A Worthing woman is being hailed as an “inspiration” after transforming her career in just 18 months.
For 30 years, mother-of-four Christine Blackledge, pictured, was an employee, but in the last 18 months she launched a series of new businesses.
She now runs her own consultation service for start-up recruitment agencies, has introduced a care-standards programme for a group of UK nursing homes and has started a will-writing service.
On top of that, she is fulfilling her childhood dream of getting a law degree after spending the past year studying law at Brighton University. “I wanted to study law since the age of 18,” said Christine. “However, family circumstances prevented me from fulfilling my dream for the next 30 years. Instead, I worked as a manager in the health care and recruitment industries and was paid by the hour. The work was both long and hard, as my husband and I were also bringing up four children.”
She added: “I asked myself if I was achieving my true value working for someone else.”
Her career change came after she attended a course run by Middlesex-based Passion2Profit UK, which gives training for small businesses. Within 10 weeks, she had secured a £100,000 contract to set up care agencies across the country, and within four months she had developed her own system on how to develop recruitment agencies, which meant she could sell the system instead of her time, enabling her to concentrate on one-on-one support for higher paying clients.
She used the techniques she had learnt to then develop her professional will-writing service, called Wealth Protection System.
“The skills I learnt on the course gave me the template I needed to monetise my professional knowledge, and that gave me back my time to achieve my dream of studying law full time,” said Christine. “I even use what I have learned at university for coursework, presentations and events.”
Her business mentor David Lee said: “With Christine, I took what was in her head and turned it into a business product that she could replicate and sell.”
Christine is also encouraging her fellow university students become the business leaders of tomorrow. Tapiwa Chipato, a 19-year-old undergraduate and president of the university’s Law Society, said: “Christine actively encourages us to approach our coursework with the same dynamism as she does in business.”