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Therese O's story on... letting our intuition lead

From generalist beginnings Therese is now a specialist recruiter in the IT and software development domain. Her early days set herself up on her journey in this highly specialized and growing field. She was once a project administrator working IN the world of software development, ALONGSIDE software developers. Her growing understanding of the hard and soft skills and personalities of professionals in the software development environment were advantageous to the recruitment companies she worked for. She however, got to a point where growth stagnated.

“I felt like I was in a rut, there was no growth for me within their business, you are where you are, you work with the owners, that's where it ends. Coupled with personal health challenges making sitting in an office chair for eight hours a day a dire issue which they were unwilling to accommodate with a remote work option, I knew I needed to do my own thing.”

Luck and karma was on her side, day two into entrepreneurship, she met a client that would set her business up with a firm foundation. A client who, during the covid blackout for many businesses, had more business than ever, and this grew her business substantially.

Because Therese did not turn to entrepreneurship to make money but rather to help the people her business serves, she is never lured into making bad business decisions that may be financially attractive. She has found that when she does good business, the money tends to follow. A woman of her word, she was approached many times by clients of her former employer pleading for her to take on their business, she never once swayed and abided by her restraint of trade written into her employee contract at the time.

“You only have your name, and if you are honest, dependable and uphold good ethics, then people want to work with you, and continue to work with you. Treasure your name you have in the market. This has nothing to do with the company but about who you are and how you conduct business.”

Therese encourages us to dig deep and get to understand our inner intuitive self and apply it to business. To be clear on one's values so that we get good at recognising if those we may work with, are aligned in this way too.

“I one hundred percent believe in my gut feeling. If I don't feel comfortable, then I will not work with that person. I have learnt that when I go against my gut, it leads to disappointment.”

Therese goes on to highlight how these decisions we make have great impact, as the people who we choose to work with also impact other aspects of our business be it customers, employees, suppliers, collaborators and so on, the person negatively impacted is never just the founder.

Therese believes that anyone can be an entrepreneur when they choose to do something they really love. “Entrepreneurship should not be seen as a job, it is rather something that you do with heart and purpose. For me it is about building people up and helping them, that's the business I am in. Yes, many try and fail at being an entrepreneur, some succeed, and others are too scared to give it a go, but it is an option for anyone to pursue.”

“Don't be afraid to take that risk. Don't be afraid of failing. So what if you fail ! Dust yourself off and keep moving. Self-confidence comes with time and experience. We can always try again.”

Therese speaks from first hand experience having attempted entrepreneurship and failed in the past, she learnt how to step out of her introverted personality and her comfort zone to come to the fore. She learnt over time and with experience what it takes and when she gave it another go, she excelled. Still, she remains true to herself, a real empath and introverted, she connects with her key audience, developers who really connect with her ways.

Therese touches on a big hurdle as we transition from employee to entrepreneur. She talks about the role of sales, where, as an employee we are handed clients to work with, but when we choose the entrepreneurial path, we are faced with the cold hard reality that now WE need to find the clients ourselves. Daunting to many entrepreneurs but an essential skill required for entrepreneurial success. “Sales and approaching clients can feel incredibly difficult but this is where I have to step out of my comfort zone and pick up the phone which can still feel daunting for me. Afterwards, I wonder what the hesitation was about as most times it is a good conversation with a pleasant person.”

Therese has grown her business, yet it is still a Business-of-One. How? As her business grows she collaborates with freelancers in her domain to extend her services outside of what one person can achieve alone. This business model allows her business to grow whilst not having to take on the additional burden of employees but rather business partners who work with her on an equal footing.

“Nobody is going to look after you, you need to look after yourself. You have to make time for yourself, your loved ones and family. A life that is all business just isn't sustainable. Entrepreneurship allows us to achieve this because we ARE our own boss.”

Humble as she is, Therese doesn't see all that she has accomplished as anything other than normality. For us onlookers, we see something quite extraordinary. Little does she know how she inspires us and we are honored to share her story to spread the inspiration far and wide.

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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