For a long time, I didn’t want to write this.
Because it’s been a big couple of years and I wanted you to think I had it all under control.
I wanted the perfect business to support a perfect life. I yearned to give off the impression I had it all going on. So you’d trust me. So you’d do business with me. So, perhaps it might all be true.
This whole time I’ve been duck feet paddling at 100 miles an hour. Or worse; sometimes I am frozen solid in fear.
Then, I read Jay Crisp Crow’s blog post ‘Don’t Give Up Your Day Job… Yet’.
And I decided I needed to do a little truth telling, too.
I’m setting the story straight.
When I registered my business in early 2015, I quit a very lucrative position with a big mining company. I did that to focus full time on building my brilliant business.
I could afford to. After all, I had a sizeable, healthy amount of buffer in the bank account, a large, bouncy safety net, so everything was fine.
Until it wasn’t.
2 Months later, my relationship of 5 years came to an end.
That probably would’ve been OK on its own, but being on the cusp of 40, childless and single again delivered some stinging disappointment.
A tinge of unmet expectations.
A realisation of lost opportunities.
And additional stress on top of an already challenging time.
but the rest of us call a breakdown.
(Just writing that in a public business post has me considering holding onto this blog for another year. But I know, and you know, just how important it is for real people in business to tell and hear real stories about business ownership.
That safety net I’d accumulated? It started fraying. Eating into it was the time I spent grieving a life I’d lost and trying to figure out how best to accept the life I’d been offered.
It took a moment, and the rallying of amazing friends and family, but I pried open the jaws of the black dog and launched again into a routine with my business. I gained momentum, picking up new clients and actually making more money than was going out on bills. Everything was starting to hum and I felt like my business had real potential.
And then my Mum got sick.
My Mum was one of the drivers behind starting my business.
I lost my Dad when I was only 11, and as she got older, I wanted to ensure I could spend quality time with her while she travelled from my home town of Koorda down to Perth for doctor’s appointments and to go and spend time with her at home.
Now she was really ill and I wanted to be there to help her get better.
But she didn’t get better.
Because I’d already made the decision to prioritise her, I was able to spend nearly every day at the hospital and stay overnight with her when it mattered. It meant my Mum had someone to help her through the process of being cared for and liaise with medical staff and family members and not feel so alone when the rest of the family couldn’t be there.
And then she was gone.
5 weeks from becoming sick and being admitted into hospital, my Mum died.
I started the grieving process all over again.
Having the motivation to work on your own business is hard enough when everything is going swimmingly, but when the bottom has fallen out of your world and you’re hanging on by your fingertips, the idea of posting a happy go lucky Facebook post and excitedly hustling for new clients is excruciating.
I managed to do the absolute minimum amount of work to pay for the existing expenses I had.
Eventually, the grief started to ease, but the cupboard was bare.
I had to go and get a part time job.
I cried. I was ashamed. If I told anyone, I made out that it was a lucrative “short term contract” instead of what it was – a way to pay the bills and recoup the massive financial impact having my life implode cost me.
Luckily for me, I found the absolutely most perfect job that could have come across my inbox.
A wonderful mixed systems role that used all of my skills, not just some of them. I got into a routine that didn’t involve eating potatoes in my pyjamas and even better, it was for a non-profit, so the philanthropist in me got plenty of warm fuzzies.
The people were great, they appreciated everything I brought to the role and finally, after 6 months, I was able to take a leap back into my business full time.
These stories of failing or fumbling are imperative.
I don’t want to be yet another business owner who only shows you my highlight reel, because my business IS me.
I’m not a corporation, I’m not even a large team.
It’s all up to me. Every day. All the time.
In the highs of high and the what-the-heck-happened-to-my-life of the lows.
What would you rather read? A story of a real challenge overcome (albeit with a few bruises and scrapes along the way) or another fake “I quit my job and three minutes later earn 7 figures while drinking mimosas on the beach” tale?
It hasn’t been an easy journey but that year was one of the best of my 41 years on earth. How could I say that? Because I’ve learned so much.
About my business. About myself.
Lynette embodies an intrinsic ability to save business owners money by delivering back the all-elusive “spare” time so they can use it to do what they love. She puts these principles into practice in her own business – Kits and Bits. Lynette is an avid genealogist and tango dancer.Lynette Delane
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