It's time to settle down
Business expansion has been exhilarating, hard work, fulfilling, adventurous, rewarding and above all, something that I am proud to say that I have made the steps to do. There is still a long way to go and the road looks very long, windy with ups and downs going far into the distance. Hopefully, I will pick up some hitchhikers along the way to keep me company and that the car will be full of people all wanting to head in the same direction. No doubt, there will be people who will want to get out along the way and those who will feel car sick but then, miraculously, they will get over it and start enjoying the scenery and the ride.
Never for a moment have I been mistaken that this is not going to test me and every single person in my team. It singularly has been the bravest thing I have ever done and although I am a person who sticks to a plan, I never imagined for a minute that I would be living in Atlanta, in a hotel room, desperately wishing that I was home in my comfy bed with my Maltese Schnauzer, Pip, perched beside me. Nor would I imagine that I would leave her for long periods of time in the care of another.
Starbucks isn't my favourite coffee blendIt's funny, this morning I wished I had a jar of vegemite beside me and coffee that didn't come in a Starbucks cup. Vegemite reminds me of home and I have deliberately not brought it with me for the journey so that I open a new chapter without being so glued to the past that I can't get out of my normal routine. It's the lack of comforts that somehow gets me through.
Atlanta has been very accommodating. My friends here are beautiful people from all walks of life. They have opened their homes and their hearts to me and given me as much as they can possibly do so in the act of kindness. I am so grateful for their late night chats, constant invitations and openness to being good friends and opening doors for me when needed.
Living in a hotel isn't my first choiceI live in a hotel room, not by choice. We are more than 3 months in and it's not ideal but in all of my research, what I failed to check out is accommodation. Yes, it really is a cheap place to live and the wealthy suburb of Buckhead possibly is considered so just because the size of homes rather than how much they are worth. Don't quote me on that - but from the outset, as an Australian who has lived in Sydney and Melbourne for the past 10 years plus, it appears to be good value for money.
It has puzzled me no end as to why accommodation is so hard to find. There are all of these types of rules that don't allow you to rent a condo if it is less than 12 months and many of my preferred condos have to be bought rather than rented - which doesn't work for someone who isn't sure she can live with the pollens in the air (the worse in the US) nor the lack of entertainment on offer.
A 6-month lease is not an option and serviced apartments seem to be a market that a smart investor needs to investigate - for sure - but this is the only major struggle I am finding since moving to Atlanta.
Regis Sales Consultants - Steady on the phoneI made a choice after the sales service from Regis was too overwhelming (they call you so many times, you just want them to go away), to locate at Atlanta Technology Village which is uber cool. You can use a scooter to get around the building and there is always drinks on offer most days of the week. Friday's, everyone has lunch together and you never feel alone because there are people everywhere in start-up phase.
I feel somewhat of a fraud because we are only a start-up in Atlanta and we are fortunately backed by a stable and consistent balance sheet, that buying a $20 lunch, won't break the bank. The spirit of everyone around is contagious and refreshing. Instead of being sucked into the whole running of a business, my mind is free to think about marketing and how my business will promote itself and drive clients to chose us as their preferred outsourced marketing department.
At the moment, I am travelling backwards and forwards to Australia. There are two drivers to this; my dog (I miss her but I had better be very sure that this is a good move otherwise 3 months in quarantine will not be a good outcome for me or her) and my accommodation issue. If the latter would sort itself out without me succumbing to buying a home, then everything else would no doubt fall into place.
It's time to settle downIt is time to settle down and decisions need to be made. After watching the television show "Ready for Love" last night, it reminded me how much more fulfilling it is to be "settled down" and to not have to worry about chasing your tail or dating the wrong type of person. In this case, it is time to fix the situation, to have a home cooked meal at least a few nights a week and to become grounded so that instead of worrying whether what's on the room service menu is healthy or not, or whether some sell-out sporting event means that there is no accommodation on offer - I can instead worry about driving the business forward and cementing Marketing Eye as the premium marketing consultancy firm in Atlanta. When your mind is freed up to think not about nuts and bolts but the wider outcome - that's when we are talking business. That's when your business and in this case, mine, will go to the next level.
It is time to settle down - now let me work out exactly how I am going to do that!