Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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More of stuff

Posted by Oli on Wednesday 20th August, 2008

I hadn’t actually realised it’s been nearly a week since my last post.  In fact, I was just sitting at my desk doing work-y things when it occurred to me that I hadn’t done anything for a bit and wondering when it was that I did.  Anyway, if you haven’t read the Duck Race entry, do it now then go and sponsor a duck then come back here.  I promise I’ll still be here.

I’ve had one of those weird weeks where I can’t remember what on earth I’ve been doing other than the fact that I seem to remember being quite busy.

My main occupation over the last two days (that’s Monday and Tuesday) has been attending Business Link’s free courses on how to start your own business.  They come in 3 flavours, as well as a general introduction session that I did late last month.  So on Monday afternoon I did a three-hour session on planning a business, writing a business plan and doing market research to be able to justify the idea in the first place, swiftly followed by a three hour evening session on Marketing and Sales, which was unbelievably helpful and taught me a huge amount of stuff I didn’t know before and has really helped me with some techniques and strategies to follow should I decide to go down this route.

Then after a day of rest and brain-recovery, I did another three hours on Tuesday night on Managing Money – all the financial aspects of running a business including book-keeping, tax and national insurance and other important financy-things.

What surprised me the most about the whole thing was that I actually really enjoyed being in a learning environment again – being taught things, learning things, using my brain to try to grasp things I’d not fully understood before.  It really was great fun and really, really helpful.

As a side note, any of you who think you’d like to start a business or similar, I can thoroughly recommend Business Link and their services and courses.  Everything they do is 100% free and you can do the open workshops like I did as well as talking to a Business Link Adviser, who are all bona-fide business people who really know what they’re doing.  I’ve been really impressed by them and would definitely use them again.

Beyond my courses the only other thing of note I think I’ve done is attend a show produced by my old MKT boss at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable.

I’m not one for hyperbole – ok, I am, but I’m not one for giving undue praise, so it should be noted that the Grove’s Wizard of Oz is without doubt the best Youth Theatre production I’ve ever seen.  It was utterly remarkable and even more so for the fact that it was put together as part of a two-week summer school.  That’s just 2 weeks spent working with a professional director that got the kids involved up to a standard superior to some professional productions I’ve seen (no names mentioned, Yellow Wallpaper).

I was thrilled that TJ invited me to come and see it and gobsmacked at the standard of performance from the entire cast, but particularly by the four leads, who blew me away with their voices and their physicality.  I really can’t congratulate the cast or the guys at the Grove for such a spectacular show.

I’ve got a busy weekend of fun coming up this weekend and I promise to blog in full detail about the whole thing on Monday, provided I don’t forget again…


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