(I hope you liked my Florence and the Machine reference....!)
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog and I thought, given that the MYO season is quietening down, that I had no excuse not to provide an update!
In truth; this summer has been the hardest yet. With three vans and another full time member of staff (woo!); I worked hard to ensure we had a full calendar of events with all three vans being used. On most weekends, we usually had 2 - 3 simultaneous bookings! With a lot of planning, I felt confident that everything would run smoothly and the vans would do me proud. I was really excited about watching MYO grow and was so chuffed that we would be seen at such high profile events e.g. Burghley, Southampton Boat Show, Goodwood and so on.
Sounds great, right?! What can possibly go wrong?! Well, let me tell you…
Staff - this was basically my main problem throughout the summer. Since moving up to Northamptonshire; I’ve had a limited ‘staff base’ as I’ve lost my trusty family and friends to help out last minute. Instead, I’ve had to rely on Facebook groups and random people to work for me at events. Although I have managed to find some decent casual staff; most haven’t been the most reliable. Ultimately they just see the job as ‘money’ so don’t tend to have much commitment or motivation to work hard for MYO. I truly believed that this wouldn’t be the case for two full time members of staff; but sure enough - I was left unlucky again! I won’t go into the nitty gritty, but sometimes having staff causes more stress than trying to do everything yourself!
Luckily; I have been truly fortunate in that my partner Tom has effectively learnt to be me, and can now confidently run the vans by himself (he might not say this, but he does a blooming good job!). Hopefully he doesn’t run off and do his own thing now ;) Joking aside, it is a lot more enjoyable when Tom helps as I’ll often book a hotel where the event is, and it means we get a weekend out of it too. I’ve also tried to show my appreciation by rewarding him with lots of yummy meals out and spa breaks - so it’s not all bad! Unfortunately, Tom has a full time job so I can’t poach him for MYO!
Break downs - Ahead of 2018; I managed to get through a whole year (nearly two) of Bella and Theo playing ball. However, this year, every single van has at various points come to a halt… and more than once. The flash floods, the heat and long journeys just took it out of them; meaning the RAC received numerous calls and I spent a lot of my time on the hard shoulder. I generally consider myself quite a positive person; but when you’re letting down a customer and the RAC aren’t going to be with you for another 4 hours or so, it’s hard to maintain such a sunny outlook. So, at the moment - two vans are at the garage… Theo needs a new engine, Bella needs a new clutch and Monty needed his entire brake system re-doing. But… it did force me to buy the present of the year - a trailer. I don’t know how I went so long without one but it is such a dream and means I can definitely get to the events now. See, every cloud…
Although this summer was pretty stressful, I have learnt a LOT and have finally learnt the art of saying ‘no’. I’ve also met some fantastic people, been to some incredible locations and tried some delicious street food (obviously not as good as MYO’s, but that goes without saying!) I often wonder how much easier it would be working 9-5 in an office, but then how would you appreciate such highs, without the lows?! There’s also nothing as rewarding as feeling like you’ve made somebody’s day with the arrival of the vans and then hearing how great your product is - it’s enough to get me through anything!
Also.. another bonus (see, there’s always an up side!) the challenges of the summer led me to exercise, and as a result I have lost almost two stone and love exercise more than ever now. As a result of my new found addiction, I decided to take the plunge and train to become a personal trainer as I love seeing people’s confidence transform as they get fitter. I’ve also realised how exercise is such a wonderful stress release and it’s hard to leave the gym miserable after a good workout! It also ties in nicely with MYO as it means I have something to keep me entertained across the seasons - and, it’ll still be my business :) So, yep my aim is to make everyone fat with pizza in the summer, and then I can help them get back to their pre-pizza bodies in the winter!!
Finally, let's talk personal life! Admittedly, its been harder than we thought to find people our age but we have had a great time (when we’re not working) - we’ve been to Bordeaux and Florence for two absolutely beautiful weddings. I don’t think I can get married now as it won’t match those!! We’ve been on numerous weekend breaks, thanks to MYO taking us all over the UK and we’ve booked to go to Cuba and South Africa next year. So, it’s not all bad - having such a busy summer means we can afford to go on nice holidays, go for plenty of meal outs and drink away our sorrows ;)
Going forward; MYO is only going to cater for private events, and only those that are local (within 30 miles of home). We will still be catering in the Salisbury area, as Monty resides there. Most of MYO’s bookings are private and corporate anyway, so this should still keep us busy. I’m just going to say no to any events in Norfolk/Wales/Chester… for example! I’m going to invest more of my energy into securing corporate contracts and the rest of the time, I will be working on building a client base as a PT. So… if you want help shifting any extra pounds, or just want to get fit, get in touch - I’ll offer you a good rate ;)
That’s all from me - I hope you enjoyed another honest update :) Ciao for now!