Last year I turned 30 and it isn’t a cliche to say it’s a time of self-discovery and evaluation. The fear is real, as are the ever increasing horrendous hangovers.
There were a lot of questions myself and my friends were asking ourselves that i’m sure anybody would at a time of great change...
Are we where we want to be in life?
Are we happy?
What does the future hold?
Does work fulfill me?
Are we going to consider saving up for botox? (I jest…kind of)
The second to last question was something that troubled me constantly. I’m a perfectionist by nature and passionate about creating. However I always felt I didn’t have a tangible craft or skill. It’s taken me 10 years to realise my talents lie in making something from nothing, getting the best out of people and producing content that’s authentic, truthful and human.
It’s also taken me 10 years to have the confidence to say that out loud.
At times through bad management, restrictive working environments, lack of an authentic culture and the still prevalent gender divide in the workplace, I felt myself suffocating and unable to figure out why I couldn’t just “let go” and treat work for what it was - a pay check.
“Well be your own boss then” my friends would tell me. “You can do it.” But confidence, as we have all experienced, can be hard to grapple with. I loved working with people, did I really want to set up a venture all on my own? What if I failed?
I read many articles about setting up your own business, however I struggled to think about what my big “idea” would be and how I would cope setting up alone. It seemed inexplicably lonely and difficult and I just didn’t have the confidence to approach something and just give it a go. I wanted to “own” something I could be proud of. Not another blog that was only updated once in a while which gave myself, and nobody else reading it, any real, tangible value.
Success in my eyes could only be attributed to me seeing something I created that myself and others could believe in. When I think of all of the entrepreneurs I admire they all had something in common. They owned who they were and weren’t afraid to show it. The good, the bad and the ugly.
As Nat's first post beautifully puts, we made a brave decision that day to go it alone. I'm sure anyone who has lost their job will say it's a huge blow. Not only to financially worry but also a knock to your self-confidence. That being said i've always been a big believer in following your gut instinct. With Nat by my side and an "in it together" attitude I felt a camaraderie that we could do this together. What's also important is that we shared the same values. No not "collaborate", "innovate" and all of those words that sometimes fall flat. We shared a real sense of wanting to do good, to help people, to help ourselves and to build something we were proud of. A good friend of mine who is one of the smartest people I know showed me this quote that still to this day reminds me why it’s important to strive for something better.
“For what it’s worth it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over”.