I’ve been thinking.
It’s time to write something.
6 months has flown by, and it’s about time my Funny Matters’ muscles were flexed again.
So here goes. A wee catch-up on where I’ve been…
Last year I started a new business project with a friend.
It was her idea. And if there’s something I love – it’s a bright, new, shiny, unsullied idea. It’s totally my weakness.
It was only ever meant to be a bit of a side hustle, something extra that was fun and might bring in some additional dosh. We weren’t even sure if it had legs. But – by jiminy – it had legs akimbo!
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Brighton Food Tours.
Yep, you heard that right – I now co-run a food tour company specialising in walking tours of foodie Brighton.
Within only 10 months we’ve been featured in The Independent, Coast and Great British Food Magazine; have a 100% 5-star-rating across the board on TripAdvisor; and have hosted corporate events for proper big companies like Gatwick Airport and Rackspace.
Not bad for a side hustle!
And I know what you’re thinking, and yes, my friends thought it too. It does seem a bit leftfield. Even for me. And I admit – it’s not precisely what I had in mind when I left my corporate 9-5 life. As far as I was concerned I was off to create a new, freer way of living that gave me more time to write. Not be a… erm, tour operator.
But I say – what the hell?!
Despite the fact it’s taken my focus temporarily away from my precious writing – my blog, my scripts, the other projects and ideas I have… all the things I left my crappy-but-well-paid PAYE job to focus more on – there is something very enjoyable about this success.
For one – it’s bloody good fun: I get to eat and drink my way round my brilliant foodie adopted home-town of Brighton, all in the name of research.
Secondly – it gets me away from my computer and in front of real, human people who I can – wait for it – talk to (anyone who works from home will get me here).
And thirdly – but most importantly – I’m learning to follow the path of least resistance.
And that bit is crucial.
Because let me level with you – since leaving ‘World 9-5’ three years ago to do something ‘different with my life’ I’ve spent a lot of time pushing on very heavy doors. Doors that sometimes feel like they never want to open. Sure, they might budge a little, give way to a thin crack of light from the other side, but overall – it’s been a bit of a slog.
And this heavy door thing, it’s not what you’d call a recent trend.
Crappy-but-well-paid PAYE jobs aside, I’ve always been attracted to choosing the more ‘ambitious’ (AKA sodding difficult) things to do with my life – actor, scriptwriter, Olympic athlete… ok, maybe not the last one (yet!), but you get the gist.
So to suddenly find myself pushing on a door almost by accident, only for it to swing wide open at the slightest touch – it’s just so utterly, wonderfully, bloody refreshing.
The sweet, sweet taste of traction… finally.
And shouldn’t we have more of that in our lives? Traction. Going with the flow.
When I stop to think about it, pretty much all the best things in my life happened to me – like this – by accident. And in almost all cases, I was initially resistant.
It took me time and effort to put my stubborn pre-conceived ideas aside and to accept how right they were for me. Sounds crazy, I know – but I reckon we do it all the time.
We can get too hung up on the details of what we think we want. Not to mention what we think we don’t want. When in reality we often haven’t got a clue what’s best for us.
Yes we should keep aiming high – pushing for our dreams – but not so hard that we miss the good stuff.
Not everything has to be pushed for. Some things come finding us.
And you never know, they could – just maybe – make us just as happy… perhaps even more so.
I’m not one for new year’s resolutions. I believe if you want to change something in your life, do it now, don’t wait for a meaningless poxy date. But if I were – this would be mine this year: to let go of the details of what I think I want in my life and to keep open to getting the desired result in other, less resistant ways.
In short – I’d like my life to be one big side hustle of least resistance.
So yes, Brighton Food Tours might not be what I’d originally set out to do.
But the more time I’ve spent developing the business – running the tours, talking to people, researching the stops – the more I’ve realised that ultimately, underneath it all – for me – it’s all about sharing stories. Stories of Brighton, of its makers, creators & producers, of its independent spirit, its foodie politics, and even of the people who join us on the tour.
And sharing stories – isn’t that just what I’m rootin’ tootin’ all about?!
So perhaps – after all – it’s not quite as leftfield as I’d thought.
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