Starting my own business...

Monday, May 15, 2006

I've decided to start my own business to try to bring in some extra money while I'm working on the web design training. I started the process a little over a week ago. It was a split decision that I just ran with. I'm going to be doing make-up for weddings and special occasions (as well as selling virgin cosmetics to my clients). I'm using what's left of my savings to start the business. The cosmetics start-up kit is costing a pretty penny and the rest is going into advertising.
I took out an ad in the Thomson's Yellow Pages (not the main yellow pages, but not a bad place to advertise either), placing an ad in a booklet of local businesses that gets distributed around the area and I'll also be advertising in the weddings section of the local newspaper (and of course on the web). The local newspaper will also be doing a write-up on my business in the weddings section sometime in the next 6 weeks. They'll be sending out a photographer and writing up a little editorial. It's a free extra that they do if you commit to 12 weeks of advertising. I'm hoping it helps bring in some good business.
I'm going to try and use being American to my advantage (it's not like I can avoid it). I trained in NY back in the day when I started out with Clinique (a lifetime ago) so I've decided to work it into my business name. I'm calling it NY Image and I'll advertise the fact that I trained there. I'm hoping this will put me being American in a positive light (considering it's not always looked upon as a good thing).
For the last couple of weeks I've been setting up my business plan, start-up budget, working on the business name & logo and doing the artwork for my ads. I need to have the ad done as well as the website for the business done by the end of next week so I'll be scrambling a bit this week. I'm looking really forward to seeing how it goes.
I've also booked in my first web job too. I'll be doing my personal trainer's website for him and in exchange, I'll get free training from him (woo-hoo). We can do well for each other business wise. People lose weight for weddings so I can send business his way and he can do the same for me. I think it should work out well. Although, I won't be getting any free training for a couple of weeks because I have to wait until I finish my business website before I can start his. For now, I will have to continue paying for my torture!
Anyway, since I said I'd be updating my blog more regularly, I thought I'd explain why I haven't had the time to do so. I'll be updating from time to time when I have a free moment though. Thanks so much for all the great comments and input. It's always wonderful having contact with fellow expats!



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On speaking English...

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

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I have had so many new visitors that are future expats that I thought it would be a good idea to offer some words of advise to those coming to live in the UK and learning to speak the language...
One thing to keep in mind - Add the word 'Trousers' to your vocabulary to take the place of the word 'pants'. In the UK, 'pants' means 'underpants' and people look at you funny if you ask them if they like your new pants! Last week, I told my trainer that all my pants are too big for me and he seemed a bit confused on why I'd be so forthcoming with such information. Unfortunately, it wasn't until later that I realized what I said! Lavendar
There are a lot of words that take on new meaning when you come to England. You'll soon find out that you don't really speak English - you speak American and you'll soon finding yourself translating in your head before speaking.


Examples:


Hair - bangs are called fringe & braids are called plaits.
Clothing - tank tops are called vests, vests are called waistcoats, sweaters are jumpers, sweater vests (for men) are called tank tops, suspenders are called braces and guarders are suspenders. Men's underwear are called pants and woman's are called knickers. Confused yet?? The good news is that socks are still socks. A bathing suit is sometimes a swimming costume, and if your invited to a fancy dress party it's not a black tie event - it's actually a costume party (I'm still confused by that one).
Household items - A trash can is a bin, a faucet is a tap, cabinets are cupboards, closets are wardrobes, vacuums are hoovers a couch is a settee (or sofa) and a comforter is a duvet.
Food related items - Cookies are biscuits. Pancakes are not anything like what we have for breakfast, french fires are chips and chips are crisps. Oh, if someone invites you over for tea - they are actually inviting you over for dinner so don't eat before you go - Unless they invite you over for a cup of tea - then you get tea!
I can go on forever! Scared? Don't be! Most people watch American television and lucky for us - they speak American and will get your meaning most of the time. After a while it gets easier and easier and you'll soon find yourself trying to remember the American terms for things when speaking to friends and family back in the states! It's then that you know you've really arrived! Lavendar



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Attitude adjustment...

Sunday, May 7, 2006

It's been a while since I blogged regularly. I guess I've been going by the rule - if you don't have anything nice to say - don't say anything at all. I hate 'woe is me' type entries and for the last month or so, I've been really down and haven't had anything good to say. I think it started with the news that Aniela (my fellow expat girlfriend) was moving back to the US and was exacerbated by the incident with Wayne's cousin and the flare up of my condition (along with a general feeling of homesickness & loneliness).
I was really depressed for quite a few weeks there and haven't been doing much more than going to the gym and other random things to keep me busy during the day. I haven't even worked on my web classes (in any serious way) in weeks (probably because I can't concentrate when I'm in pain - never mind get very motivated).
I'm not so down anymore. Maybe it's the sunshine. Maybe it's the fact that I've gone down a dress size since I started going to the gym. I'm not really sure what made a difference, but my mood seems to have brightened and I'm feeling more myself. I'm going to make a conscious effort to start blogging on a regular basis again.
As far as my flare up goes - I think I've passed the worst of it and (knock on wood) I've been feeling much better this week. Hopefully, I'm getting stronger and the flare-ups will be fewer and farther between.
My training is going quite well. I've become immune to how cute my trainer is and haven't blushed in weeks (Thank God). Wayne has also stopped referring to him as 'Dan-Dan the gorgeous man' which helps a lot. I now see him as just 'Dan' and the blushing only lasted for our first couple of sessions. I'm really quite relaxed around him (despite how cute he happens to be) and have grown to depend on him to keep me going on the bad days. He has been really good with helping me stay focused through the pain. On my better days, he's been a good laugh and has taught me a lot. I've decided to stay on with him until I either lose the weight or can't afford him anymore. =)
During my absence, I have gotten quite a few really encouraging emails and comments and I just want to thank those who took the time to share their thoughts with me and try to help lift my spirits. I hope my new visitors will stick around and continue to participate.
I feel somewhat guilty for going through my little bout of depression. I feel like I should be counting my blessings. When I think about what my life was like before Wayne swooped in and rescued me - I think who the hell am I to complain?? Just a few years ago, I was struggling to get by financially (failing miserably), I had a restraining order on a man who in no uncertain terms - tried to kill me, was getting letters from him while in jail & lived in fear every day of both him and what would become of me when I finally ran out of money. I lost almost everything and was going down in flames...
Now, I live a very comfortable life and have a man who not only takes very good care of me, but loves me just as much as I love him. I don't want for anything and am more than blessed with the fact that at the end of the day, I fall asleep each night next to someone who I love more than I ever thought possible. Who am I to complain?? Who am I to get depressed?? I'm a lucky woman and I'm going to do my best to focus on the positive from now on.
I'm going to update my song of the week when I'm done with this entry as well. I think I'll start with something upbeat to stick with my look on the brighter side attitude...



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