Starting a business is a tough…business. There’s planning and strategy, turmoil and fretting, excitement and relief — simultaneously. It’s a bit like all the emotions you experience while watching The Bachelorette, except you possibly cry a little more in real life.
I don’t claim to be an expert on many topics, but I have learned a couple of things in my 27 cycles around the earth. And the chief pearl of wisdom that I’d like to leave as a legacy and pass on to generations to come is this: never share your email address with Alibaba.
Let’s just say you’re driving the car. And listening to the news while eating a dirty kebab, talking to your mum over loud speaker while planning your wedding inside your head. Simultaneously wondering whether old Aunt Mae would mind being seated next to your hill-billy-pot-smoking cousin, Dave. Pretty amazing right?
‘Are these people on crack?!’ was the first thought that came to mind as I read the blog title, ‘How to achieve a work/life balance in three easy steps’. Three easy steps and the key to happiness, balance and sweet apple pie is in your hands? Sure, and I’m a five-time world pole vaulting champion.
I’m not sure about you, but about 12 months into business I had this pivotal moment where the clouds parted and I realised that being your own boss was actually code for spending the rest of your life inside your inbox.
The first time I listened to Survivor by Destiny’s Child, I was red-cordial high. It was at my year 6 Summer Disco and I was an awkwardly lanky 12 year old spinning out on sugar and the excitement of twirling round a school hall ‘rocking’ the dancefloor.
It’s our fault. We screwed it up from the start. We gave a word the wrong meaning. The dudes from Collins got it wrong. The peeps behind Merriam Webster missed the memo. Even the guys from Macmillan stuffed it up.
The day I realised that I knew my business better than anyone else was a day worthy of endless fist pumping and champagne showers. I am the only person who can rock my own socks, float my own boat, ping my own pong and coca my own cola. Nobody knows my biz better than me.
Let’s talk about the April Fool’s Day joke of the century. In 1994, a popular American news broadcaster reported that companies such as Apple, Pepsi, KFC and GAP were offering appealing discounts to teenagers who would tattoo their bodies with corporate logos.
And so, the honest truth: I never even graduated, and I never threw a tasselled hat into the air or posed in awkward photos sandwiched between my parents. Annnnd I guess while I’m in confession I may as well add that I’ve never had to submit a job application within the design field, nor have I ever stepped foot inside of a design agency that wasn’t my own.
It looks like a crew of teenage girls converged for a fluoro party with post-it notes and artliner pens. And scraps of paper. And paperwork I should have dealt with ages ago. There is what appears to be a designated section for empty teacups and a graveyard of scrunched up notes. There are three items that I’m unable to identify and two empty lunch containers that should most definitely go in the bin rather than the dishwasher.
The other day, I spent a solid 25 minutes explaining the nuances and systemic problems of an off-brand car decal to my boyfriend. How he is still with me after 8 years of overthinking and out-loud rambling sessions about the ins and outs of branding, I have no idea. After feeling his cold blank stare of apathy hit my face, I realised this topic was better suited to a blog post than his ears.
Remember how you used to throw together some breakfast in the morning without caring whether people knew you were sampling colour-explosion acai bowl or some defrosted bread whacked in the toaster and lathered in peanut butter?
Keeping up with the Joneses is a thing. ‘Tis true, brands are judged by the company they keep. We all know that Dr Pepper Lipsmackers were a sure fire success, and that co-branding is being used increasingly by companies of all sizes and locations to increase brand recognition, awareness and sales.
As I trawled the interwebs on my casual morning perusal, I read this remark on a less than credible looking site and thought to myself, ‘I bet this dude is a burnt-out, cynical man with a bad haircut. Bless his cotton socks and his big fat opinion, but no.’ That’s the best thing about the internet, right? We’ve all got a soapbox to preach from; at the moment mine is a comfy lounge, cup of tea and and furry, warm bottom belonging to my kelpie.