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Tina Boden of Enterprise Rockers says there are too many unrealistic media stories about starting a business. She wants more real-life role models.
Over recent years society has become more and more focused on ‘celebrity’ inspiration; sports stars, pop stars, stars of the big screen, business stars – the list goes on. But what we are seeing, hearing and reading is far more fiction than reality. Back in the real world people are likely to be found in the middle of the road rather than in pole position and many will end up back on the grid after a false start. That is why I believe it is important that we look around us at those real people we come across everyday for inspiration.
Who really inspires you? Think about it for a moment. I can tell you instantly who sits at the top of my own personal list and I will give you a clue, they aren’t famous, or on the TV! My inspiration came from my parents and grandparents. There had been both successes and disasters in my parent’s business history but this did not put either my brother or I off. My brother and sister-in-law’s business employs over 100 staff and by choice, I have never had a business that has employed more than 5, now there is Only Me Here. We are both successful in different ways. Things that motivate my brother are very different to things that motivate me. It is true Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, John Gray the author of this book is correct, this applies as much in the business world as anywhere.
When it comes to inspirational businesses and people, it does concern me that ‘success’ seems to always be attached to the size of the business, whether it was sold for a profit or makes a certain turnover each year. Well, what if a woman starts her own business to give her a better work-life balance, which in turn brings a positive impact on both her and her family? Do the same press and media that only bring us famous or failure stories have to give it a title that is then down valued?
A lifestyle business is just that; it allows women, and men of course, to be able to juggle the things they need to in this busy world we live in whilst earning an income from something they have a passion. If you only want to earn £200 a week from your business because that will make a difference to your household budget then where is the problem with that? This should be celebrated and seen as an achievement though it is highly unlikely any woman that does this will be standing on a stage receiving a shiny statue because a £20K turnover will not be seen as a business success.
Ladies take it from me; if you want to launch your own business to earn enough money to allow you to do the things you want to do in this very short life we have then go for it. Do not be uninspired by what you see on TV or in the newspapers and magazines, get out there in your local community where there will be lots of ladies who are doing exactly the same thing as you – running their own ‘successful’ micro business. You can collaborate with those ladies, network with them, moan and rejoice together, if you have kids you will probably find you will have a babysitter while you go off to a meeting, but whatever the reason you want to start up or keep going in your business make sure you measure your success in a way that suits you.
*Tina Boden is a micro-business expert, who successfully runs several micro-businesses of her own. She is the founder of Only Me Here and co-founder of Enterprise Rockers, a community interest company created to support the many micro-businesses (those with 0-9 employees) both in the UK and overseas. For more information visit www.enterpriserockers.co.uk.