Business Is A Tough Gig
The Road To Nowhere Is A Straight Line.
We all want life to be easy. Like driving on a straight as an arrow country road out west in rural Australia.
We drive. And drive. For kilometres. Without ever seeing a change in scenery. Or a kink in the road.
But statistics say these are the most dangerous roads to drive on. With more accidents. And more fatalities. Than the twisting, curving, bending, roller coaster roads that I drive on in my rural patch. That is heaven on earth. In the picturesque Central Tablelands of NSW. Australia. Where being ever alert is the modus operandi.
As drivers on these flat, straight roads, we become complacent. Fall asleep from boredom. Get distracted while changing CD’s or tapes. Lose concentration while adjusting the air conditioning. Nor are we prepared for the wildlife which, out of nowhere, charges in front of us to cross the road.
Because we think it’s an easy drive. We don’t have our antennae up. Receiving signals about the changes in the landscape.
Life. And business. Is the same.
The easier something is to achieve. The less likely that we’re alert to the changes that can bring us down. Rendering our achievements null and void.
When I was working for PA Consulting Group in Australia, the consultants were all men. With MBA’s. From wealthy Australian families. Educated at expensive private boarding schools. With many tentacles reaching out into the old boy’s network. So they could bring in the best clients.
These were exceedingly gracious men of all ages. Well mannered. Sophisticated. Very cluey.
One of the consultants, a very gentle soul, from a very wealthy farming family, wowed us in the office one day. He said that he and his wife, who he had been married to for 5 years and had 2 children, had never had a cross word between them. We all shook our heads in disbelief. How lucky can one man be?!
Several months later he arrived at work in a state of distress. And in a complete shambles. When he went home the night before, he found an empty house. No furniture. No wife. No children.
The ‘never had a cross word between them’ meant there was no real communication between the two. There were no bumps in the road to smooth over. No bends to pull him up short. To make him stop and think about his marriage. The reality was — his wife was unhappy. He never knew. And she left because she couldn’t see a better life ahead with him.
Their straight line of perfection was a road to an irretrievable marriage breakdown.
Life is lived in the zig zag lane. This applies to people. And to every business.
Look at the biography of any performer. Artist. Author — especially JK Rowling. They could paper their walls with rejection slips.
There are times when ending a business is unavoidable. Such as when the bank pulls the plug on your financing. Or closing down a business when one partner wants out.
Some people are devastated by the experience. And never dip their toes in that water again.
Others jump right back in. And start anew.
Watch any child learning to walk. Every time they fall down. They get back up. And start again. They learn from each fall. And they never say with every setback — “I’m never going to do this again.” They do it again. And again. Because they are determined to walk.
Somewhere along the road to adulthood, our expectations changed from one of try. And try again. To one of — this isn’t working out. I’ll try something else.
We reinvented ourselves. And started anew. With our business, The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies.
When I rang business friends in Sydney to let them know what we were doing, I was taken by the comments from two friends who own very successful businesses.
Although told to me in different words, the gist was the same. Both had started businesses before their current business. And both regretted closing them down before they became successful. Because they were impatient. To be successful.
One told me to never give up. No matter how hard the road becomes, he said, remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Victor and I have been down many dark alleys trying to get our signature, first product, the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover, established. With no money. All done on a shoestring.
Selling a humble ironing board cover to people who hated to iron.
We found ourselves in black holes that terrified us. Because we didn’t know what we were doing.
Our path to success has been a road full of zig zags. But we learned from every twist and turn. And are far more knowledgeable today about how to run our business than anyone who has ever had what is called a ‘dream run’.
And we’ve also had the joy of building on our history of achievements.
To reach 400,000 customers. In 30 countries.
And knowing that we’ve built something worthwhile out of the ashes of the Paul Keating’s 1992 recession ‘we had to have’. Which put an end to many a persons’ dreams.
Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
Life Behind The Scenes With The Ironing Diva are my stories about how my partner, Victor Pleshev, and I created a new life out of the ashes of Australia’s ‘recession we had to have’. How did we design 8 products? And get them to market? How did we build a worldwide business from broke? How did we carve out a rural lifestyle that is the envy of our friends? And our customers? How did we create a beautiful hectare of garden out of a barren paddock sitting atop an infertile rock shelf? It wasn’t easy. But this is the business and the lifestyle that we built from scratch. The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies.