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Lessons in starting a business

Posted by Toby King on

Through the process of setting up a business, I’ve learned a few important lessons. Here are two of the most important to bare in mind if you're thinking of doing the same.

1- Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

You will be stranded in the middle of nowhere clutching a broken sewing machine. You will underestimate how much time it takes to sketch a tentacle or a single wave pattern, spending days tinkering with it and still never being fully happy with how it turned out. You will have sleepless nights to catch up on work that can’t possibly be accomplished in a normal 9-5 working day. You will also become so stressed that you literally run away from the work that needs doing - going on procrastination benders consisting of guilt-ridden Netflix marathons (without the ‘chill’) and drinks with almost-forgotten friends that you had before you got serious about setting up a company, where you’ll tell strangers at the bar lies about what you do for a living because bringing up your infant business ideas that need more sculpting makes you drunk-cry. You will have less money to work with than what you’d planned for - there is never enough. You will take the long route, only realising what shortcut you should have taken after you’ve reached your destination. You will assume you can juggle the duties of a printmaker, a seamstress, a photographer, an accountant, a solicitor, a brand specialist, a director all in a single day - underestimating the skill and practice that goes into each job role and learning this the hard way. You will be let down by people, by equipment, even by yourself. You will question why you started this journey frequently. You will feel pressured, exhausted and disappointed regularly. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

2- If you work hard, you can accomplish your goals.

You will learn skills you never expected to. You will develop skills you’ve never had to utilise before. You will multitask like a champion and get a kick out of doing so. You will learn something new every single day. You will cherish each moment you take some time off to watch TV or see your friends, because you’ve earned that time off. You will jump up and down when you make your first sale, and every subsequent sale after that. You will feel more confident, like there’s a fire in your belly. You will discover who your biggest supporters are, who claps for you when you win. You will get out of bed each morning with a purpose. You will be proud of yourself. If you work hard, you can accomplish your goals. Go do that.

Toby, aka Mr Merpola

P.s. There’ll be more ‘#content’ coming up soon. If you’d like to write something for Merpola, get in touch.

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