Firstly thanks to everyone who has helped me out by responding to my survey. I am now up to 41 responses which is a fantastic start. What has really blown me away though is the total strangers who have taken the time to email me with advice, experience from friends etc. It’s really is amazing – maybe this network business isn’t as bad as it sounds?! (well that and I have some fab friends who in turn have fab friends of their own).
So back to the title of today’s blog. When I started out (a whole month ago now – what a battle scarred guru I now am!) to ‘set up a family business’ I had the bandwidth (thanks again to the poor working husband!) and I knew I had a lot of the core delivery and project management skills from my years in consultancy. What I didn’t (probably still don’t) have is the idea. It has made for some interesting conversations when I tell people what I am up to and they inevitably ask “so what will you do?” and every time I have to explain that that is the single flaw in an otherwise genius plan to take the business world by storm!
Still, I have always been honest and everyone I have ever discussed it with I have said – “if it were you what would you do?” (I should note that I am very clear on not plagiarising other people’s ideas. If they want to follow them themselves then leave them well alone, but if they have no interest I am happy to take their input) The idea being that everyone has those light bulb moments where they say “if only there was…..” and then promptly gets distracted by a scraped knee, a need to get the dinner on or one of a million other things that mean it all stops there. My friends (sorry network) have been great – it’s fair to say the list has been extensive and grows by the day.
My promise to myself was that I wouldn’t dismiss a single idea out of hand but that I would carefully research each one and see if there is any mileage in it. This has had me looking at everything from babies and maternity wear, to importing avocado oil to on-line memorial sites for those who have passed away and property management. It’s a random list and I am wary that if I go down every rabbit hole my two days a week of childfree time will be eaten up pretty quickly. That said I am also conscious that the best idea may well be the least likely one.
To finish off, as per my title, the biggest struggle so far has been to curb my natural pessimism. I would have been the person who said “who on earth would want to spend the time typing 160 characters on their phone when they could just call someone” – text messaging would have died a death on my pad. As for the concept of facebook – well that wouldn’t have even made it past the brainstorm idea – it would have just seemed (and still does most of the time if I am honest) completely idiotic to me! So today’s struggle (I can’t even in all honesty call it a lesson learnt – I’m just not there yet) is how to curb my pessimism and use it for me rather than against me. I don’t think it will be easy but here we go, it’s one of my first big hurdles and I note it here so that I can figure out how I get over it, and so those of you that know me can remind me that I am not to bin every venture at the concept stage!
On a side note – if you have any ideas (no matter how crazy they might sound!) that you know you won’t be doing anything with yourself, please do let me know as the more the merrier in my little melting plot right now!