In 2012 I hit rock bottom.
I was working in the corporate world, travelling up and down the motorway everyday, getting in after 7pm each night and had absolutely no life outside of work.
It’s fair to say that I was one of the ‘rat racers’ thinking I had hit the big time as under the age of 30 I was already managing accounts for global corporations….
….Clients were brilliant, but I was miserable.
In fact I had been miserable since I finished Uni and although I had achieved a 1st degree, six years later I still didn’t feel like I had quite “made it”.
So in 2012 I set up on my own to get that much needed work life balance.
With no idea how to run a company, how to get my first client or how to do an ‘elevator’ pitch (groan!) I quickly immersed myself in running a business.
The first year was tough – reactively taking on projects for clients that showed interest in working with me and tailoring my service to meet their needs.
I went to every networking group going, sometimes going to one at 6.30am and then 6.30pm to meet as many people as I could.
The second year I found my feet, grabbed the bull by the horns and started to target businesses I really wanted to work for. I wrote down my values, who my ideal clients would be and what projects would get me really excited.
By the 3rd & 4th Year I was running my own agency, delivering projects for Reebok, Next Directory and other world-wide players and I’d achieved a national award within the Top 15 Women in Digital.
How did I do it? Was 2012 just a great time to start a business?
I wouldn’t say so.
The economy was struggling, marketing was still seen as ‘fluffy’ and I was a woman under 30 trying to make it in a very much male dominated industry.
What did I have that made me different?
Grit, determination and a complete aversion to failure.
Don’t get me wrong I have made mistakes, closed businesses and ended relationships when the time has needed, but one thing has remained constant and that is my drive to help people.
I genuinely do what I do because I know it makes a massive impact for the people I work with. They each have the passion and enthusiasm to take their ideas to the next level, and seeing them succeed is what gets me out of bed every morning.
Don’t get me wrong, I have worked more hours and harder than I have ever worked before and found in me the resilience I never knew was there, but I am building my own dream and not someone else’s.
Would I say now is the right time to start your business?
You see if you have the right mindset, are ready to put in the extra hours when everyone else is out to play and ready to learn more than you ever have done before to make your passion a reality, then you too can do it.
There is never really a ‘right time’.
What did Paolo Coelho say:
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you have always wanted, do it now”
You can wait for the perfect moment and it never arises. Most people are so scared of failure that they have to get pushed to go for it or perhaps worse … never go for it at all.
The people I work with each wish they had taken the leap sooner.
That’s not saying they didn’t have a plan, learn one hell of a lot before starting or have had to get to grips with the fact quickly that they wouldn’t be sipping champagne on a desert island in the first year.
In fact many of my friends and clients that run their own business have worked longer and harder than they have ever before – but the short term pain gets outweighed by the long term goals and it took a huge amount of believing in themselves along the way.
Many clients I see now have 1-3m turnover businesses and they launched without the perfect setup but they did have a brilliant idea that they were ready to commit to.
If I could give a piece of advice it is that there is certainly one thing that is true…..
Your business and your life will constantly change and evolve and I can’t guarantee your success. Before launching into your business you must have a well thought out plan, financial savings for 6 months to keep you afloat in times which may be tough and a mind which always focuses you on the bigger picture. What might suit you now may not in the future so make sure you plan ahead as it’s those that quickly adapt that will succeed ☺