This is technically my second leap of faith. The first is where I left everything behind back in Canada to start a crazy expat life in Beijing. First one was more “life oriented”. This is more “business oriented”, but still kinda life oriented. Now, before I tell you how to make it happen, please understand that this is based off my personal experience that came with the luck of living through failed business ventures. Sarcasm, nice! Yes, it happens, so you need to accept that it can be a very real possibility. And it usually costs a whole of a lot more then just money… But you’re not in it for failure, you must be in it because you believe in it, are willing to work hard for it and because it is fun. Work can be fun?! It must be. Or else, why would you going through all this pain?
Now what is this thing about “Leap of Faith”? Since I’ve been to China, I got the chance to try a couple of things. One of which is the very comfortable teaching job that a lot of people can sit on and spend their life just chilling without real ambition. I’ve been working on a couple marketing contracts here and there, but recently, the work has started to pile up and so did the offers. I needed to make a choice. Comfy life as a teacher regardless of how cute the kids are versus taking a leap of faith (Ahh! The title makes sense now!) and fully invest myself into my career as a marketing strategy consultant and build myself a marketing agency. Wait, a marketing agency?! Yes, you heard right, I’m build a marketing agency. A “borderless” one at that. Now what fueled that decision to start this business and move away from my current comfort? Besides stubbornness. I’ll tell you what fueled it and also what made me through with it. The factors I personally considered. Everyone can have different factors, it’s a personal decision after all. But these are mine and maybe it will help you think of yours.
First off, I’ve been working like a demon here. Whoa, really?! Yeah. Teaching full time, doing contracts in marketing, doing tutoring and networking. Through these networking events, I met some amazing people, some of which wanted to do more business with me. But the teaching job is a bit of turn off for most Beijingers here. Why? Well… Foreign teachers are liked mainly by the parents. Everyone else in the business world regards them with a different and somewhat less charming opinion. None the less, I was being a teacher as a way to get by in an unknown country without speaking the language. Meanwhile, contracts started to pile up. It started with Kakuka which was the first one to ask me to become their consultant (thanks for the push guys!). And you know what, I liked it. I loved it. I had and still have fun doing it. I still work with them by the way. Then another. And another. That’s 3 contracts as a marketing consultant plus a full-time job as a teacher plus some extra tutoring… I don’t know for you guys, but there’s only 24h in a day and regardless of how much of a workaholic you are, it takes a toll on your body and you need to make a decision. I already had people believing in me and was already establishing myself. This is what fueled it. Now what actually made me take the leap?
First off, I already had contracts and income from it. I had established myself as a hard worker and a reliable trustworthy person. I intend to keep that reputation because here, in China, reputation is everything. Second, I had reached my limit. You could have given up sleep, no? No! In order to say yes to more of what I’m good at, I needed to let go of something. And sleep is not something I would recommend letting go of. That left me with one option, the comfort of teaching and although I got quite a big pay cut, I do believe I will compensate fast with additional contracts. Money was barely an excuse here, even if it can be stressful at the beginning there was only one thing stopping me from doing it. Fear. It creeps on you and takes a hold. The fear of failure. I had already tasted it twice. I’m still paying for it. I wanted to challenge it again. If fear is the only excuse and your gut feeling and your logic are aligned, do it. And you did ? And I did.
I’m going on a holiday for the next two weeks. Yey, Chinese New Year! (although I’ll still be working) I’m going to take that time to build the marketing agency and everything that comes with it. Basically, the brand of the agency and the people that will be part of it. One thing I want to push through this agency is what people gave me. Trust. As people trusted me to help them, I want to build an agency that help companies build trust with their customers and for me, that also means choosing who I’m going to do business with. Weird business model. I know. But the more I move forward, the more I realized something. People want to believe and trust other people. Why not do the same for companies? Before I say yes to a contract, I want to be like any other customer and know I can trust this company. Meet up, talk, create a real human connection. Business will come after. I think we’ve all had enough BS in our daily life and we all deserve more from both people and companies around us. Now what to call this amazing little dream of mine…?
Today’s item on the list :
Launch a new business venture. Be fearless! (almost…)
What am I reading now?
- Hacking Growth by Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis
- Game of Thrones – A Dance with Dragons
If you like the blog, support it to keep it going.