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Don’t bury your head in the sand

Brett Riley-Tomlinson


man with head buried in the sand

For many, this has been the toughest start to a business year they’ve ever encountered. In our case, the virus has caused projects to be pushed back, we’ve seen clients go under, and it seems that every time we take a step in the right direction something knocks us back.

This is the reality that many business owners are facing at the moment, and in terms of mental health, it’s incredibly difficult to continue getting up every day to try and improve your situation.

I consider myself to be a mentally strong individual; however, the pandemic is even taking its toll on me, as I’ve mentioned in a few of my LinkedIn videos. However, I want you to think back to when you first started your business. Granted, you probably didn’t have the same overheads as you have now, but likewise, you wouldn’t have had the same influence, visibility and credibility as you do today.

Think back to when you decided to launch your own business. I remember the moment I knew I wanted to start Novus, as opposed to taking full-time employment. I was sat in a hot tub with my family on a cruise ship in the middle on the Norwegian fjords. We’d gone on holiday to celebrate me finishing university with a first-class honours degree; my fiancee was doing the same, and we were also celebrating a few other things. I remember sitting there, looking at the mountains, and thinking to myself, ‘I’ll never have the opportunity again to do this for myself.’ Your reasons or motivation for starting a business may involve your family, or you may simply see it as a way to develop yourself—everyone’s different.

Fast forward a few weeks and it was my first day as a brand-new company. I had a couple of clients from work I’d completed previously, but no one really knew who I was. I’d just turned 22 and I was going forth into the world as a marketing consultant. Despite having a track record with charities and other companies I’d worked with, I knew it was going to be one of the most difficult first steps I’d ever taken.

But I took them. And you know what, it was bloody hard those first few months, but it began to get a little easier. Before long I’d recruited Novus’s graphic designer, Stephen, then I recruited more staff with their own particular specialities.

The truth is, if I did it once, I can do it again—and so can you. Who cares if you have employees on furlough? Who cares if you’ve lost all your clients? At the outset, when you had neither staff nor customers, it didn’t stop you starting your business…consider this year the year that you will take your first steps in your new business.

Start making new connections. Bring on new clients. Before you know it, you’ll be bringing your employees back on. You can reinvent your business so that it fits this new world. You may end up even better equipped than before.

This will be the second hardest step you’ll have ever made in business, but remember, you did it before, all those years ago. You can do it…I know you can. YOU know you can. You’ll look back at this moment and think, ‘God, it would have been so easy to have stopped everything and got a job. But I didn’t. I took the harder path and look where I am now.’

If you need someone to talk to, or just someone to simply sit there and listen, feel free to bob me a message; we’ll either go for a walk or have a virtual coffee. It’s a very difficult time now, but this situation won’t last forever. Good times will come again.

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