Starting A Business Was The Best Thing For My Growth
It’s too bad that going through the american school system kills your spirit. When I was 7 years old I knew that I was going to own a business, I felt it in my bones. Then I went through the school system and interacted in society. That has a way of messing you up. When your done, your left with the feeling of your not good enough. What could you possibly have to offer the world.
Like most people spending time in the corporate world, I had enough. I developed a plan to get away from my corporate overlord. I spent my whole working life in accounting departments and accounting software. I had those skills and went out on my own.
Boy did I have a lot to learn
When I started I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to sell, how to evaluate a potential client, how to market. Speaking in public was terrifying.
I did a lot of research on starting a business and followed the advice. Included in the advice was to network, join the chamber of commerce. That’s where I started my journey.
I went to networking meetings, at least 2 a week (for 10 years), I learned how to do an elevator pitch, got over my fear of public speaking (it took a while), how to read a client quickly and know if they are ready to buy, how to network effectively. I met great people along the way and discovered that speaking to people isn’t as hard as I had imagined.
No, is a new word in my vocabulary
I was taught that I should get along with everyone, be accommodating. The customer is always right. Well…not exactly.
I’m not a confrontational person by nature. I try to find something good in everyone. Over the years I have learned to be picky about which people I allow around me. This is also true about customers. When I started out, I would put up with all kinds of behavior, some bordering on verbal abuse. After going through a few crazies and unreasonable requests, I decided that I would be picky about who my clients were also. I learned the red flags when speaking with a prospect, and trusted my gut.
Because I want to
For the most part I’ve been pretty lucky in doing what I want. When I felt ready to make changes or go after something in my personal life, I just did. I didn’t need encouragement to do so. In business it was a different. From micromanaging bosses to mind numbing bureaucracy, I was always playing defense.
Then I went out on my own. It’s a whole new playing field where I was the master of my destiny. If things went bad it was on me, if things went great, also on me. It was a big mindset shift from thinking of my clients as “my boss” to being an adviser. Telling them no, when they didn’t want to hear it and setting the boundaries of how we were going to work together. It is an empowering feeling to get to this point.
None of this happened overnight. It has been a journey with it’s ups and downs. It was surprising how many things I had to unlearn.
I know my story is not unique, I wanted to share it. Hope it helps in some way.