An Insight into the story and life of a Self-Employed Entrepreneur with Flex The Car Connect
I always knew I was going to operate within the world of business but doing what, I didn’t know. I always had crazy ideas of things to pursue however either was put off by narrow-minded people or I just doubted my ability. During my teenage years, I taught myself how to make websites which I used as a side business that got me through secondary school and college and led me to choose Computing as an A level.
Boy did I hate it, it was nothing like I thought it would be, and my teacher made the experience hell for me. Fast forward a few years, and I continued freelancing in my spare time to make extra change here and there, and I still do to this day.
During university, I had to complete a placement year, I started a job in an industry I wasn’t familiar with, construction. It was a very random leap, but I liked it there, worked with some great colleagues who taught me different life lessons. I was somewhat happy and comfortable, but perhaps too comfortable. On one of my commutes into the office I was away with my thoughts and thought to myself, is this life? Do I have to work a dead-end job until I’m 65? My commute alone was an hour and a half each way, and I looked around on the train and I quickly realised I couldn’t do this for too long. Around the same time, the head of finance and I used to speak quite often about life, my goals, and my family, and he would set me extra tasks because he could see I would finish my work and be doing my own thing. A few months down the line, one random day, he sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do in life, I responded with “something related to business, property, car related etc.” and he asked what’s stopping you, and I listed a million reasons why I couldn’t do what I wanted to do at the time. He just told me, do it, you’re bigger than this place, you’ve got the ambition, he could see it in me, just do it.
A month passed and I had the opportunity to work for someone I had heard about and somewhat looked up to, however, the catch was it was commission only. It was a risky opportunity but at the time I had saved enough around the year, so I took the leap. I met so many different high-network individuals from different walks of life, some of who I still speak to now. Looking back, it was the best and worst time, mentally it was difficult to fathom where I was working day to day because it was far from my reality however, I came across an old school friend who came in as a client and dropped some game on me which in some way changed my mindset. I eventually left because I made no money at the time however I left with a new drive and a different outlook on life.
I went back to the university that September to complete my final year. I started reading Rich Dad Poor Dad as a way of procrastinating as I didn’t want to revise and then it clicked. I decided to open my own car rental business. I battled with the idea in my head every day for weeks and somehow my questions would be answered by speaking to someone in my close circle or the book. When I finally felt like I was ready, Covid-19 hit.
It seemed like a crazy idea to start a business just as the pandemic was taking over the world but there was no better time, if I could get through this, I felt like I could get through anything. A lot of my friends were being made redundant before our final year had ended so I knew getting a graduate role straight out of university would be difficult, so I took the gamble. Slowly I started with one car on my fleet, then two and I’ve carried on for 2 years now with 5 cars on my fleet currently, I’ve met many like-minded people on the way within the industry who I can lean on as friends and mentors. I can’t say it’s been easy, but it’s been worth it. I don’t trade my time for money, I have the time and freedom to do what I want when I want, and I don’t have to answer to anybody.
3 lessons I’ve learnt whilst running my business:
1. Bet on yourself – take the risk
I say this quite a lot to people, take that risk. When I first started thinking that I wanted to start my business full-time, I talked myself into the idea and out of it in the same conversation at times. Sometimes it was down to a lack of self-belief and other times just because of external opinions. Block out the noise and do what you want to do.
I’ve realised by putting myself in high-pressure situations I’ve always managed to prevail, sometimes beyond my expectations and other times below. In all situations, it is important to take a step back to see what lessons have been learnt; what went well, why did it go well, could it be improved. This is important as it keeps you accountable at all times. Naturally, we usually assess things when they’re going bad but in my opinion it's best to do it through the good and the bad.
2. Create a routine and remain disciplined
When I first started running my business full time, I became lazy, staying in bed until early afternoon and staying out late until early morning because technically I had no reason to be up and be asleep at any set time. Not every day was the same as I usually felt it was when I worked 9-5, one day I would have minimal/no tasks to do, and another day I could be running errands for my business for 12 hours straight. However, over time, I’ve made a strict routine to get all my non-negotiable tasks done, make time to go to the gym and think of ways to grow and expand.
3. Work hard and be consistent
One thing that may be evident is I hate monotonous tasks, doing the same thing repeatedly bores me so I used to branch out and try different things. This isn’t necessarily wrong but there’s power in consistently doing the same thing over and over again. It’s quite commonly said it takes 21-30 days to create a habit and to become an expert at something you must complete your 10,000 hours. So, if you’re like me and you’ve found something you’re good at and enjoy, stick at it and do it to the best of your ability. Adapt and stretch yourself so you can grow.
Burnout is real I must add, so rest periodically. In my case, I go on holiday at the end of every quarter to switch off and reset (I usually never switch off) but the change in environment calms me down and allows me to think with a clear mind, that way I can come back with energy to tackle what life has to throw at me.
Written by Flex The Car Connect
You can hire, finance and rent cars via http://flexthecarconnect.com
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