Did I have any idea of what setting up my own business would be like?
11 years ago I was so green behind the gills with the world of commerce. Yes seriously naive, trusting and assuming.
Did I think I was? Probably not!
I thought if someone said they would do something they would (my upbringing), that businesses traded with integrity (I am still surprised by many who don't) and .... it was incredibly easy to grow a business.
Would you have imagined yourself with a chocolate business?
I hope I don't disappoint you but no ... I didn't. I always felt that one day I would do my own thing as I was born with this ember inside me. Chocolate grabbed hold of me ... and the trip has been an incredibly exhilarating one.
The ember ... that I needed to prove, to myself and my family, was that somewhere, despite my teachers protestations, I had an ounce of intelligence and capability to do SOMETHING.
The DNA which races around my system has a dollop of; Ransomes (seriously slick lawnmowers!), Fisons (sorry guys fertilisers but at the time it was founded they were much needed), Rope Ales & Stouts (Orford brewers) and a few other things. So why couldn't I have some of this talent inside me.
It was a risk I had to take and one I have absolutely no regrets in taking.
What three things have you discovered about running your business?
When I set up in 2007 we were about to hit a recession and there was a serious dearth in funding and help. It had its plus points; few people setting up and its negative points; lack of funding or a knowledge base to guide me. It meant being resourceful and knocking on a lot of doors.
There are many things I have discovered with running your own business but three which stand out are:
- It nags/gnaws away at you 24/7
- Some of the places you visit and people you get to meet will blow you away
- Not all people play clean
What three things have you learnt about yourself?
It has been my very own MBA ... just taken 11 years ...
- I have grit and perseverance
- I can commit (I think the longest relationship I had had before my business was 6 months ... ask me to commit to a plan a few days ahead and I ran a mile)
- I will always want to climb mountains and there are many more left to climb. Just get me to the view on the top ... please.
What would you I like a sprinkle more of?
- Less 'experts' ... more doers
- To go and explore more
- Fun and glitter balls