Bravery. It’s not a word that I’ve ever associated myself with. I’ve never done anything big enough to be in that category. Until last year, that is.
I was filling out a survey recently where I was asked to tick as many words I associated with. The word bravery jumped out at me and made me think. Actually, you know what? I think I have been brave. In fact, I know I have!
After 17 years, I walked away from the comfort and (false sense of) security of a job in the corporate world to start my own business. With hundreds of similar agencies popping up and offering the same services, in a struggling economy, with no guarantees, I decided to give it a go.
The first few weeks were hugely disruptive. It was year-end when I started my business (is there ever a right time?). Most people were exhausted and counting down to December holidays. People would agree to meet with me but wanted to kick off only in 2019. Made sense.
So as I also started to relax, to clear my head and take a break into the festive season, there have been days (many of them) when I have felt incredibly guilty. Guilty for feeling such a massive sigh of relief. Guilty for allowing the anxiety to disappear. Guilty for reading or sleeping or walking Emma. Guilty for finally being happy.
No one tells you when you start a business that there is so much admin to sort out! What’s kept me busy?
- Sorting out admin such as registering my company with CIPRO, opening up bank accounts, finding a bookkeeper.
- Sourcing an accounting package so that I can invoice clients. It took me 4 hours to send my first invoice via Quickbooks. I am so thrilled my bookkeeper is back from holiday.
- Coming up with my own branding and mapping out my business’ marketing plan.
- Developing a content strategy for Conversation Station.
- Meeting with prospective clients which I realize is tough. In between cappuccinos and chai lattes, there is a lot more education and convincing that needs to be done to get them on board.
- Writing up proposals but knowing my audience does not expect the Rolls Royce version that I am used to after my years in corporate.
- Buying office furniture, stationery, a printer. Office National in Cramerview Bryanston is a gem folks!
Heading into 2019 and I’m ready.
Do you like my office? Man, I’m proud of it. Thanks KK for hanging up the whiteboard (behind my desk) and your patience with me trying to find the perfect couch, which I promise is not for afternoon naps. It’s for thinking time. *grin*
It hasn’t been easy and there’s a long journey ahead, I know. But I feel brave. Braver than I’ve ever felt for a long time. I’m confident in my abilities and I know I’ve got something different to offer. More importantly, I love what I do and I can make a difference.
For now, I have the luxury of time on my hands. Time to think. Time to relax. Time to sort out stuff. Time to regain a bit of the confidence I lost towards the end of last year. Time to love “me” again. Time to re-invent and find myself.
Working from home and not sitting in traffic also means I have more time to run. And this is usually where my best thinking is done.
For more info on my new business, check out www.conversationstation.co.za. Let me know what you think!