In September 2015, I launched Nudge, my communications advisory with a solid business plan template, the optimism of a 28-year-old, a few thousand in my bank account and my future in front of me. Well, I had what I thought was a solid business plan, a marketing strategy and a rough idea about how I wanted to run the business. But, less than a year and a half later in 2017, shortly after I got married, I found out I was pregnant with twins and everything changed. I was stuck with choosing a career or children.
Or so I thought.
I had to think quickly about the future of the business. Was I going to shut it down? No, I needed income. Was I going to hire more people to come on board? No, that would require investment and longer lead time than I had. Was I going to stop working for a year or two and come back to it? A possibility, but I loved working and was never cut out to be a stay at home mother. Was my husband going to leave his job? As the higher earner of the two of us, that wasn’t a smart choice, and he also did not want to remain at home with the children. So, the only option was for me to create a revenue stream using my skill set and knowledge and package it in a way that would let me reach audiences far beyond my geographical location of the UAE.
The answer was to use technology and digital platforms to my advantage and make babies a part of my business plan. I set about drastically changing the way I did business because it now had to fit around my family. Here are 3 lessons I learnt along the way and how you can create a kick ass template that adds babies to your business plan .
Be clear about what you want. In my corporate job I was tired of being underpaid and not being recognised for the work, I was doing. I was not afraid to put in the hours and of doing tough work, but I was scared of never being able to afford a house on a tiny salary. Going out on my own meant I was in control of how much I earned. When I realised that I was pregnant and there would be a time where that revenue stream would not be possible to optimise, I had to be creative and revisit my business plan template. Ask yourself – What metrics can be fixed and what can be flexible? Your time, income, place of work, commute and skill set can all be set in different modes but what works for you? Can you cut out your commute time if you work remotely? Can you be paid in monthly retainers instead of a big consultancy cheque? Could you work from 6-10pm daily if it meant you could volunteer in the day?
Everything takes longer than you think it will. That should be fuel enough for you to start today. My online courses took 3 different teams for almost a year to complete. Saving for my trade license look 2 months more than I had planned because I underestimated how much I would need and 3rd parties always work on different timelines to yours. Add timelines to your business plan template. If you want something done you either do it yourself or understand that it will be done using someone else’s time. Ask yourself – where do you want to be in a years time? Where do you want to be in a month? Work back from there.
The competition doesn’t matter. If you have a product with a unique proposition, and there’s a captive audience to buy, then you don’t need to focus on distractions. Competitors will always compete, but if you’re after a different target market, then you don’t need to worry. Focus on your business plan template, stay the course, stay in your own lane and stay on your own mat. Your motivations, your skill set and experience, sets you apart and makes you different from everyone else in the world. Get off social media, get out of the fluff and focus on what is real, tangible and infront of you.