The life of an entrepreneur when married to a wage earner is interesting. I’ve been self- employed since 2002 and married since 2004, therefore in my mind he already knew what he was in for! Exactly one year ago this week, I took a chance and I altered my business model quite drastically. It was not a light decision and one I made very much alone, as risk, to a PAYG is like asking them to cut off their left arm. After at least half a decade of managing other peoples Social Media on the big four platforms, I downsized my 14 staff to me and my part time assistant while niching my business to one thing. LinkedIn; my one true love in social media.
Personally I have never been happier, and up until Xmas business had never been better. For a while it was all quiet on the western front from my other half. But then Australia celebrated Christmas (just to test my marriage again I’m sure of it). This was my first silly season as the LinkedIn Ninja Down Under so I didn’t really know what to expect. In fact I was preoccupied with our two kids being on school vacations and being bored for extended periods of time, that I didn’t even plan for it.
It was rather surprising to discover many Aussies completely shut down over this period for two months! However, Social Media management still bills each month so December, January and February were not previously ‘down’ months for me. It became a difficult time to schedule workshops
Here I am half way through March and it’s all starting to pick up again. Six bookings to my workshops in one day, guest webinars booked in for April, breakfast networking meetings to go to, speaking gigs booking in, a new website, the list of exciting ventures is mind boggling.
I find it difficult nevertheless to contain rolling my eyes as my hubby is sits me down for the ‘old chat’. “Have you worked out how much money you have made in the last 3 months vs time spent?” It makes me wonder if Roger Bannister was asked by his partner how much time he was spending training to break the 4 minute mile.
They say opposites attract, so if that’s the case, he should be very attracted to my entrepreneurial streak. (This is my blog so I don’t have to state the case the other way around). What the PAYG earner will never understand is that most entrepreneurs find joy in the journey not the dollar signs. The sheer pleasure of seeing a workshop attendee have an ‘ah-ha’ moment or better still, get their first inquiry even before the workshop concludes is priceless. No promise of the regular corporate wage can replace that joy. It’s like asking me to cut off my left arm to go back to that world again.
There is, however, a gift that my husband gives me from time to time, and no diamonds are included here. It is exactly the ‘old chat’ we have every once in a while. To be periodically tested and questioned, even by your life partner really makes you react in one of two ways: Either question yourself or strengthen trust in yourself. You can question what you are doing; question your dream of small business ownership. Question that it was worth studying for 12 months to gain a LinkedIn certification, question that getting up at 4am to go to networking events is worth it. Also question if your children being dropped off at school by their grandmother is good for their upbringing. Or you can trust yourself, trust your dream, trust that there is no path to follow when the trail is new, Trust when people say that my workshops are phenomenal are telling the truth. Trust my children will admire their mother for going above and beyond to succeed in life, making her dreams come true and that she was a good role model in their upbringing.
This blog is dedicated to all those entrepreneurs with PAYG partners. The tolerance dressed up in support’s clothing cannot sway the heart of the true entrepreneur. In fact, the lack of encouragement, especially when there are leaner times, only adds to the inner strength and thicker skin of an entrepreneur. So hubby thank you again for testing my conviction in what I do. You have reminded me again that I am not a person who quits when things get a little tough but a woman of strength and the true spirit of winners like Roger Bannister.