Why I chose to further my career by building my own business

It’s a funny word “career” when you think about it and the ladder many try to climb can often be thought about as working for someone else. I had always wanted to become a director and make it to the top but had an epiphany after being made redundant that this didn’t have to come from finding another role that would build on what I already have with a business – I could just create my own.

In this blog I am going to talk about why I chose to further my career by building my own business, including:

  • The appeal of going self-employed
  • Gaining the confidence to build my own business
  • Building my own business and learning as I go

Furthering my Career – The Appeal of Going Self-Employed

When you are self-employed you are your own boss, it’s one of the things I think that attracts most people into starting up and I was lured by the fact my husband already had his own business that he absolutely loves. It meant I had some support from someone who knew what it was like to go through starting alone and find ways to get going and stay motivated.

I could see that I could become a director, a founder, an owner or Chief of anything I wanted when it was my own brand and my own passion to serve the people I thought could need my help. I would be answering to them only and I could create, in time, a mix of ways to support retailers so they could continue to dream big.

Retail has always been a passion and I’ve been privileged to work with some amazing people in some fantastic names from our high street. Recognising that I actually had something to offer many product brands instead of one felt like I could serve a purpose for the industry and support not just the corporate level I was used to but help independent brands with the business side of their business too.

Gaining the Confidence to Build my own Business

I had to do a lot of soul searching though before I started because I knew that this would not be an easy ride and as a person I tend to crave certainty and routine like many others. I would have neither of those things for quite a while when I started and I would have to be able to put myself out there. I would have to be prepared for that so I could keep myself motivated even if things were slow to build.

But research and conversations with others who had done the same thing gave me confidence. I signed up for networking with other entrepreneurs so I could begin to appreciate what was needed to be a business owner and what I would have to learn to get started.

This helped in the same way as when I spent time with mentors and coaches to develop my leadership skills and I went looking for those who could inspire and teach me what I needed to know to run a business practically and creatively. I understood products and stock but services are different in many ways and I also had to be able to sell again, something I hadn’t had to much of since I left the shopfloor unless I was pitching for company money.

This would be where I would have to keep a check on my imposter syndrome and not lose faith if something I put out there didn’t work. As with any product I would have to learn what my customers might need and create solutions that would drive their growth – so much trial an error is needed and I needed to start seeing failure as learning and not as a negative that could hit my confidence.

Building my own Business and Learning as I go

Building my business model was like building the budgets and forecasts I was used to but I was going have to see what worked and adapt my plans as opportunities came up or ideas needed to be put to one side. This will be an ever-evolving process and is actually the most exciting part because I have so many thoughts and plans and I can come up with more as spend time with my clients.

The other big learning curve has been about team work and cultivating my own squad of support as well being part of the teams my clients have. I’ve always loved being part of a group striving for the same goal and working for yourself can sometimes be a bit isolating. I have found I need to look for skills I don’t possess or have struggled to get into and pay for the expertise in the same way my clients do with me.

Anyone who knows me well will laugh when they know how much tech I’ve actually got my head around as I used to get anyone else to move my PC and reconnect it during an office change around. I can create graphics, schedule social media and understand how a sales funnel goes together but I have though invested in an expert to build my website (I could not get my brain around it) and it was worth the money 10 times over. My VA is also worth her weight in gold as she has produced so much material for the next stage in my business plan and understands what I might need and suggests it.

And the best part of that is that these people are all business owners themselves so we are helping each other to succeed and being cheerleaders when the going gets tough. It’s the same level of morale building I had in my old roles but I now have a whole new network of experts I can call on to help me develop what’s to come.

Furthering my Career, Building my own Business and Setting the Agenda

So I’m glad I made the leap into the unknown and that I’m here setting my own goals with my own agenda. There is no straight path to success for any of us and I know I will feel the peaks and troughs deeply as I keep trying to build on the foundations I now have. It is, though, the next stage in my career development and I know I will find it extremely rewarding especially as I have already been able to share the lessons I’ve taken on with some who starting their own new ventures. That’s always been the best bit about climbing the ladder, you can extend a hand to those coming up behind you to keep them on track and you will be really happy that you started the change of direction.

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