Celia Gaze... who went from NHS Director to putting bow ties on Llamas…
Former NHS Director turned entrepreneur and author, Celia Gaze founded the multi award-winning Wellbeing Farm https://thewellbeingfarm.co.uk/ - Celia's business was established in 2013 and was originally intended to be a corporate events venue focusing on wellbeing, but a difficult business journey, (which was published into a book in 2020 ’Why Put a Bow Tie on a Llama? How a crazy idea can change your life and transform your business) resulted in The Wellbeing Farm turning into a multi award-winning wedding and events venue based in Edgworth, Lancashire.
Here, Celia shares with Female First how a crazy idea can change your life…
She said; “Has lockdown given you time to rethink your life? Perhaps you don’t want to go back to that dead-end job that pays your mortgage but crushes your mojo? Are you frustrated about getting another year older but still no closer to following your dream? Have you thought about changing your career but you are too scared to take the plunge?
“You’ve had this idea but you are wondering what people will think of you? Can you really make it happen? What do you need to do to get it out of your head? How could it become a reality?”
“I was that person and decided to do something about it. I said ‘goodbye’ to my life as a stressed-out NHS Director and ‘hello’ to a new life running a quirky wedding venue complete with llamas in bow ties!”
“Here’s some reasons why you need to do something similar:
(1) Do you want a life of permanent regret? Have you ever imagined you’re lying on your death bed and looking back wondering, ‘What did I do with my life? What will I have achieved? I often wonder this – perhaps I have an in-built fear of not making the most of my life, and if this is a fear that you experience, then I hope you will find solace in my story. My story is a guide to making the most of your life. I went from a stressed-out NHS Director to the Managing Director of a multi-award-winning quirky wedding venue with bow-tie-wearing llamas – I hope that in itself shoes and inspires you that it’s totally possible to translate your own ‘crazy’ ideas into personal and business successes.
(2) Think about what you could do with your life – is there something you are really passionate about? Can you imagine turning this into a business so you never feel like you are working again. Imagine spending your working life being so excited about the work you are doing, feeling upset when you can’t work because you love your work so much. This is such a good reason why you need to try as hard as you can to make your crazy idea work.
(3) Use your passion to start your vision board and take time out to think about what is important in your life and why? What do you think is your life’s purpose? This will give your life some meaning and direction – without meaning you run the risk of spending your life wandering with no direction, accepting the status quo and not making the most of your life.
(4) What are you scared of? What would you like to do but you are afraid of doing? Try and pull a plan together based a little around what you are scared of. Although the journey of setting up a business or changing your life can be difficult, the benefits of freedom, excitement and following your dreams make it so worth it. In my journey, there is not a business scenario that I haven’t experience first-hand, and all of this has taught me that you’ve got to be prepared to accept and embrace failure for the lessons it will bring, to be brave and be prepared to do whatever you can to raise your visibility. Having gone from a stressed out NHS Director to someone who now has time for daily walks, I took a month off to go on a yoga retreat in Bali, I don’t work on Fridays and embrace a job for the happiness it brings, I can tell you it was all totally worth it.
(5) A huge part of making your crazy business idea a reality is your mind-set. You need to have bundles of self-belief that you can do this. Believe and follow your gut instinct. Seek out who can help you. Allocate dedicated time to work on your mind-set. Remember that resilience and patience are the two most important elements to develop. You’ve got to remember to have fun, keep your passion going and remember why you are doing this.
(6) Ensure you are Passion-led - In the years after we launched I can’t say it hasn’t been hard. I have experienced more stress than I originally experienced in my old NHS role, but the stress is different – instead of frustration, I feel passion. I have the freedom I want to run my own business and design the life that I want.
(7) Live your life now, and give it a go – what have you got to lose? When I think of the moral of my story, it comes down to this: if you have a dream for a different life, don’t let anyone stop you. You only have one life, and you don’t waste it all thinking ‘what if?’.
Go and create your aspirational brand and find your distinctive space in the world.