Category: personal development

Nothing is ever wasted - Chichi Eruchalu

Nothing is ever wasted

Nothing is ever wasted.

In the last 10 years I:

  • trained and qualified as a childminder, so I could have an income stream while home with the kids
  • become a virtual assistant, web designer and course creator proving that I could take the skills I had and package them to serve others and make money
  • quit a lucrative job in the city that looked good on paper but I actually hated as it
  • worked for a non-profit which I loved
  • repaid £50k of debt
  • started a business
  • closed a business
  • published a book (I wrote 40,000 in three weeks)
  • experienced burnout and took a year out on sabbatical
  • became a mum of two
  • joined a mission-led start-up where I get to operate in my strengths every day

In every chapter of my story, there have been highs and lows. Things I am proud of and things I have learnt from.

As Steve Jobs said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Nothing you experience in life is ever wasted, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time.

“Failure is just a learning opportunity”

Whether it’s the skills you learn, the people you meet or the person you have to become to do the thing you want to do. You also find that along the way you will meet people who will go through the very thing you did and because of that connection, you are able to share insight and support.

It’s easy to look back at parts of your life and feel shame and embarrassment, but I have chosen not to have regrets because all my experiences have moulded me into the person I am today. God never makes mistakes.

This is why it becomes pointless to compare yourself to other people because we are all on different life trajectories.

What things in your life have had the most significance on the person you are today an why?

How to be effective when starting something new - Chichi Eruchalu

How to be effective when starting something new

Last night I ran my first meeting as the new Chair of Trustees for our local Academy primary school.

Even though I have been a governor (trustee) for over 4 years, stepping into the leadership role as Chair has been a different ball game.

With over 800 pupils on roll, a four form entry and starting this in the middle of a global pandemic, to say it has been challenging would be an understatement. Fortunately, my headteacher is and has been great through the transition and that has helped.

Why did I decide to become a Trustee?

Some facts first:

Only 5% of Chairs are under 40

96% of Chairs are white.

Source: National Governance Association “Chairing a board: developing governance, sharing leadership” Report October 2020

Initially, I joined the Governing Body because I wanted to “give back”, which for me meant to volunteer in a meaningful way. I wanted to use my expertise and skills to support another organisation in helping them achieve their goals and objectives and this was my focus for my first 4 years.

Fast forward to today and my motivations now are more around doing more of the same, but also challenging myself as a leader. My background is marketing and business strategy, so understanding how a primary school works and the education system, in general, has been very new to me.

12 months ago when the Chair’s role came up, it wasn’t the right time personally, so I didn’t put myself forward. This time around, things were better and I carefully considered it.

Also from a personal level, I didn’t see many black female governors and I felt this was an important opportunity to represent and be a role model, as well as being able to share my view and perspective.

Stepping into this role has been a mixture of excitement and also “what the heck am I doing”. I have had moments when it has felt too HARD. Too much information to consume and learn, not enough time.

I remember talking to mum about it recently and you know how mums are, totally reassuring and supportive and it reminded me of something I watched recently about growth and success.

Whenever we start something new, the truth is we will SUCK at it.

This is normal and if you accept this fact, then you’re okay.

However, most of us don’t embrace this and want to be perfect from day one (Achiever – Strengthfinder) and when we are not, we GIVE UP and QUIT. However, as we know Rome wasn’t built in a day and we need to keep moving.

So I have been re-writing the narrative.

  • Everyone (and I mean everyone) starts at zero. [REALITY]
  • I won’t know or need to know everything on Day 1 and that is okay. [ACCEPTANCE]
  • I will make mistakes and that is okay too. I will learn from it. [GRACE]
  • I will leverage my network of ex-teachers and governors to ask questions, join groups online and take courses. [COMMUNITY]
  • I will seek out the information, ask questions and then apply it. [PROGRESS]

Working through these steps is really been helping me and I am looking forward to the year ahead. Learner is one of my top 5 strengths, so all this new knowledge is actually exciting for me! 🙂

What is something new you have started recently and how did you feel about it?