As someone who grew up with little money, I quickly learnt that no opportunity was going to be handed to me on a silver platter. I would need to work hard and open doors for myself. When I decided to set up my first company, I went to family members for advice. Some of them laughed at my aspirations, insisting that I didn’t have what it took to become a business owner, let alone a successful one. Had I started my journey believing what other people had said and not by believing in and supporting myself, I wouldn’t have gone on to create a very successful events company that would eventually employ over 100 people.
It’s so important to take ownership in and of your life and create your own opportunities for whatever you want to pursue. Here are some of the key lessons I learnt during my journey that I hope will be useful others:
There is always going to be someone ready to tear you down or tell you that you’re not capable of doing something. You have a choice; you either believe them and choose not to progress in life even though you aspire to, or you make an informed decision, weigh up your options, back yourself and give it your best shot. At the end of the day, if you don’t try, you automatically fail so what have you got to lose?
Through my journey I took on the stance that life is just trial and error. I didn’t need to get it right first go but I would always make sure I learnt something from every mistake. Dwelling on the things you don’t get right doesn’t help anyone. Keep moving forward.
I took responsibility for myself, I was accountable for all my wins and all my losses and I relied on myself first and foremost to work as hard as I needed to become the best and most successful person I could be. In doing so I created more opportunities for myself than anyone could have given me. I went from a bricklayer to a single mum to CEO of an events company, owner of an aerial dance studio and aerial yoga instructor to a published author and motivational speaker. It is up to you and no one else to create opportunities for yourself. You need to take ahold of your future; make all the hard decisions and you will get out what you put in.
There were times where I felt I didn’t have anyone who believed in me or the companies I was creating, but I never stopped backing myself. I set my goals and worked toward them every day. I believed I was doing the right thing, for myself and for my son and I never gave up, especially when things got hard. That’s when I would work ten times harder as I desperately wanted to prove to all the doubters that I could do this, with or without their support.
You need to be your own number one supporter. Know where your strengths lay and build on them, identify your weaknesses and make them your new strengths. Build on yourself every day to become a better person, friend, business owner, bit by bit. Now, more than ever you need to be resilient in life and in business. Don’t ever give up on your dreams just keep moving forward, back yourself and learn from your mistakes.
Casey Mackinlay, motivational speaker and author of “Girls Don’t Lay Bricks”