I did something for the first time this week that I never dreamt I would have done, I launched my own range of Redshepherdess clothes.
It’s just part of the amazing but surreal journey that I have been on since I decided to turn my back on a career in marine biology and pave my way into farming.
I often get lots of messages asking how I made it in farming, then grew a platform of over 120,000 and now released Redshepherdess clothing in a seven year time frame and after one such email last week I sat and really thought how it had all come together.
The real truth is from a young age I was encouraged to dream dreams, I wasn’t told that I couldn’t do something that I really wanted to do but was encouraged to really think about why the thing was do important to me and what I could do to make it a reality.
Growing up with that kind of ethos did two things, it encouraged me to not put a glass ceiling on myself and it helped to develop my own resilience.
Some may say that young people have more opportunities now than they have ever had.
This may well be the case, but having the opportunities isn’t enough, we need young people to know that it’s OK to dream big and chase them.
We need them to develop a passion for the things that are important to them and to develop the skills and the confidence to go after those things.
When young people ask me for some advice, one of the first things I say is don’t be scared to fail, because in truth we learn more when we don’t succeed the first time.
However, this is where resilience becomes so important, because if you do have a setback, you have to be strong enough to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start again.
Of course sometimes your pride takes a dink, but there are far more valuable lessons to be learnt if you take a step back and forget about others opinions and focus on yourself.
So many young people come into farming and struggle, and maybe I am much more aware of this because my online presence opens the door to a lot of people asking me for advice and opening up about their struggles.
I dare say this is the same in many occupations. It’s not because they haven’t got a dream, but because as we grow up we seem to forget about the importance of teaching resilience.
We bang on about teaching people to be their best at everything life throws at them, however we don’t then armour them with the tools to get them through the rough patches.
We don’t put enough emphasis on the importance of resilience to plan their way out of the hard times and not give up.
Since coming into farming I have had my fair share of setbacks and made some cracking mistakes.
The thing that has really carried me through is the passion for what I am doing and the determination that helps me get up and keep going when life has floored me.
I’m only 28 now and can’t profess to know everything about young people but I do know that young people need great role models.
This starts with parents and their wider family and goes right the way through to who they are following in the media and online.
They need people who show them how to smash their way through glass ceilings, who show them the benefits of hard work, who make them figure things out for themselves rather than do it for them, who are prepared to say ‘no’ and who let them take risks and make mistakes.
They need people who believe in them and encourage them to be the very best versions of themselves.
However they also need people to show them it is ok to fail, the most important part is the bounce back.
My journey started with a dream that I was encouraged to follow.
The truth is I have never stopped dreaming, and hope I never will.
Let’s help and support our young people dare to dream their dreams and to develop the skills they need to achieve them.
The industry needs them but more than that our society needs them too.