A few people have asked me if there were any books that were valuable to me when starting my small business.
In it, Hayley talks about her own experience in starting a swimming school at Carindale. What impressed me so much about the courage Hayley showed in, forgive the pun, jumping into the deep end and starting her own business at 28 was that she had never, ever had a job!
It makes sense, of course, but it’s not something that many of us have experienced. From her early teens, Hayley’s “job” was to swim at an elite level and represent her country. She didn’t have time for part-time work at a cafe or a fast food outlet or a supermarket as many of us did (I still remember trying to carry more than two plates at a time at a cafe where I worked during uni … I was hopeless, but lucky I was a hard worker!).
I found Hayley’s book an inspirational read – you know the type of book that you read in one sitting because you can’t put it down? I especially love the title as it’s quite a simple formula for starting your own small business, but it can take enormous courage and conviction to dare to dream and then to believe in that dream, and yourself too for that matter, and actually commit to it and start creating. I was so fortunate to have everyone around me be positive and encouraging when they heard I was going to start my own shoe shop without any retail experience in an economy that wasn’t particularly good. Sometimes the best thing you can do for people is believe in them.
Having said that, I do actually recall one or two people being negative but they were people I hardly knew which made their gloomy words easier to dismiss.
It’s funny how life works sometimes. Hayley now owns Coming Up Roses, a gorgeous shop filled with beautiful homewares, books and lovely things that is just down the road from The Shoe Garden.
And The Shoe Garden will soon celebrate its first three months in business. I have learned a lot so far, mostly about my customers and what they are looking for in shoes and I look forward to becoming more discerning in my buying. I cannot wait for the months and years ahead to continue to create an environment where women with long feet can relax and try on gorgeous shoe after gorgeous shoe.
It makes me smile just thinking about it.
Ciao for now