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How My Least Calculated Move Became My Greatest Achievement

By April 24, 2024Articles, Leadership

At 39, after a fulfilling 21-year corporate career, I made the bold decision to venture into entrepreneurship. Being single, with a mortgage, and frankly, not entirely sure what I was getting myself into, I jumped into my own business with exhilarating sense of freedom.

However, that euphoria was short-lived as the stark realities of my new life began to dawn on me.

The transition proved to be more challenging than anticipated. I found myself missing the camaraderie of working within a team, the direction provided by leaders, and the comfort of established structures and support systems that I had previously taken for granted.

Suddenly, I was navigating this journey alone, feeling significantly out of my depth and experiencing a growing sense of panic as the weeks rolled by without any income, in stark contrast to the consistent fortnightly salary I had come to expect.

Adding to the complexity, my newfound freedom also seemed to invite more distractions. Friends and family, now seeing me as more accessible, often reached out for weekday coffees and catch-ups, cutting into what should have been productive work hours.

It quickly became evident that my initial approach was not creating the results I had hoped for, and I needed to implement changes – and fast!

In spite of the challenges, I have always had a deep-seated confidence in my ability to achieve and succeed—perhaps a tad overconfident and naive in the context of starting a new business. But this confidence, coupled with a resilient mindset determined to find solutions, served as my guiding light. Faced with adversity, I’ve always found that the best within me emerges when my back is against the wall.

So, what steps did I take to address these challenges?

  1. Self-Leadership: My initial action was a deep introspection to understand what kind of leader I needed to be for myself. Identifying the mindset and actions required to realize my goals and vision was critical.
  2. Mentorship: Recognising the importance of guidance, I sought out a mentor who had successfully navigated a similar path and was thriving in his own business. This relationship provided me with invaluable support and insights.
  3. Networking: In the early days of my business journey in 2009, networking wasn’t widely recognised as the business-building strategy it is today. My first networking event was a nerve-wracking experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it proved to be a pivotal moment. It opened the door to meaningful connections and opportunities that were instrumental in my growth. (After I had sat in my car for 20 minutes not wanting to walk through the door that is!)
  4. Asking for Help: Though I have always prided myself on my independence, I learned the importance of reaching out for help. It was a humbling realisation that I couldn’t do everything on my own.
  5. Setting Boundaries: Establishing clear distinctions between my professional and personal life was crucial. It required setting firm boundaries and educating those around me to respect them, a process that was initially met with resistance but eventually led to mutual respect.

Sharing this journey, with its trials and triumphs, might resonate with those contemplating a similar leap or undergoing a career transition. It’s a candid look back at the mistakes and challenges that have shaped me into who I am today.

Embracing change, stepping out of your comfort zone, and facing fears head-on can be daunting, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.

Through facing a Global Financial Crisis, navigating the uncertainties of COVID-19, and overcoming my recent cancer diagnosis, I’ve learned that resilience, action, and a positive mindset are your greatest allies.

Let my experiences serve as a testament to the strength each of us holds within, capable of leading us to success and fulfillment on our own unique paths. You can always find a way if you use your mindset as your super power.