What NOT to do when starting a Business

Well, I cannot believe that I’m already into the sixth month of my new business – Let’s Talk Events. The year has flown by and already I’m preparing for the busy summer months of events, and Christmas Parties.

Now, I can see you scratching your heads thinking “Who on earth is this chick? And what are her credentials?” Good questions. I’m Sharon and I am the owner/director of Let’s Talk Events and the “savvy business women” who is starting Life Beyond 30 Business – Maroochydore. How I came to be an event planner/manager is a long story and the reason why I can write “What NOT to do when starting a Business”.

I started event planning 11 years ago when I initiated and ran the first Wheelchair Basketball Tournament for the Suncoast Spinners (The Spinners). At the time, I was extremely green and had to learn as I went along about the do’s and don’ts of event management. Why Wheelchair Basketball you ask? My eldest son (Jake) has Spina Bifida and wanted to play a team sport. We introduced him to The Spinners, and he was hooked. He was representing Queensland within 6 months of starting to play. Now, while this is great there was a problem! The kids on the Queensland team came from all over the state and rarely saw each other, let alone train or play together. What to do????? This is when my inner Event planner came into being, and ta da a new tournament was unleashed onto the Australian Wheelchair Basketball scene.

Ten years later, and a burning passion for event management, saw me wanting to develop these skills further. I enrolled at TAFE here on the Sunshine Coast and immersed myself into the course. Throughout the twelve-month course I proceeded to perform over 700 hours of volunteer work, including internships with the Women’ Lifestyle Expo and The Police and Emergency Services Games where I was entrusted to run the Police & Emergency Services Expo.

Finishing TAFE on a high I quickly decided that self-employment was the way to go, with a clear vision of the type of events I would run and the clientele I would like to work with. Only one problem that could undercut all my plans …… would Jake make the Australian Under 23 Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team (Spinners) and play at the World Championships in Toronto in June 2017???? Now I’m sure you have heard of Murphies Law, and because I launched my business in February, Jake made the team. There was NO way I could not go and finish all the hard work and energy I had put into helping Jake this milestone.

The Men’s Under 23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Toronto were amazing! Ten amazingly talented young men representing Australia who came home with a Bronze Medal. This, however was only one of the amazing highlights of the tour for Jake and myself. Jake also came away with the Player of the Match for the game against Italy in a game that was a 50-point tie at full time, and needed to go into overtime for the Aussies to win 60 – 53. So much breath holding and heart stopping moments cannot be good for you.

After attending the tournament, I really did need my first major holiday in 24 years and toured throughout Canada. Although seeing bears in the wild and lovely scenery is relaxing, I was itching to come home and re-ignite my business. I have however learned some really great things about starting a business and what not to do……… firstly don’t have a holiday for 24 days overseas when in your first five months of operation. DO get other major projects off your plate so that you can concentrate on the important details of creating your business. DO attend seminars and business networking events such as those that Life Beyond 30 Buisiness hold each month. DO make plans, business plans, marketing plans, 1, 5 & 10-year plans. Make sure your business insurance covers exactly what you do in your business. LISTEN to what others have learned and take on only what you need to know. DO get yourself a website (the best you can afford) and make sure you know about Social Media and how to market you and your business on these sites (again research, and never stop learning from where ever you can). DO get yourself a mentor, or at least someone who you admire to help get you through those dark days of self-doubt. Lastly, and this is one I often forget to do ….. exercise and enjoy your business. Your business is about you and what you want to do …. Be passionate about it, cause no matter how much other people enjoy working for you, with you or what you do – you are the only one who really knows what drives you and the reasons for opening your business.

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