Back in February, we interviewed eCommerce guru Andy Cordina, better known by her business alias, Bettie Confetti. Andy had recently decided to leave behind her Marketing Manager day job to focus full-time on her greetings card business. Well, we didn’t want to leave her story there… We’ve teamed up with Andy to find out what it’s really like going solo. Over a series of monthly blogs, we’re going to uncover the ups and downs – and take the scary out of leaving the day job.
Almost three years ago, I got married. It was genuinely the happiest day of my life, surrounded by all my closest friends and family. I remember thinking on the day that I could actually physically feel the love in the room. It was spectacular. During the reception, my husband and I were both subjected to the typical jibes about having children. We both laughed it off while throwing looks to each other, knowing that we wanted to wait a little while.
Fast forward to three years later and the only pitter patter of tiny feet in our house are those of our Border Terrier puppy Obi.
You’d think after over two years of trying to conceive, that I’d be pulling my hair out and feeling pretty crappy about the whole thing. Yes, I’m technically what the NHS describes as infertile. Nice. But you know what? I’m OK with that. You know why? Because infertility doesn’t have to be the most devastating thing to happen to you. It can actually lead to amazing things like opening your own business and being happier than you’ve ever been before.
For so long after we got married, our friends and family were waiting with bated breath for the announcement that there would be a third Cordina in the world. I remember speaking to my Dad on New Year’s Eve 2015 and him saying “May 2016 be the year that you fill your new house with more than just furniture”. Classic embarrassing Dad.
I never really took any notice of it, thinking to myself that it’ll happen in good time. It was when people stopped asking, that I really started to pay attention.
When the story changed
My fertility issue took about two years to be properly diagnosed. During this time, I was on the verge of becoming one of those women that are obsessed with getting pregnant. I had it down to a military operation. And then, I got distracted. It was around this time that my little business idea started to take off.
Instead of counting ovulation days, I was counting orders. And then the whole story changed, and I couldn’t be happier.
Fertility (or infertility as the NHS so lovingly coins it) is a seriously sensitive subject for a lot of women. There’s an expectation as you reach your thirties that you’ll follow the path of getting married, having kids and investing in the white picket fence future. But for me, and so many others it doesn’t always go so smoothly. And it can really change the course of your life.
I could see that, if I allowed it to, infertility could take over my life. After many months and years of tests, poking and prodding, I was diagnosed with low AMH hormone. The doctors told me that there wasn’t a lot I could do about it, other than going through the rollercoaster that is IVF. Not something I was terribly keen to do.
This really put me at a cross roads. I could choose to carry around the perceived shame of not being able to conceive my own child and let it weigh me down for years. Or, I could choose to let life takes its course and be grateful for the things that I do have, rather than longing for those I don’t.
Ups and downs, good times and bad
I chose the latter. Not because I felt like I had no other option, but because I genuinely believe that life will still be full of ups, downs, good times and bad, regardless of whether I’m able to have my own child or not.
When I made this choice, I realised that I had a whole load of time and energy on my hands that I could use somewhere else. And being able to pour this energy into launching a small business and building a brand led me to being happier than ever before.
Starting your own business can seem like something that’s completely out of reach. Funny, as that’s the same feeling that you get when you’re trying to conceive. But with starting a business, all you need is an idea, and unlike trying to have a baby, the rest is totally in your control. Yes, it’s going to be hard work, but so is having kids and the results can be just as rewarding.