by Lizl Naude, founder of Lilly Loompa
Oh, the life of a start-up entrepreneur can be extremely challenging. Juggling a myriad of balls, usually with the smallest of resources! A few months ago I had a conversation with a friend, who generously helps me with my business branding and corporate identity. We spoke about the plans I had for the business and I had so many deadlines looming that I started to feel worn out. He reminded me of how big my plate had become.
He went on painting a virtual picture of me wearing multiple hats. He vividly explained that he sees all these hats stacked on top of each other, on my head. Together, they’re becoming so heavy that my head is leaning sideways and my neck is taking strain! The way he made it plain and comprehensible, I had to sit back and listen. He gave me a friendly warning that if I don’t do something, I might suffer from burnout soon.
It was so liberating to have someone understand my predicament. It was also freeing, but it made me realise that I needed to make some changes.
He advised me to take off these hats one-by-one and place them on a table. He went on to say I need to start handing them over to capable role-players who are willing to wear them. I felt nervous as he explained, because as the custodian of my business, I’m concerned that other people might not run with it with the same values and vigour as me. My mind started racing but I knew he was right.
Since that conversation I have been consciously trying to follow his advice. It is still difficult some days, especially since I do not have a big team of specialists in my full-time employment. But it was a profound lesson and the way he described it was so visual that I still see it in my mind’s eye.
In fact, he came to the party and took the branding hat off my hands. Thank you Ron!
So here’s the lesson - you cannot do it all! Hand over those hats for someone else to wear!
Lizl Naude is the founder of Lilly Loompa in South Africa, a company that creates beautiful and usable products made with recycled material. Lilly Loompa's “Rubbish Range” is the result of Lizl's craving to deliver pieces that are completely "green". Lizl is a self-taught designer and initially started designing and making furniture because she couldn’t afford to buy new pieces to furnish her home. She started to scout and source for budget material and quickly realised that most people discard of very usable materials. The company manufactures a variety of products, from storage holders, lamps, to dinner table accessories, among others. All materials are carefully sourced from waste and sustainably reimagined as beautiful, yet purposeful products. Eco-friendly, handcrafted and 100% South African, each Lilly Loompa piece, once trash, is now a meaningful piece of treasure.
More articles by Lizl...