New Day, New Page…

I was, going to write a simple post on how I’d finally managed to select a suitable ‘Playbook’ to use for Ignition but, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, ‘I got to thinking’ …about the symbolism of a blank page when approaching the subject of career change, then this famous quote popped into my head:

‘At any given moment you have the power to say:

This is NOT how the story is

going to end…’

I’m very grateful that I possess a deep, eternal optimism which enables me to truly believe and subscribe to the ‘Screw Work Let’s Play’ philosophy. Some may say I have the odds stacked against me:

  • I don’t have a degree and my highest level of qualification is an HEFC Diploma (3 A Levels).
  • I’m over 30.
  • I have a chequered career history with lots of changes in direction, compounded by an 18 month gap whilst undergoing surgery and recovering from an accident.
  • I can’t sing or dance…

Luckily, I don’t agree and refuse to accept an average work-life or any kind of life for that matter. When I consider my options I still see a blank canvas. My only problem, at this stage, is I can’t quite visualise the finished picture.

That’s where my new Playbook comes in. One of the first steps, John William’s recommends, in Ignition and the original book is to get a Playbook: to record all of your thoughts and ideas as you work through the programme. Intended to bring you closer to doing what you love by capturing everything that pops into your head from notes on things you enjoy doing, right through to that multi-million pound idea which comes to you in the middle of the weekly supermarket shop!

So, here it is.

I must admit, I experienced some difficulty in choosing my Playbook as John suggests buying a book you really love and enjoy writing in. I like this book but I don’t love it. However, in the name of progress (I have been searching for a book since I first read Screw Work Let’s Play, over 6 months ago!), I have acknowledged this about myself and put it down to the ‘seeker‘ archetype being dominant in my personality – believing there is always something more or something better out there – and I’ve compromised on a book which I am growing to love 🙂 …and herein starts the next chapter!


Image: Happiness is a Lifestyle


If Jamie Can Do it…

I am working on a post on Personality Tests, I promise. I have so much to say on this subject – it’s taking forever!

Meanwhile, I just wanted to take a moment to wish my friend Ricky @ Good Luck with his new venture!

A couple of weeks ago, I suggested Ricky read Screw Work Let’s Play by John Williams which, in turn, inspired him to start writing his own blog.

Over the past few years, Ricky has lost over 90lbs in weight by following an ancestral health and fitness plan. He plans to share his story and help others ditch some of the junk they consume and ditch some of the ‘junk in the trunk’, in an effort to get the nation feeling fitter and healthier.

He is an excerpt from Ricky’s ‘Manifesto’:

“This is my space to explore a little more into what I’m going to refer to as ancestral health and fitness. I’m describing it as ancestral as it is the ‘Paleo diet” that brought me here. I like Paleo. It’s a quick and easy way to reference my standpoint although it has become almost a buzzword. We aren’t cavemen or hunter gatherers by any stretch of the imagination anymore. I, for instance spend my day surrounded by flashing computers and shiny metal walls (although I do hear the occasional Ugh vocalised) and what daylight I do see is through expensive, well designed glass. That’s not to say that it isn’t relevant. I just don’t want this space to be based around one movement or one lifestyle. We have moved on, we have utilised the 80/20 rule (see Mark Sisson’s awesome site to delve into this), it isn’t a perfect world but by looking back at our ancestral roots I really do believe that we can improve our health, our fitness and our relationship with our environment.”

I urge you to check out his amazing story

I’m looking forward to watching his journey unfold (…and getting a few ideas about what to take to work in my packed lunch 😉

Big Love x

Working out what I really want… Part 2

In a follow-up to Part 1 (genius), here is the continuation of how I would spend my year of total freedom:

7. Clinch a deal in NYC
I’m not entirely sure why this one is on my list but, I promised the unedited version of exactly what came into my head, so, I would ‘clinch a deal’ in New York City. Not any old deal, a big deal, one that would pay handsomely and one which I am hugely passionate about. Of course, I’d pull the whole thing off in a sharp designer suit and patent black Christian Louboutin’s : it goes with the territory!


8. Share my Knowledge
I would share my experience of good clean living and pass on my humble knowledge of nutrition. I would share this knowledge with those it would make a real difference to; everyday people not aware of the profound effect basic changes to diet and lifestyle could have on their health and well-being. I would offer an alternative perspective as my ideas are a little left field, taking inspiration from the paleolithic lifestyle but, more importantly, based on what works for the individual.

9. Creating a Career
I would carry on writing Creating a Career: telling my story to see where it takes me, then maybe go on to develop it as a source of information for people embarking on a similar path – what I don’t know about job interviews isn’t worth knowing! I could share my tips about CV writing and how to creatively craft one to disguise poor educational achievements or a ‘varied’ career history.

Or, I could go right ahead and turn it in to ‘The Church of Screw Work Let’s Play’.

Suggestions on a postcard, if you will, to my New York address.

10. Volunteer
I would devote some time to volunteering, for a cause that enables me to make a difference.

11. Organic Food
I would get involved with local, organic food. I’m not sure whether that would be growing it, producing it, cooking with it, promoting it, writing about it or campaigning for wider availability and better prices. Who knows, as with most things on my list, it requires more investigation.

Greenbrae’s Rare Breed Pigs

12. Brand Me
I would create ‘Brand Me’, using my newly purchased domain, to communicate my unique talents, values and passions to companies and individuals I may wish to work with in the future.

I expect the content to come together naturally as I work through this process. However, I have considered recreating this flyer, ingeniously created by my Dad in the 1980’s, for the digital generation? Especially relevant considering it’s mostly sandwich recipes that come up if you Google ‘Francesca Roll’.

As a final note, I could go on forever writing this list but, I think that lot should keep me busy for the next 12 months in addition to, generally doing more of what I’m good at, doing what I love and loving what I do. For me, that means: multiple projects, dealing in ideas, creative writing & copywriting, working with other creative people, creating brands, problem solving, flipping everything on its head, supporting others to realise their ideas and dreams and, last but not least, not letting the grass grow under my feet.

The New Testament…

Considering it was John William’s book Screw Work Let’s Play that inspired me to start this blog it would seem fitting to start with a review of his fantastic book. However, as I haven’t worked through the exercises it is likely to be more of a synopsis, with a more complete review to follow later.

After toying with the idea of writing a blog, just one of the many ideas I thought may lead me to becoming rich beyond my wildest dreams, I decided to visit the library and borrow ProBlogger by Darren Rowse. I had no idea what I may write about but with a long-standing interest in health and nutrition, coupled with eternal optimism (or over-confidence?!), something in that field seemed as good an idea as any.

I’m a big fan of visiting the library; I enjoy the history and quaintness associated with it. To me, although I can appreciate the benefits of owning a kindle or other such device, it feels more wholesome, real and ultimately more enjoyable to read an actual book. However, alas, I too have to admit that the selection of books at the library can sometimes be a bit circa 1987 and ProBlogger sadly wasn’t available.

Earlier that morning, I had decided that Darren and his book were the answer to my career prayers and going home without it simply wasn’t an option! So, onwards I went to my local Waterstones to continue my search for the holy-grail… again no ProBlogger! I selected a couple of books with appealing titles from the business section, ordered a coffee and sat down to peruse. The books I selected (all of which are still on my list of books to read) were; Screw Work Let’s Play by John Williams, Niche by James Harkin, And What Do You Do? 10 Steps to Creating a Portfolio Career by Barrie Hopson and Katie Ledger and Brand You; Turn Your Unique Talents into a Winning Formula by John Purkiss and David Royston-Lee.

After some deliberation, the one which stood out and spoke to me the most was Screw Work Let’s Play by John Williams and the rest, as they say, is history…

I can’t remember exactly what it was which attracted me to this book and I’m going to try not to be too evangelical about it but there was a moment, when I was reading it, where I felt that I was meant to read this book!  Suddenly, my career to date felt less of a disappointment, I felt less of a failure and everything was progressing exactly as it should. My personal eureka moment happened when I realised that my chequered career history was actually my USP!

John, if you’re reading this, did you know I was going to read it? Did you write it specifically for me?

Screw work. Let’s play. Amen to that.

My story starts here…

Stylist to the stars? Maybe not!

Welcome to my new blog Creating a Career!

My name is Francesca and I’m a 34 year old woman, living in the UK, who still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up!

I decided to start this blog after reading the book Screw Work Let’s Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for It, by John Williams.

I intend to use the blog as my online ‘playbook’, recording my personal journey as I work through the exercises in the book, which, once completed, should hopefully lead to a more satisfying career – getting paid for doing what I love!

I hope, as it develops, that my story will resonate with others who seek a better work/ life balance and a more fulfilling way to pay the rent, maybe even inspiring a few of them to believe, as I do, that there may be another way!

I look forward to; being inspired by the people I meet along the way, becoming more accepting of my chronic rebellion against the 9-5 and embracing it as an integral part of who I am!

Life is way too short, isn’t it?