When I was 24 my brother and I made the choice of taking over a part of the family business that my grandparents started in the 60s. I had already been working in the company for almost 10 years and taking over part of it seemed like the obvious thing to do.
My brother and I started our journey as business owners with over 100 employees in a business that we knew nothing about. To say the least the following 4 years were a roller coaster. It had its ups and downs and plenty of unsuspected loops and turns. We held on to the best of our ability through lawsuits, employees going behind our backs and being very close to bankruptcy several times.
After 4 years my brother and I one afternoon during a walk looked at each other and asked “why are we doing this?”. When we came back to the office we marked in the calendar 6 months ahead and we said to each other that if we at that date still didn’t have any fun we would choose something different. The following 6 months our new future unfolded itself and 1 week before that marked date in the calendar we signed the last papers to close the company down.
Now, it would be very easy to say that we made a mistake that we shouldn’t have taken the company on from the beginning. And it would have been very easy to listen to other people’s judgments and reasons to why we “failed”. They were so young, they didn’t know the business, they had no idea how to run a company etc.
And for a long while I listened to all of that and I judged myself a lot, like a lot a lot. In my own head I was a failure, a stupid young blonde that didn’t know what I was doing.
But my question to you now is this…was it a mistake of me to make that choice as a 24 year old? Or was it exactly what was required for me to get to where I am today?
What if there was no such thing as failure? What if there was no such thing as a wrong choice?
I urge you to, right now, take a look at something in your life that you have judged as a failure…you got it? Now…turn it upside down and ask this question, “What was exactly right about this?”
Today I am grateful for those 4 years. As a 29 year old I have of course not experienced everything, but a lot when it comes to running a business. And most importantly I today know what works for me and I know what I want to choose. That doesn’t mean that everything is always pink, fluffy clouds and rainbows, sometimes it’s hard and sometimes I feel like giving up. But I do make the choice every day to allow my inner compass, my gut feeling, my awareness to speak louder than other people’s judgments and points of view.
To me listening and trusting myself in business is priceless and not something I learned in school, it’s something I cultivate every day by living, by taking risks and not being afraid of “failing”. This is how I today choose to live my life and run my business and I know for sure that I would not be here if I didn’t make that so called “wrong” choice 5 years ago.
Amanda Anderson Belluso is a coach, business leader, Access Consciousness Certified Facilitator, Joy of Business Facilitator and Right Voice for You Facilitator. With her experience in business and strategic planning her strength is to see the big picture and connect the dots that others might not.
Learn more about Amanda and her upcoming class Business Done Different, here.