How These Women Overcame The Fear Of Quitting Their Day Job To Start A Business by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Many women would like to quit their day job but fear the repercussions of doing so. Photocredit: GettyGetty

It’s not really news that many people aren’t happy in their job – just head to any city pub post 5pm and you’re bound to hear of at least one person’s dream to quit and set up their own business. Yet the latest findings from The Recruit Venture Group show that, particularly amongst women, the levels of dissatisfaction are remarkably high.

After surveying 1,500 business owners, side-business owners and employees, they found that 75% of female employees don’t enjoy their job but stick with it because of money, family arrangements or location. When you counter this with the finding that 72% of female business owners are in their dream job, the correlation seems obvious – for many, happiness stems from working for oneself but many women hold back from doing this for fear of losing job security.

Though many of us have heard our grandparents reminiscing about working for the same company or business until retirement, such job security no longer exists in the same way. The gig economy is on the rise, yet many of the women surveyed reported fear of lack of income and fear of failure as two of the primary reasons for not setting out on their own.

But for three women who have made the leap, the rewards have far outweighed the risks. I picked the brains of these business owners to find out exactly how they made the transition from employment to self-employment and how they overcame their fears to do so.

Emma Watkinson, Founder of SilkFred

Emma set up SilkFred – a platform for affordable independent fashion brands to sell their products directly to online shoppers – with a business partner when she was 24.

Bianca Barratt: What was the catalyst for you to create your own business?

Emma Watkinson: I was 24 and had a job working on the buying and merchandising of an online retailer I loved. My friend (and now co-founder) Stephen asked for some advice on how to increase the sales of a fashion brand his friend had invested in. As I started to list out the different things the brand could do to grow, we quickly identified there was an opportunity to take all the independent brands to market by creating SilkFred.

I felt there was a gap for boutique style brands at affordable prices, helping every day women like me discover exciting fashion that you couldn’t get on the high street. I also felt passionate about creating a business that put customers front and centre, engaging with customers every day, bringing those conversations to life and using those conversations to build an entirely customer-centric brand.

It was a tough decision leaving a job I felt I had worked hard for, in an interesting company I believed in but co-founding SilkFred felt like something I just had to do. I’d love to say it was a really well thought out decision but looking back, I jumped into it. It was an uncertain future but I was excited to take control of it and test my limits.

BB: What were the biggest roadblocks to your success? How did you overcome these?

EW: There have always been challenges and that never changes, they just become different ones. In the beginning the roadblocks were funding the technology and understanding how to sell online. Then it was finding the right people to build the business alongside and convincing brands to sell with us. Now it’s logistics and ensuring we have a compelling customer proposition.

I believe the key to overcoming roadblocks is resilience. Good ideas are easy to come by, there are also a lot of incredibly smart people in the world but to keep going when at times it doesn’t feel like it makes sense to or it’s personally uncomfortable, makes all the difference when you meet those challenges. There have definitely been moments when I thought how do we get past this and each year we have become a stronger and more resilient business. We still have a long way to go and I’m sure there will be more challenges to face but I’m still as excited about the future as I was on the day I handed my notice in.

Joanna Jensen, Founder and CEO of Childs Farm

Joanna launched Childs Farm in 2010 after finding a gap in the market for natural products that were suitable for children.

BB: What was the catalyst for you to create your own business?

Joanna Jensen: I’ve always had an interest in natural remedies and treatments and, with the birth of my daughters, Mimi and Bella, I wanted to offer them washing products that suited their young, delicate and sensitive skin without irritating it.

In 2011, I made our first shampoo and bubble bath before approaching a contract manufacturer to develop these further. After trying these initial products on my own girls and friends’ children, the feedback I received was fantastic; the products not only performed beautifully but also worked wonders on sensitive skin prone to eczema.

This unexpected outcome was the springboard for a series of clinical tests and user trials which continue to this day on everything we produce and that allow us to make our sensitive and eczema-prone claims on pack.

BB: What were the biggest roadblocks to your success? How did you overcome these?

JJ: I quit my day job of 15 years in investment banking and made 3,000 products from my barn before gaining investment in the company [but] we are an ambitious brand and we intend to revolutionise the baby and child toiletries category globally so that all products found in this aisle are fit for purpose: being suitable for the skin and hair of new-borns, babies and children – even those with sensitive or eczema prone skin.

The company now turns over £35M and is the fasted growing in the sector.

Kim Russell, Managing Director of MaK Personnel

Kim Russell set up independent recruitment company MaK Personnel, which aims to retain clients through expertly placing the right candidates in front of them.

 BB: What was the catalyst for you to create your own business?

I was fed up of being told how to run my desk. I knew I could do a more effective job and offer a better service if I was free from the constraints of a large corporate [company]. I wanted to have ownership of something and do things my way.

BB: What were the biggest roadblocks to your success? How did you overcome these?

I got tired of going into every year thinking, “this is the year I am going to make a change; to stop feeling undervalued by my employer.” Once you get to that point you have two options: either grasp the challenge or continue to tread water. Quitting a safe, full- time job was difficult, but I have always been very determined. One of the biggest roadblocks was finding funding, Banks are very careful about how much they lend and it is not an easy process. Launching as a joint venture with a venture capital company helped me to overcome all this – it allowed me to build a bigger, more profitable business quickly.

These interviews have been edited for clarity and syntax.


December 18, 2018 at 01:39PM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/biancabarratt/2018/12/18/how-these-women-overcame-the-fear-of-quitting-their-day-job-to-start-a-business/?ss=entrepreneurs
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