Fortunately, I had another child to support and I didn't have the luxury of wallowing in my misery, I had just a few hundred dollars to my name and the rent was due. So, without any aforethought I rented a cheap office and started a secretarial service. Two weeks after splitting with my partner, and six weeks after my son's death I opened my new business.
At that time I was overwhelmed by sadness and my entire focus was directed towards getting through each minute so I didn't worry about how I would find the money to start this business, or whether it would succeed. This was one of the few occasions when I went into something new with a complete absence of fear.
At the time of signing the lease for shop front premises, I had one month's rent behind me. My dad, quite naturally, was concerned although horrified is probably a better way to describe how he felt. When he learnt that I had signed a lease he said, 'Anne, how could you do it? How are you going to pay the rent on your house and an office when you don't know how much money you will make?'
I told Dad not to worry as I planned to sub-let the back office, an area that I wasn't using. Dad wasn't convinced that this would work and he pointed out, quite rightly, that the offices weren't very appealing; there was no floor covering in that area, no partitions or furniture, in fact nothing to appeal to a prospective tenant. These were all very valid concerns although they didn't bother me because I just knew the right person would come along. Remember, at that time all my energy was directed towards recovering from the trauma of my son's death, and because of this I didn't even think to question my intuition.
The following Saturday I had a feeling I should look in the Herald newspaper. This was the first time I had looked in the Wanted to Rent section. Listed that day was an advertisement from a Melbourne company looking for a Sydney office space to share in our area. They also wanted someone intelligent to answer their phones and to take orders. I rang and talked to Charles, their Sydney manager. We met, liked each other and his company agreed to sub-let the back office.
The lease was signed within a week. Charles put up partitions and had floor covering laid. The rent they offered, which included payment for answering their phones and taking orders, was double the rent I paid for the entire office. They also paid extra for the use of my photocopier and typing and they generously supplied all our tea and coffee. The arrangement was a very happy and harmonious one for all of us.
Months later I asked Charles what had prompted him to place the advertisement that weekend. He told me that he thought the whole idea was ridiculous and said that he didn't believe they would ever find the right place or person to fit their criteria. However, the matter was taken out of his hands when his boss insisted he place the advertisement.
Some people will always put this good fortune down to luck or coincidence. I know it was synchronicity. It doesn't matter how often it happens, I'm always in awe of the process. At some level we are all inter-connected, and our minds communicate.
I achieved my goal of creating an income and a very profitable business as well. With the value of hindsight I realise that I reacted, and understandably so, to the circumstances of my life, without thinking about what made me happy. As a result the business was successful but I stopped enjoying it once the initial challenge was overcome. I sold the business twenty months later, making a profit which recouped some of my losses.
Although my son's passing was tragic he left me with a precious gift, which is the conviction that we can have everything we want when we have no doubt.