Evolve – My First year in Business by Claire LoftusPosted in : HR Updates on 16 April 2019
In 8 weeks it will be 1 year since I had my last day of employment and I stepped into the world of self-employment and entrepreneurship. It’s been a whirlwind of a first 12 months in business with some amazing achievements, but it’s not been without its learning curves.
I’ve been asked a lot about what prompted me to leave a secure role in the Financial Services sector to embark on the unpredictability of running your own business, but I have to say it’s been one of the easier decisions I have made in my life.
Following severe post-natal depression after my second child I did a lot of re-evaluating and when I managed to get back to work I relatively quickly realised that I was wanting something more, and that despite loving the organisation, my colleagues and my job, there was something burning inside of me and I had to run with it.
I think I’ve always known I would probably start my own business, it’s been something I have thought about as far back as school, but it also seemed like a big step. Except, when the time came, it wasn’t, and I think that’s been because it’s been the right time for me.
The three main challenges I have faced have been;
1) I don’t know what I don’t know, everything is new, so I’ve had to learn quickly about basic business accounting, setting up websites/email addresses and GDPR implications.
2) There is only me, although I am now looking at recruiting my first team member, up until now I have been Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Social Media Manager, Administrator, IT Help Desk etc. Of course, I have wanted to do all these things as it is my business, but at times it’s a challenge when I am also Wife and Mummy too.
3) When I started the business almost 12 months ago, it was less than a year since I had returned to work with PND and my confidence was still very low. That’s probably the main area I have developed in over the last year. In January the thought of doing a 60 second pitch at a networking event would have practically petrified me but now it comes like second nature (well, most of the time!)
The one thing which has really helped me since I started out on this journey has been having support from other entrepreneurs, particularly women, who have been on this journey. Networking groups like the Female Entrepreneur Lean IN Group, Women In Business and also being involved in the Ulster Bank Business Accelerator and virtual groups such as Bizmerang have been invaluable, alongside other networking opportunities through Legal Island and Invest NI have helped to let me know I am not on my own, learning from other entrepreneurs experiences, and also being inspired to keep going when things are tough. Just last week I found myself in a panic when I was having a fight with my laptop, being able to reach out to other people who have skills which I don’t have saved my day and my sanity!This article is correct at 16/04/2019
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