A few days before I collected the keys to my new apartment and officially completed the purchase, I was given the opportunity to meet with a member of the sales team to do a visual inspection. I asked my dad to come along as an extra pair of eyes.
My dad is brilliant with numbers, amazing at making and fixing things and doesn’t do anything unless he’s going to do it properly. He takes care over every job - whether that’s tending to his favourite cyclamen plants, cleaning a pair of boots, or researching our family history. Everything is done with thought and meticulous attention to detail.
The apartment looked beautiful. But as we soon found out when we came to do the inspection, the way things look at first glance isn’t always the truth of what’s lying beneath the surface.
My dad ran is hand along the skirting board, noting the rough finish and commenting that the time hadn’t been taken to sand it down properly before painting.
He always checks plug sockets, since he’s wired up, installed and painted a fair few in his time. He always tells me that when painting a wall, it’s worth the extra time and effort to remove the socket cover and do the paint work with it removed. What most people do is paint around the socket, meaning that if it needs to be removed to do any work in the future, it'll crack the surrounding paint creating a visual monstrosity. And I know he’s right because I’ve seen it happen.
Equally, there were splodges of paint here and there on the carpet, scuffs on the walls and dust everywhere, despite the“thorough” clean undertaken by the cleaning team.
I made a list of everything, called customer care and asked them to come and do what needed to be done. More time, more effort and more money on their part. Same goes for me.
The lesson my dad shares with me repeatedly is always the same:
Doing it properly the first time will always save you time and money in the long run.
When you’re working for yourself, it’s tempting to skip over the foundations. Exercising, eating right, sleeping, spending time with the people you love, getting some fresh air, making time for being still. The most important things are always the things that get dropped first when you’re in the midst of following your dreams and trying to have your new thing take off.
But ditch the foundations now and you’ll pay for it in the long run. You’ll pay for it with poor health, with less energy, tense relationships, stress and anxiety. Skimp on the foundations and you’ll find, eventually, that everything becomes harder. I’ve ignored the foundations enough times over the last 4+ years to know what the consequences are.
The foundations are the foundations because they support everything else. And what you have to remember when you’re an entrepreneur going after those dreams of your is this:
You are your business.
So if there’s something I want you to know today, it’s this:
Make yourself a priority, no matter how hard or even impossible that seems at times. Love yourself first and love yourself hard. The rest you build from there.
Love and courage,