Meet Keep Going-ER: Online Business Consultant Sarah Banks

This is Sarah Banks from Derbyshire and this is her story of how she keeps going…

At the age of 19, during the final year of my degree I had a breakdown and was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. My illness was so bad that at one point I spent most of my time in the room of the house I shared with friends. Over a 12 month period, I fought my way back, however my demons returned and I dropped out of University without completing my degree.

After moving to a new city at the age of 21, I started my first job, but my mental health problems continued and I was forced to resign. A few months later the same happened and my relationship also broke down. At this point I was alone in a new city, with no job and the prospect of homelessness.

This was a key turning point when I realised I had to get up and fight. I started a part time CLAIT course which led to me developing further skills in Microsoft Office and began to apply for jobs, whilst also getting treatment for my illness. By 2005, I had been in employment for over 12 months continuously and felt like life was back on track.

My career saw me move from working in further education, to taking on a project coordination role within education and after having my first child I took a step back to work in an administrative role at a local University.

My past mental health problems still haunted me from time to time but I was building a successful career. In 2014 I returned to work after having my second child and things weren’t quite right, our family balance was off kilter and was feeling physically and mentally ill – something had to change.

This was the pivotal point and the start of my business. By building a business that allowed me to work from home, I was able to be there for my girls, bring balance back to our family and allow myself to work in a way that supported my mental health better. It has been challenging at times, but nearly 6 years on I am now the owner of a successful online business consultancy, working with a range of clients and also have a team of associates who support me. My business has also allowed us to travel as a family and we plan to do this more by living and working abroad in the next 18 months.

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