What drove me to start my own business – money, passion, fulfilling a dream, carrying on a family tradition or the only way out of starvation? Whatever the reason, money is what keeps it going; yes, we need passion and drive and it certainly helps if we have the talent and skill required for a successful business.
For me, the passion, dream, skill and talent were all there, but my greatest fear was letting go of my “secure” position at a corporate job. Notice I didn’t say the money was there, that’s because I knew only too well that any money invested in a startup business had to come from either an existing source or had to be raised, neither of which I had or was capable of obtaining.
So what did I do? I took a leap, yes, a huge leap, which meant breaking away from the corporate world using all the money I could put my hands on, putting my talent to work and then facing the nail-biting reality ‘what if no one wants to buy what I’m selling?’ Thankfully, that was not the case. My faith paid oﬀ and I experienced a freedom I never knew existed until I left the corporate world. I also realized that I didn’t need as much money as I thought necessary to get started. Most of all I was blown away when I hit a home run – doing what I loved and using my talent and creativity, every piece I created was a winner.
Does it stop there? Not by a long shot! I have now entered the world of changing trends, saturated markets, inﬂation, deﬂation, multi media, social media, aging population, younger population, choices, big competition…! Time to pause, take a deep breath, get help, use the wealth of resources and services available for ﬂedgling businesses like mine because there was no way I was going to give up or go under. I might have been small, I might have been struggling but I had heart!
Heart…but what about money? Everything costs money! I needed money to promote, money to equip myself, money to develop, money to expand. The big question was should I invest in me or in my brand? Would customers be more drawn to me or what I was selling? With my limited funds I decided to pair-up, partner-up and piggyback. I joined empowerment groups, shared spaces and split expenses. I was saving money, exposing myself to a wider market and at the same time enhancing my social proﬁle; I then realized that me and my brand were synonymous.
This is my seventh year owning my own business; I’ve had good years and not-so-good years, but they’ve all been learning and strengthening years. With my experiences and available resources I am positioned to go forward with resolve. I believe the best is yet to come!
I am resolute!
Guest post written by Beverly Roberts of Mijiza Images.