01 Mar Happy Birthday Market Avenue Limited: 14 Years in Business Signifies a Curious Transformation
My business turned 14 years old in February. Woohoo, time for a celebration.
But I don’t feel like it!
The lifecycle of a business is very much like life’s personal journey. In fact, the business is life if you’re its owner because the two are inescapably entwined. But, as is the inevitable nature of any journey, it must come to an end.
The story of business
On reflection, a business lifecycle unfolds as an emotional storybook of ups and downs, a textbook of lessons learnt complete with improvement tools and a glossary of explanations accumulated over time.
Joyful heart flutters can be felt when the business outlook is rosy, but when faced with obstacles or the proverbial hits the fan, it’s easy to fall out of love with the entity you nurtured from inception. A business is like a living, breathing thing that needs feeding, supporting and praising as it develops. Without this ongoing nourishment, a business can fall off the rails. Even you, as its owner, could topple.
Where am I going with this?
I started writing this article to celebrate my business, Market Avenue Limited (MAL), reaching its 14th birthday. But penning words about a celebration that ought to express feelings of excitement and achievement was instead met with a certain je ne sais quoi.
Mixed feelings about MAL’s future have thwarted me for several months, and while 14 years in business is a massive milestone, it no longer fills me with happiness. As someone who’s quite structured and prefers a level of certainty in life, this has caused much ambiguity around ‘what next’.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m super proud of the 14-year achievement. Successful pivots and diversification have ensured the business navigated through technological advances, changes in people, and pandemics challenging its course.
But I’m disheartened with where we are now.
If I’m honest, I feel like MAL has run its course. I sit wondering how many other business owners have reached this stage. Have you or do you feel like this?
Launching a business has a purpose. It’s exciting and daunting in equal measure.
Reaching success brings an incredible sense of accomplishment because you’ve triumphed against all the odds, enabling life to be much more fulfilling. But is it? Maybe. Perhaps for a period. But circumstances change.
I hadn’t planned on writing this article this way, but sometimes honesty and sharing are cathartic. Many people are undoubtedly experiencing the same situation, having reservations and asking questions. What now? What’s next?
Everything has a learning curve
Starting out 14 years ago, I was naïve in business and impressionable. Mistakes were frequent, but I people-pleased, said yes every time and became a workaholic. I made a success of MAL but to the detriment of my zest for life. I knew nothing but work. Fast-forward past a smack-in-the-face revelation and an emotional heartbreak, the desire to gain more from my time here on earth rekindled. I wanted to experience more.
Reaching a certain age, sensing a subtle pull on your heartstrings and a faint voice raising almost unanswerable questions can be overwhelming.
- What am I doing?
- What is life all about?
- Who am I?
Philosophical, maybe. Spiritual, possibly. Thought-provoking, sure. Time for change, absolutely!
Today, I’ve rediscovered my creativity and curiosity. I’m less structured, far more open-minded and seek to embellish want I want. It’s been an internal struggle to come to terms with ‘Anna, the copywriter and marketer’ stepping aside to make way for a new version. We’ve been entrenched for over two decades.
Letting go of MAL in its current form is like saying goodbye to a best friend. It’s emotional. There’s much anguish. Yet I can finally see a glimmer of transformation and it’s exciting. The butterflies have returned.
A metamorphosis stimulated by writing
Adventure travel and Mother Nature call me. The inner workings of the mind fascinate me. The world’s curiosities enrolled me as a lifelong student at birth. And I love the creative and therapeutic benefits that writing invokes.
I see a future in sharing the joys experienced from being curious about travel, nature, learning and mindset and guiding others creatively to experience this for themselves. I’ve chosen to follow my heart but only discovered its whispers through my own therapeutic writing. I challenged my thoughts and feelings through journalling and reflected on the lessons learnt for future progress.
Now, I’m ready to let ‘Anna, the creative, expressive and reflective writer’ explore the world by ‘writing with purpose’.
What does the future hold – a curious transformation maybe?
I’ll still write content for businesses operating in adventure travel, wellbeing and wildlife but dedicate my focus to creating resources and offering guidance in writing with purpose for individuals, including:
- writing for wellbeing (journalling) workshops
- creative, expressive, reflective writing prompts and resources
- thought walks (walking in nature to notice, be present and write)
- published writings of fiction and fictional autobiographies.
Writing has been a true love since holding a pencil and performing a legible (or, more likely, illegible) scribble. My change in direction will follow an imaginative, creative and more purposeful route for the individuals I work with – and for me. Or at least that’s my vision.
Transitioning from Market Avenue Limited to Anna Woolliscroft, Writing with Purpose, and all the branding bumf that goes with it may get messy along the way, but I’m going for it. Shifting the position of this article has been a liberating exercise – and one that feels right. It’s a public declaration!
Happy Birthday MAL
So, happy birthday MAL. You’ve taught me many lessons over the past 14 years, and I am eternally grateful. I will treasure our time together with the fondest of memories. But now it’s time for change.
Ideas and resources are waiting patiently in the pipeline. Most are experimental and experiential. Many are quite possibly a little wacky. But I’d love nothing more than for a few wonderful readers to join me on this new adventure.
All that remains to be said is that if you feel stuck or stagnant with your business or life, pause and reflect. Pick up a pen, open a journal and write freely. Express whatever and however it flows, then reflect. Listen to yourself and how you feel – in your mind, heart, body and soul. What rings true has to be worth exploring.
If this article has been intriguing, let’s connect and explore it together. Life is full of curious transformations.