Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! – Goethe
It will cost $75,000…or thereabouts. It’s hard to say for sure.
Apart from buying a house, I’ve never spent $75,000 on anything, never considered it, never come close.
Who does that?!
… so I guess I’m now officially an entrepreneur.
After two fast-paced weeks of conversations with web developers, potential backers and business advisors, I have a contract to build a website for my new social enterprise – a marketplace for a kinder way of giving.
Work starts Monday. We’ll have a website a month before Christmas.
The best way to describe how I feel right now is, “eeeeeeeeeek!”
I’m so excited. I’m so terrified.
This is what my kinder life was always going to be about – having the freedom to envision, and then create, a business venture that delivers social good. Getting out of my comfort zone along the way.
But first I was meant to have a few months, a year perhaps, to meditate, play, dream, chill out.
Not how I planned it …
I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.
I didn’t expect days filled with meetings.
I didn’t expect sleepless nights.
I didn’t even let myself think about the financial risks.
And now it’s all real.
What do I know about building a website? Not a lot. I did build this one although it’s not quite on the same scale :-). I recently gave a (small) helping hand to create the HelpTank website (an awesome platform connecting willing volunteers with charities that need their skills… Check it out!). I wrote content and helped deliver a website for the Courts of New Zealand a long time ago.
What do I know about setting up a business or a charitable trust? Erm, not much.
Do I have lawyers, accountants, digital marketers and big pockets to pay them with? A corporate partner? Erm, no … not yet.
In my favour …
I do have amazing people who are lining up to help. One of the most incredible and inspiring things over the past couple of weeks has been the number of genuinely awesome, caring, supportive people who want to help and are generously giving their time, knowledge, and skills to help make this happen.
This is where I say a really big thank you to some of the people who have helped so greatly this week alone: Tracey Bridges, Sue McCabe, Tamsin Wilkins, Jane Armitage, Andy Kerr, Mike O’Donnell, Ian Fay (big plug for Deloitte!), Louise Aitken (big plug for Akina!) and Luke Pierson (plug for Heyday!). And to the wonderful, ‘can-do’ Daniel at my chosen web development agency, Touchtech. I’m grateful for the charities I am speaking with. I’m grateful to all the friends and former colleagues who are checking in with offers to help. Even my hairdresser! I’m grateful to my family who have even stopped asking when I’m going back to real work.
The only way I can explain the amazing amount of support I have had, and the progress I’ve been able to make, is with this quote from WH Murray (It’s a long quote but please don’t skim it!):
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man* could have dreamt would have come his way.”
(*That should read ‘no man or woman‘ of course.)
I do believe that the moment you commit to something, everything you need falls into place. I can’t help but believe it more every day since committing to this wild adventure.
It’s nothing short of a miracle that in two weeks I’ve managed to appoint a web developer who is confident they can deliver the website within my ridiculously short timeframes, that I have a talented graphic designer already working to develop a brand, and that I’ve received offers of financial backing, legal assistance, technical support, and business support and advice.
I could have looked at the risks and chosen to draw back, play it safe, not commit, ‘maybe later!’. But it’s only been through committing, that everything I need is coming my way.
Nothing good ever happens when you sit on the fence.
I’m still nervous. I still don’t know how it’ll all work out. I still need those accountants and digital marketers, and a good-hearted corporate partner with perfectly aligned values and motivations would be nice.
I can only trust that it will all keep working out. Let’s just see what the universe delivers for my kinder life between now and Christmas :-).
- For an inspiring personal story about what happens when you decide to commit, check out this Stanford Graduate School of Business talk on YouTube. (Note that the speaker attributes the same WH Murray quote I’ve used to Goethe – I’ve searched the web and there’s lots of confusion about who actually said it, but the weight of opinion seems to be with WH Murray).
- As always, I’m always very grateful for your comments (which you can leave below) and your shares (which can you do easily by clicking the social media icons below too).
- Thank you!