|photo credit - CK Correia 2014 All rights reserved. Pigeon Point, Tobago|
Thursday, August 21, 2014
No one likes the waiting game, but it is the way of life. To not conform, is to live in a utopia and a delusion. Leaving my corporate job of 7 and a half years to move to Tobago and then back again to start my own business, has taught me a thing or two about patience and waiting.
I am no expert on entrepreneurship, as this is my first time and I am learning as I go along. But despite the pitfalls and periods of seeming inertia, I must say that I am enjoying the ride. Something is always happening in the background. My brain is always working overtime and I have many light bulb moments of inspiration, about a new initiative to get my blood pumping and the old brain working.
I'm surprised and amazed each time it happens. Last week I had one in the shower and then again when I was just about to doze off. Over the years I've had dreams that resemble movie scripts that leaves me dazed and confused in waking hours, as I try to figure out if it was real!
As I reflect on the most recent decade as an employee to now, I don't really miss it. In the first instance people depended on me, now I rely on others to get things started and also complete my job. I wait on other service providers to get settled in and get all the tools I need to operate a professional business: bankers, graphic artists, photographers/videographers, publishers, editors, studio producers, room rentals, caterers....
Of course you need clients in order to measure your level of success, so phone calls, emails and follow ups must be done. Not all the time things go according to your timing. It's just something you must learn to deal with as an entrepreneur.
With respect to service providers, I believe that is a cultural issue why things often times take so long and several reminders are needed. But what can you do about it? At first, I thought it was my approach, but this was not the case as I spoke to other persons.
It's a mindset. You must be firm, yet diplomatic. Command respect without offending and burning your bridges. Failing that, you can either do one of two things: take your business elsewhere or if it's too late to do that, make up your mind to wait.
With regard to clients, as someone told me a few months ago, you must find creative ways to reinvent yourself and diversify your product in your down time as you build your rep. If you are a naturally creative person, this should be easy to do. It will spur you on to excel at your craft and serve your clientèle and potentials well. In fact, down time won't seem so down because you're busy having fun, learning new skills and honing your talent(s). In this way, you may encounter new people and also opportunities eventually find their way to you.
Patience is key and nothing happens before it's time. Most business owners usually experience a huge turn around, when they are down to their last penny...literally. Just keep occupied and market yourself the right way. Make ample use of your innate talents and utilize the free tools such as the internet.
The same person also told me that if you have a talent, truly love what you do and are doing it for the right reasons (i.e. to make a difference) you will never be broke. Besides, if you've come this far, it's pointless to turn back now. I have the support of my family so it's easy for me to say that, but nothing great comes without risk and sacrifice.
My own journey is one of growth and faith. Others tell me that I am inspiring them, so I think I must be doing something right! Sometimes I have doubt and think about going back to a cushy job next year that can afford me the ability to travel and shop as I like, but I feel content with my present reality and the great things that are happening in the background.
It's all about perception. Every day/week I find something new to do and explore and contribute my time and talent. In fact, I find myself not having enough hours in the day to complete it all--believe it or not! I love it. It beats an 8-4 job any day. No two-way rush hour traffic. No endless meetings and phone calls. No entangled webs of office politics and bureaucracy.
I am a free agent.
Instead, my meetings are on location, fruitful, concise and fun. I seldom encounter traffic except if it's an early morning meeting or conference. My hours are my own and flexible. Midnight, noon or 2 a.m. I work from home and balance my time between my writing, workshops, communications, marketing, follow-ups, research, tweaking my content/delivery, family, exercise, meetings, errands, household chores and down time. Because of the nature of my work, I can work from a coffee shop, the beach or some other location. I need to explore that more however and make the most of it.
My only problem is sleep. I don't get enough. I also wish I can exercise more but I am sometimes so consumed, that I can't tear myself away long enough to go to the gym.
Speaking of which...it's now past the midnight hour. This is when the true magic begins for so many artistes I've discovered. But today there is the need for sleep. It's true what they say: "The early bird catches the worm..."
If you can relate, please post a comment or drop me a line on the contact form on your right.
Until next time.