“Ummm… yeh… well… I quit!”
Now this is not one of the most refined things I’ve ever said in my life and it certainly wasn’t planned to come out that way, but it happened, 4 years ago this May, in my last “real” job when I just couldn’t take it any more, and by it I mean selling my soul to a man who saw no value in anything I did.
I’d just returned from 3 weeks in Thailand after getting married, just me, the husband and a translator who was conveniently located next to the registry office! Note: the translator wasn’t with us for the full 3 weeks, it wasn’t that kind of holiday!
Anyway, things changed in those 3 weeks, yes I just got married, yes I had a new name to get used to, yes I was excited to realise I would have made an awesome Challenge Anneka running around Bangkok collecting stamps and signatures from the embassy and ministry of foreign affairs, but what really changed was me, my view of who I was and what I was worth. And that started with knowing I was worth a heck of a lot more than working 9-5 for someone who spent everyday putting me down, and telling me I wasn’t good enough. Note: I am good enough & so are you.
So, I quit. It was hard, I had nothing, no savings, no idea about business, and a prescription from the doctors for Beta-blockers. But what I did have was that feeling inside that I was about to do something big, something that was all me.
And a BIG ass passion.
I had big passion for design, I still do. It’s the one thing I’ve ever really been certain of in life. And I know I’m good at it. Good enough to get paid well. But time for money sucks.
Back in 2010 I was happy I’d finally put on some big brass balls, told my crappy boss where to go, and was busy doing design the Deesign way.
As a business owner, I’m sure you can relate to how good it felt to break free and do it for yourself.
You’re happy working away, doing your thing and feeling grateful for any old customer that comes your way. But somewhere along the line, you start getting a tad frustrated, even disillusioned with it all.
The fun of working every hour you can doing what you love starts to fade when you see your bank balance and realise that you’re actually earning less per hour than minimum wage!
Time for money sucks when you do the math. Pair that with clients who don’t appreciate your genius and constantly screw you on price and things start to look like hard work.
Business should be fun – especially when you’re doing the thing you love. And working every hour of the day is not fun.
So you have no choice, you have to escape the trap, you owe it to you to work ONLY with the customers you love, and seriously look at your positioning.
And that’s when you realise this is up to you.
How your customers behave with you, is up to you.
How your customers value you, is up to you
What your customers pay you, is up to YOU!
You get to decide.
It’s a process, it will take time, but decide now and stick with it. Spend some time asking yourself who you are, what you do, and why it is important to you. Remember that you come first. Your Mr perfect customer is out there but you won’t find him unless you know your own value first.
And when you do, when you know who you are and what your value is. Take a step back and look at the message you are putting out there?
Does it match, is it really you?
Are you positioning yourself in a way that is attractive to your perfect customers.
Or do you look like someone who doesn’t know their own value.
It’s a harsh truth that people judge what your business looks like just as much as they judge you for wearing a black and white striped cut out vest that makes you look like the referee on gladiators, yes that happened, and yes I can still hear them mocking me with “Contender ready! Gladiator ready!,” in their best John Anderson impression!