If someone had told me that for the first couple of years of making it in the world of business, that I would feel like what I’d be making wasn’t so good, you know, not that great. It has the potential to be to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good and that what I’m making will kind of be a disappointment to me. And what if someone had told me that I would likely want to give up and quit?
Would I have still have started down the road of business and entrepreneurship?
I don’t know; call it an illness I guess, because I can’t seem to stop now!?
Here’s an example
After marrying, giving birth to two children, divorcing, moving interstate, having another child, getting married again and going into partnership with my husband (business partner number 1) on the farm, Jerakala, I decided I needed a little more flexibility in my life and gave up being a full time employee and went into business for myself! Hell, everyone knows it’s much better to be the owner of the business than the employee!
So I started my first business (off farm) – Burnett Country Bookkeeping (BCB). Hey I had my first client, he was paying a couple more dollars an hour than my previous employer and I could work to my own schedule, why wouldn’t I leave a stable salaried position, even if they are offering a pay rise! Do they think I’m stupid? I’m 30, surely I should know what I’m doing by now! And who cares if I left school in year 10 and had no Accounting or business management qualifications? You don’t need them!
Anyhow, that went ok … eventually, after about 7 years of wondering why the hell I ever made that decision, going into partnership, dissolving the partnership, almost going through a merger, then pulling out in the last hour, until finally, on my own, the money was great and the work was flowing in … ahhh, this is why I did it!. And then … Slowly I started to realise … that I’m a bit bored with it. It’s like, I started thinking to myself, do I reeeeally want to do bookkeeping for the rest of my life?
Well it really didn’t take too long to answer that question … so I started Eternal Wave. Now that one went pretty well, pretty quickly (it’s called momentum) and I began managing projects. Small ones at first, running training sessions and business mentoring programs and then moved on to larger projects for state and federal government funded programs. This was great, exposed me to great networks, diverse industries and a world of opportunity.
That world of opportunity nurtured and eventually gave birth to an amazing business idea … cre8you. Not that I was giving up on BCB or Eternal Wave … no … I could do it all! I had several employees throughout the now 9 years of being in business, and that was, well … that was interesting. Not sure I ever did master the skill of HR management (not yet anyway). Sooo here I was, after a bit of shuffling with potential business partners I finally started my first Pty Ltd company with business partner number 2 (the lovely Jakki Goodall) and a very exciting business plan to put together. It was going to be GREAT!! Then cre8you Pty Ltd landed a massive project with the Federal Government to roll out the Bush Business Online Program, very little to do with our core business, 300 business people over 12 months across 5 regions, 2 day social media workshops. This should be a breeze! NOT! But hey, it was a great experience, learnt a hell of a lot, taught a hell of a lot and met some fantastic people, though the reporting really did suck and the diversion from the original business plan is still paying its toll!
Soooo … that was quite a bit more challenging than ever anticipated, and a lot more time than we thought at first and with the farm (thank god for Jasen Wain), BCB and Eternal Wave still on the go I realised something had to change. It didn’t take long to figure it out and so come in business number 5 and business partner number 3. During my time with BCB I had worked closely with Christine Smith. A major client’s administrator and bookkeeper, I thought she would make a great business partner to poach (and I wasn’t wrong!), and hold on, I have a niece who is a bit of a go getter, great personality, fantastic skills in admin and accounts, there’s business partner number 4. And you know … companies are easy to set up, so goodbye BCB after 10 good years and to take over, welcome to the business family … Office Rulz Pty Ltd.
And all this time, with Jasen managing the local shire’s waste removal and working on the farm on his days off, we soon found ourselves with over 22,000 acres of land, 500 head of cattle, numerous sheep, horses, chickens, dogs, pigs and a fish and lots of gardens and horticultural activities to look after.
And you know, after raising 3 gorgeous (and a little frustrating at times) children whom I love with all my heart to full adulthood, I started thinking about the fact that I had always wanted to go University, and that maybe those business qualifications that I didn’t have would actually be useful, and hell, I was 40, temporarily renting on the Sunshine Coast, 300km from my home and my husband (a lot of driving), and the University of the Sunshine Coast was literally just around the corner, I would be mad not to take the opportunity to enrol at least. Never know you might get in!?
In the meantime the cre8you government contract finished, income dried up, university pending and a great opportunity knocks at the door. Our home town [North Burnett] Regional Council is looking for someone in the field of economic development …… and what a great bunch of people we now have in the North Burnett Region Futures Team, and what a perfect role for me and part time so I can fit everything else in … I love it! Fingers crossed we can extend the service to the 2012/2013 year!
And so, here I am, finished my first year of University and having semester break before
starting my 2nd year. Thank god for semester break! Because I have this present that I got for Jasen for his 40th last year, it’s something we had both said we wanted to do one day, so what better time than his 40th to register him into the Great Endeavour Rally. It would be a great experience! One that we could spend quality time together, have lots of fun and work for something that was greater than ourselves…The Endeavour Foundation.
Well here it is, 2 weeks before the Rally starting line, and only 3 days into our fundraising and organisation phase. Admittedly Jasen had gotten the car to the first mechanic 4 weeks earlier, and how did we know they weren’t going to do any work on it for 4 weeks!
And wasn’t that house removal, relocation and renovation on the next door property supposed to be well and truly finished by now! Yes it does look great, and I love the kitchen and bathroom…and the VIEW is to die for. And you know, I am really looking forward to opening our Bed & Breakfast, might go and stay there myself now and then, for a day off, if it ever gets finished. And pleeeeease don’t talk to me about the tenant in the rental house moving out, I really don’t want to think about it.
Our volunteer British backpackers working on the farm toward their 2nd year visa that have been living with us for the past month will be fine to look after the farm for 10 days while we are on the rally. Anyhow, our 16 year old son will be here, they’ll manage! I know the ATO is chasing me, the Accountant is chasing me, the lawyer is chasing me and the banks are too now, not to mention the piles of work I have on my office desk, but to hell with it! It will all come together one day, it gets easier as you go along (doesn’t it?), you can only do what you can do……The other dozen business ideas and plans bubbling in the background are going to have to wait too! For now we have a Rally to organise!