversity. We’ve lived through a period of history and we will come out the other end - probably holding a lemon drizzle cake.


While there won’t be a celebratory meal out to mark Comma Sense’s fifth anniversary this year, I will take a moment to embrace the warm fuzzy feeling that achieving this 5-year milestone brings.


Onwards into 2021! Here’s to a super successful sixth year!