Expansion isn't easy. Don't get me wrong - everyone has been supportive, but I have had to pull inner strength from places I never knew existed. You see, when you start a business at 25, there is no such thing as fear. You have nothing to lose. I had nothing to lose to be more precise. Blessed with a wonderful partner at home at the time, I was fully supported and encouraged to go out there and give it my best. And that I did.
Success came easily and there were no major confidence blows.
I felt like the world was at my feet. And it was.
Today, it's a different story. I have a lot to lose and miss out on. The latter is important to consider. My family and friends are in Australia. To make a big move, I have to leave them and it will be only every few months that I get to touch base with a select few.
There is also alot to lose. Market share, money, confidence and positioning.
Will my Australian operations survive without me there face to face daily? I have put all the procedures in place and we are still learning as we go, but it seems to be still going strong.
Money, well that's a given. It is obscenely expensive to expand your business. There are bills that you never knew existed for everything from setting up your business, immigration, insurance, a home, accounting, office space, telephones - the list is endless. It costs a bomb!
Confidence is something that is more personnel. When you are flying high and have been for quite some year, you get quite comfortable in your 'lot' in life. I was comfortable. But here I am, putting myself out there like I did when I was 25 and it's scary, intimidating and a cause for much anxiety. I have been terrified that with my Australian accent, no-one will understand me. That they won't trust my company because we are a 'startup' here. That the people I employ won't turn out. It goes on and on. I am truly pathetic! I can't remember the last time I had to walk into a room of strangers and present myself and my business.
Positioning is surprisingly personal too. When you achieve a certain amount of traction with your business, people see you in a particular light. What if it fails and all of a sudden they see me as a failure? As an entrepreneur, I am expected to embrace failure, but who am I kidding? Although I deeply want to be that person, I still don't want to fail. I have learned enough hard lessons - so please, don't throw any more at me!
I feel like I am up and down like a yoyo. One minute I am full of beans and excited about life, the next I have my head in the sand asking myself "what am I doing?"
I want this. I really do. I can't tell you how much I want this. More than anything, I have to do this. It's on my bucketlist. It's also my dream.
Amazingly, I love so many things about America, that excitement mounts every time I go outside and breathe in the fresh air. It cheaper - number one (Atlanta that is!). People are new and exciting with interesting stories to tell. They all seem quite happy to share experiences and it inspires me. It also gives me ideas.
How have you accepted major change in your life? I am interested in you sharing your stories whether its about business or life. Sometimes, sharing is the only way to make peace with change.
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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Hi Mellissah. Liked the way you have shared your thoughts and concerns when it comes to 're-starting' in the US. I am in the midst of starting a business of my own and can relate very closely to the see-saw of emotions you are feeling.
Stay positive and keep the ball rolling forward, and I am sure your new venture in the US will be a cracking success.
Well done Mellissah. I can relate to every point of your message as I am in the same boat. It's that blind faith that keeps us going, albeit sometimes by the seat of our pants but nonetheless, it gets us there. Good luck in the US and I hope you get to expand into more markets.
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