A case study of someone making a flying start with a new lifestyle and business!
We get many inquiries from folk who have had one career for many years but are now ready to look into what they can do to work and earn money in a different way.
When the lovely Kim Osborn got in touch with us a few weeks ago we knew her story could be something you could relate to. We met Kim in a vintage coffee shop early this summer to talk about her life, aspirations and where she should go next. Over tea and English muffins we sketched out not only a plan for Kim to move forward with her dreams for independent income, but how we could get involved too!
Can you briefly explain your background i.e. what’s lead you here?
I’d been flying with British Airways as cabin crew for 28 years when I was offered voluntary redundancy in March 2013. The timing felt right; flying is not just a career, it is a lifestyle and I realised I was ready for a change. I was also excited by the chance to think about a business of my own. So I now find myself at a life challenging crossroads!
What it is you want to achieve? (In terms of business and lifestyle)
I am keen for stability in my life, no more jet lag, control of my days off and finally being in charge of my own career. I have a wedding /portrait photography business which has been working alongside my flying career for the past 5 years and I want to extend its potential.
What made you think of trying a new/ more flexible way of earning an income?
I‘d been thinking about how I could make the most of my short and long haul on-board manager experience without having to fly anymore. I would love to achieve a new career in training. My goal is to support and guide would-be cabin crew, preparing them for a career in flying and helping them gain the confidence and knowledge to pass an airline training course.
Kim is ready to go back to Africa…maybe not to see the Giraffes though!
You’ve already made a start on some travel haven’t you?
I travelled so much with BA which I loved but a lot of it was governed by my work- where I could go, how long for etc. Since leaving work 3 months ago I’ve taken a trip to Portugal and can’t imagine not having regular travel as part of my lifestyle. Now I need to work on the business so I know that I can pay for it!
How have we ended up here together today?!
A colleague knew that you have a similar business concept to my training idea with one of your websites so introduced us. We exchanged a few emails and when you suggested we meet I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk to someone who ‘gets it’ in person and see where it could take us. I’ve had some help with my plans to expand my photography business over the last few weeks already but it’s been reassuring to hear some of the same ideas and advice from you as well to know I’m moving in the right direction. There is so much potential and I just wasn’t sure how to realise it but its getting much clearer now.
What excites you about this project and change of direction?
I am really excited about starting a brand new business venture, which will hopefully give me more flexibility and control of my life (no more working Christmas day!). I am passionate about flying and very proud to have shared a big part of a very successful airline and brand as BA and would love the opportunity to pass this knowledge onto others.
Which part is the most daunting?
The most daunting part of this challenge is starting something new – investing time and money into something that may or may not work. There is so much uncertainty!
Kim is now on the path to working from here!
How do you feel about the partnership model we’ve discussed i.e. benefits/ disadvantages?
I am really excited about the partnership model! I feel the blending of our different skills i.e. your coaching, business ideas, marketing and IT know-how and my airline knowledge could lead to a successful enterprise.
Since that meeting with Kim we have established a weekly slot for catching up on who has done what, and setting goals of what needs to be accomplished in the following week. We have a clear outline of a business model and what needs to be done to get it ‘off the ground’ (love the flying analogies!) We’ve been really impressed by how prepared she is to work hard, follow our suggestions and take action, even though she has no guarantees of how it will work out. It’s that attitude, and ‘doing’ rather than just creatively brainstorming, which will ensure she succeeds.
Partnership working can be really effective; each party brings a different skill set to the table to reduce time and costs, and profits are shared. It’s important to be clear about expectations and commitment i.e. time and money spent.
Kim proves that whatever your background, experience, life stage or aspirations, if you have a proactive attitude and willingness to give things ago you can start to make things happen around you fairly quickly. She’ll need to be careful how she manages her time and focus as she is not only trying to expand an existing business but also start an entirely new one, but getting help is a smart move to ensure she can keep both moving forward.
Whether you are part way into a career that’s not doing it for you anymore; taken redundancy or early retirement; are looking to reinvent your life or just hoping to find a sideline to boost your income we hope you can take inspiration from Kim’s story.
We’ll check-in (is that another one?) with Kim again in a few months time and see how her new lifestyle and business ventures are working out for her.
Are you following in Kim’s footsteps?
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