When I first thought about setting up a company I imagined how wonderful it would be to take charge of my life, the heightened levels of self-determination, and the maker of my own destiny.
Coming from quite a high level career position within a large City of London corporation, I was used to performing senior level tasks and getting others to essentially do the jobs which I considered mundane and uninteresting.
When my company was incorporated and I started trading selling goods bought in cheaply from the Far East, I began to see the fruits of my decision to leave the corporate rat race and to go it alone.
I revelled in making quick decisions without the committees I had become accustomed to; develop specific areas of the business which I thought required attention and lifting a new company up a few steps from the ground.
Making Your Own Tea
I aspect of setting up my company which I did not quick explore before starting was that I would have to make my own tea. I can make tea and doing so does not in itself cause me great distress.
In this context, I am referring to making the tea as a summary and example of having to undertake all of the dreaded tasks which I had previously enjoyed farming out to my juniors. Having previously accompanied my instructions to junior staff with the phrase “its character building”, I am now haunted by these words every time I have to leave an important task to make a cup of tea.
So, I ask, where is the grandeur, the promise and the elevation of status? If I were to employ an assistant I risk bankrupting my company before it’s had a decent run at the market.
I wanted to “go it alone”, not be alone!
The Only Constant is Change
I am fast learning that a proud owner of a new company must humble themselves and get involved in all sorts of duties, whether or not they believe that they should be doing them.
The level of change involved when you start to work for yourself is truly astounding and no matter how much preparation time you have spent before embarking, there will always be tasks which you have not considered.
The greatest change of all is course the change that happens to you personally. Little by little people adapt to their new situations, especially when the ambition is great.
I formed my company just over a year ago and I actually look back now and am truly amazed at what I have learnt and by how much I have changed.
It has not all been pleasant; after all I have had to become the tea lady. What I can say is that I was right all along; it is character building and I am a better equipped business person as a result.