I want to give you guys an insight into where outsourcing all began for me and how I got into this business. Before even contemplating starting an outsourcing company, I was always keen to start my own business. I couldn’t see myself working my corporate job for much longer and when I had the opportunity to get started in a nail polish business, I jumped into it. I had no passion for nail polish and zero experience in how to start a business. I invested thousands of dollars in bottles, brushes, polish but suddenly realised I needed to spend even more to get a logo, brochures, website etc to market my products. I didn’t have the tech skills to build my own website so I had my first taste of outsourcing. In fact, I had my BAD taste of outsourcing. What’s surprising is that it wasn’t some unknown overseas worker that ripped me off. It was a pricey Australian company that delivered a mediocre website on a platform that I couldn’t take ownership over! Plus they gave me no warning about how important internet traffic, content writing, social media, and SEO was! I had to figure all that out on my own. I eventually threw that website away after only a few days of its launch, simply because I knew for every change I needed to make it would cost me $100/hour to use their developer as they did not allow me to use my own developer.
I was bitter, but I wasn’t a quitter. I began to look for talent myself through websites like UpWork (called Odesk at the time), but even then, it was a hard-fought battle with plenty of lessons learnt through personal experience. I made mistakes with hiring the wrong people who promised me they could do it but ran off with my money, I also had no idea what I was doing or how to work with them. Remember, I was still just doing this to get my nail polish business going! This nail polish business ended up costing me about $50,000 and nearly 2 years of stress. While I was going through this struggle, I began to expand my network and realised that I wasn’t alone in this struggle as an entrepreneur. Everyone else I met was hitting the same walls I did while I tried growing my business online and we were all limiting our growth in the same way. Well, by that point I actually started to get the hang of everything so the fight wasn’t so hard.
That’s when I took a step back to realise that, hey. I was good at this. While I tried so hard to further my nail polish business, I was building up my people skills, I was gathering knowledge about digital marketing, and I was gathering experience with outsourcing that meant that I could find the best talent for any business similar to mine. The $50,000 I spent didn’t go to waste, it taught me the knowledge and skills I needed to help other business owners with their digital marketing and outsourcing needs. So I put down my bottles of nail polish and built Red and Black Solutions (a digital agency since 2010) before starting Outsourcing Angel (offshore recruitment agency) a few years later. This is one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about outsourcing. I went through the same experiences that a lot of my clients are going through and I know what they’re trying to achieve. The most important thing I’d learnt in all this was a few things about myself. I love what I do, I love the people I work with, and I love transforming lives. Did you go through a similar situation with your first business? Would love to hear from you any good or nightmare startup stories 🙂