Becoming an entrepreneur requires a leap of faith, and often it is fear that holds us back from taking the plunge.
Whether it be leaving a steady job with a stable income to launch your own business, or hiring your first employee, big steps take big courage. To help us to take the plunge we often need some form of inspiration, from the support of our family to a story of a successful entrepreneur, courage can be found in many places.
‘Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.’
This week, David wanted to share the story of his daughter, who is taking a different kind of leap, to show that bravery can take many forms and hopefully encourage our readers to choose courage too. Because a better and braver world sounds good to us.
Over to David!
‘As you’ll know from my post on taking a break over the holidays, family is really important to me. Now that my kids are in careers of their own, I love getting feedback from them on areas they may have more experience in than me, whether it be my daughter Madsie who has been working in fashion for two and a half years, or my daughter Vicky who is now head of faculty at a state high school. We speak about career paths, job satisfaction, challenges and accomplishments and I love that they still come to me for advice.
At the age of 16, my daughter Madsie decided she wanted to work in the fashion industry. Three years on the shop floor and two and a half years in the head office of two major retailers later, she came to the conclusion that it might not be for her. What to do?
As a place to start, I gave her ‘What Colour is your Parachute’ to read through. I would highly recommend the book to anyone considering a career change, or deciding which entrepreneurial path to take. After completing the self-inventory, which takes you through your favourite skills to use, the kind of environment you’d like to work in and the people you’d like to work with, teaching seemed like it would be a good fit. Madsie had always considered teaching, especially following my wife’s career as an EAL (English as an Additional Language) co-ordinator, and my daughter Vicky’s as a languages teacher. The profession seems to be a good fit for the family.
But Madsie was scared about leaving behind 5 and a half years of experience, to start from square one again. Having taken the plunge myself, by leaving a 6 figure job to start a wine business and knowing little about what it entailed, I gave her the advice I shared in our earlier post about learning from failure. (Check it out here) Try it out! Volunteer, see what it’s about and speak to people in the industry, before making any big changes.
She spent a day in a school, observing and assisting and she absolutely loved it. She looked into teaching programmes and all of them required 5 days in a school, before submitting your application. This faced Madsie with a dilemma. She only had one day of annual leave left before the end of March, and wanted to apply as soon as possible, for September 2018 start. She could take a week’s sickness, but that went against her moral code. She could take un-paid leave, without telling the business what she was doing this for, but again this seemed underhand and outside of her character. So she decided to embrace courage, and tell the company about her plans. She explained she had never been so sure of anything professionally, and that she hoped to commence training in September, but wanted to stay at the business until then. She was delighted by their supportive response, and is in the process of applying for courses now, loving every day she spends volunteering at school even more than the last.’
So it just goes to show that courage is indeed contagious. It is a big gamble letting an employee take additional leave and potentially go down to part time in order to gain more experience and explore a career that will ultimately take them away from the business. However, there is much to be gained. This kind of open, supportive world sounds good to us. So why not take that risk you’ve been wanting to for some time? You never know what could happen!
Until next week!