July 2018 was the start of a new chapter of my life. After 10 years in a multinational organisation, working in change management and having my own team, I decided to change everything *ha! the irony!* and start from scratch.
It was a tough decision but I was desperately in need for a change in my life. The amount of responsibility that I had on my shoulders felt heavier and heavier and I found myself working 12+ hours a day, five days a week. My job was my passion and I valued my team immensely but things came to a point in which I was not fulfilled anymore and if I know one thing is that life is too short to be unhappy.
After some conversations with talent management companies, recruiters and potential clients, I sensed an opportunity to set up my own business and keep doing what I love the most: change things, change companies, processes and systems. Working in Change Management is definitely my dream career and I have been fortunately to have built the necessary skills as I progressed through the corporate ladder.
It was not an easy process, as during the first months I felt a bit lost and had to balance my time between working for my clients and setting up my own company and running it. Boring things such as VAT registration, Companies House and Business Insurance needed to be managed and it was my first time taking care of such matters. Before, I only needed to ensure changes were delivered safely, within the time, budget and benefits. Suddenly I needed to worry about a lot of legal and corporate issues that were new to me.
And I learnt!
Learning is a skill itself. When I think about this I always remember my French teacher in High School, how she was adamant that we needed to “learn to learn”. At the time it sounded like a tongue twister *specially because she always said it in French, like apréndre á apréndre”*.
With the years I have realised that she was spot on. Your learning skills will go with you through your entire life and even when you leave formal education or work life, you will need to keep learning! *smartphones, new apps, anyone?*. I am a quick learner and this facilitated incredibly my beginnings in creating my own business.
My top 4 highlights on my Girl Boss entrepreneurship journey (so far)
I. Ask for help when you need it.
Surrounding yourself with the best team of professionals (like accountants, financial advisors and a good Steering Committee) is very important. Likewise, if you have hired an accountant that is not giving you the service you need, don’t be afraid to let them know and to move to a different set of experts. When I set up my own company, I moved accountants twice and I am not ashamed at all.
II. You cannot do everything and sometimes, you don’t have the time to learn it. Delegate to such great team.
The day has limited hours and personally, I rather spend them in the things that are important to my business. Filling in expenses spreadsheets or worse, making entries in some sophisticated accountancy system is not what I want to do, so I have been careful in ensuring such tasks don’t sit with me.
III. Prioritise carefully where you put most hours of the day.
I focus on my clients first, everything else can wait.
IV. Keep your finances and your business finances completely and absolutely separated.
I treat my business like “my employer”, always claim my expenses… Money is in different bank accounts and all the transactions need to be explained accordingly.
Bonus learning: Celebrate your business Success!
I know that being in business for one year is not a big deal however I am a fan of celebrating every little joy and accomplishment. So here’s to another good year!
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