Women In Business

Are you REALLY ready to take the plunge and start a business?

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So you have a great idea for a business. If you are anything like me you want to spend your days fulfilled and doing something you really love. Right? Like me you might also be asking yourself “how hard can it really be?” I’m sure you’re definitely up for a few challenges that might be thrown at you along the way? Absolutely! It can’t be that hard to get a few customers to get the ball rolling …surely? You like people, you’re creative, you can think outside the square, you can sort of navigate your way around Xero or Myob if you really have to … piece of cake for sure! mmm …not so much.

I think if I’d known what was in store for me when I first started my business I might have run back inside to the shelter of my mundane life and shelved the idea! Don’t get me wrong – I firmly believe we can all achieve anything and everything we set our minds to but to do this we need to be completely open and honest with ourselves as to whether or not we are up for the challenge.

You need to ask yourself the following difficult questions before you jump in and take the plunge.

Are you up for the challenge?

I mean really up for the challenge! Are you willing to accept the demands that will be thrown at you on a daily basis and do whatever it takes (within ethical boundaries of course) to get your business going?

A good example from my own experiences is that I had to go to Melbourne last week. I had worked until about 2am and woke up at 5am with a migraine coming on. My husband and son were sick and my daughter had her music concert that evening which I had to be back for. I was beside myself and would have given anything to just crawl back into bed but instead, I got up and faced the day … albeit without a smile on my face!

How much are your prepared to do? Are you willing to travel if you need to? Are you willing to take the financial risks necessary to promote yourself? Are you a control freak who might have to learn to delegate? Are you prepared to back yourself and grab every opportunity by the horns? You need to ask yourself honestly how happy you really are to take on the challenges that will no doubt come hurtling at you. My tip – never let go of the vision you have. Hold it close and focus on it every day – sometimes is the only thing that gets you through!

Are you trusting or ignoring your intuition?

For me intuition has been such an important aspect in everything I’ve done so far and its something I’ve had to nurture along the way. The ability to understand something instinctively rather than consciously reasoning about it will be a great asset to you if you can stop and listen to it.  When I found my rug manufacturer in India I intuitively knew that he was the right person for me to work with because of his ethical values. I spoke to so many people about producing my rugs but something just didn’t feel right. Although it wasn’t easy, I went with that and patiently waited until it did feel right.

Try and get in touch with your intuition by taking some time out for yourself. Slow down, do whatever you need to do to try and eliminate all the noise that’s in your head and blocking your intuition – go for a long walk by yourself, exercise, meditate, go shopping…whatever it takes.

Are you willing to take risks?

It’s a hard one to answer because its not always easy to consider your own shortfalls. Are you really willing to take a risk and face the consequences if you fail?

For me the biggest risk was financial. I realised that I needed to actually produce the rugs I was designing and that I couldn’t expect people to happily pay a fortune for something they only saw in a catalogue. The risk I took to produce my rugs was a massive one for both myself and my family and one of the most scary things I’ve ever done in my life.

Emotionally I’ve invested every part of myself into my business. My rugs are really an extension of who I am and offer a window into my soul. Putting them out there for the whole world to say “yay” or “nay” was another huge risk I had to take when I started ruthie L. designs.

Again, you need to ask yourself honestly just how much you are willing to risk when starting your business and are you prepared to be accountable for the consequences whatever they may be.

Are you strong enough to push the nasty little parrot off your shoulder when it starts shrieking in your ear?

I hear it frequently. It’s the little voice that rears its ugly head at least once a day (usually more) and tells you “you cant do it”, “you’re going to fail” “how could little old me be a success?” Do you think you can keep your focus and remind yourself of this when the noise gets too loud? Here’s a tip – surround yourself with positive people, with people who want to see you succeed – they will be there when you’re finding it difficult to stay focused on the goal.

Are you able to stay focused, keep motivated and remain on track?

Be honest with yourself – you might absolutely love what you do which is wonderful but lets face it that’s not all you’ll be doing! I absolutely loathe doing admin and I’m really not very good at it either. In the early days of my business while I was setting everything up I had about three months of utter boredom because I was dealing with insurance companies, shippers, accountants, lawyers and the like. That time was extremely difficult for me to stay motivated and on track and many a time did I question what I was doing.

Ultimately, taking the plunge into your own business takes a lot of guts and gall and isn’t a decision to be made lightly. So I hope these questions have given you some food for thought. You can definitely do it … you just have to be willing to do what it takes to make it happen and sometimes that means taking the road less travelled, often alone!

About Ruth Lazerson

Ruth Lazerson is a Sydney-based artist and textile designer and the founder of ruthie L. designs, a highly-respected rug and wall art design studio which was established in 2015. As a mother of two teenagers, a respected art expert and the leading force behind her self-titled business, Ruth has hit strength after strength since taking the leap into her own entrepreneurial pursuits, in the competitive design industry.

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