I always wanted to be Alexis Colby. As a young girl, watching Dynasty with my Nana on a Friday night, I longed to don the sharp little office suits Joan Collins wore to the office, adopting the persona of the stylish and smart businesswoman with the intellect to oversee a conglomerate and deal with all the Dex Dexter’s who appeared in her life. Since this dramatic introduction to the business world, I’ve always admired those with an entrepreneurial spirit. It takes a brave soul to turn away from the what’s expected well-trodden path, make a U-turn in the other direction and blaze your own trail. While I forge my own path, I find myself drawn to those with an avant-garde and innovative approach to life.
There are many examples on the Fortune 500 list. Most recently, I read an article about WhatsApp founder Brian Acton, who proved losing out on jobs at Twitter and Facebook shouldn’t define you. Instead it can spark innovation in the shape of a little app he sold to Mark Zuckerberg for $19bn. An act of genius if ever I’ve seen one. But the icon that makes me believe in the impossible? Who proved passion and creativity can merge within a successful business? It can only be Steve Jobs. I’m well known for my weakness for picture quotes and I love to read words from this trendsetter, who believed the only way to do great work was to focus on what you loved. This is a man who was fired from Apple, the company he co-founded, only to be recruited eleven years later, to transform them from near bankruptcy into one of the most successful companies ever recorded.
Jobs was more than the man with the Midas touch. In 2011 when he passed away, there was an outpouring of sentiment for the hippy that lived in jeans and wrote code in his bare feet. He once said being fired was the best thing ever to happen to him, freeing him to enter one of the most creative periods of his life. Jobs didn’t like playing by the rules, instead he created his own. He dreamt big and if you’re going to admire a business icon, I figure it should be best there ever was. So when I decided to start my own company, Tri-Quill, a few months ago. I discovered something quite surprising; I didn’t need the Alexis Colby business suit. I am a writer, who has written four books and is in the opening stages of her fifth. My strength is my imagination and given a blank page and a period of time, I will find my story. It turns out you can follow your dreams in a pair of skinny jeans and I believe if you plan for success, and work hard at your craft every single day you will attract your serendipitous moment, making it all worthwhile.
So if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; follow your dream. Whether it’s your art exhibition, your photography studio, your graphic novel or the dress you dream of designing. Yes, it’s scary starting your own business but the sense of pride in your opus – your dream – is immeasurable. As Earl Nightingale once said the time will pass anyway – wouldn’t you rather spend it living the life you dream of? Go for it. You won’t regret it for one single second. I promise.