Mandy Nicholson

The Creative Genius Corner

Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’

My Friend Said I Had To Tell You This!

If you don’t know by now that I have bought a 7-bedroomed ex-bank in Dalbeattie, which I am renovating, where have you been?

Renovating such an old and neglected property is not for the feint hearted. But I knew that I had to buy it and bring it back to life the moment I walked through the door. One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life was from my late husband Gary. He taught me how to really live. So, as the anniversary of his death loomed, I decided to follow my dream of owning a Scottish castle and sell our family home and move to Scotland.

I was able to buy this huge property for cash and I had enough cash to renovate it. I also had enough to shore up my pension and savings so that I knew that my future was secure and comfortable. All good!

I am a businesswoman at heart, and this was a business opportunity as well as a stepping stone to my dreams, so, I knew that I had to manage it like a business. I worked with the owners before I even got the keys and took ownership of the property myself and they allowed me to meet contractors and get quotes for the work. I created a project management spreadsheet and set budgets. Again, all good!

I moved to Scotland and set about managing the renovation project as well as working on the biggest launch I have done so far in my coaching business. No mean feat I can tell you. I am located near enough to the house to be there daily and to be on top of the work and contractors. There were some unexpected costs, but I had a budget for them, so I wasn’t too concerned.

I was ecstatic when the scaffolding went up and the roofing contractor started work because this was one of the biggest jobs and many other jobs were reliant on it being completed. They started work the second week in July and all was going well. The back of the house was the first section, roof vents, pointing, removing vegetation from chimney stacks etc.

Then I received a call.
The boss of the roofing company, could I meet him at the house…

Dennis is his name, a lovely chap, very laid back and highly respected by the locals. He met me at the house and asked me to sit down, just like a doctor would when he was about to tell you some bad news. In a very low voice, he mumbled ‘the roof is going to cost an extra £13.5k’.

It turns out that the back of the roof was fine but at the front the slates were crumbling as soon as the roofers were touching them.

I just said, ‘OK Dennis, if it needs doing just do it.’ He nearly fell of HIS chair! I walked home, poured myself a strong coffee and googled the local council website. I typed in ‘grants’ and 9 pages came up on the search. I went to page 9 instinctively and low and behold, 3 up from the bottom there was a grant available called ‘The Town Centre Living Fund.’ Well, you can’t get more town centre than me! I checked the criteria:

  • Town centre living
  • Vibrant local economies
  • Enterprising communities

Spot on! My application is in the post, and I have the support of the local councillor who I had coffee with today.

I told my friend Nik about this, and she said – ‘you have to tell this story in your content because you are not normal!’

She wasn’t being rude, but maybe she has a point. Most people would have freaked out with an additional cost like this. It’s not that I have loads of money and can afford it, yes, the money is there but it is ring fenced in my pension and savings and I refuse to think about it as money.

My reaction is based on knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I can manifest everything I need when I need it.

I know I talk about manifestation a lot, but it is because that is just how I live my life now. I KNOW that there is a way to achieve everything, and my brain automatically goes through all the scenarios and justifications in seconds.

However, because Nik said I am not normal I thought I would share how that works for me step by step.

When in receipt of something unexpected that is going to cost me money, here is where my brain goes:

  • Do I NEED it, is it necessary?
  • What are the benefits of paying for this thing to me and my family?
  • How does it break down into relatable business income so that I can pay for it?
  • What other routes of funding are available?
  • What other factors are present?

With an investment of this much money and a job in progress answering these questions helped me to instantly decide.

I DID need it. There is no point spending £150k on renovations and skimping on the one thing that will keep it all safe and dry. It is necessary.

The benefits for me and my family are peace of mind that we will be well protected in the winter and that the building is sound from the top to the bottom.

I could instantly assess the fact that 3 new clients into my signature program would pay for the work, and I am planning a big launch.

I knew that I would seek other funding routes via grants as soon as Dennis said the words, why wouldn’t I? There was also the option of borrowing the money since I have no debt or mortgage. As a very worst-case scenario I could take it out of my savings, but I didn’t really want to. Where there are more than a couple of options it is easy to make a big decision.

The other factor present was that it was costing me £3,000 for the scaffolding and it was already in place. To put this work off until later would mean having to pay for that again as well as the work. Not good business sense.

I ran all of this in a matter of seconds in my mind. I suppose that this is the ‘not normal’ bit that Nik was referring to. But it is learned behaviour. I am an ex-store manager and divisional executive familiar with managing multi-million-pound projects to the penny. I have made many BIG decisions. I manifest everything I need; I manifested the house!

I am happy to own my ‘not normalness’ my ‘too muchness’ and my ‘laid-back decisiveness’ because they have all served me well thus far.

I would love to hear your stories of ‘not normal’.

Join the club!

Love & Colour

Mandy x

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