Hey, it’s been a while since I sat down and reflected my thought’s. So, what I want to do is tell you all about why I started STIGMA, what STIGMA is to me and the reward I get from STIGMA.
Here comes the best bit, no sales pitches. This isn’t written so I can then pitch you all my products and say…” now go buy from us”.
I’ve done enough of that and believe me when I say this, there has been dark times, scary times, and times I was just petrified to do anything.
As always, I’ll apologise in advance for maybe my formatting, spelling and choice of words. I’m dyslexic so, I do my best always with what hand I have been given.
Here goes nothing, I started STIGMA at the end of the second national lockdown in the UK. I was ‘SCREWED’. I had a debt over my head worth £8.5k, my main job as a barber was so touch and go due to all the lockdowns and I was having what I thought was another major mental relapse in my life. A scary thought indeed. I took 250mg of Venlafaxine per day to stable my mood swings and Bi-Polar, I was in a dark hole.
One day I sat, and I thought about my life, my childhood… a lad from a working-class family from Preston, Lancashire. Most famous for Europe’s largest bus station, the longest row of red phone boxes in the UK and the home of the UK’s first ever KFC.
To say I was deprived as a child would be untrue as I was very much loved however, most definitely misunderstood, undiagnosed with ADHD until I was an adult I was labelled as the ‘wild child’. When I reflect and look back now so many things make sense to me of which never would have before my diagnosis.
So why did I start STIGMA? Like I say, I was screwed. I didn’t have a penny to my name. If there is a world record for the most held jobs for an under 30-year-old I reckon I hold it and if not well, I’m very close to it.
I’ll be honest here and say I needed money! I had debt collectors knocking on my door demanding payments and all the stress and anxiety of living with this was too much. I had to sell something, something that would bring me some cashflow quickly too… (oh how I was wrong).
I managed, somehow to build a website on a 14-day free trial on Shopify. I had to get it live before it expired! I had been in contact with a local company who would let me sell their products with my logo on demand.
So, I went live, held my breath, and prayed (I’m not religious) people would buy. In my first week one man and I know he will be reading this now placed an order for the value of £600. I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me, but that sale gave me so much hope that I could do this it was unbelievable.
Why STIGMA? Remember I said that only after being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult did so many things make sense to me? I was well and truly fed up! I was fed up with being the outcast of messing up, of having to apologise, of having no plan and time and time again having to start again.
I had to start accepting me for me.
I had to believe that this was all part of my big plan.
That all my aches and pains would one day make so much sense to me as to why they happened.
STIGMA our brand was design to empower people who just felt like sh*t all the time. Who couldn’t see a way out and who felt alone!
Here’s the problem. We can’t always see STIGMA. We don’t always want to talk about STIGMA but if I wear a t-shirt or a hoodie that says the word STIGMA on it then maybe we don’t have to speak. Maybe it’s enough for one person to just feel ok about themselves.
So, what’s my reward?
At the moment, it definitely isn’t money! My reward comes down to my purpose in life. I am fascinated by learning, growing, and achieving things that I never thought would be possible.
I wanted to write this short note this evening because I felt like it. I wanted one person to know that when you feel like there’s no hope that sometimes there isn’t but if you can just sit tight and be patient for a while long there could just be and there are people out there who you won’t even know, just like the man I didn’t that will believe in you also.
My life is no longer about earning as much money as I can. If I can sit here and write you another blog post 12 months from today, still be getting by, still be laughing and smiling then I’ll be a happy man.