I started writing this post a few weeks ago after coming off the back of attending a fantastic event by Business Chicks with Sophia Amorouso. As a self-made business woman and author of #girlboss she spoke of the importance of storytelling and what made her business as it is today. It was this and also having just finished reading her book #girlboss that left me really reflecting on how your personality and the influences of those around you can become a very big part of your business. This is a very personal reflection for me but I guess some out there can also pinpoint aspects of their life and experiences that have led them in a certain direction of how they run their business. It is acknowledging these attributes that can help you to understand what it is you are trying to achieve and what you need to look for in seeking out help to get there.
It has recently occurred to me – upon talking to people more and more about what Encore Admin Consulting is and what it is I actually do – that my administration life started before I officially entered the workforce. It was actually the influence of my parents that started me down the road I’ve travelled, my father being a self employed plumber who was one of those tradies that had dockets and dockets for materials overflowing out of his ute and would do all of his invoicing with pen and paper and most of the time out of his head (so of course most of the time he would forget some of the materials that he used and therefore wouldn’t charge customers for them). But it was when GST was being introduced (which caused my parents a small heart attack thinking about it) and the fact that I’d gone and bought myself my own computer at 16 years old that made them think to make the transition to computer based accounting for the business. And as I was the one with the computer, well I became Dad’s bookkeeper. At 16 years old doing the bookkeeping for Dad’s business was a massive learning opportunity for me (although I didn’t see it as that at the time) and very much started me on my way to working in admin because really not many 17 year olds have a grasp on such things when it came to going into the workforce. This time also gave me grounding on what you need to think about when running a business, I lost count of the number of times that I said to my father he needed to increase his hourly rate because he was one of the cheapest in the area at the time and was flat out busy both because he was the most affordable and he was a perfectionist. Another one of Dad’s pearls of wisdom – if you do a job, do it right the first time. One of his pet peeves was going in to jobs to fix up the sloppy work of someone else. On the flip side of that, he also did a lot of jobs for the elderly around town and most of the time didn’t charge them – or if he did, heavily discounted. Another thing I have inherited from him is his empathy and the wanting to help people out if they need it. Watching Dad in his business had heavily influenced me in how I do things within my business, I had a front row seat of seeing the things that worked well as well as things that didn’t work so well and learning to steer clear of making the same mistakes.
I stayed at home until I was 21, working in my full-time jobs at the time, studying my Bachelor of Business by correspondence and still doing Dad’s books although by the time I left home he wasn’t working as much due to a back injury so he’d reverted back to pen and paper by then as the jobs were less and less. It was over this period that my personality traits that I’d inherited from my parents became more apparent. They always drilled into me work hard at whatever I am doing, and I did – looking back now, especially with a toddler, I actually don’t know how I fit so much into my days because I wouldn’t have the stamina to keep up now. Leaving home was a massive game changer because I then became a part of a bigger pond and met so many new people and became exposed to the workings of businesses in varying industries.
To avoid going through a full blown essay of my career (which really is on my LinkedIn profile – ha!) I want to fast forward to 2015 because that year was the biggest year of life experiences I have ever had to date. It was a year of highest of highs and lowest of lows. I welcomed my son into this world, becoming a Mum is one of life’s biggest game changers for every single thing you do. Then three months later I had to say goodbye my beloved Dad after he battled lung cancer for the previous 13 months. Like I said, highest of highs and lowest of lows. Now that he is no longer here I guess it’s part of every grieving process but since starting my business I’m seeing pieces of him in everything I do and it’s my way of feeling that he’s with me because he was by far my biggest cheerleader in life. I can hear his voice every time I make a decision to do something or am trying to figure out a problem. I can also hear him chastising me when I do silly things too.
It may be the fact that it’s coming into the holiday season where I miss my Dad more but the last few weeks while focusing more into my business has made me realise just how much the people in your life can influence your decisions and how you set out in achieving your goals. Having the right support team around you is really a massive piece of setting yourself up for success – and from person to person your definition of success varies. It may be also in part that my business is so new but with each win I achieve or new learning I gain I realise more and more how much of a fantastic adventure starting your own business and doing what you genuinely enjoy really can be.
On a small side note – as it is the season of giving I have chosen to make a donation to a charity that is very close to my heart – Love Your Sister – I want to support the work they do in raising money for research in the hope that one day people don’t go through the suffering that is caused by cancer. Sam and Connie Johnson are seriously my heroes – I read their book shortly after my Dad’s diagnosis and it helped me to process what was happening and how to be there for him. Watching Connie continue to fight and Sam continuing to support her makes me believe there is some hope even though it took my Dad away from this world way too soon. I would really appreciate it if you would do the same and donate here.
And as this is the last post for 2016, I hope that you have a great holiday season whether it be spending time with your family or taking the opportunity to completely go off the grid and take some time out. I look forward to seeing what 2017 has in store!
Korryn Haines is an administration ninja with over 10 years of administrative experience in a wide range of industries. Based in Brisbane and founder of Encore Admin Consulting, she provides virtual assistant services to small businesses and solopreneurs. She loves a nice big pot of tea, smashing out a BodyPump class and spending time with her young children, husband and lovable Cocker Spaniel. Connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Contact for Admin Help