Owning your own business – more flexibility or more commitment?

Setting out on to the path to run your own business can be a difficult and sometimes overwhelming journey but when you give it your best and look back after a few years, you only wish you had done it sooner!

Starting your business is like planting a sapling. You sow the seed of your idea, water it with your time and money, let your determination help develop its roots, and when your start-up starts to blossom, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

My journey

As the founder of a small (yet impactful) online toy store – Treasure Trunk, I started my journey to entrepreneurship back in 2018 while I was still on parental leave. I wanted to fully immerse myself in raising my daughter and started to dread going back to a full-time job – a familiar story and one I’m sure many others have experienced too.

I realized that I needed more flexibility to manage my passion and work around family life. With a background in education and experience of close to a decade, I used the knowledge in eventually launching my own business and have never looked back.

I am proud of how far I have come as an entrepreneur, mother, and a woman. However, it wasn’t always as easy as a walk in the park! I have had my fair share of road bumps and blocks along the way and the learnings I have had are worth their weight in gold. Starting and running a business requires so much energy, hard work, patience, and conviction.

While I wanted to carve a work-life that is different from the regular 9 to 5, having my own business has been a bigger commitment but with flexibility that lets me nurture and enjoy my daughter’s precious childhood.

Connect with people and resources

Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox has said, “Don’t try to do everything by yourself, but try to connect with people and resources. Having that discipline and perseverance is really important.”

I wish I had received this advice early on in my business journey as in the starting years I juggled all different roles which left me overwhelmed with the responsibility of doing it all single-handed. It is my commitment that has brought me this far.

There is an art to being flexible and committed as an entrepreneur. For me being a business owner means being able to commit to my daily schedule and meet challenges with conviction while building a business and community.

Lessons learned

I’d like to share a few learnings on how you too can be a successfully flexible and committed entrepreneur:

1. Find a business mentor. Seek like-minded people to collaborate. Being a part of communities can be a huge help when starting out. Without a mentor sometimes it can take much longer to reach a point where you can have the flexibility in your business.  

2. As per research, small business owners work as long as 60 hours a week! Setting up and running a business can be a lot of hard work and it does not look like the standard nine to five. But if your family is your ‘why’ then make sure you make time for them. 

3. Build a strong team. A successful team can help a business reach its full potential. 

4. Launching your own business takes a lot of hustle but working hard doesn’t mean not having boundaries. There may be days when you have to work after hours, and many activities take place at different times throughout the day. Remember to take time off and delegate work as needed. Committed and flexible entrepreneurs have flexible schedules. 

As Tony Robbins said, “Stay committed to your decisions but flexible in your approach.” I hope if you are setting out on your entrepreneurial journey, may you find the commitment to grow and flourish with the flexibility to fulfill your ‘why’.

Article written by Nehinder Takkar, founder of Treasure Trunk