Labels – choose your identity before someone labels you

We can’t get away from them in society. I’ve had many in my career and indeed in my lifetime.

Teenage mother
Senior female executiveIMG_3317
Immune suppressed
Working mother
Older woman
Cancer survivor
Single mother
Female business owner
Older mother
Non-graduate
Mumpreneur
Older bride
HR person
Entrepreneur
New romantic (one of my favorites)
Main breadwinner
Support staff

Oh so many.

But I really don’t want to be defined by my health, my sense of style, the fact I have had children or got married or employ my husband or work.

The office of one of our local candidates has done a mail shot to potential female voters. His main assumption is that because I am female, I am in a low paid job with childcare issues. Now I accept that many people are in this position. Not just female but many will be.

But I have not got to the position I am in today (owner of a successful growing business) because I have ever had any self-limiting beliefs about what I can achieve.

In fact I have been positively driven by adversity.

When I had my daughter in 2006, I was back in hospital when she was 2 months old with septicemia. I was told I might not walk again. And that no one tended to breast feed in Intensive care. I did of course (managed 2 feeds a day to keep things going) and left hospital on crutches but these days I am a regular at combat training. That experience made me decide to apply for a promotion and move my family to the South West.

A few years later, when I had an unexpected spot of cancer a year after I had gone freelance I worked through it. I didn’t sign on and I didn’t let it do anything other than make me more determined. To get well. To work. To keep smiling.

I worked part-time predominantly for one of our favorite clients notonthehighstreet.com. Holly Tucker the CEO was very supportive and I used to go into the offices, wearing a turban and with a stick to help me walk.

That experience, helped me decide that if I was ill again I’d want a thriving business to be behind me. I’m not sure everyone has that reaction but I’d highly recommend it.

Don’t let other peoples labels define what you do. Drive your own identity and identify the choices you need to make and the path you need to take to get to the place you want to get to.

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