I did a lot of research before setting up Emm-Power Ltd, “The Outsourced Marketing & Sales Manager” in February 2016 but nothing fully prepares you for making the leap into owning and running a company, employing staff and keeping the full circle of the client relationship going with almost single-handedly with added pertinence!
Thankfully, I was experienced in my area of business, and I knew I could fulfil the obligations of my future clients. But it has occurred to me, from a significant amount of time spent networking with other business owners and entrepreneurs, that many people don’t really understand their chosen sector or the products or services they wish to provide. How well do you really know your own skill set? Are you aware of your own limitations and the areas in which you will easily flourish? It’s instilled from primary school – but we’ve all got talents! In my world, they’re Powers!
Identifying these Powers and deciding on your own boundaries will eliminate the need to feel pulled or pushed from prospective or current clients. Believe me – there will always be someone trying to manipulate you! Be sure of your stance and what you will, and more importantly, can, provide.
Being an advocate of research and preparation and the Franklin Covey Principle of “Beginning with the end in mind”; reading and listening, referencing and asking questions via dear old Google and the other, experienced and talented individuals I made a bee-line for or was surrounded by was a joyous and enriching task for me. I guess if that kind of thing isn’t your style you might be off to a non-starter, but surely there is a method of research to suit everyone? Ask yourself, how do you learn best? Which method of learning results in your absorbing information with optimum efficiency? Whatever the answer is – route your self-education in that direction.
The first thing that struck me about working for myself was the realisation that very single decision is your own! Who knew buying stationary could be such a conundrum! But as the months pass, soon these activities become second nature and new challenge and excitement brings its way into your routine.
No matter how much preparation you put in, there is no accounting for all eventualities. Almost a victim of my own success in the beginning, (having clients’ contracts to fulfil as soon as I set up) Emm-Power began without a website, without a clear plan for a business model, no commercial bank account and no stable abode or office to work from. They say the best ideas come from a place of adversity and my outsourced Marketing and Sales company for small and growing firms is no exception! Sometimes, despite the potential risk and the upcoming hill to climb; you must simply run with it, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. It’s a well-worn proverb, originated from the US self-help author Susan Jeffers and a truer piece of advice for business is hard to find. It must be the best motivational quote of all time. In practice, weighing up the potential risks is a necessity of course, but understanding the balance of power and knowing how great the rewards are mean you can calculate the right time to jump. Yes, Nike has it right – Just do it!
The journey endured the working location issues and four treacherous house moves later (across some months!) and the Emm-Power website was finally launched alongside somehow being brought to the unbelievable position of Venus award nominee! I reached the final three in the Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) category – “Inspirational Woman in Technology”. For a consistent self-doubter, I couldn’t believe it, and almost gratefully, I didn’t win. However, the lady who did was a true inspiration for all young people, not just women. Winner, Dr. Tania Humphries-Smith’s work as Professor of Design and Engineering at Bournemouth University undertakes initiatives for young people and girls to be directed into STEM careers via their education and to ignore the societal barriers they may otherwise face. A woman after my own heart in that case and I am proud to have “lost” to her!
“Why technology?” you might ask… Well the answer to that is that my background is in assisting and working for Aerospace, Software Engineering and Cloud / Tech Startups. The thrill of problem-solving for my clients normally incudes utilising efficient technologies and that allows my skill in implementing and customising software systems and CRM Databases and creating lean processes to come into force. This, coupled with a desire to promote women in STEM careers by making this a backbone of Emm-Power’s services and internal systems obviously resonated with the Sponsors, Atlas Elektronik and I should have had more faith in myself – what an achievement.
Always willing to impart advice, here are three nuggets for those new to business or aiming to setup soon!
However you choose to learn, no amount of educating oneself can ever be enough! Seek those you admire and check out the worlds of those who are succeeding in your eyes – there is so much wisdom to be sought that can only be of assistance to you on your journey. Watch this space for an upcoming blog on who to seek and how they can benefit you in realising your aims!
- Understand your Powers!
Don’t worry about what you can’t do or what you might struggle with – you don’t need to focus on that; you have powers! You have super-skills and capabilities no one else has quite like your own. Identify your powers, trust them and put them to good use!
- Keep the Faith
The motivational author and women’s coach Gill Donnell MBE of Successful Women has promoted awareness of the well-known “Impostor Syndrome” and this is from a similar headspace. We all experience self-doubt, I read of and am told that the greatest of business leaders do – and trust me, I’ve asked quite a few personally! But remembering to trust your gut and keep the faith, reminding yourself of the rational always helps. Stay disciplined and remember the positives!
Without wishing to waffle any more, I do hope you found this of comfort or stimulus!
Although I tend to think that we make our own luck, sometimes serendipitous acts or events touch our lives. I would say that this first 11 months of running Emm-Power has been the most valuable year I could have hoped for, in a multitude of ways.
With warmest wishes for the New Year and beyond!