Celebrating Milestones

Today I realised that in the last few days, with so much going on here at Hurley HQ, we had been so busy that we missed two very important milestones!!

Firstly, a few days ago marked four years since I launched my business with my first two products and just £40 left in the bank, I was absolutely terrified but had nothing left to lose, how much has changed since then!

Secondly, yesterday was the one year anniversary of Lisa's first day at Hurley HQ! As she is off on holiday and not here to celebrate with cake, I've eaten her chocolate marshmallows with my afternoon cuppa instead! ;o)

Thank you for dropping by today!
Sarah x

Sonny Angel Big Reveal & Giveaway!

Today I've been asked to take part in the Sonny Angel Big Reveal to celebrate ten years of Sonny Angel! They have teamed up with Laduree (yum) to create this cute patisserie collection of collectable dolls and this is your chance to win one...

A number of bloggers were all sent a Sonny Angel doll that we opened this morning at 11am in a live #bigreveal over on Twitter. I got mine last week so it was really difficult to resist the temptation of opening him!! These is the full range of what I could have had - there were 2 I really REALLY wanted...

 Luckily, I got one of them!!

Isn't he cute??

a couple of close ups...
Now you can win your very own Sonny Angel Doll! To enter just leave a comment below - you have until Sunday 26th at midnight GMT - we will draw a winner next week (please note that due to the rules of the PR company running the competition I will only be able to select a UK winner) If you simply can't wait to see if you're a winner you can get hold of Sonny Angel dolls at Kind Toys.

You can see more Sonny Angel Big Reveal posts from the other bloggers over on Twitter using the hashtag #bigreveal

Thank you for dropping by today!

Sarah x

I Couldn't Care Less! and Here's Why...

I'm guessing you've probably read the title of this post and though, "huh??? is she having a meltdown?" erm... no, no I'm not, but what I have had, over the past few weeks / months / years, is clarity and today I want to share why in the hope it may help some of you reach your clarity too!

So, the story starts a few weeks ago (though probably before that - this is really the last straw moment) I was at a business function and I had the opportunity to meet another business person who I had admired for some time. As I chatted to this person the realisation hit me that I actually didn't like them and I certainly didn't admire them any more, the way they spoke to me made me feel smaller and smaller and smaller until on the way home I actually felt so rotten I could cry.

Once I'd got past feeling upset, I started to get angry, how dare they speak to me like that and make me feel that way! B pointed out to me that maybe this person felt threatened, insecure, so tried to make me feel that way in return - you'll often find the people that try to hurt you or make you feel small are actually feeling insecure themselves and use this as a way to make themselves feel better - it doesn't work.

It was really, right at that moment, that I realised, I couldn't care less. I didn't care if that person liked me or not, if they thought I had done a good job or not, if they understood what I had achieved or not, it didn't matter, because I was happy with all of that, if they don't get it, thats their loss. My achievements speak for themselves. I'm happy.

At the beginning of my business, though I didn't realise it at the time, I was actually in a very strong place, because I had nothing, therefore I had nothing to lose - it's a powerful thing. A year or so in, I lost my power, I started to want people to like me instead of focusing on my business goals - I thought I could never get my product range started without a manufacturer / distributor backing me (I did!) or that if a certain company didn't like me I was doomed to fail (not the case!) I found myself backing down in meetings, accepting things I didn't really want to happen, because I wanted the approval of other people. I wanted to make the haters like me, make people stop underestimating me and take me seriously - I wish I could go back and give myself a good shake quite honestly! Instead of focusing on that, I should have been focusing on my goals and where my business was headed.

So, almost four years on, the last year or two with absolutely the right focus on what I want to achieve and with sheer hard work and determination, my business has grown amazingly beyond what I dreamed! I get to work with those people who actually looked at what I could do and what I had achieved and what I was capable of doing, those people who believed in me, listened to me, took me seriously (they're awesome!) my business is still growing month on month and all I'll say for the future is watch this space!!

I still get people underestimate me - but now I use that to motivate me and the right ones believe in me, the right ones see what Ive achieved and know if I say I'm going to do something, it's best to get prepared because that's exactly what's going to happen! I don't need the approval of anyone else except my team, my customers / readers / viewers and my clients and they are all 100% behind me (that includes you by the way, you rock!) and the best thing is, since I decided I couldn't care less, since I let go of all of that stuff, better doors have opened, more of the right people have come my way, more of the good stuff thats right for me is happening and it feels wonderful, because it's not forced, I'm not fighting for it (I'm working damn hard for it, but not fighting, theres a difference!)

So, my lesson from this, which I hope you'll take away, is never let anyone else make you feel small, be proud of what you've achieved ALWAYS - some people go faster, some people go slower, some people are aiming for different things, thats OK. Just because someone has a bigger business / car / house etc... than you doesn't mean they are more successful - if you're doing exactly what you want, when you want with you who you want and ticking off the things on your goal list, you're just as successful, maybe even more so! Success is different for everyone. If you work hard and keep going in the direction of your dreams then great things can happen and if anyone underestimates you, don't let them make you feel small, smile to yourself, think 'I couldn't care less!' and move forward with grace and dignity and  show them how it's done!

Thank you for dropping by today
Sarah x

p.s. don't forget to vote for me in the Spirit of Small Business Awards, click here to vote - every single vote counts and makes a difference, THANK YOU!!

p.p.s please feel free to download the quote above to use as your screensaver / wallpaper etc... we all need some daily motivation!

Freebie Friday! Halloween Treat Bag

This week's Freebie Friday is a Halloween Treat Bag SVG Die Cutting File! Line the bags with coloured or patterned paper to make the spooky words really stand out!
You can download this weeks freebie over on my website right here

I'd love to see what you do with yours - leave me your blog links in the comments if you'd like to share :o)

Thank you for dropping by today!
Sarah x

p.s. don't forget to vote for me in the Spirit of Small Business Awards, click here to vote - every single vote counts and makes a difference, THANK YOU!!

Sarah Hurley Wins Kalixa Spirit of Small Business Award!

So today I can share some BIG news with you, I'm so excited to announce that a couple of weeks ago I was told I had won the Kalixa Pro Spirit of Small Business Award as the best sole trader! I popped off to London last week to collect my lovely award...

and today, there is a big feature in the Daily Mirror on all of the award winners...

Including me!!

So this is where I'd be SUPER grateful for your help - all of the 12 category finalists now go forward to a public vote to win the overall outstanding Small Business of the Year award and a massive £10,000 prize! I can't tell you how much this would mean to me - it seems bizarre that less than 4 years ago I had just £40 and an idea, a dream, that I could create things that would make people happy, make them want to create things too, that I could make award winning toys that children love and that help them to learn and use their imagination, that I could write stories and books, appear on TV and inspire people to craft and discover things that they are good at. I never imagined I would have over 600 products at this point, sold in lots of lovely places around the world, that I would be on the board of directors for CHA UK helping to build the industry and help other people like me who wanted to make something happen for themselves, that I would be able to employ people (I couldn't even find myself a job back then!!) and mentor other small businesses and watch them flourish and grow and yet just 4 years later here I am! I'm totally thrilled to win this one as it's the first award for me personally (others I've won have been for my products - which of course I love too!!) so I hope you'll spare just a minute to click here and vote for me!

Thank you all so SO much!
Lots of Love
Sarah x