Slight Return….

I’m back.

That’s how it feels.

13 years ago, fuchsiablue was cobbled into being at a kitchen table in an Edinburgh flat. After several attempts to name my new enterprise – most iterations of which sounded appallingly Apprentice-like (I literally cannot remember some of my first attempts, I have purged them from memory) – the breakthrough came by flipping through a massive thesaurus, with a massive glass of red wine… finally I found the words-to-fit-the-thing.
Fuchsia blue it was – reflective of a short career where I was consistently been told all things HR/ L&D were pink & fluffy & I robustly insisted that I was not, I was blue & practical…

There have been a few iterations of the business – the first 3-4 years it wasn’t really a business at all. I worked interim contracts – resourcing & managing TUPE transfers into the newly-forming Transport Scotland, later working in Communities Scotland on resource projects…. And a gnawing realisation that I didn’t have a business… I had a series of contracts.

Cue next iteration – years 4 -8 ish – I trained as a coach, got MBTI qualified, began working as an Associate more – learned what sort of folk I like to work with. Tried out as an Organisational Consultant for a firm I desperately wanted to work with – got feedback about “faking good” that cut me to the core, but was so bang on the money that I had to go lick my wounds and learn..I did fairly standard Associate work for fairly standard companies and I rarely rocked the boat. I turned up, did a good job, got paid, went home.

And I was pretty bored. I began to pay attention to a whisper in me about the work I could be doing if I was prepared to be brave, to be true to myself, to be more creative and authentic and stop behaving like a good girl in case I didn’t get a good wage….Hello years 8 – 13.

The last 5 years have been about writing, about creating, about social media, about carving a coaching and consultancy space that sits slightly outwith the received wisdom of what it “ought to be” – I’m not Avant Garde, exactly, but I stretch stuff where I can. In 2012, I went to Ashridge Business school and took on a MSc which blew up my practice and from there I’ve reconstructed the bits in different ways. The last 5 years have been defined by running a business against a backdrop of divorce, debt, dealing with dementia, death, depression, deficit stuff – these years have also been defined by abundance – deepened old friendships & family ties, new friendships, new horizons, new work, new relationships, new location…

I’ve been told I’m lucky – I believe that much of that “luck” has been hard worked for and won. I acknowledge I have privilege – my background, education & ethnicity means I can walk more freely in the world than many do – my intention is to use that privilege in the best way I can, to include others, to encourage others, to be a bigger, better person.

Never have I felt more privileged and lucky than today – as I write this, I am in a new office space. For the past 6 months I’ve had no fixed place for fuchsia blue. In that time we have started the single biggest piece of work ever undertaken by FB – a piece of culture & OD work with the newly forming Greater Manchester Combined Authority – and I’ve really noticed the impact of not having a single place to work from.

In some ways, necessity has been the mother of invention – I’ve sought out co-working spaces, hot desk arrangements and operated when and how I can…but FBHQ, it turns out, is not merely of the mind. It comes with stuff – post it notes & sharpies, paint and glue, books and flipchart paper…the work is often as physical and visual as it is conversational and dialogic. The work, my work as I do it, needs reflection, consideration, peace and a lot of staying connected to folk.
Without a room of my own, I’ve struggled to write, to be connected, to be productive. Without the physical space for roots, I’ve been unable to grow and I’ve felt tighter, more constricted, less able to be expansive and relaxed.

That changed yesterday – after 12 hours of hard work, 2 coats of paint, hands aching from allen-keys, tunes on, working methodically, with good coffee & music and a stream of helpers and co-working colleagues in my new space – I finally have a new home for FBHQ.

So here’s to the re-birth of blogging and working more consistently. Here’s to reconnecting and being productive and pushing for different work that makes a difference…. Here’s to beginning of 2018, finally….

11 thoughts on “Slight Return….”

  1. Love this and love you. 2017 was a tough one for me but out of loosing yourself comes a momentous journey and I feel energised to grow my business again. With no idea of how this stuff goes its really useful to see your journey and timeline and know I will get there. Thanks for being you and helping us all be us xxx

    1. Hey Sarah – Its small steps & overcoming bumps and keeping sight of what’s important… and what’s not… I’ve often berated myself for not being one of those über-focussed mega-achievers, and then I remember what I do bring and how my meandering mind can catch and notice stuff that the purpose-junkies overlook… and I can relax a little.

      You are doing great. I watch you with wonder. Keep going x

  2. A wonderful read Julie, very inspirational. I think I will mull the “faking good” concept over the weekend and rattle it around a bit and see what remains in the sieve. Thank you for sharing and being you. Alan.

    1. OK… so let me know what you come up with?
      Fake it to you make it is all well and good, but I was crap at making-the-fake… so this strategy was fundamentally flawed for me…. heheheh.
      let me know your thoughts

      1. Good evening Julie,
        So after 2 fake free days, I have realised that making the decision towards true authenticity works and feels better. Making the choice to be more honest and less worried created the chance to consider articulate expression of thoughts and feelings. It helped relieve some of the ‘fakity’ within therefore, although threading with initial care and attention, helped realise that virtue and kindness are wonderful counter-balances. So onwards with practising the new habit and thank you again for the timely intervention.
        Best wishes…Alan.

  3. From the other end of the planet, thank you for sharing your hard-earned wisdom, thoughts, humour and stories. Jacqueline

    1. I’m waving to you , wherever you are. Thank you back for commenting – it’s a joy to hear from folk & this particular post seems to have got a lot of love. x

  4. So much admiration for you, the way you work, all you’ve achieved and your ability to honestly and humbly reflect. I remember your work at the CIPD NAP conference a couple of years ago – your murmuration analogy sticks with me to this day and I often reflect on it in different situations. Also fondly remember that wonderful evening of fun and laughter (and a little too much wine maybe) at the conference dinner. Please keep doing what you’re doing- the world of work needs people like you.
    Sara x

  5. Hi Julie, Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability in sharing this post. Its exactly what I needed to read this morning! I’m a fellow Ashridge traveler and sometimes the journey takes some unexpected turns! I look forward to more of your blogs! Christina

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