How starting a business has helped me harness my anxiety

Kerrianne Jenkins
Dec 2, 2018 · 4 min read

I’m an anxious person. I like being in control and having everything organised in a way that works for me.

I struggle with in-house politics that sometimes overruns workplaces. I like to know where I stand with people. I’m honest, open and wear my heart on my sleeve.

This can mean I can be taken for granted and treated badly. I’m sensitive and care about others which often means I put myself second. I want to do well and have the best work ethic. All of this creates a lot of anxiety!

So how can I find a job that will support all I am as a person, mother, and wife, while also encouraging me to be better in a nurturing way and not trigger my anxieties?

This is my anxiety drawn out at a counselling session in early 2018.

My husband works for himself as a contractor. We both work under our business entity The 25th Company. We had everything set up for me to start my own project, but….I’ve always been a bit scared of being ‘the boss’.

Me, a leader? I just didn’t feel like I had the skills or experience or even education required to start my own business. Luckily, my husband is super skilled and educated and has a huge amount of experience in the UX world so I figured I could just use him as a brains trust. He is also incredibly supportive so I knew I would have him on my side.

Maybe I could hone my energy into something that’s mine and not have to worry about all the anxiety-driving emotions that come from working for someone else. I know I have the motivation to start something myself — now, all I need is to pretend I have the confidence.

I decided to try, and an idea came quite quickly once I opened myself up to finding something new. Hello thingsforkids.com.au.

Once I had made the decision to start my own business there was no stopping me. I’m honing my anxious energy into something that could one day support my family, give my husband the ability to work full-time from home, allow us to move away from the city to a more affordable housing situation, allow me the flexibility to work around my ‘emotional bad days’ and provide more financial support then any other workplace would be willing to give me.

It’s also very rewarding to be building a platform that can support families and mothers who may struggle with parenting as much as I do. Thingsforkids.com.au is an online resource which allows parents or carers the ability to find activities within their area or an area they want to visit by using a simple and easy to use map. There is no other tool like this in Australia.

thingsforkids.com.au homepage.

Having struggled with post-natal depression with my first child I know how hard it can be to leave the house. I’m hoping thingsforkids.com.au can help those parents like me.

On a bit of a sadder note, having lost my father to suicide when I was 17, I have a lot of anxiety around losing my husband. Not in the same way but in the way that life can deal you bad cards sometimes.

I worry that if something was to happen to him I wouldn’t be able to financially support my family. I’m not used to relying on someone 100% for financial support. Thingsforkids.com.au has helped that part of my anxiety. It’s giving me independence which is something I have always sought, leaving home at a young age and working to support myself.

I’m not going to say my anxieties are all gone — of course, they aren’t. But what running my own business has given me is focus. It’s giving me the chance to move away from the day to day and think about the future. Independence gives my anxiety more direction. I can use my anxiety to motivate me, encourage me, and support me in the huge endeavour that is starting my own business.

If you feel you have similar struggles as me, I encourage you to try to find something that can provide focus and give your anxiety direction. Talk it out with the people closest to you. You might find your future business partner by opening up about your dreams to a friend who has similar ideas and who never had the courage to take the plunge themselves.

If you struggle with depression or PND please contact https://www.beyondblue.org.au or https://www.panda.org.au/.

Kerrianne Jenkins

Written by

CEO of thingsforkids.com.au

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