Why I threw myself into the unknown?
What makes a 37 year old new mum, of a one year old toddler give up a solid, well paying, comfortable, secure job at a major corporation — and decide to start a new business? What makes wanting to balance the full time mum job, with the incredible challenges, anxiety and pure grit needed to start a new early stage business? Well for me its simple really, there has to be more. There just has to be more — I can’t just sit by and accept what I have seen in my life. I might not have a world changing revolutionary blog here, I might not share huge visionary insights in the social economy, the future of work, civic innovation or have the language to describe this new world I find myself in. However, there are many things about the city I live in, the world I live, the life I have that I am ever so grateful for, but there are some things that I have growingly become disillusioned at.
I spent 17 well paid years at an organisation, that I enjoyed. I don’t want to belittle them. But, I know I was always just a number on their payroll, I knew the minute I wasn’t useful I would be replaced with someone who could do more for less money. I knew that everyone fought to play the system as well as they could to suit them as much as possible, and whenever the chance came if I wasn’t smart I would be next. I don’t blame the people, people are inherently good, generally in my opinion. But, the system was flawed, it was flawed in so many ways. Creating a culture and a dynamic that meant humans were constantly in survival mode and treading on each other to get to where they needed to. I was so clouded for years and completely absorbed in surviving this too! This wasn’t ok, there had to be more, there had to be a way that I could add more value to the world around me and put all the years of work into something that was simply more fulfilling.
You here it all, don’t you — how your life changes when you have a baby, how its so hard for new mum’s and then the super heroic efforts that women make to sustain their careers and dreams whilst having children. Well, then it happened. I had a gorgeous little boy 16 months ago, and the reality hit home about how ridiculously tough it was. Don’t get me wrong he’s amazing but lets be honest you fall behind at work, you have to work 10 times harder to get back to where you were, you can put in the stupidly long hours to stay ahead. Everyone pretends its ok that your now a mum and you will manage both but you know you miss out. Yes, there are some progressive employers, but in the male dominated world I was in, my job didn’t even exist when I was to go back, it had conveniently been changed. HR is a wonderful resource, but isn’t it amazing how many rules can be bent to mean they hadn’t done anything illegal, but that I had no right but just to take the changed role.
Then, I started to look into nursery, how much?!? How much were they and wait how inflexible were they? Now, once again don’t get me wrong my sons nursery is stunning and they care for him so well, and they have to make their business model work. But, why do I have to only come between those times, why do I have to have a minimum number of days? When he is sick I still have to pay so much and wait; if I happen to work from home and just want a couple of extra hours with him, well its just not as simple as that. Again, I didn’t believe this was anyones fault, but the system just didn’t work, it wasn’t real, it didn’t really reflect the life I have and I was hearing it everywhere, the same things from so many ambitious, energetic, new mothers. They were starting to be broken by all of this, this wasn’t ok right? There had to be more, surely.
So, then here I was with a micro enterprise that I set up through my passion for baking, events and all things people. It was great, I took on a few more freelance roles and really started to enjoy life on the other side. It was hard, I went back to work much earlier than the year many take off, but I knew I had to build myself up again. I knew making something like the Hub happen would be huge. But, it isn’t all dreams. It is very hard, the security is gone, the chance to know that if I get sick or if my boy gets ill, I won’t be getting paid. If I decide to have another baby, well I basically I will be broke. So, I emerged on the other side of follow your dreams, changing the world and realised that wow I was not prepared or ready for it, and well the anxiety of living with so much uncertainty, is well quite simply brutal. So, why did I stick it out, why did we go hell for leather, throw everything in, go public for support, and take on such a massive space?
Well for me it was simple, I was already in, despite the certainty of the corporate job, I was just not sure that I could spend another 17 years as a number. I wondered what kind of world we were creating for our children, and I got worried. I heard a quote and it stuck with me, it was about if you can’t see the world that you want, or the thing your looking for, you need to make it. So, I was in, I knew that if we were going to have any chance of reimagining the childcare model, any chance of creating a different future for our kids, if more small organisations and freelancers were feeling like me, we needed to create the foundations for that to flourish. So, instead of looking around and wondering who was going to do it, I jumped in, with two feet and have given everything I have got, its a big risk, but the alternative is riskier.
I love being back in Birmingham, my childhood home, but boy I never knew how tough it would be to do this. The crowd funder has kept me awake at night, thinking will people back this? But, blimey the answer is yes. This is incredible, I have never felt so fulfilled with what I am trying to create and we are doing it together. So, thats it from me, its not fancy, its not full of the best social innovation knowledge. Its just plain and simple for me, the world is not working for so many of us, we go around talking about a broken system, I spent years looking at someone else to get on with changing it. Now, I am all in, one step at a time testing, trying, challenging and building new ways of doing things.
So, I am here to talk to, say hello @inderjitkaur77. Im imagining a more creative, flexible, affordable and collaborative way of thinking about childcare. I am thinking about what it means for a mother to have a career, job, dreams and aspiration, how that can flourish. I am thinking about how the office and world of work can be more like what we need. I am thinking about what it would mean to come into work everyday and feel part of something amazing and constantly inspiring. Finally, I am thinking about how this could be a bit more safe, secure and a real alternative. Generally, I am a bit of an addict of organisation and systems, so you may come across me asking for your details or when you are interested in events at, or with the Hub. Thanks world, you’ve been pretty awesome to us through this crowd funder, I am kind of speechless.
Keep supporting, become a founding member, or get some super cool creative rewards here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/immykaur/epic-brum-making-impact-hub-birmingham-a-reality?ref=nav_search