Running my own business was my dream since a long time. I knew I wanted to do it but always felt as I have not enough skills to kick off. Not enough experience, not enough knowledge, too low self-esteem. When people asked me what I want to do in my life, I couldn’t look into their eyes to tell them. I felt silly, to even claim wanting my own business.
My mindset started slowly changing when I left Europe for the first time to spend three months in Madagascar. Sitting at a terrace with my eyes stuck in my laptop, I was writing countless posts on my non-existing blog (all texts unfortunately are lost!) and was wondering, how awesome it would have been to coach and teach people online. I realized something, that is now so obvious to me; how so many people are trapped into a falsely created drama of making money and race to career.
I imagined a dog who chased its own tail in circles. He did not stop. That was a comparison to an average person who runs after money and drink on a Friday night.
Cut long story short, it took me another three years to finally start my own company. These three years were filled with travels, hundreds ideas in my head which never saw the light of day, a number or people who never run a business but talked about it like they did, and finally, one year of freelance English teaching in Vietnam which tested me as a person on all possible levels, from physical, determined by driving a scooter in horrendous Saigonese traffic to mental tiredness and emotional discomfort. Altough I appreciate what I did, I wasn’t enjoying the experience of living in Vietnam much and literally left the country sick to Dengue Fever.
After an adventurous almost-couple-of-years in South-East Asia, I finally decided to make the way back to my fatherland. Coming here after spending 16 years abroad and never living In Poland in my adulthood, was seeming a big step, nevertheless, it felt somehow nautral.
I came back to Poland in order build something that will be mine. Something that will consist of me as such, so I can take it with me wherever I go.
As amazing, as it sounds, it wasn’t straight forward at all. I spent four months on trying to work this all out, contact people whom I saw hope for successful cooperation with, wrote a few articles for cash and blogged. No need to mention that doing these provided me with anything next to an income. In the next months, I moved to Warsaw where I spent an amazing summer working for a start-up in tourism. This was an opportunity to learn how to organize myself and run my own company should I needed.
I also attempted working with small enterprises. It was my conscious decision to avoid applying for work in big companies because I didn’t want to ‘chase my own tail’, however, I soon found out that I could have ended up chasing it in small businesses too. This is ‘normal’ in coutries like Poland, where the capitalism is still like a toddler running with a (blunt) knife.
A few of unserious work offers and not exactly empathic people to work with, left me with no choice but starting my own legend. Not to mention a number of men who are always around to ‘offer’ help and work and who are simply nothing more than time wasters. Not many women talk about it because it’s not a comfortable topic but I wouldn’t be surprised, if many of them have a similar experience. In Central Europe of XXI century you still can’t be sexy, smart, ambitious and… just friendly. Ego takes over. Still.
One day I read about a technique where you turn around a thought you have which doesn’t serve you and perhaps sabotages your actions. I decided to apply it. The thought I had was: “People are using you”. After turning it around I heard myself saying: “You are using yourself”.
That was all, I needed to know.
I realize that what I wrote may sound like an inspirational story with happy ending. It’s not. Starting off my business was way harder than writing this post and I would be nowhere near without help of a few people who supported me in various ways and believed in me, when I couldn’t. The happy news are that there is no ending… this is just the beginning.
I would like to dedicate this post to Marcin Wsół, Robert Koziuk, Małgosia Burek, Marek Rusak i Kinga Orkisz. Thank you for helping me making the impossible real.