....and wow what a year…..
In September last year when I launched head long into Splice it was hard to foresee where things would be a year later….it always is when you’re trying to see the future through a lens…or in the case of Splice….electronics screen of varying sizes at any given time of the day or night.
Starting a new business is hard work!
This is my second leap into self-employment having done it more than 12 years ago when my best friend and I – with not much experience but loads of passion and a healthy dose of wonderful naivety - quit our jobs and with not much started a specialised homewares store with a licensed café – one that was quite a unique business at the time.
Looking back now at that time it was mad – I had young kids (4 and 1) and she had teenagers. We worked ridiculously long hours, 7 days a week to get ourselves established and laughed and cried and stressed and came away after 4 years with quite a few grey hairs and endless amounts of fun memories.
The up side? The hard work paid off and that little business is still a going concern nearly 12 years later, albeit on its 4th owner.
So what’s the difference this time around?
This time I have done it whilst still working in paid employment. And, with teenagers not toddlers. And busy ones at that. And 4 of them in the house and at varying degrees of neediness, moodiness and demandingness (not sure that’s a word?), happiness and supportiveness at any given time.
Crazy hours, crazy juggling and a fair share of stressful moments and self-doubt…anyone who have delved into entrepreneurship with their own small business – or large business – will understand this.
But wow what a journey so far!
I have learnt things about myself that I didn’t think I had in me…not all of them pretty either.I have managed to overcome the ‘fraud’ persona that so many of us seem to carry with us through our careers, even though we know we are more than capable, experienced and knowledgeable.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate that my employers were fully aware of my ‘other life’ and supported my requests for reduced hours, flexible time to accommodate meetings and general madness at times.
And now, a year later it is great to say that I have quit my job and thrown all my time into building this business that I love so much.
So if I had any tips or favourite mantras (some of which I mutter a lot much to the embarrassment of the kids!) for anyone thinking about taking the leap….they would be:
- Remind yourself how bad you want it
- If you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right!
- Write a business plan and follow it. It is your road map and reminds you where you are going and why and a little on how you can get there – although beware of moving goal posts
- Work out the skills and weaknesses that you bring to your business and set about surrounding yourself with creative amazing people who compliment your skill-set and broaden your opportunities
- Test your idea before jumping headlong into a business with no demand
- Take calculated risks and set realistic goals – if you want it badly enough you will succeed
- Fear of failure can be crippling and stop you from reaching your goals – embrace the fear and do it anyway
- Ask the hard questions – good, bad or ugly, feedback is invaluable
- Do the things that scare you most, first
- Define working hours – even if from home and lock yourself away to focus on the task at hand
- Bite off more than you can chew and chew like hell!
- And lastly, surround yourself with people who believe in you and can recognise exactly when they need to put a glass of wine in your hand and remove the laptop from your line of site…oh and the sharp objects…..
I am so fortunate to have a supportive, motivating and sometimes hard arse partner (his words!) who believes in me wholeheartedly and gets me out there on the days when I am not sure I can, and reminds me that not only can I – but I can smash it! And family and friends that cheer my wins and commiserate my losses (mostly so they can share the wine).
And of course…..thank you to my awesome clients who have supported me in growing Splice over the last 12 months – and the incredible professional, creative people who work alongside me to bring my clients something to be proud of!
For those who know me well there is only one way to celebrate…..wine in hand and with the people I love at hand!
Again, thanks and happy birthday to us :-)