• Rachel Harding

Out with the old…

As I sit here, mid-way through the last day of 2020, I look back over the last 12 months and am amazed at what has changed, not only for the world as a whole but for me both personally and professionally.

This time last year none of us could have foreseen the chaos, turmoil and heartbreak that lay ahead. I have not personally lost anyone to COVID19 – for which I am, of course, immensely grateful – but my heart breaks daily for those that have. Thank goodness we are going into the new year with vaccines on the horizon which may spell the end of these incredibly dark days we have all lived through over the last 12 months. My thoughts are also with my fellow small (and not so small) business owners that have struggled through this period and, of course, those that do not now have businesses to go back to. Never have all of our collective hopes and dreams been so in need of the fresh start that tomorrow will bring.

On a personal note, I have survived periods of lockdown with four children and am somehow still smiling! I’ve learnt that home-schooling is most definitely not my thing(!) but we’ve muddled through and have a newfound respect for those that DO do such an amazing job of teaching our children! I have felt worried and anxious about what this period holds for my eldest son, as he is currently in year 11, and have had similar feelings regarding my daughter who is just a year behind him in year 10. I don’t know how their education and, ultimately, their exams and results will be effected but I’m learning to accept it for what it is. More importantly, so are they. They are still working hard (most of the time!) and are managing to remain optimistic and realistic about their futures.

I was a little quiet on the blogging front in the run up to Christmas as we moved house (and offices!) just two weeks before the big day and, well, it was hard work and all-consuming! We’re in now though and it feels wonderful to be welcoming the new year into our lovely new home.

Professionally, I took a leap of faith at the beginning of the year and chose to walk away from the company I worked for (and had co-founded) to set up Harding & Co Legal Services. Choosing to set up a brand new business at the beginning of a pandemic was a gamble but, as I sit here in my new office with a busy diary ahead of my for the coming weeks, I’m over the moon that it’s one that paid off! I honestly haven’t looked back and I would say to anyone that is perhaps considering using this brand new year to make changes in their life – do it, you won’t regret it!

We made some fantastic collaborations last year and I’m looking forward to picking up some discussions that will lead to more. I’ve overcome my fear (dare I say ‘dislike’?!) of networking and have not only made some amazing business connections but some great friends too. I’ve already booked 5 networking events for January which is easy to do when you don’t have to travel to them (thanks, Zoom!).

In 2021, I want to continue to help as many clients as possible achieve peace of mind by putting wills and Lasting Power of Attorney in place and, as a company, we are also going to focus a lot more on our corporate social responsibility. As a starting point, I hope to share some exciting news on that front within the next few days.

All that’s left is for me to wish you a healthy and happy new year… may 2021 be brighter and more positive than we could ever hope to imagine!

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