I have always held the saying 'Women can do anything' close to my heart. My Mum encouraged me from a early age that I could do anything I wanted to do and this has stayed with me my whole life. I was fortunate to have a Mother who believed in equality in everyday life and she taught me to think the same way myself.
My Mother was a young female raising her children in NZ in the 80's, when society grasped the concept of freedom and democracy for females. I remember going to the rugby apartheid marches in the streets of Wellington City in the 80's holding banners and shouting out '1,2,3,4 who do we speak for'
So having my own business never seemed that unachievable to me, it just took me a long time to come to it, to achieve it. I have always had an internal desire to run my own business, whatever that would be, as I had no idea what it would be, I just knew it was something I wanted to have.
I remember over the years, spending hours whilst raising my children, on holidays, dreaming about business ideas, but they never came to anything, they were fictitious dreams or thoughts which lay dormant.
Elizabeth Gilbert in her novel 'Big Magic' describes these as ideas floating around waiting for the right person who is ready to accept then and only then will those ideas infuse into that person.
I can resonate with that and only recently when listening to the founder of Darjeeling Express, Asma Khan, on Conversations of Inspiration podcast describe it as 'destiny is something that someone else has planned for you, that the path will open to you when you are ready, so till then do your best' that it fermented solidly into a conscious thought.
Fast forward a few years and my Mother's words have continued to stay with me. I was always ambitious, I worked hard and would always progress quickly with all the different healthcare roles I had. This was never a conscious plan, it just seemed to happen and I never really analysed the reasons why I wanted to do more in all the roles I was in.
On reflection now, I believe it was the recognition that I was looking for, the gravitas of being someone of importance, was what was pushing me forward. All of the roles I had previously were in one way or another a steeping stone to where I am today. I learnt an incredible amount about myself, what I was good at and what I wasn't so good at. However, the roles I had were never enough for me, I was never fully contented or felt fulfilment from these achievements. I would even say I felt a bit of the 'imposter syndrome' of someone doing the work but it was never really me doing it. This was until I created my own business, my own thing.
Starting a small business takes time, grit and determination alongside the greatest achievements and celebrations of satisfaction. Being self-employed and having the ability to manage your own time, make decisions and create your own pathway is both satisfying and rewarding. It doesn't happen overnight, you don't suddenly become successful, but you achieve a lot, you learn so many things, and as I've mentioned before its a self discovery of yourself.
Recently I have been personally surprised to have been approached by individuals who are just starting their own small product based businesses, asking for advice on how I was able to grow my own business in the early stages and I have really enjoyed offering my own advice to them. Because it is so important to give back, to support my peers and encourage other women to do the same, to reach their dreams, and live the life they have always wanted just as I have done.
I will be writing more on how I started my own product based business over the coming weeks, and will be doing a Q&A post. If there is anything you would like to ask me about my small business journey, email me here firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to include it in the post.