Deciding to go into your own business is a significant milestone, filled with stepping stones of challenging situations, unexpected detours, gut-wrenching failures, all the while sweetened by moments of breathless achievement and commitment to your dream.
“While the successes have helped to motivate me further, it is the failures and mistakes where I have learned and grown both personally and professionally,” says Amanda Rogaly, founder of BabyYumYum and Chief Mommy, who has been a successful women entrepreneur since the age of 21 and established what has become the fastest growing parenting portal a little over a year ago.
Amanda shares the following five hard-earned insights from her first year in establishing the parenting lifestyle platform.
1. How can I take my idea from theory to practice?
Actually implementing your idea is the testing ground for your business concept.
“As the new kid on the block I learned to be patient. I was coming into a space where other businesses were already established,” says Amanda who realised she needed to take everything one step at a time. “It’s a question of trusting the process, knowing that there’s no such thing as an overnight sensation. Rather, it’s a compound effect of taking baby steps towards your goals, building on experiences and feedback – seeing what works and what needs more work – this is when your idea starts to take shape and have impact.”
2. Who do I need to be in order to achieve the particular goal?
“In order to do something you’ve never done, you’ve got to become someone you’ve never been,” says motivational speaker Les Brown.
There are skills and personality traits that need to be learned and harnessed in your new role.
“One of the most exciting things about being an entrepreneur is the journey of personal evolution, so that you’re constantly becoming a better version of yourself,” says Amanda. She believes in mastering the skills, drive and attitude of resilience, passion and commitment, along with a good dollop of humour and knowing not to sweat the small stuff.
Goals push us to achieve more – something beyond our current capabilities. This means developing new skills and even redefining yourself, challenging and changing what you think is possible for you to be and do.”
3. Is there a balance between work and home?
When you’ve got a new business where 24 hours a day feels like 24 hours too little, it is easy to feel overstrained to meet the demands of both commitments at home and in your business.
“I find this particularly challenging. As women, we often feel guilty about spending too much time away from home,” says Amanda. “For me the answer has been to set boundaries in both spheres. This means learning to say no when necessary – whether we’ve been invited to a night out or to fitting in just one more meeting in the day. It is also important to have time blocks, designated periods for work and for family.”
Another vital area of importance is your own time out. “Do whatever it takes to nurture yourself – being in nature, or my particular favourite indulgence – a freezochino, especially when I’m feeling a little stressed.”
4. How can I boost my self-confidence?
You need to establish a strong belief in yourself, a quiet sense of self-assurance that you have what it takes to make your dream a reality – yes, even on the bad days. It’s hard not to second-guess yourself, especially when something doesn’t go as you planned. However, you can’t wait for motivation to strike – take action by making a start. As Zig Ziglar says: People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Amanda’s secret is to face the day with as much energy and passion as she can, no matter how good or bad she may be feeling.
“The secret lies in creating a mental picture of what ‘being confident means to you and then take action in line with this identity. Fake it until you become it,” she says. You’ll be surprised at how quickly this helps you to recommit to your goals, re-energising you and keeping you motivated even on those not-so-great days.”
5. What’s the next most important step?
With so many things happening, you have to prioritise the #1 baby step that will get you to the next point in your goal. In his seminal book The One Thing, author Gary Keller speaks about removing distractions by identifying the ONE thing that stands between you and your next step.
“It’s about narrowing your focus by honing in on the most important task in a particular project. This was a big learning curve for me. You can’t be and do everything,” says Amanda, having learned to focus on her area of expertise, while learning to trust the BabyYumYum team with their areas of specialisation.
“Mistakes are inevitable and being open to learning often brings the greatest insights. Know it’s going to be exhilarating and also scary. Keep in mind that learning occurs on the other side of your comfort zone,” says Amanda.
“The key is to love the journey of learning more than achieving the goal. That’s the sweet spot which allows you to push through the hard times so that you can see the fruits of your labour positively impacting on others while working on yourself and your business one day at a time, one small step at a time,” she concludes.