gemaker celebrates its first birthday today!
Looking back over the past year I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone – or how well! When I first parachuted out of the safe environment of a public research agency role and into my own business, it seemed like a leap into the great unknown. The move may have seemed crazy to some, but to those who really know me tell me that they knew if anyone could do it, I would…
What made me jump into a new work environment?
My eyes were first opened when I attended an Innovation and Entrepreneurship class in Asia, as part of my MBA studies taught by Tim Mazzarol. It made me realise that I had plenty of technology commercialisation experience setting up technology start-ups, and growing new businesses within a research organisation and that I enjoyed starting up new businesses. I decided to take the plunge and start my own company to fully appreciate what it takes to build a company from the ground up and be responsible for all aspects (finance, legal, HR, communications, business development).
“Walk a mile in someone’s shoes”… seems like ten now….
2012 was a year of huge change, of exciting achievements, and of fantastic connections with a diverse range of professionals who became part of the gemaker journey.
What did I learn?
- Thankfully, that I can do it! We’re still here and the business continues to grow
- I enjoy the challenges
- No matter how much you learn there is always more to learn.
What pieces of wisdom can I offer from my experience…
- If you’re going to take a leap of faith, plan your jump. Make sure your idea fulfils a customer need, have some start-up cash saved and have your first customer onboard
- Surround yourself with great people (my business partner Athena is awesome and inspirational, my team are amazing and dedicated and my many supporters and mentors are foundations to gemaker)
- Give back to your community – “No one has ever become poor by giving”
- Eat your elephant in small pieces – break large tasks down and share them around where you can to make them manageable. Play to your strengths, and those of your colleagues, when distributing tasks
- If you get stuck, make a decision, the best one you can. If it’s not perfect, that’s life. Some you win, some you lose. Keep moving forward
- Learn from your mistakes.
Of course, anniversaries and celebrations come with inevitable lists of thanks, and this is no different! I would like to thank a number of organisation whose involvement in gemaker in our first year of business was integral to our success.
- Interlated – who created the gemaker website
- Divine Creative Design – who designed the gemaker logo
- Business Enterprise Connect – who provided great business mentoring, short courses and networking for small business.
I would also particularly like to thank our clients who have been willing to take a chance on an emerging company; our staff, whose professionalism, expertise and enthusiasm make gemaker such an exciting place to be; and our various supporters and mentors, who have provided strategic advice, encouragement, energy, and a whole range of personal and professional support that has been invaluable in helping us to drive the business forward. Last but not least I’d like to thank family and friends for their ongoing support to myself and the team, fundamental to our success.
Thank you all for becoming part of the gemaker journey. We look forward to working with you again in 2013.