Reasons for being AWOL...
I must say that my current life is quite different from the last few years when I was running my company. I have learnt so much that I am amazed my brain hasn't swollen in proportion. I've learnt so much about how to business (and how not to), about people in general, and most importantly about myself. How the same qualities can both be a strength and weakness.
For example, I am quite an honest person, which makes people like me a lot. That also means that I lose sales because I will recommend others who would be able to help them more. Perfectionism is also another double-edged sword. I do things very well, but without a boss to give me boundaries - I never quite finished what needed to be done because "it was never good enough".
Also, I learnt something crucial. When someone asked me WHY I was in business providing IT services, I could not really give a good reason. I got into it because:
1. Dot com bust made it difficult to get a job after business school
2. I could do it
3. Why not?
3 absolutely crappy reasons to start a business. Remember that. Those who succeed have a raw passion for what they do, be it custom jewellery, designing handbags, creating websites or whatever. Raw Passion.
Anyway, it took me awhile, climbing mountains of obstacles, meeting people, learning from them, going through a lot of pain and hardship (you don't know how often I despaired and cried in frustration). I found a lot of comfort in A Woman's Place - founded by Dawn Charles.
However, because I am in full-time employment, I could now:
Work 7 hours instead of 15 every day
Be able to come home and have my evenings and weekends belonging to me
Not be in bed worrying about the vat receipt, the accounts, or where the next contract is coming from
Be free from stress constantly from business worries
Not worry about how it would affect my marriage (I ran the business with my hubby)
Saying that, I do so miss:
Being my own boss
Deciding what direction to take the company
Embark on projects that are interesting to ME
Take time off to raise money or when I need to go back to Malaysia
Maybe in a few years I will start another business. Now that I've done it, I know what to expect. I am more prepared. And more importantly, I am not as scared as I was before. For me, Ecademy has been a great place to learn and to connect with people. Everybody who knows me, also know that I raise money for my favourite charity - Alzheimer's Society. It is not as sexy or glamourous as Breast Cancer, Great Ormond St or AIDS all of whom have great celebrities to champion their cause.
So I've decided to champion them. This time though (sneaky plug), I have 2 tickets to the sold-out Little Britain UK Tour on 13 March 2006 at the Manchester Carling Apollo. All you need to do if you want to win it - is to go to my www.justgiving.com/lilbritain site and donate. The tickets will go to the highest donor. If you win it - fantastic! If not, you've given to a great cause that's been overlooked by the media as "old people's disease".
Going senile, peeing and pooing yourself, not knowing your loved ones, wandering off and getting lost, not remembering who you are - these are such unsexy symptoms of a disease that may or may not happen to you. But if you are struck down with this - I hope you have really understanding and loving family to look after you. Otherwise, you will have to be at the mercy of charities like the Alzheimer's Society.
I ran in the British 10k to raise money for them, and got a little prize for being the best fundraiser. But I only managed to raise £900, how sad is that? Other charities who are lucky enough to get celebrity and media on their side manage to raise 100 times that amount.
... sorry, didn't mean to digress so much. Now that I have though, how about donating and helping my cause?? Now that I am in full-time employment, I haven't been able to do as much canvassing for donations, which is why I had to resort to this.
Well if you've managed to read the whole blog without feeling the need to flame me for being blatantly cheeky and sticking my hand out for some dosh, thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those of you who wrote to me but didn't get a response - please accept my most profuse apologies.
For some reason the messages aren't being routed through my email so I don't get them. I am in the process of responding to each of the messages, so save the stoning for later please!
Guess this is enough for tonight.
Have a brilliant evening all!