This year, I moved to Canberra with the goal to launch a media company that connected people and communities in real life by leveraging the connectivity we already have through the internet. With three business ideas across three industries, I knew that this was going to be one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever undertaken.
When I looked at my strengths and weaknesses heading into my venture, I started to realise the sheer amount of ‘things’ I needed to learn to fulfil my vision successfully.
Let’s head back nine months, March, when my journey started. My entire life turned upside down. I made a choice to focus on developing my big ideas, for real. I decided that if I needed to, I would live out of my car and eat rice for a year to fund my business.
At this stage, I had no real idea of what I was doing. Fear and anxiety overcame me. My weaknesses were driving me into the ground, and it wasn’t the mountains stopping me, it was the little creeks I could step over.
What was happening?
It took almost four weeks for me to work out that I was asking the wrong question.
One of my greatest ongoing challenges has been to over-ride my introvert personality. If we’ve talked in passing, chances are, you won’t believe that I’m quiet, reflective and prefer to spend time reading or writing. On top of that, a pursuit of perfection has resulted in many jobs that were 90% done and never completed. Often, fear paralyses me in the decisions I have to make (Heck, I have a fear of starting conversations).
Something had to change. I stepped up and started asking “What do I need to do next?”.
I started surrounding myself with people that have more life and business experience than me. I rekindled relationships with old bosses. I started getting to know a neighbour that runs a real-estate business. I connected with the Director of an Australian clothing company. I started meeting like-minded people at business networking events. I participated in an innovation program. I pitched my ideas to a room full of people. I applied and won some grant money, and I ran a seminar on photography and pursuing adventure.
Today, that journey continues and I continue to ask myself: What do I need to do next?
Over the last nine months, I’ve learnt a lot, met inspiring people and reached some significant milestones. Acknowledging the wins big and small has helped me see that all the hard work is paying off, even if the big picture still seems light years away.
My main project, World Photo Day, reached over 500 million people in August and recently incorporated as a company in preparation for funding opportunities.
AusBackpacking, an online travel community I’ve co-founded is about to release season 2 of its travel podcast and launch an online travel sales platform.
I recently partnered with a fellow entrepreneur to develop another one of my ideas that has been sitting behind the scenes, on pause. We’re launching an MVP in January 2017.
2016 is quickly coming to a close. Looking back, I’m challenged by the things that I didn’t get done. Those thoughts of “if only” or “what if” often weigh down my motivation. I think that this is a regular thing. My choice is not to get sucked in by those thoughts. I choose to learn from those mistakes and missed opportunities. I won’t make them again.
To me, this post is only 90% done. I don’t want to post it. It’s not perfect. I’m going to post it nevertheless. I’m fearful that people will judge me. I’ll take that as feedback.
I want to share more of what I write, so I’m going to commit to one post a week about my life adventures. See you next Thursday!