The Time When I Was Called A ‘Silly Little Girl Playing Shop’!!!

by Jun 23, 2017C1 - CLARITY, Don't Listen To Naysayers, What Is Success2 comments

The Time When I Was Called A ‘Silly Little Girl Playing Shop’!!!

Wow! Yes you heard right – the story about The Time When I Was Called A ‘Silly Little Girl Playing Shop’!!! and what I told the man to do, lol!

Once upon a time, a long long time ago – some silly little man dared to tell me that I was ‘just a silly little girl playing shop’. How dare he!

Now you’ll have to watch my Mentorsmith Tips #4 video to hear me talk about the full story!

Hitting Resistence

But in short, I had just decided to move to N.Ireland (from Ireland via London) to set up a contemporary jewellery gallery. My husband had taken a few months off deciding upon what he was doing to help me start it up. We had rented a warehouse type unit in an small business park in Belfast with a really lovely supportive bunch of other small businesses.

Ian and I had just sold the house we had been living in and we had a small profit. It gave me enough money to fit the studio with workbenches, commission some lovely bespoke jewellery cabinets and buy my first selection of stock. A dream come true!

Wrong! I couldn’t have hit such resistance from people. Nearly everyone I was meeting was telling me I was crazy and that a business like this wouldn’t survive in N. Ireland. But I don’t do bullshit. So the more people were telling me no don’t do it, the more I knew it was just the right time to do it!

Being Judged

So because we were in a business park we were entitled to a small start-up package and with that came a number of sessions with a business ‘mentor’. I was really looking forward to that and to see what they had to say. But I was so wrong! The man arrived at the door and Ian let him in. They were having a great chat when I came down the stairs to say hello. I heard Ian say, oh you’ll have to speak to Sarah, she owns the business. Then when the man actually saw me he had such a look of surprise on his face.

Basically Ian was wearing a nice pair of trousers and a smart shirt. Although I was ‘smartly’ dressed, I was also wearing an apron as I tend to do on a daily basis being a jeweller in a workshop. I knew that he did NOT expect that it was me that was in charge of the business because I was ‘a girl’ AND he judged me by the fact that I often looked much younger than I was.

So we sat down to talk. He was quite abrupt and I thought, oh dear this isn’t going to go very well. He asked about the business and he told me point blankly that what I was planning had no way of working in N.Ireland. The fact that there weren’t already other businesses like mine in the whole of Belfast and beyond was an indicator that ‘there was a reason for this’. He NEVER asked me who I was, what I had done or what my experience before hand was.

No Plan

Then he started to talk about business planning and did I have one. I said no. To be honest I’d never heard of the fact that you ‘needed’ a business plan to get a business off the ground. He then went on a rant about how I hadn’t put any thought into how much the business was going to cost. Neither did I have financial projections for the next 3-5 years. Plus that was just ridiculous and how could any business survive without that. And what was I ‘some silly little girl playing shop?’

Well I could see my husbands face and I knew he was thinking, oh god, she’s going to punch him, lol!

He never actually took the time to ask if I had calclated any costs or had any other type of plan. Which of course I had, quite a detailed one actually. I just didn’t have a plan that was in the ‘traditional’ business plan format!

So I told him to get out of my studio and that I didn’t need to be spoken to like that in my own space.

What Happened Next

I then went to the business park manager and told her what had happened and asked who the man was. As it turned out he had previously retired from running his own antiques business and over the years he had been bankrupt before. Then it all clicked. He didn’t like the fact that I was female, that I had a ‘new’ idea and that I was prepared to take a risk. Just because he had a business that hadn’t worked out, didn’t mean mine would go the same way.

He was pompous, arrogant and completely negative. Whereas he could’ve been a real asset to a small business starting out. Had he climbed off his high horse, he could’ve helped us to work out better ways to run a business that would NOT result in bankruptcy. You know help someone else learn from your own experiences of what NOT to do!

Now I could’ve let that experience totally floor me. But I’m not that type of person. Instead I have a f**k you attitude. So I went away and did a start-up programme on writing a business plan. I wrote my 50-page thesis which they said was one of the best and most comprehensive they had ever seen.

…the irony is, we never looked at the business plan again AND my business went from strength to strength. We bought a property a year later and we grew from me to having 5 staff!

So stick your ‘silly girl’ attitude up your arse mister!!!!

#sillygirl #playingshop #ignorenegativity #changeyourmindset #mentortip

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