Rita Sharkey’s Journey to Self Employment

Had my parents still been alive, they would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on 7th October 2013. That was the date I chose as the start date for my new business.

My business name is ‘REFLECTION’.  I offer therapy and coaching, both career and life coaching to private individuals. I also provide coaching, training and facilitation to businesses to help them increase their sales and ensure effective performance.

During the early months of 2013 while I was still deliberating as to my ability to run my own business, I was advised to contact David Orford at Dublin North West Area Partnership (TAP).  That was one of the best pieces of advice I received that year!!  I can honestly say I would not have got my business off the ground without his help and the support of TAP.

Let me briefly outline the amazing support I received:

  • Initially, I was given individual and confidential meeting time to discuss my business idea
  • I attended 2 one-day introductory workshops namely “introduction to starting your own business” and “business marketing and planning”.
  • I subsequently attended a training course called “Start your own business”. This was a 6 week evening program – one evening per week.
  • I received details of the BTEA (Back to work enterprise allowance) scheme of which I was previously unaware!!
  • I was given mentoring support in the preparation of my business plan and my BTEA application
  • I received ongoing advice about the support and grants available to kick-start my business

I am now in my second year of business and am proud to say that it is progressing very well. It was slower to grow than I had initially planned and hoped for. Because of this, I was particularity appreciative of the support of TAP as they were happy to discuss my progress, my concerns and my doubts with me. I am delighted to have continued access to this support.

I am also delighted to say that because of my area of expertise that I have been able to offer my services to TAP in return!!  I was invited to join their specialist approved training panel and have since facilitated part of the ‘Start Your Own Business’ course.  I deliver a session called ‘make your pitch’ to help other start-ups present their ‘unique selling point’ to prospective clients.

I am very grateful for this, as well as for the generous time, support and encouragement that I have received over the last two years.

To anyone who is considering starting their own business, I would, in a heartbeat, recommend contacting TAP before they take another step!!

Rita Sharkey   Mobile: +353 87 9051505 Coach, Facilitator, Kinesiologist, Cranio-Sacral Therapist