What if you were me?
I sometimes wonder how others would have handled certain situations. Emotionally people tend to differ a lot, especially when it comes to professional situations.
I’ve thrown myself into the deep end of a very deep swimming pool at the beginning of the year (but I have learned to keep my head above the water, although I still get tired sometimes), and never had I thought that I would be where I am today. Starting your own company during an economic crisis is not for sissies – I can tell you that much! But here I am…and I am still the owner of my dream company, Travelling Mystery Guest!
I’d like to know how you would have handled these three situations (which I’ve had to deal with this year) – perhaps we could learn from each other for the upcoming challenges, who knows?!
- You just started your own company and one of your friends asked you to offer him/her your workshops (which you’ve worked on for at least two months) at no cost?
- You had to move back into your parents’ home in order to decrease your expenses and then your siblings move back home too and now you’re one big happy family in one house again? (One thing is for sure – I appreciate them more and more every day!)
- You got an opportunity with one of the top companies in the industry, only to find out that they just want a barter deal and you actually really need the money?
Getting your company off the ground is not that easy. I have been told by many that a new company takes up to three years to break even. Well, even though this year has been tough, one thing is for sure:
“Never underestimate God’s grace or your family’s support. It’s what keeps you standing through the tough times.” –Renate de Villiers
Starting your own company is a pretty big challenge in itself – let alone starting it in the middle of an economic crisis. And yup – that is exactly where I am! Yet, it is the most fulfilling thing I have done in a long time.
This challenge comes with even more challenges, which I experience hands-on every day. Here are a few of the challenges you will face when starting your own company:
- Finances. If you didn’t have enough capital to begin with, you definitely won’t have enough now. Make provision for more than you think you might need – things get rough out there.
- Your biggest enemy is you. This was a very scary part to realize, but trust me – you are a bigger enemy than your competitors. You are the one who get tired and lose faith at times. You’re the one who start thinking it’s not going to work. You’re the one starting to trust that voice in your head telling you that you were stupid to think it was going to work in the first place. Don’t fall for the lies! Keep your eyes on the goal and march on.
- Making time. You tend to work harder than usual. Ten to twelve hour days, seven days a week is nothing. Therefore, there is less time to spend with your loved ones, but remember: they are your support system. They are the ones who cheer you on when you feel like you can’t go any further. Make time for quality friend and family time. You need it and they need you to still be you no matter what.
- “What if’s”. Stop right there. Don’t even go there. Thinking “what if it doesn’t work” is not going to get you anywhere. Train you brain to rather think: “Okay, what next”. Don’t stop thinking, don’t stop doing and never stop researching.
- Possible clients will always have a comeback. Oh, this happens too often. People will tell you they don’t need your service, because they’ve been in the industry for “almost 20 years” and they don’t think anyone can teach them anything. Even though I really feel sorry for them (because you learn new things everyday) I respect their response and take them of my contacting list. Don’t let this demotivate you – there are always people like that in life and you don’t want to work with people who think they know everything anyhow.
- Sacrifices. When starting your own business, you need to be willing to sacrifice certain things in order to save some money. Testing out a new coffee shop every day will need to wait a year or two. Buying the best phone will need to wait another two years. Window shopping will need to become the new way of shopping for a while and holidays will need to be put on hold. In the long run, this will pay off – trust me.
- Forgetting the important things. Don’t forget or let go of the important things like exercise and relationships. These are things that will keep you going – don’t omit it from your routine.
These are but a few of the challenges I’ve encountered in the first few months of starting my own business and I suppose there are still many to come. But these challenges teach me something new every day and I love it. Starting your own business is definitely a good way to get to know yourself (and your limits).
So, to all the entrepreneurs out there: Up top for taking on the challenge and good luck!