Day 6 – Saying Goodbye to Work-Life Balance

I’d say over the last few years I’ve had a great work-life balance. I made time for friends and family and it was great. This year, hmm.. not so much. I can count on one hand the number of times I have left my house for non-work related activities. The tell-tail sign is usually how long my contact lens back last for. Last year I’d get through about one a month, this year I haven’t been able to finish even one box (that’s 3 months- Yikes).

Everyone goes on about how important it is to have a balance, but I’m starting to realise when you’re building a business, that’s a luxury that you have to be willing to let go of. I tried to have it all over the last few years and frankly I was miserable. Now that I am concentrating on one thing – business, I feel alive again.

This could also have something to do with the fact that I’m an introvert by nature, but the fact of the matter trying to have it all from the start might not be realistic. They say “an entrepreneur lives like most people won’t for a few years, so that they can live like most be can’t for the rest of their lives.” I’m finding that to be case at least in my situation. One day I’ll have the luxury of a work-life balance, or even better I might not even have to work if I do this right, but until then, I’m ok with not having it all right now.

What do you think? Is a work-life balance realistic when starting a business?


I’m So Glad I Took A Leap Of Faith!

So I have been away for aaaages. Blogging id HARD! I have a new found respect for those who post regularly. Anyway, I want to do better this year. I’m going to put aside some time a week so I can sent out short, update posts.

So where am I now on my journey to the top? A lot has happened this year and business if FINALLY picking up. All it took was one leap of faith and everything began to change. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my line of work before, well I run a tuition centre, teaching maths, English and 11+. During February half term, a parent pleaded with me to run a “half term programme” because her child really needed the extra lessons. I thought about it and sent out a few emails to see if there would be any takers, well a week before the programme was to start no one had indicated an interest so I went to bed one night saying to myself that “tomorrow, I’m gonna cancel it” I made a memo reminding myself to email the venue I hire out, to cancel my booking.

The next morning I woke up to the most random text, a parent who had not shown any significant interest in my services in the past, asked “am I still going to run the programme I advertised?” I was so surprised. I told my parents what my initial plans were prior to the text and asked what they thought I should do now. They said just do it, run the programme. AAAHHHH!! This was going to be risky, OK, I just went for it! BOY am I glad I did, it ended up being a catalyst. One parent signed up for it after hearing about it and was so impressed that she told her friends about my services who told their friends and now here I am looking to hire more staff. All this in just 3 weeks. The turnaround has been truly phenomenal.

There’s still a long long way to go but the pace that I’m moving at is like 100 times the speed I was moving at before. I shared this to show that all it takes is one customer, one success story, one moment, to change it all around for you. So to my hustling entrepreneurs out there don’t give up, hang in there a little longer, oh and don’t forget to take a leap of faith when the opportunity presents itself, and you might just find that you can fly!

That’s it from me.

Peace out and Keep Gettin’ It!

When a Personal Spanner Gets Into Business Works

As much as I can, I try to keep my personal life and business life separate but I’m sure as many entrepreneurs can testify, this is much easier said than done, if you work from home, and don’t have strict work hours both personal and business just tend to merge into one big blob. When you’re working on your business lots of non-business related thoughts might crop up and vice versa. Keeping yourself focused on the task at hand can be a separate struggle in itself. I try to live by saying I heard ….. Say, “when you’re doing right now is the most important thing”. Which basically means focus!!! While it can be difficult I make a conscious effort to switch off one part of my life and focus on the other.

Now what happens when something happens in your personal life that is too big to shut off? Earlier this month my aunt passed away and it has been hard. Focusing on business has been difficult to say the least. I just feel deflated, unable to work, unable to do anything really. It’s like the wind has been knocked out of me. Now if I was an employee I could just take time off but when you’re a business owner things still have to get done. You can’t shut up shop and stay in bed all day. The bills will still be coming in and customers still require the service they’re paying for.

While it’s be very hard, I’ve found that seeing business as a welcome distraction rather than unwanted burden is helping. I immerse myself in all things business and for a moment I forget about what happened, and when I remember again I push myself to do more work. This has meant I’ve actually managed to get more done than I would usually get done. I know that this won’t necessarily work for everyone but it’s worth a try.

Have you had any experiences that have effected your business life or vice versa? How did you overcome it? Advice and suggestions are very welcome

If you want to find out what I’m getting up to in between posts follow me on Twitter @thisiskorede

Till next time. Keep Getting It!!

Getting a J.O.B!

Firstly, no I’m not quitting, I’m re-stratergising. At the end of June I went over the goals I wrote out for this year and was actually quite surprised that I had made some kind of dent in my plans (albeit a very small and possibly invisible to the human eye sized dent). In particular, I noticed that most of the goals I had achieved or was in the process of achieving were my personal development goals, but my financial, career and business goals were almost untouched. What was the problem? Why wasn’t I moving forward even though I was working hard? I spent a lot of time thinking over these questions and came to the conclusion that the reason I wasn’t getting anywhere was my lack of capital. I needed money to make money and my cash flow at this point is just not enough.

My options were:
1. Get a loan – That was out of the question, because I had promised myself after the almighty flop of my first venture (that I’m still paying off today) I wouldn’t take out another business loan until I had paid off the last one and was making enough money to need a loan to expand an already successful business.

2. Find an investor – firstly that could take a while and many of them want to invest in a business that has been around for 2+ years. So that was out of the question.

3. Get a job! – The issue here was could I juggle my business with working full time? I looked at my current schedule, did some shuffling around and decided that it was possible, I’d be knackered and have little to no time for any extra-curricular activities but it was possible.

So here I am spending my days doing applications and going to assessment days. This process is a full time job in itself so I suppose I’m already practicing. The aim is to start before the end of August. Wish me luck!

Does anyone else work full-time and run a business as well? How do you do it? Got any tips for me?

If you want to find out what I’m getting up to in between posts follow me on Twitter @thisiskorede

Till next time. Keep Getting It!

Don’t Become an Entrepreneur If…

There are many blogs, posts, books etc. that highlight the great things about working for yourself. They make it seem like it is for everyone but that’s as true as saying we can all become professional skydivers, even if you have a crippling fear of heights. The point is one path does not fit all, we’re all equipped to do different jobs. So even if you have a fantastic idea think about the following things before you embark on this entrepreneurial road.

Don’t become an entrepreneur if….

1. You hate being told what to do/listening to others
– Many find the idea of working for oneself appealing because they can be their own boss; they can become fully autonomous beings; it’s their way or the highway. WRONG! As an entrepreneur you have to do more listening than ever before. Firstly, you must listen to your customers. It doesn’t matter what you think they want if it’s not what they actually want. No matter how much you love your product the customer knows best. Also your staff aren’t your slaves, at times they will take a different approach to a task that you have given them and their views do matter because they may have a better perspective than you on certain things.

2. You hate working long hours.
– Another alluring trait of being an entrepreneur is the idea that you can use your time how you wish. You can work from the comfort of your own home and take breaks at will. This may be true for those who want to go out of business quicker than you can say “liquidation” but for those of us looking to build an empire, that is as far from reality as you can get. I once heard someone say “If want to give up that 9-5, you have to be willing to work 24/7”. The hours are long and quite often your weekend must be sacrificed. Are you willing to work early and go to bed late? Can you operate on 4-5 hours of sleep when necessary? Can you forgo nights out with friends if the situation requires it? If the answer to any of these is no then I’d reconsider the whole entrepreneur thing.

3. You can’t take rejection
– The truth is most of us hate rejection. “NO!” How can a two letter word fill us with so much fear?! We’ll do anything to avoiding coming face to face with this word. I get it, but the fact of the matter is in business you’re gonna hear far more “no”s than “yeses”. It’s sad, it’s painful but you have to be willing to keep trying anyway. You can’t be afraid of hearing it because you’ll pass up many precious opportunities that may have actually resulted in a “yes”. Can you handle a day of “no”s, or week of “no”s or even a month of “no”s?
You can’t deal with (or not willing to deal with) failure and disappointment this isn’t the path for you.

I realise that this post is slightly depressing lol, but take heart because just because you said no to say of the above doesn’t mean it’s all over. As long as you’re willing to make the necessary changes then there’s still hope.

To all the entrepreneurs out there, can you relate to this? Are there any other things you’d add to this list? Comment below

Till next time. Keep Getting It!

P.S. If you want to find out what I’m doing in between posts follow me on Twitter @thisiskorede

Throwing In the Towel and Picking it Back Up again

Today I came the closest I have ever been to giving up. I had finally reached the end of my tether, I had tried everything I knew to do, and nothing was paying dividend. Nothing! Yup! This morning I was ready to throw in the towel. I cried and cried, got angry and cried again. I checked  my emails and saw a LinkedIn email saying “[so and so] had got a new job, click to congratulate them”. Browsing through LinkedIn I hit with the harsh reality that while my friends continue to climb up the  career ladder, I am no closer than I was 2 years ago, after leaving Uni, to my goals. I cried some more.

So I thought, If I’m going to throw in the towel, I’d better start looking for a full-time job, my stomach turned. I continued. I googled “graduate schemes” clicked on a fairly attractive position with a competitive salary and benefits, opened the application and I cried the ugliest cry of all the cries I had cried that day. It dawned on me that if I went along with this, this could be the end of the road. Was I really giving up? Or was I just mitigating my losses? Either way my soggy face indicated that the prospect of quitting didn’t fill me with much joy.

Just then, my phone rang, it was brother asking for a lift. While driving, you guessed it, I cried some more. I gathered my thoughts (as best as I could under the circumstances) and admitted that even though I wanted to quit, I didn’t ready to quit. I couldn’t live with the ‘what ifs’ I’d be asking myself forever. I couldn’t face myself knowing I’d given up on my dreams. I wasn’t ready to quit.

The reality of life as an entrepreneur is that this bed of roses has thorns. Sharp ones, and every so often you get pricked and it hurts. The path I have chosen is far from easy, on the contrary it’s possibly the most difficult road. The risks are high and the guarantees are nil. Many brave (or naive) people start this journey but very few people make it to where I’m headed. It’s a winding, ill lit path that is thwart with the unexpected but for the few that diligently continue, for those who feel the fear, disappointed, pain, hurt, endure the setbacks and continue anyway the rewards are untold. Yes my friends the sweet success that is coming will be so very worth it.

I’m planning to do a post called “Don’t be an entrepreneur if….” During this episodic break down a lot points came to me and I thought it would be share them. Stay tuned.

Tell me, how often do you feel like giving up? What was the closest you got to almost giving up for good?

If you want to find out what I’m getting up to in between posts follow me on Twitter @thisiskorede

Till next time. Keep Gettin’ It!