INNOVATION

Four Australian Female Founders On Making A Career Pivot

From side-hustle to full-time gig.

31/10/2016 7:09 AM AEDT | Updated 31/10/2016 10:11 AM AEDT
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Got an idea inside you? Read on.

For many of us, leaving our 9-5 to follow a creative path is merely a pipe dream.

Sure, we read about the risk-takers -- and watch their success play out on social media while thinking "why didn't I think of that? -- though, it's never really enough to coax us from our "safe" job and pursue something totally new.

Perhaps if we read about the makings of such success stories, rather than simply their now-success and the dollar value that goes with that, we'd feel more encouraged to step up to the challenge.

According to research by American Express in collaboration with "Shop Small" -- a month-long initiative run to encourage local communities to support small businesses across Australia -- for women in particular, pursuing a side-hustle is something many have considered.

The data, released on Monday, revealed 26 percent of women who do not currently work in a small business describe themselves as planning to start one in the future, compared to 17 percent of men.

With that in mind, we asked four Australian women who've taken the plunge to reveal the biggest lesson they've learnt since starting their small business -- some of them new to the game -- and some well established.

Rebecca Lau Marsh, founder and general manager of Australian bridal and occasion wear site, White Runway

White Runway

Be ready for hard work

"Recently I read a quote from Randi Zuckerberg about entrepreneurs only being able to select three out of five things –- Work, sleep, family, friends and fitness. This quote really resonated with me, especially when I first launched White Runway. I think it's important to keep in mind that when you do start a business, your work becomes the number one priority. There are only so many hours in the day and only so much one person can do."

Jo Balfour, owner and founder of Empty Bags, an ethical beach bag company

empty_bags/Instagram

Start niche and ask questions

"The idea for a beach bag business came to me one day when I was snorkelling in Camp Cove. I'd ridden there on my scooter and my water bottle had leaked, killing my iPhone. From there I tried to find a beach bag with a waterproof compartment with no avail. I'm by no means a fashion designer, and in a way, my naivety worked in my favour because it meant I wasn't afraid to reach out to different people in the industry and ask questions. It also meant that I didn't so much focus on the end game. Instead, I made small goals, the first one -- being able to hold the first bag in my hand."

Louise Reeves, founder and owner of online floral company, Posy Supply Co

Posy Supply Co

Don't wait for everything to be perfect

"I launched my business during a two-week break from my full-time job. It instantly gained a lot of traction -- largely due to my social media strategy -- and one month after that, I took a leap of faith and resigned. I always tell people that if you have an idea, just start. I had no idea how to run a website and spent a lot of late nights trying to figure out how to code but nothing beats learning on the job."

Ali Mclean, founder and owner of Australian-made swimwear label Marble Swimwear

Marble Swimwear

Know when to outsource

"I only started my business in February, but I quickly learnt that when it comes to budgeting it's not my strong point. I didn't do enough research in that part of my business -- and it showed -- though since outsourcing to an accountant it means I've been able to focus on areas in the business I personally excel in, like marketing and social media."

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