I came from the corporate world. After 5 years of Brand Marketing Management, I have taken my corporate hat off to become a Stay-At-Home-Working-Mom. It also means multi-tasking, all-around team all rolled into one person. There are days when I miss the corporate life. I miss having a team of highly talented people to brainstorm with, accomplish projects, meetings and yes, even those dreary presentations. I miss having ground-breaking market research that enables you to make better decisions. I miss having millions to spend on advertising and promotion. With no moolah in hand, I have to do everything myself for our business – background market research, crunching the numbers, product testing, packaging development, training, and yes, even delivering our own goods to the store. What I miss the most though, is the human connection. It sometimes feels lonely to eat lunch and to have that afternoon cup of coffee by your lonesome self and to not have anyone to talk to about work… or even chitchat about your life! Those are the worst days!
It took me 2 years to finally start-up. Product ideas took the longest time to develop. If it takes around 6 months to a year to properly launch a product in the corporate world, think about doing it by yourself with no resources whatsoever. As in any other company, thinking of a good idea is the hardest task especially now that almost everything is already out in the market. Most ideas never happen because somewhere along the way, there are so many obstacles. A visionary may have thought up that great idea but without a well thought-out plan and masterful execution, that idea flops. As an entrepreneur, I find that the most powerful obstacle to pushing through with an idea is actually yourself! Being discouraged when you bounce your ideas to other people and getting a lot of negative feedbacks raises a lot of confidence issues about the projects and self! That doesn’t mean we should stop talking to other people about our ideas though, that only means that it’s either there were some points that we didn’t see clearly (tunnel vision) or maybe we really do need to can that idea and move on to the next one on the list. Other times, I get sucked into the idea warp especially when I am “passionate” about something, my judgment gets clouded. During the times that I am gungho on a certain project or idea, I tend to lose myself and I have to remind myself to step back and see if I’m still on the right path. For this, I am glad that I have a business-minded husband who never fails to give me his honest opinion, very creative friends who helps me spice it up and a very patient support group who always listens to my one thousand and one ideas that may or may not be silly, doable or even probable.
The other things I learned along the way that enabled me to launch different projects related to the home and the business:
– No matter how many ideas you have, always be organized enough to make a list. Put a single-minded focus on one item on the list, do what you can to make it work and if it doesn’t, just move on.
– Don’t tackle too many ideas in one go, sometimes that’s what makes you rattled and lose focus. Prioritize! Put the other good ideas that you have on a backburner. Carry a notebook for all your lists, ideas, and backburner stuff. After all, you’ll never know when inspiration will strike! 🙂
– If you are able to qualify an idea, give it a roadmap as to where you want to take it. Always keep the ball rolling. As with all SAHM or SAHWM, the common obstacle for working hard are distractions that comes in the form of household chores, shopping, online addiction, the kids and other matters. A colleague of mine once taught me that even if you feel “lazy” to work on your project, make sure you make 1 little step everyday to help move the project along.
– For every action step, list, organize, decide, and execute with passion. Ideas without passion or purpose lose that personal oomph that makes it a winner product. Don’t launch products or ideas just because!!! Everything should have meaning to it. If not, it is only waste and further clutter. We should all create truly meaningful things. After all, at the end of the day, your output is a reflection of who you are.
Starting Up really is hard work! I admire people with rags-to-riches stories, am truly inspired by the humble beginnings of other people and greatly respect the small entities who battle out Goliath companies daily. I am so excited to make it happen for me too. I can’t wait to make my own ideas pan out, grow the company, fulfill a sense of accomplishment and purpose and leave my own mark and long-lasting legacy too — after all, ain’t that the best gift we can ever give to our kids? 🙂