It can be quite daunting when you decide to start a business. Especially when you have no prior experience in that field and you are basically going at it purely from the pure passion and idealism of it all.
Many businesses crumble within the first year for various reasons but mainly because they lose sight of why they got started in the first place. When your vision is clear that is what will continue to drive you even when it seems like there is no hope in sight. Even during the most challenging of times it is important to always remember the “why” behind your business.
When we started our magazine in August 2019 we started with a clear purpose and vision for what we wanted to achieve. There was just three of us and we were starting something completely new that none of us had any prior knowledge of. We petitioned several organisations within our community to ask for sponsorship, support and advice as to how we could pursue our idea and make a success of it. Many people closed their doors in our faces and the ultimate blow was when we launched the magazine in South Africa and out of all our invited guests, a modest 50 suddenly dropped to 30 on the day before the launch and then on the day itself absolutely no one showed up at all. At that point we all felt the inclination to throw in the towel and call it a day because so much preparation went into this event. We had to dig deep and remember our “why”. We had to remind ourselves that our purpose was bigger than a failed launch.
The launch taught us that you should not put too much faith and trust in people because at that crucial moment when you need them the most they can let you down in epic fashion. Nonetheless we decided we were not going to be distracted by this and we kept pushing. As a new brand people will be very reluctant to sign up with you because the first question in their minds is “who are you?” If they don’t have confidence in your product and in you as an individual they will just give you the cold shoulder.
We launched the first edition with a graphic designer who gave us a less than stellar finish as his heart and mind were not in it at all. At every stage he would give excuses and kept shortchanging us at every turn. I was quite disappointed with him because even though I had no prior graphic design training I had dabbled with various graphic design programs like CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator when I used to design fliers and t-shirts so I knew he had shortchanged us. I told my partners that I knew I could do better that this guy. Initially my partners were not sure if I was up to task but I dared them to give me a shot. Luckily they did and the rest is history!
I have now designed and laid out all of the HOM magazine issues since then. I have developed a true passion for creating the very best magazine that I can with the limited training I have or lack thereof. It has been quite humbling to get the positive feedback from a number of people from various backgrounds speaking of the quality of the finish. It takes me several hours to prepare all the pictures and design the layouts. As I do this more I am gaining more knowledge and experience and with each publication I try and take it up a notch.
As our brand grows in our community it has been quite humbling to work with some of the people I have worked with. Truly inspiring individuals who have not only inspired me but also continue to inspire others in our community and beyond…..
The Roddy Chasewater Show.