When I took that leap of faith and left my last corporate role in October last year I ended nearly 20 years of employment by global and significant UK companies. I walked away from pension schemes contributed to by my employer, paid holidays, paid sick days, private health care and many more of the other ‘standard’ benefits, but I knew it was the right decision and the right time to do it.
What amazed me wasn’t the number of people who were envious of the fact that I was getting out of the corporate world and into one of uncertain self employment, but the number of those who said “you’re lucky though, you run your own business…” The first time someone said this I was a little taken aback as I didn’t think I was lucky, just that I’d worked hard at it. I always thought my colleagues and friends knew that I worked part time mainly to be able to do the school run and manage my childcare with minimal stress but also as I had a small hobby business which was doing really rather well.
After a few people had commented suggesting that luck was a feature in my life I did have to resort to replying that an awful lot of hard work had gone into that luck over the last nearly 10 years. This reminded me of something that Steve Jobs is quoted as saying “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time” and it is so very true.
I registered as self employed trading as Lubylu in Feb 2005 and 10 years on, I’m now Lubylu Ltd and running my own business as my full time career. It’s a small business and it’s got some serious growing to do before it’s the well known and respected brand and company that I know it can be but it’s mine and I run it the way I want to run it. It’s been all these years in the embryonic stages, learning what I want to do, how I want to do it, what I’m good at, what I need help with, deciding a vision, trying, failing, trying again and learning each and every time, and there’s still a world of learning and opportunity out there but I’m excited about the adventure.
My point is this, there really is no such thing as an overnight success, even when a person has achieved great financial rewards and personal satisfaction in what appears to be a short space of time. It’s probably the case that it wasn’t their first idea or attempt and that their entrepreneurial past is littered with quiet failures and maybe even some spectacular losses but that one great moment is all people see. So don’t worry if what you want to achieve isn’t happening for you right now, keep at it if you love it and it drives you, if it doesn’t, it’s probably not for you anyway.