Scared fearless

Written by: Christie Quarton

You’d expect me to write a very conquest-driven start-up story, but nope like most people, I was filled with doubts and fear. Let’s back this up, so you understand where I was coming from. I started my career in big corporates, lots of captains, lots of deadlines and deliverables, and a “secure” track to the top. As long as you put in your hours, sacrificed your mental peace, and sucked up to the right people, you could enjoy the corner office view in due time. What happens though when the illusion of security is taken away from you because of company reorganizations and health challenges (those over hours come at a serious cost).

I thought I had it all figured out. Just go to university and get your master’s degree in business and work hard and you too can become successful (in the eyes of society). When that plan didn’t fall through, I was pushed to rethink everything I thought success meant. Throughout my years plowing away in corporate life, many had whispered to me that I should start something of my own. I brushed it off as a retirement plan, but now, when faced with life’s twists and turns, it suddenly started to seem very attractive, albeit still scary. How am I going to earn enough money for a living? How am I going to manage everything on my own? I know a lot, but certainly, not all that is required to start a business? Where am I going to get clients? What type of business is best to start? Funny, how I got good grades in my business classes & certifications, but to start-up, I felt utterly clueless.

However, it was a beautician who made me rethink everything and get the courage to start. She needed someone to help them with their online presence, and I happened to be there as a model (lol – free facials anyone?) when a friend who was also there told her that I am very good at branding & social media. She immediately told me that she’d be very interested in meeting up so we could discuss her challenges with digital marketing. I kept putting the meeting off until a friend kicked me in the ass and told me to get on with it. So I made an appointment, and we met up. It went fantastic, and I was really in my element. I wondered – is this what start-up life feels like?

That meeting was the gamechanger for me as she indicated that she would hire me but as an independent consultant. That meant that I had to get registered as a business and take this thing seriously. Before I did that, I went to a couple of trade events for start-ups to know what I was getting myself into. Well, the conclusion to all of my information search online and offline was that everyone just tried! You have to get on with it. Of course, you should always check what the tax office and business registry require of you, but after that – it’s freeform. You fill it in with what you’d like.

Starting a business is all about becoming your best self (I know – we at Starters Station keep hammering on that, but it’s so TRUE). Your business trajectory is the unveiling of who you are and what you stand for, not a bad thing to do some character-building while you are growing your business.

How’d it ended up with me? I ended up getting client after client without doing much marketing because of referrals. Of course, it’s a bit of luck; however, luck ultimately is preparation meets opportunity and luck increases the closer you get to yourself. Of course, do as much as you can to learn what is necessary for you to work your business but choose something worth waking up in the morning.

My fellow starter Tom Zonneveld has a great series on what is required for you to successfully start-up through learning how not to do it.

Still a bit iffy on this start-up thing, but do you want to leap? Just get ignited with us. We’d be happy to talk to you so you can confidently take steps towards starting up.

<a href="https://startersstation.com/blogs/author/christie/" target="_self">Christie Quarton</a>

Christie Quarton

Within Starters Station I support ambitious starters with positioning their products & services with the right communication & branding tools to connect with the right target groups.

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