Health and Beauty

Starting a business straight out of university

Funmilaya Aiyenuro graduated from university three months ago, and she’s ready to get started as a young entrepreneur.  She’s literally putting the ingredients of her business together.
She’s be doing consultations and training in making your own natural cosmetics, and providing clients with bespoke natural beauty products.
Currently she’s finalising her recipes, getting her products tested, and building her network of contacts. 

Getting started as an osteopath

Last year, Austin Plunkett qualified as an osteopath, flush with success after five years of study. Now all he needs to do is to figure out how to set up a business, and make a living, from his newfound qualification.

His first degree was in history of art, and “the internet happened when I was at university.” He tinkered around with some programming in his spare time and found himself a career in web design.

23 happy years as an osteopath

Rupert’s been an osteopath for 23 years, he’s never done anything else, and he clearly LOVES his work. 
He chuckles throughout our interview and seems quite baffled by questions about any downsides to his working life.
When he started at the British School of Osteopathy, he’d never had a treatment himself.  “My dad had though, and friends of his, and they were very keen.”  His mum, a physiotherapist, was “quite anti.” 

Becoming recognized as an expert

While looking after her two small children, Lillian Bridges knew she wanted to finish writing her book.

“I took a class at UCLA on how to write a non-fiction book."

"The teacher said, make yourself an expert in the eyes of the publisher. I said, I don't feel like an expert.”

“He said, well how long have you done faces? I said, well since I was five. He just burst out laughing and said, okay Lillian, if you're not an expert nobody is - go teach a class. I said, what?”

Making time for family by working for herself

It was when she had her first baby that Mary Madeline Day decided to work for herself.

“It was the US laws of maternity leave. I disagree that six weeks is enough to be home with the baby. When we decided to start a family, I also decided I’m going to be home, so that’s how it all started.”

Back then, Mary Madeline was a graphic artist, and initially she freelanced. “We lived up in Illinois and I actually had a lot of freelance work. It was perfect for me because with the baby I could create my own schedule basically.”

Teaching dance full time

Christine is clearly full of energy, but when I saw her six months ago she looked drained. Life in IT support in the City clearly wasn’t suiting her.

“For six months, I was just going to work, coming home, eating my dinner, and going to bed,” she says.

I saw her again a few weeks ago, and she was glowing. She’s gone full time with teaching dance, Pilates and Zumba. What a nice change to see!

"There's no such thing as a rich herbalist"

Mala Bissoon never set out to be self-employed, but after retraining from graphics to herbalism in 1997, “you don’t go out and get a job as a herbalist, there’s no such thing.” 

As we sit in her sitting room, her dog Lola, a manic fluffy bundle, nips around doing her best to chew my handbag.  Mala laughs as she described her career progression as “a series of mishaps“.  

Building up gradually to being her own boss

It was during youthful travel that Kerry Marshall caught the acupuncture bug. “Travelling in Asia I had come across acupuncture and some other Chinese and Asian medicine techniques, and was really attracted to it all.”

Doing various travellers’ jobs along the way, Kerry found herself in London. “I went to an open day at an acupuncture college and loved it, and loved the whole concept of study, and four years later I was an acupuncturist.”

Starting out as a personal trainer

Levente Lambert came to London from Hungary, keen to improve his English, and seek out better opportunities than he could find at home.

“In Hungary, the economy is really bad. Wherever you go, even if you have full diplomas, it’s really difficult to get a job.”

“So, many people are coming to the UK, even with several diplomas, and they are working in Starbucks or Café Nero. They earn more money here, working as a barista, than they do there working as a teacher or something.”

Loving the lifestyle of working for herself

Lacey Nagy doesn’t sound like she was ever cut out for life as an employee: “I finally had an awakening. I had been fired from every job that I have ever worked at.”

“I was late here and there, but as I really started to master the skill of punctuality and efficiency and productivity, I was always really good at every job that I did. But I would still get fired for the most crazy reasons.”

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