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'Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.
… So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.'
My name is Tracy and i am a single mother to a beautiful 6 yr old boy, i have been out of work for just over a year, have applied for endless jobs, got to interview stage with some of them but was unsuccessful in getting employment.
I decided about 5 weeks ago to make a drastic change in my life and to go self-employed.
I set up my own business cleaning houses for people who are working and called myself Maid To Shine Cleaning Services, i cant believe how successful it has already become and i am now fully booked up with regular clients
Sorting out my working tax was easy and have registered my business with the Taxman, I have fitted all my clients around school hours so only need a child minder during holidays which i still get 70% of the child minding fees paid by the government.
Because i was out of work for a little over a year, i was also entitled to a job grant which is a one off payment of £250 paid direct to myself, plus an extra £40 per week wage enhancement which is paid for a year from when i started work, this is a fantastic boost to my earnings and doesnt affect any of my other benefits, ie working tax credits
I would urge anyone who is struggling to find work to try it, it really isnt as daunting as many people think in starting up your own business and there is a lot of help for anyone thinking about doing this, you just need to be motivated and believe in yourself and you can do it
The Princes trust has many inspiring stories
The story behind a small clothing business. The Benefits of being mentored by a Businessperson with experience