More often I am finding myself mentoring young people, which I find highly enjoyable (possibly stemming from my one time aspiration of wanting to be a high-school principal). I know being 30 to some is young, but to the people I mentor, I am old and wise. I think I was probably old and wise to 18 year olds when I was 21 actually. But don’t get me started on what being old is. That is a thesis in itself. When a former 16 year-old work experience student was posed the question “What is old to you?”, she, after some thought, said “27”!
So, yeah I am old.
Anyway, I was recently asked by a secondary school student this question: What are some challenges you have faced or face daily/weekly?
That stumped me for a moment, because I thought “what can I say without writing a 200 page thesis and boring everyone with my woes?”.
My answer to this question gave me the inspiration for this post. I realised the biggest challenge of all is having feelings of guilt which is a challenge for many women, especially those with children.
I work 7 days a week, and when I am not working I feel guilty. I even feel guilty when I am working because I feel that regardless of what I am doing, I feel as if maybe I should be spending time doing something else. I feel guilty that I am not working harder and I definitely feel guilty that I am working so hard and am not spending more time simply enjoying the life I get to live only once.
So many people leave 9-5 jobs (with weekends AND annual leave!) for the dream of having “work-life balance” and being their own boss, only to find themselves having the exact opposite.
Metaphorically speaking, having your own business is seriously like having a child:
All the time worrying and feeling like you could have, should have, need to have, done more. But like any parent, anyone in this situation would say all the challenges you face “are worth it”. There is no feeling like signing your first lease (first tooth), or your first client (first steps), or your first business trip (first words). It’s an adrenaline-fueled roller coaster, which is totally addictive, but not for the faint hearted.
As all parents know, nurturing an infant means good-bye to weekends, goodbye to 9-5 ,and good-bye to annual leave. These disappear when you decide to create something for yourself. But we take the leap of faith in the hope this creation will grow up big and strong, and support us in retirement so we can have all the beach holidays we’ve ever dreamed of.
I leave you with some images of one of my children, Mina & Katusha, launched this week. Our latest collection!
Proud as punch.
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