It’s heading to the end of the year and for those of us over here in New Zealand a time we pack up our bags, chuck the kids in the cars and head to our favourite spot to rest, relax and recharge. After thrashing ourselves the time has come for us all to enjoy time with the close people in our lives.
I recently had some fun visiting a local farmers market here in Auckland, New Zealand and got to speak with many of the business owners who were there. Can I say as we kick off todays blog that there is nothing like surrounding yourself with fellow business owners. The energy, The passion and The sheer dog-determination to make things work is incredible to experience, if you are ever having a ‘down’ day then may I suggest getting out and find yourself a farmers market!
Taking that energy and passion welcome into our blog today, “the never ending dream”
As I walked around the market with Louie & Willow in hand, we got speaking and share stories with some wonderful people, we got to try some incredible produce and understand a little more about ‘why’ the people standing behind there stalls got started and ‘why’ they do what they do.
It may surprise many to hear that the overwhelming response coming back from them was – its not about the money…….!
As we head off for our well deserved breaks many of us take some time out to reflect on the year that has gone, and put though into the year ahead. To be honest, even if you spend just 30mins on this I am confident you will reap the rewards! Grab a pen, paper and find a very quiet spot and just note down and think about what it is you do to be you. I recently did some work with a client who wanted to leave a corporate position to establish her business and part of the process was to work out ‘why’.
Some initial questions come to mind when people start to think about the year prior and coming:
Am I happy doing what I do?
Does my current position support what I want to do?
Should I look to change jobs/companies?
Am I going to learn something in 2020 that will help me?
What can I do to improve my current position?
Am I healthy, eating, sleeping, exercising etc?
What have I enjoyed about 2019?
What am I proud of right now?
Am I challenged – Am I learning – Am I growing?
Do I want to start ’that’ business I have always wanted to do?
This list is not limited but I would urge you to at least note down 3 things you are extremely proud of and 1 thing you want to improve. This is always a good starting point no matter the time of year.
During our walk around the farmers market I wanted to get outside my comfort zone of not really engaging with people (maybe a high how are you)…..I wanted to pause and spend time with them – to understand from the owners why they do what they do and this led onto,
Why do people start a business?
Sometimes you just need to hear a few words of support and encouragement. You Can Do It! And the rest as they say will work out, to others taking that leap of faith, leaving a job/career, that regular income the routine is enough to hold you back and there is nothing wrong with that.
Many of the people who I spoke with where husband and wife teams, I also met sisters in business and some just out on there own. One of my takeaways from sharing stories with people was this
“they wished they had started a business years before”
All agreed it was and is hard work and yes it is liken to riding a rollercoaster but the personal thrill and excitement to get started and try is why so many people give it a go. (Whats the worst that can happen…..:)
I met one couple who told me that they had both previously been in well paid – corporate gigs both working hard and progressing upwards, bigger pay checks, bigger teams, bigger responabilties but they felt the time was right for them both to give running there own business a go. So they put plans in place, saved up 6 months salary and said good bye to city life. Where they scared? I asked them, hell yes came the reply, but if they didn’t do it now then they would never have done it. Fast forward 2 years and they are starting to explore now product lines etc. Sure the $ is lower than they would have made in corporate world but you could see in their eyes and how they spoke that lower $ was made up by all the things they were now able to do. They had a long term goal and have great people around them to help them.
Another recent ‘newby to running his own business’ told me that he had been unhappy in his previous work as a banker, he wanted to have time with his young family, he wanted to not spend all day looking at spreadsheets and he wanted to make jewellery – so he did just that and he is a few months into giving things a go. I asked him about how the last few months had gone and as he started to share with me what he had learnt about running a business, you got a sense that it would not be long till his banking career would be a distant memory. What he had learnt from his banking career was defiantly being used in his jewellery business – he described doing what he should be doing rather than what others expected from him, very good to hear…….
It made me think that all the skills one learns over your career will absolutely not be lost when you start your own business. Indeed you will be surprised with how many ‘new’ skills you will need to master. All those courses, seminars, etc that you went on can really help you in the early months of establishing your little bit of paradise.
One lady really made an impact on me, tucked in the corner of the farmers market was a small stand, very simple in design, nothing flash, just a table and a few ingredients laid out before my eyes. She was an elderly lady and she was sitting behind the table reading, I introduced myself to her and asked, like I had done the others, what do you do. She shared with me her home grown produce, how she created wonderful chutneys and jams, how she spent the time crafting and creating her labels and the amount of time she spent producing each hand made bottle. Can we try some (said a little voice) absolutely, so Louie and Willow tucked into 4 different chutneys and sauces all with such wonderful wholesome flavours. How long have you been doing this – oh about 30 years……….wow, 30 years, so what is your secret I asked, waiting for the usual response to fly back my way. Time. Just Time she said. All good things take time and buy the look of things she had nailed the importance of creating time. This just goes to show once again that if you are looking to establish a business, if you are looking to do something you are passionate about then don’t expect things to change over night, things take time.
Just for the record not one owner I had the pleasure of meeting spoke about “making money” – they all shared stories of hard work, long hours and constantly trying new things, but money was not at the top of ‘why they started a business’
I fully appreciate that money is an important part of all our lives. Everyone has bills to pay, food to buy etc. Taking stock of our visit the top 3 responses as to ‘why did they start a business’
To make a difference to our lives
To work for ourselves
Try something / more variety
One thing I noticed around the market was the use of technology and how important this was to each person I had spoken to, here are a few things that most if not all use:
website/social media (a great deal use instagram)
technology for payment
So as we head into our breaks and start to look at the year ahead enjoy time to rest, relax and recharge, and if you can try to look at the good things that happened in 2019, and try to put shape to what you want from 2020.
If 2020 means you are going to step forward and create your own business then my friend enjoy it, I wish you all the very best.
Look after yourself and each other,
Nick Roud – Executive Coach
Roud Career Coaching
‘Unleash Your Most Authentic Self’