I had my first job when I was fifteen. I lied about my age to secure a Saturday job in a local fruit and veg shop. Since that moment and for the rest of my employed life I was never out of work. I took it upon myself to walk through each job I had, taking each tiny piece of information and each moment of experience and used it to push myself more and more into the career I thought I wanted.
During my years as an employed, working woman the thought of starting my own business and taking that terrifying leap into the world of self-employment regularly entered my head. I would imagine myself as the successful shop owner, then as a renowned publishing mogul and finally as the wedding planner to the stars. The business ideas came and went as often as my monthly salary.
After having children and realising that working for someone else was an unrealistic ideal, I began to look more seriously at the options open to me and that was when I decided to make the final move and make my dreams a reality.
Since 2009 I have strived to carve the successful career I’ve always longed for and it wasn’t until recently that I realised that I already have it. I may not have millions in the bank and I may not live in that twenty acre estate in the heart of the countryside but I am running two successful companies and growing them day by day.
However, as each day passes and I find myself having to make more and more important and potentially life changing decisions with regards to each company, I am beginning to ask myself the same question over and over again. Am I faking it?
If I’m being totally honest I can admit that I’ve never received any qualifications when it comes to business, economics or even A-Levels. I’ve never been on any kind of business or management related courses and if I’m going to continue being honest I’ll admit that I have no interest in going on any such courses.
Am I really a business woman or am I just playing the business game and faking my knowledge and know-how on the way? And if I am considered by others to be faking it, how many other business owners out there are doing the same thing? Can I be trusted to build a company from the ground up using knowledge I have acquired from my managers, employers and colleagues of the past?
I’m happy to report that so far all is going better than I could have ever expected it to and after speaking to some fellow business owners with qualifications on the same level as mine (none what so ever), they seem to be seeing similar results. I don’t look at them and wonder if it’s all just a clever façade and I rarely consider whether they are doubting their skills. They simply appear to get their heads down, work hard and get on with it.
Does this mean that choosing to go into business is a result of something deep within each of us, that it’s a calling we simply can’t ignore? Most of us have either met or heard of that elusive entrepreneur who, over the space of forty years, has started business after business but never quite managed to reach that end goal. Are we all on the same road chasing business dreams and at the same time building fake images and perceptions for the benefit of others? Or are we just doing the same as every successful entrepreneur before us has done, worked hard, made the right choices and reaped the rewards?
I expect the only time any of us will know the answer is when we are in a position to look back over twenty years of business. When we are given the chance to look at each failure and each triumph and know how it affected our businesses and our lives. Until I reach that point, I expect there to be many times when I ask myself the question ‘Am I faking it?’