What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds
It’s the end of 2019 I’m feeling set up for 2020. This is what we developed this year:
- A comprehensive new reporting tool
- A showcase of sample reports and a workshop demo
- Evolution of the brand, messages and imagery
- A new website and updated materials
- 15 accredited Mirror Mirror practitioners and 40 more set up for training next month
- A few new and repeat client engagements
- Initial work to set up a new organization-wide alignment diagnostic product (underway)
- A drumbeat of articles, conferences and social posts
- A bigger and stronger team.
I’m proud of these achievements and acknowledge my extended team of their fantastic support. There are 10 people helping to put this Mirror Mirror together, piece by piece.
My wish for 2020? We start making a real impact in the market: trainings, case studies, evidence of value, credibility; training, case studies, evidence of value, credibility ….
That’s great, you might be thinking, but there hasn’t been much income so far.
How is it all being funded?
To cut a long story short, it’s been a mix of a few lucky breaks that I’m very grateful for:
- Some redundancy cash
- A ’loan’ from my mum and dad
- My husband moving into consultancy instead of a salaried role
- But above all, we’ve been able to syphon off funds from our rental apartment instead of using the money to pay off the mortgage.
And that property has been amazing. It’s right in the centre of Delft and we’ve let it on short term via Airbnb for the past 8 years. Tourists, visitors to the University here, people on business at for the European Patent Office and Shell, and other travellers whose relatives are marrying at the beautiful Town Hall have all stayed there. The occupancy rates have been going up and up as Airbnb has become so popular. It’s really helped us stay afloat – providing the equivalent of a whole salary to keep the family going.
I was looking ahead to 2020, thinking that if we have this rental income plus the same consultancy money from my husband, I don’t need to draw a salary. I don’t see the possibility of a salary for me next year anyway. We are still in the mode of low expenditures and zero investment in pensions or mortgage reductions, which is always a nag in the back of my mind. I still need to re-invest all revenues from sales so my horizon right now is a salary in 2021.
But then last week, we got a note from the local Government. It said that short term holiday rentals are now considered illegal and we have 10 days to respond to the letter, and then later if we do let out the property on a short-term basis, we’ll be fined 10,000 Euro! This already happened in Amsterdam but we didn’t think it would come to little old Delft.
My husband’s consultancy contract expires at the end of the year and he doesn’t yet have his next position lined up. That doesn’t worry me too much but I’m wondering how long we can delay proceedings on the rental house for…
Nevertheless, I think we’ll be ok. I don’t have a debt that needs paying soon, I feel confident about the business – the worst thing that happens is, we have to sell the house. I’m just grateful that we are able to juggle things to stay in the game.
Mirror Mirror – a team alignment diagnostic tool and process in one, helping people align to the strategy, as well as each other.