Rewrite your dreams
- By Alia Orane -
- Aug 23, 2012
If you’re running your own company, and no longer enjoy it, it’s okay to find what it is you truly want to do. Today’s guest blog looks at how this can be done…
When you start a business, you can pretty much call it your baby. You come up with the idea, put all the tiny details in place, do your business plan etc. You basically start something from the ground, with the hopes that it will bloom into something awesome. You nurture it, protect it from people who have unnecessary opinions, and because of your love and passion for it, you do whatever it takes to make it work. You work ridiculous hours, get very little sleep and wait for that day when your child is grown and you can finally reap the rewards of all your hard work.
This is what running a business is like. It’s not an easy feat. So what happens when a day comes when you no longer enjoy what it is that you are doing? Or your child doesn’t bring you that joy anymore?
This is the dilemma I faced as I sat in a room of passionate, excited entrepreneurs. After weeks of being a part of the Branson Centre training, I found myself doodling in my notebook, while business terms flew over my head during presentations, and I battled with whether I loved what I did anymore. I started a handbag business in 2005, and the passion I had for my company at age 24, was suddenly no longer there.
If you’re anything like me, a creative perfectionist who loves everything in design, doing anything business related can kill what it is that you do love. After all, you didn’t go to art school to crunch numbers, or to study law. You decided to start a creative business because you love just that…to create. Sadly, the business side is something that we all have to learn. I always said to myself that I never want to be a struggling artist, as that’s what I saw around me as I entered the working world after college. Which is why I decided to start my own business.
Well, that and a really super idea! I would sit in my father’s office once a week to discuss my business plan, and to learn accounting. I woke up at 6am to sew, was in bed by 1 or 2am almost every night. My father taught me to let go of some of my pride when calling retailers, and I did, as hard as that was. I lost money, sometimes cried about it, but got back up and went right back to what I had to do. Why? Because I loved it.
But, after 7 years, I no longer wanted to do it. I woke up at a regular time, was in bed by 11, and when I would hear stories of other entrepreneurs and their ungodly hours, I wondered if I was just being lazy. If people asked me how it was going, I was no longer enthused to talk about my company, and gave a simple answer and changed the subject immediately after. When I expressed how I felt to someone, they asked me “who are you doing this for?” And for about a week I thought about that question, and realized I was no longer doing this for myself.
You see, if you start a business, like I said it’s your baby, so it’s all YOU. But if and when a time comes where you find yourself dragging your feet to your office, your passion has now become a boring job. The tough part is, letting go of this dream or giving up your baby to pursue other things you may enjoy. Thoughts go through your head constantly, where you wonder if you’re making a big mistake, or if it took this long why would I let it go now? You could be THAT close. Or you beat yourself up because you feel like you’ve failed. So if you were ever in this position, you’d probably ask how did I get out of this, because this is exactly how I started to feel.
Well for one, first make a decision. Going back and forth is probably the worst thing to do to yourself. Once you make that decision, you think of what it is you do love and want to do next. I just want to write about fashion, and to do personal shopping and styling for people. And because I felt that in my heart, it was crazy how my bags no longer mattered in my world. I enjoyed these things so much, that I used to do it for free. It’s total bliss. If you find what’s truly in your heart, the thing that will make you completely happy…that’s when your doubts and negative thoughts disappear.
The next thing is to not be concerned with what people may think. I realized that I was running a business for other people, or what I thought they expected of me. I would hear people say things like “but you’re so talented” and I always felt like I had to push through with my business. You have to love what it is you do, no matter what people may say.
One evening when I felt horrible about starting over with my career, my boyfriend gave me advice that I will share with you. He said “Steve Jobs started over, Richard Branson too. Some of the most successful people in this world realized what they weren’t good at, stopped doing it, and did something that they excelled in.” This was when I completely let go.
My energy changed completely and I was I a lot happier and less frustrated with life. Not to mention my health improved. I was also more excited about possibly making my new venture a business. What I have chosen requires some thought about how to make it work, but if you have a calling in life that you answer, you won’t feel like your dragging your feet to do the things that you don’t necessarily enjoy. We have to adapt to whatever happens, and enjoy the ride we’re on, and it’s so important to follow your heart. These are some examples of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. If you can’t adapt, don’t enjoy what you do, or follow your heart, you’re going to be stuck in a business that doesn’t exceed your imagination…or profit margin.
If you’re running your own company, and no longer enjoy it, it’s okay to find what it is you truly want to do. At age 31, I beat myself up because I thought I should be somewhat settled and “nested”, but all of that is pointless if deep down you’re not happy. No matter your age or circumstance, it is possible to follow a new path. This is all a part of growing up. And I’ll leave you with what a good friend of mine told me, as I expressed my frustrations to her. “It is okay to rewrite your dreams.”
By Alia Orane.
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