Wellness is playing an increasing role in the modern workplace. Global HR think tank Reventure’s recent ‘Workplace Wellness’ study revealed 73 per cent of Australians are stressed and unhappy at work. Meanwhile, the ranks of self-employed and small business owners continue to rise. If your workplace is getting you down, is it time you ditched your day job to follow your dreams?
According to social media professional, business mentor and Joy of Business facilitator, Melanie Meade, the answer is yes. Meade speaks from experience. A few short years ago she was struggling in an office job in a government department. Meade tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) the environment was toxic and she was terribly unhappy. After years of drudgery, she began to look for a way out.
“I worked in the Law Department of a government office where everyone was miserable and seemed to be there more for the security of the job. It wasn’t the most pleasant environment”, Meade explains. “For many years, I tried to embrace the fact I had a secure government job, but I was very unhappy. Eventually, I realised I couldn’t do it anymore. My life started closing in on me and I knew I wasn’t being true to myself”.
Meade’s passion was to become a social media and marketing expert and she didn’t let her lack of experience stop her from making the leap.
“I knew nothing about marketing or social media, and I had no equipment – not even a laptop. But I didn’t let that stop me. I started out by learning to create graphics on my mobile and borrowing my father’s laptop to watch tutorials and learn. I signed up for courses, shadowed experts while they worked, interned in my spare time.” Meade explains.
Two years later she quit her day job of 16 years and went into business for herself.
“Through my enthusiasm for what I knew, and my desire for people to succeed, the clients started to appear. And, within two years, I had taught myself the skills and acquired the client base that I needed. I was able to quit my job and work full-time on my business.”
Meade believes feeling “out of your depth” is a natural part of entrepreneurism and that a lack of knowledge or know-how should never hold you back from business.
She advises every experience is a learning opportunity and suggests believing in yourself is vital.
Here are Meade’s top tips for would-be entrepreneurs
Learn from everyone, everywhere
All it takes to acquire knowledge is to ask for it. Follow experts around, volunteer your time, sign up to learn.
Appreciate all the situations in your life – even if they are not ideal. Gratitude is more powerful than resentment, and it better enables you to see what you have learned or gained from each experience.
Celebrate being out of your depth
If you feel out of your depth you are on the creative edge; being comfortable means you’ve plateaued. Be versatile, adaptable and committed.
Believe in yourself
Don’t measure your knowledge or skills against anyone else. Do things your way, and you’ll achieve results your way.
Use social media effectively: Social media adds to your business and is a great, free tool. However, it’s not always about the likes and followers! Start by getting the basic elements of social media down, know your platform and who you are talking to, the rest will follow. If you’re not sure where to start with content: listen to what you are talking about, the things you cannot stop talking about, and what people come to ask you about.
Importantly, Meade advises, understand that successful business owners are those who don’t stop learning, expanding and adapting. “Business is not about having the answer, it’s about constantly asking questions”, she says..