As I’m sitting here in my kitchen on a rainy Monday writing this, I’m thinking about all the inspirational blogs that others before me have written. I would love to talk about how empowering, enlightening and enthralling it all is, but the reality is that starting your own business is exhausting, mentally, physically and emotionally draining not to mention financially terrifying. It has taken a huge toll on my mental health as I am under a type of strain that I have never experienced before. I have worked in some very stressful full-on target driven roles that were draining but in a different way. I always knew that at the end of the day there was another job to go to or that if something wasn’t completed on time it was someone else’s issue, never really mine as I could just go home on Friday evening and forget all about it.
Now that I work for myself everything is my problem, I can’t simply down tools at 5:00pm and go home. I lie in bed at night when the whole house is asleep thinking about potential problems that haven’t yet but most likely will occur, almost trying to see around corners. Worrying about how little is left in the business account, the fear that our product may not sell. What if it doesn’t? Worrying that the delivery date I have been given from our manufacturing partner isn’t realistic, meaning that we’ll miss other important deadlines causing delays further down the road. Telling myself to go to sleep as its 4:00am and I have to be up in 2 hours to start a new day and a fresh cycle of worry, panic and above all fear. The fear isn’t of failure, as I believe that the ultimate failure isn’t the business folding. Failure to me is failing to try in the first place. The fear is that the entire weight of the company and everyone involved rests on my already tired shoulders. As CEO I am ultimately responsible for every single thing that happens to, at or within this company and the pressure is immense. The title is appealing isn’t it? But I am the ultimate boo-boo fixer, a mother to everyone.
For years my business partner Marc and I worked in unfulfilling sales roles that kept the lights on but offered little else. Dreading getting out of our car’s when we pulled up outside the door, listening to the radio for just 3 more minutes. Wishing it was 10:30 tea break then coasting until lunch-the fastest hour of the day. Staring out of the window until 5:30 when we were free to go home and begin the cycle of dread all over again. Marc and I are both creative, dynamic, adventurous free-thinkers and always felt that we never quite fit the clock in clock out mold. When we came together by accident working in the same company we hit it off immediately. Taking the step to quit our full times jobs was a no-brainer as we knew that together we could overcome any obstacle thrown at us. I know that I’ve possibly painted a bad picture of what being an entrepreneur is really like but taking all of the above into an account It’s been the best 18 months of our lives. Marc and I have seen places that we’d never thought we’d see, stayed in hotels that we never thought we would, met people that we never thought we would meet. But above all we have utilised skills that we never knew we had. When you work for yourself you must become an expert at everything over-night, if someone asks us “do you know how to do this?” we automatically say yes and figure out how to do it the next day. And that’s the difference between working for somebody else and yourself. I was less likely to step forward in my previous roles and say: “yes I know how to do this” I was more likely to say “no, that’s not really my area”. I have challenged myself in every way possible and I’m a better, stronger and more resilient person for it. We really don’t know what the future holds for us but we are excited to find out.
Take the leap…