It was 1998 when I decided to make dramatic changes to my life and redirect my thoughts to obtain my dream. I was a working professional medium and psychic artist visiting my customers within their homes, venues and on the odd occasion in my own house, but it was not what I wanted. My dream was to have my own shop and work from one location, where people could freely locate me and I could also sell giftware and other new age products. My friend had directed me to a new place that had opened in our town and they were advertising for a clairvoyant. I hurriedly went along and gave the owner a free reading to prove my abilities. I was offered the job straight away. Finally I had a base, but again I wanted my own shop.
It was a few weeks later when I bumped into an old friend who told me about her new part time job for the local Business Centre. I had never heard of the place before, she explained to me how they closely work with The Prince’s Trust and how they offer grants and business advice. This was music to my ears, I felt like the opportunity had been directed to me. I had to learn more and so I asked my friend to book an appointment for me. She did and a few days later I was having a meeting with a Business Mentor.
I quickly learned that my profession would be frowned upon by some and so the Business Mentor directed me to put the basis of my ideas down onto a business plan, but to not fully disclose my intentions of offering readings until the money was secure. It seemed a little cloak and dagger, but I listened to his sound advice and agreed that the time was not right for me to shout out and claim fairness for all spiritual readers.
Everything began to happen quickly. I located a shop that would suit my needs, as it had a shop area, sitting area, a private kitchen where I could do individual readings and a bathroom. I was set. My business plan was not difficult to complete, as the advisor had given me an example to learn from. He also gave me computer software.I sourced local wholesalers who sold the new age products that I wanted to sell and I obtained prices and other relevant information from them. This I attached to my business plan. Therefore, I was honestly showing the type of products I was going to offer and the type of shop it would be, I just did not enter my extra curriculum.
My second meeting came about quickly and the Business Mentor completed all the forms for the Prince’s Trust. He explained how I would have an interview with them and then they would hopefully offer me a grant, a loan or both. It all depended on the day and how much funding they had to offer.The day arrived for my interview, my nerves secretly fluttered in my stomach, as I gave a confident smile. To my astonishment the interview was very informal and it felt like I was sat talking to my granddad! The older gentleman was a very kind soul and he was very keen to assist me.
I did it, my dream was set! I received £350.00 in the form of a grant and a £3,500.00 loan. My Business Advisor was shocked and commented on how I was the only one to receive that amount on the day, everybody else had been given a lot less. On top of the help from the Prince’s Trust the Business Centre gave me a £700.00 grant and I did not have to repay the loan to the Prince’s Trust until six months later, which gave me plenty of time to set up the shop and earn an income. Times have changed since 1998 and the Prince’s Trust offer further services. Thankfully spiritual work is no longer a taboo subject and many people have set up shops and other premises with the same support as me.
Eventually I opened a second shop and continued to be invited to business meetings. I found the support to be excellent and very helpful, plus I met many other local start-ups, so my connections also grew.
You can locate the Prince’s Trust at http://www.princes-trust.org.uk You can locate your nearest Business Centre and lots of other helpful information from the website. Look for the Business Programme link and it should say the following:
If you have a business idea, if it is your first start-up, are aged 18-30 and unemployed, the Business Programme could be for you. It provides a loan of up to £4000, your own business mentor and lots of other support. Are you:
• aged 18-30
• unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week
• living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
You may receive:
• A low interest loan of up to £4,000 (up to £5,000 for a partnership)
• Ongoing advice from a business mentor
• Access to a wide range of products and services. This includes our free legal helpline, sponsored by Barclays.
• A grant of up to £1,500 in special circumstances (subject to local availability)
• A test marketing grant of up to £250 (subject to local availability)
If you don’t fit in to these groups you can locate information about other organisations.
A couple of months after opening my first business I received a visit from my Business Mentor and a group of people who donate to the Prince’s Trust. I showed them my shop, thanked them for their support and then revealed my kitchen area where I conducted readings. They were very impressed and one lady commented on how the kitchen was a great place to offer such a service, as it was like having a cup of tea and a chat, less formal and relaxing.
I felt very proud and relieved to think my secret was out and that the donators accepted it as good business sense! I have never looked back.
You too could soon be living your dream. There is always an available opportunity, you just need to identify what it is you want in life and then go for it.