The every day life of an entrepreneur – Let’s be honest, we sometimes panic too! (And here’s what I do about that).
Time for an update!
It’s been a bit more than 2 months since Ludejo’s kick-off. In the mean time a lot of things happened! Fairs and trade shows have been visited, conferences and networking events attended. Our Marketing Manager Andrew Hickson has been invited to speak on two upcoming conferences, the ATC in London: http://www.atc.org.uk and the AETC Conference in Talinn (Estonia): http://www.etbl.ee/speakers. This is not without a reason: Andrew is an entertaining speaker with an honest story to tell!
What also happened in the last few weeks is that we found someone to add to our project management team. She will start soon and help especcially our brilliant and very responsible Suzanne Schouwerwou.
Many experienced translators and linguists are selected and we are still looking for more. Every day we are so grateful for the clients who trust us and ask us to help them with their translation and localisation needs!
Kick-off, designing Ludejo, develop the business, gain and share knowledge, excellent team work, great linguists, lovely clients… Is everything perfect? No challenges?
Does everything go the way we planned?
Oh dear, no not at all! It is still a big puzzle. Every day we face challenges and we need to use our capital, strengths and time wisely. That of course is not always easy. If we want to build and develop Ludejo, we need to prioritize. We ask ourselves the following questions:
– What is most important?
– What can and can’t wait?
– What is an investment and what are costs?
We work with the wall of whiteboards, make a SWOT-analysis of every part of what we develop and of course we work with the Business Model Canvas as a tool to keep us on track in a one page overview.
In the ‘building-a-company-process’ it comes down to constant decision making. There is only one question that really counts: what is good for the business?
When I was in Barcelona at the Localization World Conference in June, I met with people in my network. Some gave me good advice, simple sentences that I now use as ‘reminders’ or even ‘mantra’s’. For example: “Ask for help”, “Believe in it”, “Be an example”.
There are days that all goes well from waking up to sleeping at night. But there are also days I start with thinking: “Oh my gosh, why was it again that I wanted this?” Or even worse: “AAAARRRRGGGH, I hate my entrepreneurial side! Why couldn’t I just sit and work and earn my money monthly and not move?”. That is very much because of the people I am responsible for. They count on me, 100%. And that is a big responsibility. At 2.30 am I am still awake making calculations and forecasts for the rest of the year. When finally asleep I wake up at 4.44 am and work through the priority list, I fall asleep at 6, while the alarm is set at 6.45. During the day I am very focussed and not always as much fun as the team members remember from me.
A message for all CEO’s, entrepreneurs and company-owners: if you too sometimes panic, know that you are not alone in that! It’s time to be honest and open about it.
Does this mean that it would have been better not doing this at all?
No! Of course not! Actually out of these times the best ideas are generated! Surprises are there every day as well. When searching for new partners to work with on the training side of Ludejo, last week Andrew and I had a meeting with a lovely lady and later I received a very enthousiastic email from another trainer. New opportunities appear daily. We are flexible and problem solvers, we love it when companies need slightly different things than the average, than standard.
What do I do to keep my cool and remain calm?
- If I do have a night of being much awake I plan extra time to relax the next day and evening: I go to the spa, for a walk with the wind through my hair or just read a book.
- I meditate. I take some time alone and imagine that there is a wonderful place I am travelling to. I feel the sun, I feel the warmth, I see the colours and use my imagination.
- I write. Since I was a little girl and I got a present from my grandmother’s sister: a diary with strawberries on it, I write. I keep my journal with me, always and daily I take some time to reflect and write down my thoughts and feelings.
- I say out loud that we are going to succeed. That we are just before entering a new era. That we have to let go any doubts we may have from time to time.
- I say out loud that there is also the possibility that things might not work out the way we hope and plan. This might sound strange for many people, because we are so trained to tell ourselves positive stories and they may be positive alone. As if another outcome of our decissions isn’t part of reality ever! If you look the tiger in the eye and face what you most fear, you keep a very clear vision on the future.
- I take life the way it comes. Every situation comes with a set of easy and harder items to handle. When you have self confidence about what you can and can’t do and what you are capable of handling, when you have gathered the right people around you who help and support, you can trust on the fact that you will be able to handle whatever comes on your path. When it comes.
- Every day I look myself in the eye. Litterally. In the morning and in the evening. I take time for this little ritual. When I was very young I knew I had to be my own best friend, I understood who I was and what I needed. I promised myself never to run away from who I am, always be free and independant. I level with myself daily, to keep myself free from noise and be open for what is there to see without judgements (because who determines what is right and wrong, honestly?) and always in silence.
Every day I look myself in the eye. A ritual to remind me of my promise to myself to always be open and honest to myself on a deep level. No judgements and always in silence.
Why am I sharing this with you?
I hope by sharing my path and our (team’s) journey, including my personal daily rituals with you, my words may inspire you. Not only if you are an entrepreneur, a company owner, but just everyone of you, who wants to grow and learn in life. Making a leap of faith is not only for entrepreneurs!
But for the entrepreneurs among us: let’s just stop hiding how scared we can be at times, how heavy it is to be responsible for other people AND how much we love the freedom and space to create and how we just don’t want anything else than looking for the right opportunities. Let’s be honest with each other that the price is high and the reward big. So we believe!
#leapoffaith #don’tstopbelieving #ritualssafeyourday #keepyourcool #behonest #befair