Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in

I was lucky enough to work with Gail Cherry from Torchlight Coaching when I first started Black Bee Creative and was getting business support from the GENESIS Programme at BBIC. She helped me with so many things on many different levels, not only the practical stuff like bookkeeping and marketing, but also how to run a business while not encroaching on my family time. She also encouraged me to dig deep into ‘why’ I was going it alone and that has helped me keep my head over the past 2 years when I feel like I’ve lost my way.


As a disciple of Gail’s methods I was thrilled to welcome her to Crafty Business this month to share some of her wisdom with the group! As the majority of our members work alone, she chose to give an interactive talk about being a ‘Team of One’.


Gail always seems to come at things from a quirky angle which helps you to see it in a different light. She took this opportunity to tell us a story based on children’s book ‘The Enormous Turnip’. I know, I know – you’re thinking she’s bonkers, right? But just go with it… Gail handed out some illustrations (created my me!) which we could colour in while listening to the story and fully indulge our creative sides as she told us her version of how we can pull up our turnips (or businesses – in case you hadn’t already guessed!) without it being too painful.




Crafty_16_6_15Gail’s tips are to:
  • Outsource the things you’re not good at. Free up your time for what you do best!
  • Build your own support team. Often friends and family just don’t get it, but other business wonders will understand you better.
  • Be patient! Don’t be hard on yourself when things don’t happen overnight.
  • Get organised and focussed. Follow the 8/8/8 rule to avoid burn-out (8 hours sleep, 8 hours work and 8 hours of other stuff per day).
  • Assess your personal skills and weaknesses. Do you have the qualities to be a solo-preneur?


To conclude Gail gave us a list of the common qualities of solo-preneurs (below), on which we rated ourselves out of ten and then discussed as a group.
  • Self starter, are you sufficiently self-motivated?
  • How innovative are you, are you open to doing and thinking differently?
  • Do you have a passion and purpose beyond making money?
  • Do you have confidence in yourself?
  • Are you resilient, do you have determination and persistence? It won’t be easy if you’re easily swayed by what others say
  • Are you comfortable with selling? Building an audience can take 80% of your time
  • How comfortable are you with getting paid when you make a sale? No monthly pay-check
  • Is it scary or exciting? Stretching your comfort zone a little is a good thing, but too much stress is not healthy
  • How many hours a week can you devote? What are your competing commitments?
  • Do you work fine on your own?


We discussed how we could make the most of the Crafty Business group as a support network, by using each others skills and also by holding ourselves accountable to each other to make sure that we get things done. We will be looking at bringing this in to practice via the Facebook group.

It takes my mind back to the original story where the mouse squeaked ‘Alone, we are weak but together we are strong.’ Well said little mouse!

You can find out more about Gail and Torchlight Coaching here.