Work within reason, wise Dad advised

My father, who worked for himself all his life, either alone or running his small business, said to anyone thinking of going for it (me included) that it would take ten years to get established. I couldn’t see that at the time but I now fully understand what he was getting at.

Dad died in March, aged 91, and a huge number of people came to share in the appreciation of his life and to share their memories. Kirby’s ten year rule came up, from others who had received this pearl of wisdom from him whether they wanted it or not.  One man put it succinctly. The full message was to build steadily, and to be clear on the degree of commitment and stamina required to get through the maze of learning; to tell yourself at the outset that knowledge and experience take time; to galvanise yourself for the mistakes from which you can learn and to accumulate the value of all of this.

I think the worth of what Dad said is higher than ever now, and this is why.

My Dad’s age tells you that he worked before the technological revolution, in the lean years after war service, long before the hyper fast dissemination of information on the web. Building a name took a long time.

Today marketing is everything (or is it?), with everyone able to get their name or their business name in front of the world if they are wired in to all the possibilities. A great idea well pitched and professionally tuned in to all that the web can offer can grow wings overnight. How good is that? How ready are you for that?

What Dad taught me and others was to work within reason; to measure strides and to build pace in tandem with trust and reputation – to keep your balance, both at the bottom of your bank statement and when you face the new challenges that can take you higher up the ladder.

Mother’s Garden may, in some people’s opinion, have grown too sedately in this hothouse age, but my partner Maggie and I are comfortable with that. There have been the huge “abroad” aspects to address too – language, bureaucracy, tax system, vagaries of the exchange rate etc – that must be tackled, but we have come a long way.

After those vital years of learning and cementing in the cornerstones of our business we feel we are ready to build to the next level, using cloud for a host of good reasons. It will be interesting to explore how we can make that work given our Spanish base and UK market.

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