Building a Business against the Odds – Determined to Succeed. Part 2


Building a Business against the Odds


In this part I am going to outline in this part the steps and core values of building the business to where it is today. Just a recap from part 1:

My number one strategy in getting started was: create a little debt to get out of debt.

This is important because a lot of people create debt to stay in debt, to get what they want in the immediate sense, but with no real goal for the future; no real way of freeing oneself from that debt. I know, I used to do it - often!

My barrier to getting started and making it happen: fear and unbelief.

What more do I need, right? Just one of those factors is enough to cripple one’s life. Fear had been with me all my life, and an overwhelming inner core belief that I was not good enough, let alone, be able to accomplish anything in life.

Yes, it was easy studying and researching, obtaining a Diploma, loads of certificates - that was easy, I thrived on that and it was a great escape and it drove me to become “somebody”. We’re pretty thick human beings at times! In the pursuit of happiness we think the answer lies ‘without’, but all the while, it lies within - all we got to do is just take a look.

I can't think of anything worse in life - fear and unbelief. But remember I was on a journey and it seemed very dark but as I started taking steps, something inside me grew and I discovered I had:

A fierce determination to succeed, to overcome my fears, and to let nothing or no-one stand in my way

It was the strongest thing I ever felt within. About time don’t you think! I wanted to be my own person, think for myself, make my own decisions, make things happen, and to be my own BOSS. I did not want anyone telling me what to do, how to do it, and when to do it; I wanted to do it myself and call the shots on my life from here on in.

After Marie built my website, what do you think happened? My fears were realized:
Within one week of my site going live I got my first client, that was nearly 7 years ago and they are still coming! I had no choice but to “feel the fear and just do it!”

I didn’t know what to do but guess what? I figured it out. All the skills, talents, abilities and resources within me, kicked in; and I figured it out. I possessed strengths that held me in good stead and gave me the motivation to succeed:


Those things were with me before, most of my life, I had just lost my way; when I found me, I found those qualities again.

New clients and customers continued to approach me for work, I had no idea how to process orders, how much to charge, invoicing, tax, any of it. But, I found the way, and Marie was a guide and mentor (thanks Marie!). I joined LinkedIn, I researched constantly on the internet, I did a lot of reading, and I discovered more about myself when doing the work that customers wanted.


I was well on the way. This was exciting. Doing work and getting paid real money, yay!


I met a lot of people out there who offered a service to show you in “three easy steps”, or “10 steps”, how to get to the top of Google. I discovered how to do it without costing 1 cent, but it did cost me determined effort and a belief that I can, I will, and I must. How else can you become acquainted with - I think - the best search engine on the planet?


I advertised, a simple ad, and one by one ladies contacted me. I had a very simple application process in place. I value them, I take care of them, and they are the best at what they do. I am very fortunate to have them. Some have come and gone but the steadfast and loyal, remain.


You would not be where you are in business without a few key people in your life. Marie, for me, my mentor that I have been seeing on a regular weekly basis, for the last few years; my website hoster and designer, anuko.com - the best. My team, my tax agent, anyone like-minded and who is interested in success and helping others do the same.

Please remember for all time in the life of your business; this is FIRST and LAST of everything you do in business:


I learnt a very hard, very stressful lesson, but very rewarding once the lesson was learnt! When I first started all that mattered to me was working, earning, paying the bills, clearing debt, and enjoying working, earning, etc. I overlooked the most important thing when starting out (unintentional). Suffice to say, I will never say a bad word again about Inland Revenue again! I pleaded my case before them and they could see I was earnest, and they bent over backwards to assist me.

They made me work harder than I had worked in a long time to get my records up to scratch, visits to their office, visits to my home, attendance to GST workshops - yes, I discovered I had to be GST registered! I had no idea, my business was growing away on me.


I remember a lady I knew back in my college days, in Australia; she provided a reference for me and I will always remember, she said: “Lenna is a person of high integrity”. I didn’t even know what that word meant! I do now and it is something to fight for when called into question.

Finally got things sorted with the tax-man, my records aren’t perfect, but they are good and in order. Can’t live without a 21 slot pigeon-hole on my desk, a filing cabinet, and an admin person who does the things that I don’t like doing.

In closing, I just want to round off those things that are important in getting started with building a business, and maintaining it:

• Feel the fear and “just do it”!
• Start believing in yourself - that you can do it.
• Create a little debt to get out of debt.
• Discover yourself: utilize your skill and ability to get what you want.
• Take care of your customers, care about what they want, need, and deserve, and give it to them. You would not be in business without them.
• In doing so, you have got to take care of your team first - appreciate them, value them, acknowledge them for their good work, and always pay them promptly and give them a Christmas bonus!
• Stay connected to those key people in the life of your business.
• Keep the tax-man happy; be honest, keep excellent records, pay your taxes on time (or before) - that is your integrity in business.
• Do not forget to take regular breaks - remember, you are the life of your business - without you it does not exist. So take good care. Take breaks, go to gym 3 days a week, walk, and enjoy company of others. Learn to say 'no' to others (remember your self-worth and wellbeing). Go to a few cafes in town with your tax agent (my friend). Enjoy your birthday today!
• Its not easy getting started so seek out like-minded professionals that are hand-picked, and you can trust for guidance, mentoring, and support. But at the end of the day it is your call.

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Lenna K. Millar (ATS Director)


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