Day 99 – The penultimate blogging day

30 Dec 2019

I have mixed feeling looking back, a sense of pride, sense of relief, sense of satisfaction. What will I fill my time with instead of writing down my thoughts from the day? I think I will try and find something for myself as the process have been helpful in stopping, reflecting and being mindful about one’s actions.

So, what am I thankful for?

My Network

I have loved seeing faces, old and new pop up. It isn’t about the number of likes as such, but it is reassuring someone is reading occasionally my ramblings, but the comments, feedback, direct messages I have received have been, at times a little overwhelming. I am just being me, honest and putting myself out there as I start up a new venture.

Top Overwhelming moments… one post views have topped over 4,500… I still can’t comprehend this!

Maybe this is because I wasn’t aware of the impact social media can have, maybe it is because I didn’t focus on the numbers, more the process of writing, posting and persevering with the 100 days.

The work that has been generated, has predominately been through my networks, this for me is the best outcome as people trust that if they recommend me that I will deliver. I obviously have created a company, but at the present, it is my reputation which has been able to help make it a success.


So, blogging/ posting/ writing/ finding images (having photos taken even of myself), has kept me focused. Even when I have been crazy busy, I have found the time. It has helped distract me on days when I have been a bit less motivated and when I am tired, gave me the energy to put on my laptop and channel my thoughts.  I committed to myself to keep the posts going, I really wanted to focus on the journey and experience and if my words have helped a few people, then that is a real bonus. It absolutely has helped me, the process of reflection and forcing the mind to concentrate for 30 mins a day has been really empowering. 

Peony & Magnolia

The name

It is a bit marmite, but I love it, it stands for so much more than a bunch of flowers and has provided more than one conversation starter. The symbolisation and meaning behind it tell a narrative and it has helped to create a storyboard. I plan to develop this further at some point as the brand matures.

Tag line

Our Business is Your People – I really do like making people my business. I find people incredibly interesting, the combination of different people as teams and leaders and the dynamics that surround them is forever shifting. I don’t think there is a dull day in HR and that is purely down to people all being so unique. I played around with the wording of this for a while and simply People = Greatest Asset in my world so why wouldn’t you make it at the forefront of what you do.


So, I have had to change the way in how I work. I was employed at Aspin for a long time, I was invested for the long run and part of the executive decision making and the stress that came with that at times was hard and work was all consuming. Now I can draw the line a bit more.  I do still feel part of a team as I am working with regular clients and still need to make decisions, but there is a different stress level now. I have been able to make the shift and think the break over the summer months helped to buffer the transition between being employed and self-employed.

One of the advantages I have found is that I can have a helicopter view, go in with a fresh set of eyes. It isn’t a criticism of how things are, I just suggest change, tweaks and advise. Each client is also different and that I like as it keeps my brain active as companies, teams and cultures are all at different maturity levels.

I really want to add value, I would like to leave a client with a little better understanding of how amazing HR can be in a company if executed well!


To be Noble

To always Perseverance

To empower and to be Empowered

To always show Compassion

Thankfully I can say these are values and beliefs I know will stay the test of time. I have no desire to change these, they have been tested and I am more than happy to keep them at the foundation of P&M.

Brand Image

I was overwhelmed at the feedback on this process. I also posted on my own facebook page, people who know me as friends and the comments and feedback from all platforms was incredibly helpful.

The intertwined P & M, still represents the company well, linking together (me and future representatives) and our clients. The pyramid is about striving to achieve, and the colours and style are simple and classic

Commercial achievements

Well within the 100 days I have now got 3 retained clients, there were a lot of enquires, at one point I was worried I wouldn’t be able to fulfill the work if all came off! There have been a number of ad hoc projects too which I have been able to deliver in between. As I said, these have ALL been recommendations which has been amazing. 2020 will see me working with Universities and charities a bit more too as this is an area, I want to be able to create time for.

Systems and processes

When I initially thought I might try being a consultant, I looked at a number of HR consultancies which I could join, if I was going to tip my toe into being self employed then I should do it under an umbrella company, IR35 was a bit of a concern and then work would be fed my way. As soon as I started looking into this I realised I could do it myself and before I knew it, I had mastered Companies House, domain names, website, insurances, accountants and have my systems and processes set up. I did what worked for me and was able to talk through with 2 other people who have been faced with the same decision point and passed on what worked well and what didn’t. I am self employed/ freelancing but I am also managing my own company… this is much more than I set out to do initially!

I knew I could set up a HR function from scratch, influence change but to do it from nothing and take the risk on myself is a different level of commitment. The amount of juggling on a personal level too, the children, one starting fulltime education, the craziness of clubs and run up to Christmas was insane. The house project, living without a proper kitchen for 5 months, washing up in a bucket, managing the build, decisions, trades and creating now a beautiful space for myself, the children and the cats would have probably been enough on its own!

I’m not trying to claim some superhuman title, just consider the elements that have been managed and stop and give myself a pat on the back.  At the time, I just broke every day, task, problem down and acknowledge that I was be able to do all of that and not become overwhelmed.

Next steps

To increase the networking. I plan to get more involved and make the time to do this.

P&M have a new freelancer joining P&M in 2020 (I can’t wait to announce this officially!)

I plan to upgrade my CIPD status, I just need to take the time to do this, this is about me and my achievements and I think I will need a coach to help me get to the submission. Although I am much better at recognising my own achievements then I have ever been!

I can’t wait to absorb new knowledge, working practices and ideas. There is so much more to learn, develop and explore and I do not plan on sitting still!!

#challenge #100days #HR #reflection #achievements #goals