Enjoy the Journey Fellow Female Entrepreneurs — Celebrating International Women Day

Agnes Gradzewicz, Smarty Software www.smartysoftware.net

I am not a good writer, but I have decided to share this short story of what I have learned about the success in the hope that it helps someone else, some other female founder in her journey to success.

A journey into unknown

Exactly this time last year I left my secure full time job to embark on a new journey of the start-up life. I did now know what to exactly expect… All I knew was that I am giving up my savings and a full-time position in the company I cherished to start something unpredictable, something that was leading me into unknown. All I had was dreams, plans and very particular taste for an adventure.

Relationship

Pretty much at the same time I just broke up with my boyfriend and started dating… one day I thought to myself that having a start-up is pretty much like a long term relationship. So instead of dreaming of my new boyfriend I was dreaming of my start-up succeeding. Instead of getting excited about dinner date I was excited about new feature we would have just launched. I would notoriously cancel dates just to attend another networking event or inspiring talk. There it was — my start-up was my new love. My family was very supportive however on every occasion they did not hesitate to comment that I should be focusing on my personal life more, that I should rethink risking my savings and instead of getting a secure job.

Having read ‘’Lean In’’ by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg I was full of optimism that we can achieve it all, but reality proved to be way more difficult. After eight months of a hard work, I felt that I was failing, failing my friends and family, failing my personal life and most importantly failing myself. That feeling that sensation of not achieving what you hoped for is the most depressing thing that can happen especially if you are about to turn 30. I felt lost. First time in my adulthood I felt totally lost, desperately looking for signs of what shall I do.

I thought to myself that I was way more successful in my mid-twenties when I had a great job where I got to travel and sip cocktails in expensive hotels around the world. Looking at glossy magazines, even glossier social media accounts it’s extremely easy to feel you are not adequate, that you are not achieving as much because you need to swap Chanel handbag for Zara, Dior lipstick for a L’oreal (well that’s the lie I still could not give up the Dior!).

And when I was (very) busy thinking that I am failing, I FAILED to notice that actually I was achieving every single of my dreams. I arrived in London from a small town in Poland at the age of 19 with no previous job experience and no university degree- I was just armed in dreams and plans. I would always dream big, dream of studying in London, dream of working in a global media company, dream of having an office with beautiful views, dream of travelling for work, speaking at conferences, dream of owning a business…one day….and so far most of my dreams came true!

Success is a journey not a destination

And then it occurred to me what a success really is, success is not always made of millions seating in your bank account, expensive handbags and diamond watches. Success is acknowledging that what you do makes you truly happy, that you feel passionate about your presence in this world. Now I know that success is a journey not a destination. The real success is appreciating all small successes in your life, appreciating people around you, loving and supporting people closes to you.

As Ariana Huffington says that while we tend to think of success along two metrics — money and power — we need to add a third that goes beyond the two metrics of money and power, and consists of four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. However, my favourite interpretation of success is that of a popular author Stephen Covey known for “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’’ who said that the definition of success is deeply individual. “If you carefully consider what you want to be said of you in the funeral experience,” he told the New York Times, “you will find your definition of success.”

Love

One year after I left my job, Smarty as we lovingly call our start-up, is still small and needs a lot of attention, but its well damn worth every single second I already invested in it. In a process of building a business I met some most fascinating people, other fierce female entrepreneurs, I am a part of creating a strong team and lovable product. I have an honour to work with very inspiring CEO, Dr Farhad Reyazat who leads our team with a confidence into this unknown journey.

I realised that I expected way too much from this young relationship that just launched 6 months ago (July 2016). And now I could not be prouder that everyday Smarty is already becoming more successful.

So I am sharing what I have learned in the hope that it helps someone else, some other female founder in her journey to success.

Yes I want to continue achieving my dreams, and no I don’t know what the future holds, but I promised to myself to love and be grateful for everyday of the life no matter what I do!

So do not be shy Darling DREAM BIG!

______

Update: Since I published this post I have received a lot of emails. Thank you all for reading and sharing this short story. As it was requested here is more information about what we are creating at Smarty. We have been working with hundreds of entrepreneurs in the last few years, and we found out that many struggle with marketing and operations in their business. We have therefore created all in one business software to support small business owners, find out more at www.smartysoftware.net Recently we have also launched the consultancy-mentorship programme. Our marketing experts and business consultants have created a useful mentorship and marketing support product for any start-up and micro business. Every month you can take and advantage of mentorship and advice sessions, active assistance with creating your marketing campaigns, landing pages and help with leads generation, for more information click here.

You can reach me on agnesg@smartysoftware.net or follow me Agnes Gradzewicz