TODAY WE ARE CELEBRATING! Six years of being in business, and some days it feels like I started just the other day. There are so many facets to learn about business. There isn’t just a one-way or one book to follow; there are many avenues, systems and structures involved. But I won’t bore you with the logistics of it.
Instead, let me share six things I’ve learnt in business with you.
- Don’t compare yourself to others - Comparison is a killer. Just focus on what you need to do and where you need to go.
- Stay in your lane - Focus on what you do well and do it well.
- Bring others in - If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
- Count your losses and adapt quickly - The quicker you accept failure, learn from it and adapt.
- Celebrate your wins and milestones - Take the time to celebrate your milestones, small or big.
- Surround yourself with likeminded people - You only know what you know. Surround yourself with others who inspire you. Doing business alone is hard.
I started Taputapu in 2016 with little knowledge of running a business. I didn’t have any money to start, but I had this excellent idea that brought my passions together, and I thought I’ve got nothing to lose.
To cut a long story short, I made homeware products using jars and stickers, then glass printing, and eventually importing products from China. We’ve introduced graphic design services and have pivoted Taputapu from products to services.
It has been a year since we became a company and also a year of me working full time on the business. Since being a company, I’ve noticed that it has unintentionally forced me to take things to another level, to be more organized with tax and GST and to be on top of things. It has allowed us to engage with more prominent agencies, showing that we are serious. Being a company isn’t that scary, but it takes more attention to detail.
A huge milestone for me was employing a full-time employee and becoming self-employed. I’ve found that levelling up my commitment and bringing others in has forced me to work harder, push more for bigger jobs and overall reach higher. I can’t slack off. Having an employee in your team is incredible because the workload and ideas are shared. Plus, it means that we can bring in more jobs and I’m not fully stressed.
For the year ahead, I’m keen to build intentional connections with other Māori creatives, I’m keen to illustrate a book of our own, and I’m keen to sell my first pottery collection and take on some big contracts.
A huge mihi to everyone on the journey with us, for those who have supported us in small or big ways, everyone’s contribution has been meaningful. Taputapu turns six, crazy!
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