The startup maze is a scary phenomenon made up of all kinds of moving parts depending who you talk to. So I’m going to share a story with you that had I known about earlier, would have speeded up my business journey by 3 years. First, let me give you some background.
At that time I had just sold my long-term brick and mortar business, one that had made me a good living for a very long time so I was cash rich.
Between 2008 and 2010 I had two heavy duty family responsibilities to take care of. Both were long-term with some overlap between the two and one responsibility could have fallen to other family members to take care of? As a self-confessed over functioner and the one who was deemed by the rest of the family as possessing an outstanding set of coping skills I was nominated and gladly accepted both roles with love and determination. At that time I had just sold my long-term brick and mortar business, one that had made me a good living for a very long time so I was cash rich. I had been time poor for over twenty years and I was sick of that so now I was ready for change. I wanted to start an online business, a challenge that was completely new to me. One that would give me the life I was seeking and one I could easily put on hold while I took care of my family.
Having just sold up: my bank balance was good and it needed to be because I was taking a good chunk of time off, although at that point I couldn’t have known I would be without income for as long as 2 years. I wasn’t worried though, This was a good thing I was doing. Their need was greater than mine and in any case, the good lord would prevail and the universe would conspire in my favour, wouldn’t it?
During the 2 years, I didn’t earn a penny, I couldn’t, I was committed elsewhere and while I did do some preliminary work on setting up my new business that was mainly research and information seeking. Still being time poor, given the commitments I had taken on, I was unable to do any more than that.
By now I was becoming cash poor as well. My bank balance began to shrink. I still had bills and living costs and wasn’t being paid for the time I had given up ( I knew I wasn’t going to be) but still I wasn’t too worried. Why should I be, once these big family commitments were over I would start my new business and get back to me. ( wouldn’t I? ) By the end of it all, I had no money left. The 2 commitments had ended, one resulted in death ( terminal illness) and the other resulted in making sure a beloved member of my family was fully recovered and on the road to a new life.
And here I was broke BUT I still believed everything would be fine because I deserved it all to be fine, right?
Wrong: and once I realised this was not the case, I was sick to my stomach. Not only at the realisation I had a long and broke road ahead of me: but at my own naiveté brought about by that self-deluding mantra I’d fed myself everything will be fine, money will come from somewhere and my new business will appear as if by magic because I deserved it.
So it was time to reflect
I was down but not out I still had the same dreams and goals and with tenacity, on my side, I could do this, but first I needed to look at what had gone so wrong and what was the lesson?
After much soul searching it wasn’t hard to identify this really was all my fault. After all, millions of women around the world take on extra family commitments, many a lot worse than mine. As women with families we are not only willing but often expected to take on these extra roles, as caregivers it’s what we do. Besides who else is going to do it? So let’s not minimise the fact there is an expectation placed upon us and so there are going to be times when you just have to suck it up and get on with it. I couldn’t and wouldn’t have changed my decision to commit to care. It brought some very deep rewards with it but none of them were financial and no matter how we dress it up it is a fact that you need money to live and regardless of what you’ve given up to help someone else, self-sacrifice won’t pay the bills.
So what was the lesson
okay so none of us know what’s around the corner and while I hope not, there is always the possibility that I might be called on again for care and support. That said this time I’ll be ready when the family comes calling and I’ve been able to do that by making sure I’m prepared.
You’ll remember I had to put my new business idea on hold for 2 years? Once I was able to work on it again I didn’t have the money to build a team or get people to show me what to do. The one resource I did have by now was time ( that was all I had) so I got to work building this business under my own steam. I learned and implemented everything myself and believe me there are a lot of moving parts to getting this stuff all set up. From opt-in lists to building my own website and everything in between and with no previous experience in this field, I literally learned it all from scratch.
It was a long and lonely road and it took me three years working and struggling on my own. ( so that’s 5 years in total with no income of my own) I learned far more than I’ll ever need but I didn’t know what I was doing, so I learned what I thought I needed, only to discover later I was able to dump 80 percent of that in favour of the 20 percent I actually needed. That equates to about two and a half years of learning I didn’t need. OMG!
There is good news though
Now that I’ve learned it all I’ve been able to do 2 things:
By streamlining my knowledge and expertise I’ve been able to dump the excess and create a programme: that walks you through the start upmaze in small manageable chunks.FYI that’s the complete opposite of how I did it.
In doing this I’ve created the income I need to enjoy the lifestyle I was seeking. Which also means: the next time the family comes calling I will be able to commit without the fear of going broke again. And I don’t mind telling you that feels good…
For now, though I am enjoying everything that comes with this business not least the opportunity to meet and work with some lovely, talented and amazing women and the fact you’re on this page tells me you could be one of them!
How does this help you?
Well you can do it the hard way like me and struggle on your own for 3 years give or take or you can:
From my heart to yours…