Sunderland entrepreneur Katie Bulmer-Cooke on why we should challenge ourselves in 2019

BBC Apprentice star Katie Bulmer- Cooke.
BBC Apprentice star Katie Bulmer- Cooke.

As the nights draw colder and darker, it’s inevitable that we all spend a little more time on the sofa watching more TV…plus there are so many good shows on right now from Strictly Come Dancing To I’m A Celeb, and of course my personal favourite, The Apprentice.

Last week saw Lord Sugar point the ‘You’re Fired’ finger at Sarah Ann Magson, from Teeside.

I’d been quite a fan of Sarah Ann, of course, because she was representing the North East but also because she appeared to be very down to earth and wasn’t trying to be the person who shouted the loudest to get some extra screen time.

She always appeared level headed and willing to get stuck in, so I was sad and surprised to see her go last Wednesday, especially when up against fellow candidate Daniel Elahi, who just didn’t seem to be as strong…he must have a good business plan.

Sarah Ann demonstrated all the great traits us North Easterners have, from a being hard working team player to keeping it real and not being full of herself. She simply got her head down and cracked on.

I really hope she goes on to do really well and that the show has given her a platform from which she can grow and develop her business.

It takes a lot of guts to go on a show like The Apprentice (believe me I know).

It can be fun, stressful, scary and amazing all rolled into one, but ultimately it’s an experience that gets you out of your comfort zone, which in my book is always a good thing.

Whether it’s going a TV show, starting your own business or applying for a new job or promotion, the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone the more you will always achieve.

So as we look ahead to 2019, which will be here before we know it, perhaps now is a good time to start setting goals for the new year.

We all have it in us to do more, and be more, but without a goal it’s unlikely we will ever press on and make the thoughts in our head become reality.

It doesn’t matter what the goal is or how big or small it is…opportunity to achieve things is all around us, from getting fit and running your first 5k to changing career or studying for a new qualification.

Yes, change and striving for more can be scary, but doing things that scare us is often the making of us.

I can’t believe that it has been four years since my Apprentice journey came to the same end as Sarah Ann’s, leaving the show after the last task in week 10 and being so close to the finish line.

I was of course gutted not to win, but that time spent outside of my comfort zone was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Here’s to challenging ourselves in 2019.