Boss Lady

Why you need to create your own opportunities to achieve success

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As someone who grew up with little money, I quickly learnt that no opportunity was going to be handed to me on a silver platter. I would need to work hard and open doors for myself. I did this by being the first person in my family to start and own multiple businesses, alongside other ventures. Not knowing anything about business management to begin with, I enrolled in study to upskill myself and researched extensively online. It’s important to take ownership in your life and create your own opportunities for whatever you want to pursue. Here’s the lessons I learnt during my journey:

Take responsibility

I was accountable for all my wins and all my losses and relied on myself first and foremost to work as hard as I needed, to become the best and most successful person I could be. In doing so I created more opportunities for myself than anyone could have given me. I went from a bricklayer to a single mum to the CEO of an events company, the owner of an aerial dance studio, an aerial yoga instructor to a published author and motivational speaker. It is up to you and no one else to create opportunities for yourself. The sooner you stop waiting for doors to be opened for you the better off you will be. You need to take charge of your future, make all the hard decisions and you will get out what you put in.

Expand and learn

If you feel like you have limited options or are unsure how to enter an industry you have no prior experience in, enroll in a course, go to a networking function or offer to work for free in the industry you want to get into, to gain firsthand experience. There are plenty of proactive ways to get out and do things for yourself, but you have to think outside the box and be willing to work hard. 

Create your own safety net

Whilst I was completing my diploma, I was offered a full-time job in a bank. For a single, teenaged mum, this was a great opportunity, but it was then I knew I needed to step out on my own and create my own business. Instead of declining that job and severing the contact, I politely declined but kept in touch with the person who offered me the position, so if my business venture did fail, I could get employment straight away. The aim here is not to fully close doors or lose contact with people who may not be useful to you right now, as you don’t know what could happen in the future, and if your Plans A and B don’t go as expected, you have something to fall back on. Stay two steps ahead and leave options for yourself to ensure the best chance of success.

Back yourself

Be your own number one supporter. Know where your strengths lay and build on them, identify your weaknesses and make them your new strengths. Build on yourself every day to become better, bit by bit.

There were times where I felt I didn’t have anyone who believed in me or in the companies I was creating, but I pushed forward and backed myself. I believed I was doing the right thing, for myself and for my son and I never gave up, even when it got hard. Especially when things got difficult. That’s when I would work ten times harder as I desperately wanted to prove to all the doubters and nay-sayers that I could do this, with or without their support. If I can do it, you can too.

About Casey Mackinlay

Casey Mackinlay is the author of Girls Don’t Lay Bricks, renowned motivational speaker and director of La Folie, Australia’s first aerial silks competition. For more information visit www.caseymackinlay.com.au

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