I once read a book by TD Jakes, titled “Instinct”. I felt that this book was written for me at a particular stage in my life. At that point, I was struggling to fit into my new country. I also struggled with deciding what exactly to start doing in this new terrain. I noticed the people were different, the culture was different, and the food was different.
In “Instinct”, I learned to find the thing I’ve been called to do and focus on it. It was not just about the business I choose to engage in, but it was about finding my calling.
Before I left my country, I had focused on one business – my restaurant business. As it expanded, I added office catering, then events catering, and I also built two branches of that restaurant while employing over 56 people. I was hungry for new challenges, and I decided to start up a commercial bakery, invested cash, bought all the equipment and had to leave them all behind to follow my husband. No regrets though.
When I started reading this book, “Instinct”, I could relate to the author’s story due to what I was passing through at that point. By default, I had wanted to start a restaurant business, but 99% of people in the Netherlands knew nothing about African food. I knew I had to re-invent myself. First, I had to let go of the CEO mentality and think from the beginning all over again.
I remember the first time I started my company Ataro Food. I printed a card with the title, “CEO”, and as I gave it to someone, I received a funny look. I understood that look. It was like, “are you insane?” I had to change my business card to read “Founder”.
I struggled with starting new. I struggled with what new business to do, where to start from, how to form new relationships, find customers, and most of all, I struggled with working alone, which I had never done before even when I started my first business, 19 years ago.
One thing I have come to realise is that some people are born to juggle, and I fit into that role perfectly. This made me feel bad and look flaky. When I read “Instinct”, I was consoled. I learned more about jugglers – they play with more than two balls; they strive to catch each ball so non is dropped. When one ball is up, other balls are lowered but not sunk. They focus on the ball that is up, while not removing their eyes from the lower balls.
THEY HAVE MASTERED THE ART OF JUGGLING. YES, IT’S AN ACT.
Moreover, I HAD TO LEARN IT.
What about you, my friend? Have you ever found yourself in a state of confusion because you’re drawn to too many different passions? You can learn the art of juggling. Have you also found yourself in a state of not knowing what to focus on? You can learn the art of juggling. When you are drawn to too many passions, it’s so easy to lose focus, and all your work may suffer.
First, start by discovering the connection between everything you do. The relationship is you. Focus on you and your role. Find that single role which only you can do and find friends, partners or employees to do the rest. Find people to support you in running your different interests, while you focus on what you do well – managing or leading.
I wrote a book about choosing the right idea to start a business, and in it I dedicated a full chapter to helping people like me, who are drawn to different passions. I teach them how I did it and how they can also do it.
The book is helpful to people who are still considering a profitable and sustainable business idea that they can focus on over the long run. It’s not a copy of someone else’s ideas, but an original and revenue driven idea. You can get it here.