The truth about life in the bosses seat
I chose to look at 2017, literally through a new set of glasses, and with a mindset that begs for change.
Change is a strange word, because it means so many things to people, and rarely does it mean the same from one person to another.
I encapsulate my thoughts on change, by looking at my life and how fortunate I have been, then looking ahead and seeing what purpose I have that underpins my next stage of this incredible journey.
Often you see people doing the same things, but expecting different results. Sometimes, they 'demand' different results, without knowledge that it is true 'if nothing changes, nothing changes'.
My life is more than I expected
My life is more than I expected, and I freely say that out loud, knowing that it is more a reminder to myself and those around me, that my expectations were not as high as one would think.
I dream, like most people, and like many of my entrepreneurial friends. Not about being the biggest, richest or hiring a publicist to be in the newspaper to feed ego, but instead, about what I can do to change the world and the things I am passionate about, to make them better.
My business is a catalyst for change. If we don't change repetitively each year, we become irrelevant. We are in marketing and technology, and both sectors change dramatically, one day from another. To stay doing the same things we did yesterday, would ensure that we would be buried with many of other failed marketing and technology enterprises.
I must lead change
I am acutely aware, that I must lead this change, but slowly and surely, hand over those reigns. Empowering others to create change within is a struggle, ultimately due to the fact that it isn't their business, and only those with a stakehold in the business, seem to spearhead new movements, direction and ways of doing things better.
That is fine with me for now, as I am a creative and I am passionate about everything there is to do with business. I am also grateful to have team members who are here for the long-term, that put in effort over and above what is expected.
That basis gives stability and capability a boost.
At times it's going to be overwhelming and create anxiety
My mindset as an entrepreneur has expanded. I have my fingers in many pies and my largest challenge is managing all the moving parts. At times, that has been overwhelming and creating anxiety, which is an ongoing struggle. However, I am living and breathing my dream, so what do you do?
As the reluctant leader of the team, I have done what many others have been to afraid to do, and that is create a flat organisational structure, with no bosses in place - just people empowered to share their learnings, knowledge and the company's systems with each other. They are encouraged to share work, collaborate, fine-tune and creatively push each other to new heights. To that end, I decided that the next step was to give them even more reason to 'love' their jobs by creating robots (or artificial intelligence) around areas that this technology works within the marketing sector. This will give our team a new lease in life, and create an environment whereby they can be more creative, get to know industry sectors more intimidately and give the client a better service and outcome.
This sounds terribly exciting and it is - there is no denying that fact.
The truth about being in my shoes
However, the truth about being in my shoes, and I am sure that many other entrepreneurs can attest to this is that life as an entrepreneur has many ups and downs, and sometimes sideway moves. You have to navigate things that you are shocked by, and deal with people issues that literally has you walking away shaking your head in disbelief.
Just when you believe that you are on a roll and the world is working in your favour, something happens, and that belief is shattered. The stronger you are, the better you deal with it. Having a partner in a business is helpful, because you will find that two is always better than one.
Being 'one' is lonely
Being 'one' is lonely, isolating, terrifying, and at times so hard that for brief seconds you wonder if it's all worth it. Of course, that fades because you are ultimately living your dream, and whether it works or not, you know that trying hard, and giving something your best shot will give you satisfaction that you won't find elsewhere. The failures, as much as they get you down, are your making. They determine the person you are and what you are actually capable of.
When a team member disappoints you, it is rarely about their work. It is almost always about their integrity, morals, honesty and ability to respect each other and you.
The fact that they rarely get that, creates a protective barrier where you find yourself doing things that are 'traceable' and always 'in writing'. As entrepreneurs, we cannot afford to not do this. There is no such thing as a handshake, or a conversation that is not mis-interpreted or another person tweaked version of events.
The light at the end of the tunnel is your truth, your life and knowing that you are one step closer to creating something so magnificent, that even you will be proud of what you have accomplished.