When I was under 10 years old, the word ‘business’ conjured up a variety of images in my mind:
Boring work suits
Stressed old men
Serious, scary jobs.
I had no interest in venturing further into this seemingly archaic and demanding world.
Then in my teens, the word ‘business’ took on a slightly different connotation:
Making lots of money
Being famous for your work
Perhaps this is where my curiosity began. Sat in the corner of my GCSE Business Studies class, I’d learned all about SWOT analysis, employment law, marketing and a simplistic guide to running a business. And yet, it still seemed like another world to me.
People like me didn’t run their own businesses. It took confidence, skill and buckets of self belief that, as a girl in her late teens, I felt I failed to achieve on all levels.
I started work at the age of 16, after being offered a job straight from school. ‘This was not the plan!’ my teachers would say ‘You’re supposed to be going to university! Making something of yourself!’. And yet, something inside me knew this was the right choice.
I was joining a small business.
I was quickly sucked into the everyday life of a small company. I worked, breathed and dreamt of it. The cyclone of stress that overcomes your brain on a 9-5 compared to school life takes the wind out of your sails and sets those nerve endings alight. It’s terrifying and exhilarating. I wanted to know everything. My mind was a sponge. I wanted answers to all my questions about entering into the media industry, how a business works, how I could gain more skills, make more contacts and be better at my job.
I had read so many books, so many articles about the rich, the famous, the idols and how they made it. Perhaps someone would read my autobiography one day in their bedroom and dream of such success?
It’s safe to say the elation slowed down with news flashes of an economic down turn and businesses going under. Contacts I’d made were having to pack up and start again. The wonderful world of business wasn’t all leather briefcases and ladies’ power suits after all. But nothing ever is; so there’s no point bowing your head and giving up that dream.
So, this year, I set up a little desk in my spare room and began my small business providing my services with skills I had learnt since leaving school at 16. I have no glossy degree sitting proudly on my wall beside me, but I have eight years knowledge working in the industry, experience and still have that youthful enthusiasm on my side.
Now, at the ripe old age of 24, the word business means new things.
Pride in my work
It’s early days and those power suits are still tucked neatly in the drawer for the future, but who ever said success comes easily?
That wouldn’t make an interesting autobiography anyway.