Creating a WorkLife You Love That Fulfils Your Wants and Needs By Carmel O’ Reilly

What do Westminster, A Village Hall and Knitting Classes have in common?

What do Westminster, A Village Hall and Knitting Classes have in common? Is part of a series of stories about how people created a WorkLife that fulfilled their wants and needs at their different WorkLife stages. Stories about how people got creative and inventive in doing what they could with what they had – their skills, attributes and experience in creating opportunities for themselves, and making good money while doing this.

What do Westminster, A Village Hall and Knitting Classes have in common? A Creating a WorkLife That Fulfils Your Wants and Needs Case Study.

Loving The Life You Live

I was at a networking event some time age with fellow business owners and met a lovely woman called Terry whose business is about teaching people how to knit and she runs classes in Westminster. I’m not sure what Terry did before this and I do hope I meet her again as I’m intrigued to know. 

It got me thinking about how inventive people are about developing their WorkLives in line with something they love and are good at, that fulfils their wants and needs. Who’d have thought a cottage-industry business in knitting would successfully operate in the land of politicians! And while I’m not sure if any members of parliament pop into Terry’s classes, I’ll be sure to ask if I meet her again.

What Terry is doing resonated with me because many years ago my oldest sister Anne, who trained as a nurse, gave it up once she started her family to stay at home to bring up her boys. Anne had always knitted. She once told me when she was four or five our mum first taught her, and she hasn’t stopped since.

While Anne enjoyed being a stay-at-home mum she also wanted to earn her own money. But anything she did needed to fit into the lifestyle she’d carved out for herself. Anyway, she came across a company who wanted people to knit Aran jumpers (a traditional Irish jumper) for export to America. Apparently, there was a large demand for this style of jumper – among Irish ex-pats I guess. And this is what Anne took on and did for many years to come. She doesn’t remember how much she was paid for each jumper, she thinks it was £10 -£15. This was the 1960s, when my sister Lily, who worked in our local post office, was earning £1 per week! 

Many years later when she was in her 50s Anne returned to work in a more formal environment, putting into practice the skills she’d gained in her nursing, and worked with people with intellectual disabilities supporting them to live independently in group houses in their community.

She has since retired, and when I last spoke to her she was back to her knitting and selling her wares at local craft fares. She’s actually doing quite well from a financial perspective. .But probably more important to her is the network of friends she’s building and the social interaction she has.

She’s been asked to run knitting workshops in our village hall, and while the village we grew up in is many miles away from Westminster on many levels, I think the satisfaction she gets from her little cottage industry is similar to Terry’s and indeed to anyone who creates a WorkLife doing something they love which meets their wants and needs.

I love the podcast: Side Hustle with Chris Guillebeau. I never cease to be amazed by how inventive people are in doing something that fulfils their WorkLife wants and needs and earn good money doing it. For some it helps to supplement their income, for others it helps to finance something important for them – something they’re passionate about, or an experience of a lifetime. Some people are happy to keep it as a side hustle alongside their regular job, and others develop it into a full-time job or business.

Book Wisdom

In the book Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau, he’s created a step-by-step methodology for imagining, building and launching side projects that can earn real serious cash. Gretchen Rubin describes his book as: “The essential guide for anyone who wants to create more freedom, opportunity, and security by launching a profitable side hustle” On his popular podcast, Chris often says, “Inspiration is good, but inspiration combined with action is so much better,” and Side Hustle provides both. It’s packed with practical tips and strategies–illustrated by compelling stories of real-life hustles–that will inspire readers to start their side hustles now.”

I love the question that Chris poses: “What if we could quickly and easily create an additional stream of income without giving up the security of a full-time job?” That’s because I love “What if” questions. I’m often known to say: “What and If are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life.” A quote I’ve taken from the book and film Letters to Juliet. 

I think it’s an important question to reflect upon to help address any obstacles or fears we may have which are holding us back, perhaps the most common being “I don’t have the time”, or “I don’t want it to take over my WorkLife”.

Reflect on this question and see what it brings up for you, then through self-feedback consider what you can do to overcome the obstacles and/or fears that may be holding you back. For example, in understanding the block or fear of not having enough time, or not wanting it to take over their WorkLife, people were able to address and alleviate this by: 

  1. Identifying what little time they did have, and for some this was as little as thirty minutes a day; but the thing is thirty minutes adds up over the course of a week, a month, and a year. What people found was the most important thing in achieving their goal was consistency, and every small piece of input, action, and step took them a step closer. 
  2. For those who were concerned their side-hustle would take over their WorkLife, they simply came up with a plan to ensure it didn’t, after all they were in the driving seat, and this was very much within their control.

Sage Wisdom

“Hobbies cost you money, legit side businesses make money. If you want to get on the road to financial freedom and enjoy more passion and choice in your life, Side Hustle can help you take the first critical steps.” Jessica Herrin

Words of Wisdom

“In a changing world, so much has shifted in the last few months, people want to invest in themselves, want to create more security for themselves, because they recognise that the world we live in is not secure, and trusting your future to a corporation, or to a government or organisation, even if it’s a good corporation, government or organisation is not wise, even if you love that job and want to keep going to it, you also want to build something for yourself.”  Chris Guillebeau


Creating a WorkLife you love that fulfils your wants and needs, will be ongoing throughout the chapters of your WorkLife. We all have more than one career or side-hustle within us, should we choose to change our WorkLife path at our different WorkLife stages. 

Today’s book of the blog is: Side Hustle By Chris Gullebeau

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

You can learn more about Terry and Anne’s story in How To Pursue The Superpower Of Happiness by Carmel O’Reilly, along with the other stories featured in the book. This book is part of the:

School of WorkLife Series of Books

In each book I tell stories which are based on real WorkLife situations. I share the exercises that helped the people in the stories work through their challenging situations to resolve their dilemmas. I present these as assignments for you to work through to create your unique stories. 

Each book is available from Amazon in Kindle Format and from SendOwl in PDF Format.

Click the link below to find out more about School of WorkLife Books & Affiliate Programme:

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

I’m Carmel O’ Reilly, Founder of I’m the author Your WorkLife Your Way, blogger and podcaster on the subject of WorkLife. My work focuses on helping people to live their best WorkLives, by managing their learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful self-questions and the ability to shape and tell their unique story. My Mission is: “To spread the power of WorkLives lived with Passion, Purpose and Pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.”

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