All by myself
When I started my first business, I had a business partner and it worked quite well. She wasn’t very good at marketing because her background was in sales, so to make the partnership work she worked in administration and I taught her some basic marketing and public relations skills to help me out when I needed her to.
For over a year, it worked really well, except we blurred the lines between business and pleasure and when her marriage broke up, it seemed only fitting that our business partnership should too. You see, it wasn’t an equal partnership. I was the marketer and she was more administration then anything else and therefore a majority of the work fell on me. I was overworked and was being paid the same amount of money.
For the next 4 years, I ran the business by myself, but to be totally honest, I never really did it by myself. I had this amazing group of talented businessmen who kindly encouraged me to expand my business into Sydney and gave me some office space to help me out. It was an opportunity of a lifetime to sit in an office with really smart people, who negotiated deals every day and were happy to share their experiences and opinions.
I soaked it up like a sponge. Every day I loved going to work with Ian, Niall, Chris and Simon, all of whom provided me with so much information on business, on how to do deals and they gave me inroads into how to get clients in the highly competitive city of Sydney as a 26 year old.
They were like a mixture of a big brother and a parental figure and everyday I learnt more and more from them. Eventually, like all ‘children’ I flew the coupe when it was time to challenge myself further and rejoined my staff in an office in North Sydney.
For years, my staff worked in offices in Sydney and the Gold Coast, whilst I worked out of an office with my mentors and educators in central CBD Sydney. It was fantastic. As a young entrepreneur, there were no day to day issues to deal with and drag my entrepreneurial spirit down. Picking up the phone and calling me or popping me an email was only the last resort for my staff who seemed quite happy to not have me around.
Eventually, I did grow up and decided to be a real business leader and work under the same roof as my staff. For a time, this move was a lonely one. I no longer had my mentors around and I couldn’t share my issues with my staff. Fortunately, I was a member of the Entrepreneurs Organisation which was brilliant, but still, in some ways was not enough.
Eventually, I had another great business idea and desperately wanted an investment partner that I could learn and grow from. From that, I founded Marketing Eye and gained a new silent business partner.
For the past 5 years, it has been fantastic. My business partner is the smartest person I have ever met. He has guided me to not only be a better business person, but to be a better human being. Someone who shows compassion for everyone regardless of where they come from, how they live and how much money they have.
But still, sometimes it’s lonely all by myself. No-one teaches you how that actually feels nor do they give you enough ways in which to cope.
If you find that sometimes you are all by yourself;
- Join an industry organisation
- Join an entrepreneurs organisation like EO or if you are more successful YPO
- Share your business ideas and goings on with friends who have businesses. Perhaps form a forum and do this on a regular basis
- Don’t be afraid to share information
The other option is to get a business coach. They quite often can be a good sounding board for business.
About Marketing Eye
Marketing Eye is a leading national marketing consultancy firm that helps small to medium sized businesses grow.
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