Celebrating with cake is crucial to The GFC, The Girl Friday Culture, and there’s no better reason to celebrate than our milestone 1st birthday!
Sitting here coming down from an Easter/birthday sugar high, I’m taking some time to look back over the last 12 months and reflect on the adventure so far.
I thought I was prepared for the work involved in running my own business. But I didn’t fully appreciate how much work was involved, until I actually started the business. From the never-ending to-do list, constant planning ahead, ridiculously late nights and consuming infinite sleeves of Nespresso coffee pods (note to self: order more) – I’ve found it really difficult to switch off. Even during my downtime, I’ll be making notes, sneaking glances at emails and adding to the to-do list. Conversations with my fiancé, family and friends will always drift towards work. It’s been all-consuming. But every challenge has been an opportunity to learn and grow. And every win has been an excuse for cake.
Eating at my desk, being glued to a screen and getting deep into sleep deprivation territory, these are just some of the terrible habits that contributed to a few moments of near burnout over the past 12 months. It’s still a work in progress but I’m learning that it’s ok to say no. I’m getting over the pangs of guilt that taking time for myself somehow means that I’m neglecting my work or clients. On a professional level, it means that I can recharge, clear some much-needed headspace and get back to doing my best work. And on the personal front, I can spend some proper quality time with friends and family, preferably over some good food and wine. Oh and maybe this will be the year I get around to organising a wedding at some point (yes Mum and Dad it’s on the list).
Everyone thinks working for yourself and being your own boss is the shizzle. The flexible hours, greater professional and creative freedom, pants off Friday all day every day, it sounds liberating yeah? But it’s not all rainbow sprinkles and unicorns. It can be lonely AF. You don’t have the benefit of sounding out ideas or problems with workmates and as for chatting about the new season of Billions over Friday night drinks, forget about it. For this little social butterfly, this has been a really challenging transition. But I’ve been incredibly fortunate to make some genuine connections with other like-minded people and communities, who keep me motivated and accountable.
In my previous 9-5 life, I was told that I needed to be, and I quote, “more generic”. Anyone who knows me, knows that this was a red rag to a raging bull. It gave me all the motivation to make Girl Friday IP anything but an effing generic business. From communications with clients, connecting with collaborators to my social media engagement, I make damn sure that I’m open, honest, having some fun and most of all I’m being myself. Besides pretending to be anyone else would require constant constume changes that I just don’t have the time (or wardrobe) for. So, to the gent who gifted me with the challenge to be “more generic”, I owe you a beer.
It makes no sense Keeping Up with The Kardashians, especially if reality TV isn’t your jam. Every business is as different as the business owners themselves. Which is why I’ve made a conscious effort not to compare and despair about competitors in the marketplace. Their motivations, message and audience are different. By respecting and accepting that there is and will always be competition, I can focus my energy on perfecting my craft and doing the work I love. Keeping up with my clients, their wants and needs – now that’s my jam.
Remember that to-do list I mentioned earlier? There’s about a bajillion things on it. I’ve found bajillion is the universal metric for most business owners and their endless tasks. I’ve also found despite my best intentions to complete and tick 100 things off that list each day, it was a pipe dream. The stress and anxiety it brought on, made it impossible to stay focussed and to be productive. Now opting for quality over quantity, I’m mindful of the daily, weekly and monthly tasks I set for myself. Taking small but purposeful steps is better than trying to take two or three steps, losing your footing and landing on your face.
P.S: A massive thank you to everyone who has supported Girl Friday IP this past year. You’re all bloody legends.