I am very lucky in life that I have been raised by two people who have run their own businesses. My mother has run multiple businesses over the past 40 years, most notably when she ran a plant hire business in Wollongong, employing 5 staff and with plants placed in all major hotels, pubs and clubs; her most recent endeavours The Secret Garden and My Productive Backyard and when she conned my sister and I into selling veggies for her in our neighbourhood (we were cute sales people and made more money that way). My father has run his own financial planning practice, Innovus Advice, for the past 10 years but ran someone else’s practice for years before that as a partner and managing director.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because I genuinely believe that running a business is something that you have to WANT to do. Not the job that you do, not the graphic design or the social media management itself, but the business. The running, the doing, the being in business for yourself. Because really, it’s a bloody hard slog if it’s not the business that you want to be doing.
I was talking recently with a potential new client, who also worked in his own business within the finance industry, and he raised the point that unless you love what you do or are making more money in your own business, the perks of being in small business can seem few and far between. And he’s not wrong. The rollercoaster of small business is one that we all have to ride, and it’s not an easy choice to make. No big company to pay your superannuation for you, making your tax time a joyous occasion instead of one filled with dread. No talking with others by the water cooler, because leaving your desk for more than a second feels like guilt, because after all you work from home right? You already have it easier than the schmucks who have to catch a bus to work. So you cant possibly enjoy your day, because you already have something over the rest. No guaranteed paycheck, no Friday drinks, no perks of the job or conferences or praise from your manager. There are lots of little things that sometimes can really wear you down about running a one woman show.
When you’re deep in what my favourite blokes at The Minimalists refer to as “drudging through the drudgery” it can be difficult to remember why you’re doing this in the first place. And so at these times, I am fortunate to be able to turn to both of my folks and get some advice. They have completely different perspectives, approaches and opinions, which makes for some fairly heated and confliciting arguments. But I have people I can turn to with experience in that rollercoaster ride, in that drudgery, who can give me advice on how to do it better, how to be better or manage it better. And for that, I am bloody lucky. And the best thing is, is that that advice always reminds me of why I’m doing this. Because that’s just part of who I am, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.