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Wednesday, 29 February 2012 10:22

Make Haste Slowly: Time management: Mumpreneurs start-up Blog #20

Make Haste Slowly

The first blog post I wrote for StartupSmart was on the topic of time. They say time is cyclical, so not surprisingly here I am again; same place, different time.


This week, three separate clients have been experiencing the phenomenon of making haste slowly, and each is benefitting enormously from the passage of time changing their ideas about their start-up businesses.


The start-up phase of most businesses is all about speed: that sickening and euphoric adrenalin feeling, the lack of sleep from midnight inspiration (or nightmares!), the suspicion of madness, and the rolling adventure of making something happen.


When, in the middle of all this a hold up occurs, take it as a golden opportunity to take stock of where you are at and get a reality check.



Time for a little café


In client one’s case, she is desperately trying to open a little café.


Her hold up is the premises, and this is an exceptionally good thing, as it is allowing her to spend some time really thinking about what she wants from the venture.


It’s largely a lifestyle choice, as a busy mother she has a lot of demands on her time. Hospitality is a busy, committed industry with demanding hours and demanding customer face time.


While waiting for a venue, she has been doing ‘guest spots’ at some local cafés and is learning a lot about the reality of her dream business and how she might immerse herself in baking, without the stresses of a service industry business to run.



Time in a bear market


Client number two is plunging into a ‘bear market’ opportunistic business resulting from the current financial climate.


She stands to make big money quickly and is aware of the lifespan of her target market.


She has to wait till the market contracts a little more, and every week when we have our session together, her plan has changed.


It’s like advising a roller coaster, but very exciting, as I am watching her refine her value proposition in motion.


Her danger is ‘opportunitis’, and with each new ‘addition’ to the plan, I ask her to think of her original intention for the business, and whether this tangent leads to her ultimate goal, if so, press on, if not, bin or shelve for later.



Time for kids


Client number three is considering throwing in a safe, permanent, senior public sector job and starting her own small business working with kids.


She is getting enormous pressure from friends and family because of their fear of the GFC and craving for stability.


She is desperately unhappy in a toxic work environment and is very clear on her mission to ‘make a difference’ in life.


I fully back her gut instinct – she has found the right opportunity and it is as perfect for her as anything can ever be in small business, but the family nay saying was holding her enthusiasm at bay.


She was diagnosed this week with a cancerous breast lump – it was remarkable how quickly she had her resignation letter written, as her time for slow consideration had passed and priorities became very clear about happiness, family and fulfillment at work – which is the best combination for success in any economic climate.

Dr Polly McGee a co-founder of Startup Tasmania, which aids fast-growth start-ups in the state. She’s behind the MumpreneurIDEAS program, a one day workshop that assists women to start-up and is also a senior lecturer in Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Tasmania in their MBA and undergraduate program. 

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