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From Stress to Startup - Part 2

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by Startacus Admin

Last week, Denise Devlin, Founder/CEO of Positive Parties® shared the first part of her story of becoming a self starter. Today, she shares Part 2! Read on and be inspired!

positive partiesSo where does Positive Parties® come into the story?
Well, that’s a story of its own!! I’d enrolled to start an academic year long Certified NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) course in the Sept, meanwhile on the 18th August 2009 I was in Belfast and my best friend’s cousin asked me what kind of workshops I delivered. I explained ‘I Believe In Me’ and she asked if they could be delivered in people’s homes too. I replied that, I hadn’t yet, but that I had been asked to and if I did they would be fun, positive, interactive, in fact they would be called Positive Parties. WOW! So that was it, my light bulb moment that I can only describe as Divine Inspiration.
My next step was to write down what I thought Positive Parties® workshops would look like and they would be delivered @Home @Work and @School. I also applied to the Propel Programme on the 18th Sept which was my 43rd birthday and I took that as a sign! I had mentioned to a friend in my 20’s that I felt I’d be like author Maeve Binchy because I heard her in an interview say that she wrote her first bestseller ‘Light a Penny Candle’ when she 43. I had a gut feeling that this was my time. Although I didn’t make it on to the Propel Programme, the exercise of applying gave me the opportunity to compile my business plan, buy the website address, trade mark the name, buy the limited company name etc. Meanwhile I still delivered my other courses and facilitated for other organisations, while studying for my NLP Practitioner qualification.

When was the very first Positive Party?
In the February of 2010, Karen Mullen, community worker with the Pink Ladies Breast Cancer Support Group asked me about a course I had planned to deliver to her group. She said the group had decided that full days were too long so asked if there was anything else I could deliver! This was the moment of Go For It, I replied “I am working on a new idea, called Positive Parties” I told Karen all about it and she said “Yes, let’s do it.” So then I had to get cracking and design the Positive Parties' programme. So the idea was planted on the 18th Aug 2009 and 9 months and 7 days later, the idea was born, as in delivered to The Pink Ladies on the 25th May 2010. The dream was now a reality. Another synchronicity is that Karen’s birthday is the 18th August.

When did your idea start to pay off?
After cashing in an endowment policy for capital for the business, over the summer I worked on the brand and the website and on the 22nd Oct 2010 officially launched Positive Parties®. Then I naively sat back, thinking “Great concept, branding, lovely leaflets & website, sure I’ll be really busy!!” Well, it didn’t quite happen like that, it took time and a lot of calls, meetings, referrals and networking. In the first year, like most start ups, Positive Parties accounts were just about breaking even! Second year, we were slowly improving BUT this year there is a massive difference in the turnover, prosperity has arrived!
I always believed and trusted it would happen! Last month Positive Parties brought in more in one day that in my old job as a manager in 2003, would have taken 3 weeks! So, perseverance and the sheer belief that Positive Parties® would work has paid off.

So what next?
denise devlinWell, we have been busy so far in 10 counties in Ireland (including 3 of its cities), we are going to Scotland and England later this year and we will have contract staff and associate coaches working with us. This autumn and winter we are booked for schools, staff training and projects plus we are doing a big marketing campaign to Event Management agents for corporate events. The website is getting a revamp this summer and we have introduced a Positive Parties @Sport too, which is really taking off (the motivational workshops are particular popular with World Championship Irish Dancers). The franchise model is looking good and the global enterprise well on its way.

What do you love about self employment?
I love being creative and not having to ask a boss for permission of what to ‘try out’ in the workshops.
I love working my own hours (which are far longer than when I was employed, but I choose).
I love making the decisions on what to spend finances on in the business.
I love working around family life (eg taking time out for sports day but making up the time later).
I love being free to be me and doing my life purpose which is ‘to inspire others, in a fun way, to reach their full potential.’

Any advice for others thinking of or in self employment?
I have always been a free spirit and never one to conform or listen to the rules, thus a career in the civil service or a corporate company would never have suited me. If you feel like this too, then self employment is for you and I would encourage others who have ideas to never give up and keep going. It’s the law of attraction, if you believe in it, heart and soul, you’ll achieve it and the dream does become reality.

So, I am sending ‘positive vibes’ to all you budding and active entrepreneurs. If I can do it, as a result of depression triggered by stress at work, then anyone can. And as my favourite inspirational author Wayne Dyers says “Don’t die with your music still in you!” My dad used to comment to others when I left studying for exams to the last minute, wouldn’t conform etc “Our Denise, all she wants to do is party and have fun!” So, that’s what I am doing now, ….….working hard at my business, which is about teaching groups of people in businesses, companies, schools, communities & sports, tools & techniques on having a positive mental attitude to life and delivering this training in a ‘party style’ environment. And the wonderful thing is that everyone retains this information because as they are learning they are having such fun! Happy Days!

Positive Parties® is an inspirational, motivational & transformational coaching company delivering fun workshops, and promoting a ‘positive mental attitude,’ in a unique ‘party style’ environment. Denise's vision is to grow a global business network of individuals (NLP Practitioners, Life & Business Coaches etc) delivering the service & selling the brand products in their respective regions.

If you like what you see here on Startacus, why not become a member of our growing community? It's free! And you'll get all this - exclusive access to our Business Toolkit, discounts and offers galore for your business via our member only business deals, the chance to network and connect with loads of fellow self-starters, and maybe even become our celebrated 'Self-Starter of the Week' and tell the world your startup tale! Join right here for free

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Published on: 16th July 2013

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