When Simon M. Macbeth first started working for himself back in 1998, he lived in a small run down house in Leeds and had a pretty demanding job. After coming home from work, he'd fill his online orders but didn't have much time left for the things he loved.
After a few months he quit the job, and became self employed full time. Simon Macbeth, became a self taught web designer in Leeds in 2009 and is really thankful for that because his happiness level has gone way up, and he's now making money doing what he love's to do and what he's really good at.
With 1 to 1 Web Design he employs a small team or developers, graphic designers and online marketers who all help make 1 to 1 Web Design the perfectly oiled business that he's always wanted.
1 to 1 Web design has also been great for his self-esteem. Being at the forefront of 1 to 1 he gets tons of positive feedback from the hundreds of happy customers, which makes him feel really good about myself, and at the same time making money to pay his bills .
Everyone else spent their time with family and friends during the holidays, but I had no one else to fall back on. I had a great time in college, but out of college I was by myself. During term time, I had that routine and structure and people to meet up with, but during the holidays I got bored of my own company.
Most of the friends I had didn't live in Leeds, they lived an hour away with their parents and drove around in their own cars. I didn't want to be getting into a situation with them where I needed to borrow cash just to keep pace.
Because of the problems with my Dad I'd not cultivated relationships with anyone outside school, so when we left no one missed me. In their eyes I had never made the effort, when in reality I'd been grounded for months on end and not been able to fit in as a result.
I left school the day before my 16th birthday and about a year later my Dad kicked me out of my home. I had two or three weeks left at Building College before I had to leave home for good.
I had one friend at college who was also called Simon. We went out a couple of times, but again my lack of money prevented that friendship from progressing.
When I'd paid my bond on my rented room, I only had £40 left. A couple of days after moving in I went out with him and blew £30 of that in a bar. I needed that mechanism of escape from what was going on in my life. I just wanted to forget everything, even for a few hours. I wanted to feel normal, when everything around me at the time was scary and so uncertain.
The two years I spent at Art College, up until my 19th birthday were a happy time. I'd never felt like I fitted in on the Building course, but it was different at Art College and I got on well with all of the people there. I was one of only four lads in the course. The rest of the students were all female. I was friends with the lads there and two of the lasses on the course, too, and we all hung around together from the first day.
I found that I was good at the work and it came easily to me. There were little bits of written work that I just didn't do, which was probably the reason I ended the course just by scraping a pass. The work itself was quite restrictive. You had to do it a certain way so what you created could be used as a pattern on a particular surface. I would have preferred to do a course in fine art where you had the freedom to do your own paintings, to express yourself in any way you wanted, within reason. It would have been good to work without the restrictions of having to tailor things into repeat patterns or readying things for print screens.
It wasn't until later on at Art College that I started getting work in the pubs and bars around Leeds, but my first "proper" job was at Butlin's in North Wales. To get that job, I lied and said I'd worked behind a bar before. Once I'd started, what were they going to do about it? It was called getting your foot in the door.
I went to Butlin's because I was lonely and didn't want to be at home on my own over Christmas. I didn't relish the thought of a boil-in-the-bag Christmas dinner and opening presents I had wrapped for myself. Butlin's was only a couple of hours away from Leeds, so it was pretty easy to get to and I had a fantastic couple of weeks working there.
I was going out with a girl named Gayle, and when I went to North Wales I was determined that I wasn't going to cheat on her and I didn't, at least not for the first four days.
Butlin's was the sum total of every great night anyone has ever had, condensed and rolled into a few short weeks for my enjoyment.