Wednesday, April 26, 2023
A healthy move for Rebel Sylvia
After a successful career helping other people develop their businesses, Sylvia Tillman decided it was time to try her hand at running her own – and turned to The Rebel School for the support she needed.
Despite working in business development, supporting a translation agency, a health food shop and a charity in quick succession, Sylvia had never started from scratch with her own company.
When she moved to Ramsgate from Edinburgh four years ago, she felt it was time to put that right. Having gained a range of qualifications in alternative health over more than 20 years, she realised it was the sector she wanted to work in and joined an online Rebel School in the summer of 2020, at the start of lockdown.
“Being furloughed allowed me to spend time thinking through my plans for the business, and Rebel’s challenging ‘get on with it’ approach was just the boost I needed to make it work,” Sylvia reflected.
Rebel provides free business training, funded usually by local councils keen to help their residents into paid employment, and has a unique approach that focuses on “earning money from something you love” rather than on business plans and bank loans.
“We help people make a living from their passions,” explained Chief Operations Officer Henry Nicholson. “You really don’t need a complicated business plan and you absolutely shouldn’t kick off a new venture with an expensive business loan. Forget the red tape and follow your dream – that’s the Rebel philosophy in a nutshell.”
It was a philosophy that appealed to Sylvia as she set up her Tremendous TRE business – aimed at helping people improve their health and wellbeing through tension releasing exercises (TRE).
Sylvia teaches TRE online nationwide and believes it is a “tool for life” once her clients have learned how to manage their tension and stress using the techniques it demonstrates. She is now looking to start up in-person classes, initially in the Thanet area.
Sylvia believes that the Rebel course gave her the confidence she needed to launch the business, while ongoing support from the organisation and from other course members continues to motivate and encourage her.
“Working independently suits me better than a nine to five job and allows me great flexibility. It also means that I can teach my clients at whatever time suits them, often after they have returned from work,” she said. “Rebel really helped me understand that I just had to go for it. There’s no point dreaming about running a business one day – you have to grab your chance and do it.
“Rebel teaches you what is important – which is that you need to find something you love and turn it into a business. Borrow or barter for what you need, start small at home and follow your dream. Forget the red tape – worry about it later if you need to.
“What’s great is that I am still part of the Rebel community three years on. There’s lots of ongoing networking and follow-up training, and as soon as someone posts a question on social media, other ‘rebels’ respond with suggestions. We really are all in it together – and it’s all free.”
The next online Rebel School course runs from Monday 15th to Friday 26th May 2023. While it is focused on Thanet, Dover and Folkestone areas, would-be entrepreneurs from across Kent are welcome.
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