I was at a business meeting the other day, and the topic for discussion was "Was does Success in Business Mean to you?"
Interesting Topic? What does success in business mean to me? I pondered.
I suppose the first question we have to ask ourselves is "Why did I chose to go into business for myself in the first place?"
There are alot of layers to that question.
When I was in highschool, I always dreamt of being a Nurse. I wanted to work at Royal Far West in Sydney and work with children with disabilities. That was my dream. For all of my work experiences, I attended centres that helped children with dissabilities. I loved it! I was in awe of these kids! Despite different disabilities and degree of abililites, these kids thrived! Something that really stood out to me is that most kids had this thing that they were passionate about and excelled at. I remember vividly one little guy, he couldst articulate a sentence, but wow could that kid throw together a fabulous meal!! We are talking primary school age here too! Just incredible.
Something I learnt from this experience, that I subconsciously took with me into adulthood is - if you are passionate about something, you will excel at it! A simple statement, but one that plays a major roll in my adult life!
Anyway, my Dad was talking with the Boys over smoko at work one day and was told that if the kids go off to TAFE, they can get an allowance! So my Dad decided that no, "We arent University People" you will be leaving school in Year 10 and going off to TAFE to be a secretary like every other young girl in the 80s! You can collect that allowance too thank you!! So that was it, my dreams were shattered.
I had my accomodation and everything worked out for Uni. My Nanna Job & Poppy Sid lived in Figree not far from Wollongong Uni. I loved staying with them, and once again the time I spent with my Nanna Job also played a large part in decisions I made as an adult. She was the coolest lady! She had so much time and patience for me. We spent hours making things and singing songs and recording them. She used to make me these magnificent costumes for dress ups! Fabulous costumes, you have no idea! This woman was so talented! Raised in an orphanage herself, so all self taught! Did you know, she even coached the Red Devils Cheerleading Squad!! (Who became the Illawarra Football Club). I miss her everyday! So anyway, I was going to stay with them, and help them out where I could and go to Uni to become a Nurse and work at Royal Far West.
I never did qualitify for any allowance either... just as a side point!
After 14 years in varying degrees of Administerial/Clerical/Accounting Rolls my brain decided that Jodi, you are just not this boring a person! (No offence to those that have chosen this career path - its just not my career path) I think it all started when I was completeting an Accounting Degree and I was spending hours and hours studying the most boring things instead of spending time with my growing babies. Enough was enough, I couldnt do it anymore. With mounting pressures from my fulltime job and juggling family my brain exploded and I had a bit of a nervous breakdown.
Back in 2003, mental illness wasnt as accepted as it is now. It was tough, the people around you pointing fingers, the team I had just spent three years with trying to achieve great things had turned their back on me and making rediculous accusations against me. I just did not want to leave the house. Infact, if I did leave the house and I saw someone from my old work up the street then I would literally crumble in the gutter and not be able to go any further and just cry and cry. I did go through all the chanels to get help, but honestly non of it was helpful. Three months down the track it was becoming obvious that the system was letting me down, I couldnt rely on anyone other than myself to help me! I only have one brain and I have a family I have to be healthy for; there are no second chances with your mental health! One wrong decision and I could end it all.
I was sitting at the breakfast bar one day reading the paper. A hobby balloon business was up for sale. I always enjoyed decorating, this was one of the amazing things my Nanna Job did really well with. She won the best decorated table everyyear at the football dinner. I said to my husband, "I should buy this. It will make me get out of the house and everyone will be happy to see me!" My Mum gave me the money and I bought a hobby balloon business. When I got my first order I nearly died!! I remember who the customer was and have told them the significance of their phone call that day! I operated from my kitchen for a year. I attended training in Sydney with a very talented Wedding Decorator from California who introduced me to Wedding Decor and the rest is history!! In year two we built a studio in the backyward. I provided decor for every grand opening for upto a 400km radius! Decorated hundreds of weddings and found my happy place!
Success to me at this time was being able to:
- Leave the house confident that I wouldnt have a breakdown
- Provide something wonderful for a customer that will bring a smile to their face
- A little bit of financial freedom - Financial freedom to me meant having enough money to buy new shoes! (Not second hand ones that I had to wear as a child that were all walked over! :) )
SUCCESS..... I had achieved business success!!! But there is so much more to this story................