16 Inspiring life lessons learnt by Julie Furlong
I have experienced ups and downs from both a personal and business perspective.
But 20 years on, there’s definitely a sense of pride and satisfaction. I’ve certainly kicked some goals, but in-between the goals there were also plenty of tears. The failures were difficult – of course, on many levels. Not meeting goals (I worked so hard for) and the sense of worthlessness - being so hard to deal with at times. (Read: 13 Essential tips to remember when starting a business)
I recall some crazy memories, like the time I gave birth on a Saturday, yet was back working on the following Monday morning, responding to emails and winning over projects. Or being heavily pregnant, yet still insisting on presenting in high heels, and suffering later with sore feet. Or being in a state of chaos, during a last-minute frenzy rush, before a pitch. I’ve even experienced the rudeness of a client crunching on an apple, whilst I was trying to present. Or the many corporates who didn’t even bother to return my call or email, so I can understand why we didn’t get the project.
However, it wasn’t always that bad… nothing replaced the excitement and satisfaction of a phone call that would come through after putting in a proposal, to let us know we won over the project. Or the team laughing and joking at silly little things we found so funny. There were many manic Mondays, many hump days and many, many happy Fridays, which the team all enjoyed together. Celebrating the success and wins of the company, year after year, whilst watching individuals develop skills of their own and becoming better people. To witness the wins in their lives was also very satisfying to me. Nurturing, guiding and helping them learn and continue to grow into good people with strong values and beliefs.
I commenced the business pre children, and after they came along, for many years I lost my freedom and autonomy, which made running a business even harder. Later, I even lost my marriage. However, I continued on and trusted life and I trusted the people around me, even though some walked away which was heart breaking and painful to handle. But when you are put into the situation, you build resilience (Read: 8 Easy steps to build resilience) and start paying attention. Productivity, a positive outlook, (Read: 9 Simple tips that lead to positive thinking) along with lots of friendships were undoubtedly the most important factors to move forward with.
I remember hearing the saying, by Wilson Mizner, “be nice to people on your way up, because you’ll meet them on your way down”. I was always mindful of this, but I believe the saying should be, “just be nice to people”. During my time in business, especially in the early days, I called upon those I helped early in corporate life. Many returned to help me in various ways, and to this day many still do. Fortunately for me, many have become life-long friends. Being nice and doing the right thing, always opens doors, people remember you for it. And in many cases for me, even though I may have forgotten the good deed I may have done for someone, it came back to me ten-fold in a positive way. Never underestimate who will help you, I was surprised to find the obvious people who I thought would help me, didn’t, and then the ones that I thought wouldn’t, did. This led to even more opportunity. (Read: 9 Incomparable reasons to be generous)
When you are in business, the idea is to make the best out of everything. Sometimes your vision will need adjusting, but that’s OK. Some obstacles will get in your way and trust me there will be plenty of them to deal with. These obstacles actually showed me the path - these obstacles became the path. The best thing to do at this time is to find the patience and perseverance (Read: 4 Simple points that will help you persevere), take some deep breaths, find your stillness and push through.
I worried I was not good enough, I worried I would fail (Read: 10 Great ways to stop worrying). I over reacted to circumstances at times because of uncertainty. But these days, I don’t speculate or worry any more, the business has settled into a perfect product. I sit back in my office, with my cute puppy Ginger at my feet, gazing upon the dedicated, clever team we now have. Every now and then I smirk to myself and think about the sweet journey it has been. I thank my inner self for the opportunity and accept things just as they are. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
Thank you for taking the time to read this inspirational blog about life. I hope this creative blog helps you to be inspired and live your dreams, developing some good life habits and positive thinking. The intention of this creative and light-hearted site is for you to live a better, happier life that enhances your own emotional intelligence skills, based on my own life experiences. Please enjoy!