When you choose to become self-employed, to own a business, to grow and expand that business, it is a life choice. A choice that will and does affect every aspect of your life from the moment it begins. One such person is Julia, from The Cimon, who shares her story.
After thinking about it for years we finally took the plunge in early 2020. I came down from Oxford to Torquay for 3 days and viewed 13 guest houses – at that point we were unsure of what size we wanted, what we could even afford and quite what our list was for essentials vs compromises was.
Then Lockdown Came
After spending a fair bit of time with Lyn, and lots of questions, the process of understanding what sort of business and home we wanted became clearer. We were poised to place our house on the market when the first lockdown was announced, and everything hit pause. Sure – we had the conversation about whether we were total lunatics to be buying into hospitality at such a time, but the time was right for us, the jigsaw of life was coming together, and it felt like now or never. The day restrictions lifted we were off again. Back down to Torquay, saw The Cimon for the first time, loved it. Had an offer on our house within two hours of being on the market and so the ball started to roll. Three months later we were handed the keys to our new life!!
What We Wanted
Our journey with Lyn helped us see what we wanted for our business – how many guest rooms, the parking, the pool, over or under VAT threshold, the size of the owner’s accommodation (we realised we did want a garden and kitchen of our own but at the start of the process did not realise how these became non-negotiable elements!)
The buying process does require time and effort and can be stressful, but Lyn helped support us each step of the way and was a fantastic go-between us and the owners to help move things along. Her own knowledge and experiences were shared over many conversations which certainly helped our thought processes!
The Adventure Begins
We enjoyed a busy October – moving in with guests in situ! Getting up amongst the removal mayhem to serve breakfast was an adrenaline rush for sure but we loved it and, more importantly, it felt right. We knew there was a risk of lockdowns and when we had to cancel bookings in November it was hard but not entirely unexpected. The silver lining was it gave us time to unpack and get to know every room properly – what the light from outside is like, what the beds are like, what noises you can hear and so on – things to help anticipate the enjoyment and comfort of our guests’ stay.
Okay – we could have done without the January lock down for sure and expect it may take a while for things to settle but we can see the summer filling up and we still passionately believe it was the right thing to do. We are loving being on the beach within 5 minutes of leaving home, passionately believe Torbay is a fantastic location, with so much to offer all type of visitors and the investment going on right now evidences it is not just us that think that!
Julia, now of The Cimon, is proof that when something feels right, it is just right and to trust that gut instinct and take the leap. Even during a world pandemic and numerous lockdowns, her dreams are coming true.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, a different life and some help to get you there along the way, then do get in touch because we’d love to do it all over again… for you!