My Post Graduation Story
“I joined the Brunel MBA in 2003 and specialised in entrepreneurship and international marketing. After graduating in the summer of 2005, I found work as a business consultant.
Family commitments meant that my salary was crucial and as the recession began to bite in 2008 my working days were becoming longer as I had to travel further to work. My family life began to suffer and around this time I decided that a good work/life balance was crucial to my well-being.
In both 2008 and 2009 I was headhunted as an MBA graduate and offered a golden chance to move abroad and work in Singapore for an investment bank.
Although the western world was in recession, the economy in much of Asia was booming. I would probably have taken the opportunity but I knew from friends that work in the City how long the hours can be in finance, working for the investment banks.
More importantly, finance wasn’t the path that I wanted to go down in my career. I’d been harbouring ambitions to set up my own business since finishing the MBA.
In 2010, I finally took the plunge and left my full time job to start up a Digital Marketing agency, which is now called Imageshield. The first year was very tough. I was an unknown in my space and although I had confidence from the MBA, I had no one to guide me.
I took on freelance consulting projects to supplement my income because I was making very little from my business. I was determined to make it though and in 2011 I made a small breakthrough. After attending dozens of networking events and courting local businesses, I turned things around and began to make a profit.
Becoming An Author
In 2014, I finally realised an ambition of mine, which was to write and publish a book. My book has gone on to become an Amazon best seller since the launch in October 2014 and I’m very proud of this.
My online profile has significantly grown and by positioning myself as an expert, I have more business opportunities available and doors opening. Clients now approach me for business and as a result I am able to command higher fees.
I have also been recently invited to create a presentation, centred on the content in my book, to an online marketing firm that has an email database of over 60,000 corporate professionals on their books. That presentation is now live on the Internet.
Be Your Own Boss
The upsides of being your own boss are massive. It means that I’m in control of my own destiny. I get to work on my own terms, not someone else’s, and if I fail, I only have myself to hold blame.
If you are thinking of starting your own business then I’d highly encourage you to look for a mentor. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can do it all on your own. That just leads down the road to failure. Invest in yourself because your knowledge is your strongest asset.
Once you acquire a skill, it’s yours forever. People can strip you of your belongings but no one can take away what you’ve learned because it stays in your head.
Although many business skills are generic, every industry has its own nuances. It’s only when you master these that you’ll start to enjoy success. If you’re thinking of starting your own business and you get an opportunity to learn from someone else’s mistakes then grab it with both hands.
Key Learning Points
One very important lesson that I’ve learned in my entrepreneurial journey is the need to do something that you enjoy. If you don’t have a passion for the business that you’re setting up, why are you in it?
If you really enjoy the business that you’re in, then you’ll stand a better chance of success because it won’t feel like work. You will have a lot of struggles in the beginning but if you’re enjoy what you’re building then you’re much more likely to succeed.
I want to leave you with a few key takeaways:
- Enjoy the journey. Find something you’re passionate about so that it sustains you when times are difficult.
- Keep on top of your cash flow – sounds obvious but most new businesses fail within 5 years because they don’t look after their cash flow.
- Build a system where you can delegate. If everything in your business only revolves around you, you’ll eventually burn out. If you build a system from the beginning then you’ll easily be able to grow.
The objective of any business owner should be to work ON their business, figuring out ways to make it grow, rather than IN the business – where you fulfil and then have no time left to generate new business.”
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