Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Partnership is Like a Relationship : When You Need to Drop it Like it's Hot

In case you are wondering, when I say drop it like it's hot, I really mean drop it like it is hot!

Few years ago, a friend once told me that a relationship with a company/her employer is just like a romantic relationship. Of course, we are not talking about intimacy and all that jazz here, but what she was saying was more about connection, along with mutual respect and understanding.

I couldn't agree more. In fact, until today, I still replay her words in my head. I could relate to it because I was still working back then with my ex-employer. There were a lot of misunderstandings as well, but nevertheless, as the years went by, I grew with the company, my colleagues and bosses. It was difficult at first, but I learned how to adapt and create a "home" for myself. It made leaving very hard as well, I almost wanted to withdraw my resignation letter.

I thought about everything that I have ever gone through all those years... the workplace has transformed me into an expressive and strong individual, with knowledge about creativity and design at my fingertips. Just like that, 7 years later, I left as a professional writer, and went on to build my own legacy.

Sounds like a relationship no?

You walk out of a relationship, but during those years when you stuck by him or her, good or bad experience, it has made you strong and wiser. No experience has ever gone to waste.

However.... even with all that wisdom, when a relationship is abusive or emotionally/mentally draining, it is highly recommended that you walk away and move on. 

You don't have to feel bad about it because it is not your baggage to carry. Unless of course if you are carrying your own big ass baggage, you shouldn't even be in the relationship at all!

Now trying applying this concept on a partnership. 

Isn't it the same?

I know most entrepreneurs, especially new ones who just got into this field would probably try and stay on work things out. It is good that you are trying to work things out, because it shows that you have a lot of heart and effort in the connection and friendship. But when you stay in it too long, the strive and struggle is no longer done out of friendship, but out of expectations or the need to please the other person. 

This may sound like some mumbo jumbo to you, but honestly, compatibility plays an important part in a partnership. The moment you both start to want different things, start to judge and asses one another, that's when you have to consider dropping it like eet ees hawt! And move on before the last ounce of connection, including friendship is ruined.

In the beginning, it is always fun with lots of hopes and dreams. But let's be realistic, friendship aside, we are talking about a partnership here. There's intimacy involve here in terms of money and decision making.

We are not talking about "Hi, do you want to sit next to me in class today? Let's work on an art project together! Yay!" - definitely not.

Yes, friendship is the key to partnership, but once the dynamics have changed, and you transition into the partnership phase, you can no longer reason, argue or plan like two besties. You have to learn how to separate the two seeds. 

Just like how they always say, separate work and personal. 

I had to learn that recently. I don't feel bad because I know every hour and second that I work on my startup is precious...when other partnerships hold me back, it is time to let it go. In fact, it is okay to let it go, and I am sure it happened for the greater good.

And I dropped it like it is hot.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thirty and Thriving

I left this post empty but with a fixed title because I was:

1. Busy
2. Mentally blogging in my head

I finally turned 30 last Wednesday and like being sprinkled with pixie dust... I instantly woke up feeling different. Perhaps it was the thought that I was a year older, all I know was I begin to see the world differently.

No longer belong to the 20's group, being 30, the world has a different set of requirements for you. People may higher expectations from you, especially your family, but I personally think that the only expectation you need to focus on are your own.

I think I handled turning 30 pretty well. I didn't have a fancy birthday bash; no surprise party, no expensive dinner, nope. Just an incredibly big bunch of birthday wishes and I am thankful for that.

Apart from me asking my other half if I can stay 29, I had a quiet one and was already happy enough that it was simple and breezy. (He also got me a three and zero candle to rub it in, haha!)

Perhaps it is also because we have a lot on our plate: It is the year that I decided to leave my job, there were a lot of commitments to focus our attention on. Plus, when you are running a start up company, there are plenty of things to consider before spending your money. I would see this as a good experience, something that I know I can look back someday and say to myself: I have come far.

So, anyways, I spent my 30th at the Etsy Meets Malaysia meet. I told my other half that as much as I want to do something on my birthday, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I mean seriously, who knows what will happen to me tomorrow, a week's time, a month's or even a year later? I felt myself at cross roads, one act could change a lot of things. I chose to go instead, and met more people from the community. It was a small event, but I was happy to be there. It was certainly something to remember.

When you are an entrepreneur, there a few things you need to keep an eye out on. It is like playing monopoly- you need to go pass and take $200. You need to avoid the jail card (metaphor for self-created blockages) and you need to seize opportunity and plan ahead when buying a property, especially when time is right. A little gift called intuition helps especially when you are in this trade.

Always, always trust your gut.

My lesson at 30.

Today, I came across an article online about young entrepreneurs below 29. I was just there a week ago... but it's alright, because I will be there.

Happy 30th, Me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lessons I Have Learned from Working for Myself

I spent my teenage years wondering what my 20's would be like. I envisioned that I would be living in a 2-storey house, an entrance with a lot of lighting. I saw myself spending quality time with my family, while my kids and I gather at a short, round worktable, doing crafts.

Later on as a college student, I pictured myself in my 30's. It felt so far away. But I saw myself a career, business woman, probably in an advertising agency, possibly in another country since at that time all I wanted was to apply for a university in Perth to study photo journalism.

None of the above happened.

As a matter of fact, I took a different path instead. I started late as a copywriter, and thought hell, why not put my diploma to a good use. All these happened, and as the years went by, I finally decided to call it quits.

So this year, the year that I turn 30, is the year that I finally took a big leap of faith and went solo.

It was definitely not how I envisioned myself to be, far from what I saw in myself when I was a kid or in college... I am probably one hippie at heart creativepreneur who decided to do things her way.

If you are wondering if I regret my ways and wish I could turn back time, I would tell you NO.

Is it tough? YES.

Easy? NO.

Fun? Yes... some days no. Honestly, I spend my days in front of the computer, sometimes pacing back and forth trying to crack my head with ideas just to stay ahead. When I cannot think anymore, I lay in bed, watching episodes after episodes of my favourite TV series (which I will not reveal here). 

Now that that the series is over, I need a new series to watch.

Butttttttt......

Among everything that I have went through and experienced... the tears, the excitement, the rush...
the one thing that I enjoy the most is learning. 

When you are flying solo on your own, and you have no colleague, supervisor or an art director to turn to, you have to learn how to be independent especially with picking up new skills and knowledge.

It is like the kid in the movie 300, where he gets thrown into the wild at a young age and learn how to survive.

I personally think that, if I didn't quit my job to take this route, I won't be here to experience the knowledge that would make me stronger each day as an entrepreneur.

When you are flying solo, you learn to see things differently in a different light. You learn to cope and tackle your own emotions and issues. You are forced to deal with problems like a grown up.

It also puts you in a spot to be brave because you are no longer taking money from your employers. It's almost like leaving home and not living off your parents.

Anyways...

If someone scoffs at you when you tell them you are self-employed, and mocks you for having so much free time... smack that person's head! No I am just kidding! Haha! Don't do that. But what you can do is you might want to consider staying away from that person. Clearly they don't take what you do seriously, and as an entrepreneur, always surround yourself with positive and wise people.

You will know when you meet one.

Trust your gut.