The Witch of Portobello

I’ve been off work 11 days & I’ve already read 2 books. I used to read so much, but driving or cycling to work as opposed to taking the train had a significant impact on my reading time, as has had having children.

Up until two weeks ago, I would finally get a bit of free time to sit down with my book and then find my eyes closing after a few lines. At long long last I am not too tired to read!

In January I heard a discussion about ‘World Book Night‘ on the radio and managed to look it up just in time to get registered to be a book giver on April 23rd. I was so excited because my school friend Emma’s book (Room; Emma Donoghue) was on the list of books being given away that I also managed to persuade my daughter and some friends at work to register before the deadline. My daughter picked Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, one of my all time favourite books, so later in the year when I found a set of other books by the same author in a local charity shop, I decided to buy them and read them all.

During the Easter Holidays I finally got a bit of time to myself and started reading ‘The Witch of Portobello’.

I had been trying to gear myself for quite some time to making the leap to becoming self employed, yet never quite having the self confidence to take that final step.

When I trained as a Mathematics Teacher a few years back I was asked by quite a few people if I would be interested in tutoring, so I went as far as making a name for my tutoring company ‘Add-it-1-on Tutoring’ but I’m not sure if it’s the name I don’t like, but I didn’t take it anywhere. I have had a few students, mainly friends of my children, and they all did well in their exams, so maybe I really should start advertising!

I’ve also realised I’m really good at teaching ICT/Maths to adults, and teaching children with ASD and behavioural problems… I guess this is where I get stuck with the advertising…. How do I write that in a shop window & what could a better name for my company be? Do I need a name? How about Barbara Molony ?

I would also really really like to make jewellery, and I have some great ideas for pendants and charms for bracelets, but I need some guidance on how to start! I would like to make my own silver charms, but equipment & materials will cost me money I just don’t have! The alternative would be to get someone else to make my designs, (where do i find such people) or to buy wholesale, but so far the only places that I can find that sell the items I want to sell are in America, so there is the minefield of import taxes etc too! HELP!

Maybe what I should do is ring the Inland Revenue? It would help I think to be registered as a Sole Trader with them in order to be able to buy things wholesale. (It would also help to have some money to buy things with……)

Plan C…. Sell all the things I have been hoarding! During the Easter Holidays I also started selling some shoes I never wear on eBay. They sold quite well, so I started selling some clothes too. The whole exercise was quite time consuming, but while I was on holidays I had the time to do it & quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately while watching things selling (or not as the case may be) on eBay I also noticed some rather fabulous shoes that could fit into the newly cleared space in the hall…. so I don’t think my net income was nearly as high as it could have been, in fact I probably made a loss, but my feet are happy!

I did have a quick look in the attic before going back to work & packing away the eBay bags & parcel tape for a while and there is quite a collection up there that I am determined either to sell on eBay or at a car boot sale, or give away. Our attic is about to collapse under the weight of it all, and most of it has been there for over 5 years, so is not as essential as I thought when I put it up there!

Reading ‘The Witch of Portobello’ gave me the final impetus, the surge of self confidence that I needed to take the step off into the unknown and hand in my resignation. Belief in my ideas, in my abilities, in my self worth.

I have now got plans up to letter H, but plan A has to be to take some time out, sort out my home, my head, and find out what I need to know about surviving financially as a self employed multitasker! Thankfully I get paid until the end of August, so I have a month to do some research ( & hopefully get some more reading time too!!)

PS. Have just noticed how to spell Coelho. This means I have been spelling it incorrectly in my previous posts. Apologies. I am dyslexic & my spell checkers don’t pick up on names.



About Barbara

Born in Dublin, living in London with Peter, my two daughters, Wilson our Spaniel & Woordow our Malshih (Shih Tzu-Maltese cross)
This entry was posted in Books, Dyslexia, Life, Money, Self Employment, Shoes, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Witch of Portobello

  1. grannymar says:

    Have you looked at for selling?
    I think you need to have a chat with Elly about Marketing and starting a business. She also makes jewellery. Her middle name is IDEAS and her advice 5*


  2. Barbara says:

    Sounds like a plan. I’ve bought things from Etsy before, so a good idea. I know exactly what it is I want to make, just need to work out if I can manage to start up with no capital!!


  3. Pingback: There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in « Day One

  4. Jo Bryant says:

    happy feet…i love that you talk about happy feet in all of this.


  5. Barbara says:

    And the book is sort of about dancing….


  6. Al says:

    I have dipped my tootsies into E–bay as a buyer but have yet to try to sell something. Patty has had great success with a lot of furniture.

    As for the name of your entrepreneurial endeavor (I know you must hate a capitalistic term like that) how about “Your divided attention”?


  7. Al says:

    Actually, I meant to say “My divided attention”


    • Barbara says:

      Lol 🙂
      Making things or selling talents as a means to survive is not very capatillistic (no idea how to spell that??) really, it’s the same as being employed is it not?
      Selling on eBay is fun, but you have to do it on your own account, occasionally Peter has asked me to list things for him & it drives me nuts, as I have to respond to questions about the items and also their satisfaction goes on my ratings. Luckily so far everyone has been happy, but I find it insanely stressful! I will have to set up a seller account for him so he can do it himself!!
      I like the name… On my business card I have a little logo, a circle with lots of wiggly lines coming out of it, each with a smaller different coloured circle at the end. It represents my multiple abilities and talents.


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