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Quest for Sense

Ambition - a story

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In 2001 I was a one man business - and incredibly happy with it.

I had one service product to deliver.
I had a portfolio of very satisfied, faithful clients producing a very steady supply of orders.
The "office" was a room in the house.
I didn't have to deal with staff. Or VAT. Or much in the way of red tape.
The total monthly operating costs of the business (including rent) were covered in the first four days of trading - the rest of the month was profit.

It was an incredibly simple, low-risk, reasonably profitable business.

So why on earth just 3 years later was I renting business premises, for two Pty Ltd companies (one with a partner), with two secretaries, a sales rep, 4 service teams and all the overheads and challenges that come with that lot - to get out much the same money as I was putting in my pocket three years earlier?

There was just one snag with my OMB - if I wasn't working, I wasn't making any money.
What if I got sick? Had an accident? Had to go away for a while?

I hadn't had any of those problems. But yes, those were thoughts that ran through my mind at times. And they did help drive me.

But ultimately what got me out of my comfort zone to make the jump was ambition!

There was this saying that kept going around and round in my head:

The enemy of a great life is the good life.
Life was pretty good.
Had been for a couple of years already.
In so many ways good enough.
But I wasn't ready to settle.

Ambition was telling me I could achieve much more.

Part of The big 5 (plus one) business limiters series.

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Updated 12-Feb-12 at 07:50 AM by Dave A

Business , Strategy , Goals


  1. cejay's Avatar
    Re-structure the mode of the business so that your absence will not create much negative impact on the whole body of the business. Go back to the root on how the whole thing came about, Believe me you will have a new innovation.
  2. BusNavig8's Avatar
    I agree with Cejay. Its a trait of the around 10% of successfull businesses.

    In 1990 (25) I had a child that was born with Cerebral Palsy. His brain damage did not, for some reason, go to the motor part of his brain, but to other parts. I had to leave formal employment and work from home. I knew nothing of business, of business principles, of marketing, or anything else. All I knew was financial services in a secure employment enviroment (I was a claims superintendant). I used to be typing in my pjyamas as 11am. That was ridiculous! So I started getting up in the morning, putting my make up on, getting into my car, driving around the block and now I was at work!. i did this enough times until I didnt have to do it anymore. I had signs all over the house - I mean all over the house for motivation - Smile its a brand new day. I mean I had to cope with a severley brain damaged child and being the major breadwinner and now knowing the first thing about how to do it. I remember going to the SBDC hive in Industria and selling RA's to them. I went to lenasia with my brother - who waited in the car - in case they stole my hubcaps! I sold insurance to the wrong people - I was supposed to be at 41c and I was at 41b. I took taxi's everywhere and I didnt have my drivers license yet. You do what you have to you. Sometimes you have to do the hard stuff. I remember going to clients all happy and smiley and getting in my car and crying all the way to the next client and then being all smiley again and crying all the way home again. But I am in one piece I did make it. My son who is 22 now, has the mental age of between 6-8 years, but he scans my files. A page at a time and then I save them. He still sits in my space. It is still heart breaking. I learned not to give up. You cannot give up as long as you are making wise choices. I also learned that winners do quit. they just quit on the right things. While you are still breathing you have hope. And your may just be on the edge of your breakthrough.

    How did this all help:

    It gave me empathy, people skills, care, understanding how important financial controls are, Wise decisions. Tactical and strategical planning. Risk and Reward, Contingency Planning, Succession Planning, Resourcefulness, Resolution Skills, Patience
    Updated 10-Feb-12 at 03:06 PM by BusNavig8 (Remembered I forgot stuff!!)
  3. Bizfact's Avatar
    That is a lot to go through and you had to be pretty tough. I don't think I could ever say I can relate. I just want you to know that sharing your experince has been a wake up call for me. Thank you
  4. philip_p's Avatar
    Gathered so much inspiration from this. First, I made sure this is my new motto "The enemy of a great life is the good life.". I am actually afraid of the good, it usually brings something bad after it, it's cyclic, I am used to it. But settling and getting into the comfort zone, where I was for 20 years, is definitely a no-no if you have higher aims than the good life.

    Then, there's BusNavig8's story - I've always said that a mother's love and dedication are the strongest powers in the world. And you live with a burden but I know you never give up - we all have a walk to walk, easy or tough - we should pick ourselves, never give up, and see the little beauties of life no matter what.

    Thank you both!
    Updated 09-Aug-16 at 03:46 PM by philip_p (proofreading)