Elizabeth Batalia, founder of The Institute for Achievement and Excellence, tells us about her business journey and the lessons she has learned along the way.
After many years of working the nine-to-five shift (more like eight-to-six), I finally decided to take the uncomfortable plunge and do things completely my way… or so I thought.
I saved enough money to pay the bills for a while so I could fully concentrate on establishing my own business, an institute that helps up-skill women in the professional and entrepreneurial world who wanted to excel in business.
My desire was to create something unique and something that especially supported the female professional. How difficult could that be?
I was not naïve; I knew there would be challenges but that did not discourage me. I was knowledgeable, experienced and above all, ultra-uber-enthusiastic. Nothing was going to get in the way of me and my goal. I rolled up my sleeves up and got to work.
I had easily decided on the content, but I was flabbergasted at how I would put over 30 years of experience into simple, bite-sized lessons. This was the process:
- Tweaked it (more like analysed it to death)
- Wrote the content at a comfortable pace, i.e. tapped away at my computer until even the computer was getting tired
- Tweaked it (multiple times). Let's just say the exact number may disturb some readers
- Professionally recorded the content. Have you ever recorded the perfect moment only to press replay and preview a black screen? I recently joined that club
- Tweaked it. The good recordings but still checked the black screen ones - because you never know, right?
- Correctly uploaded everything onto the learning platform after sending a few questions to customer support. Maybe 'a few' isn’t exactly accurate. I probably asked a few more questions than a few
- Tweaked both the uploaded content and the supporting documents. A few times
- Started spreading the word that there was a new kid on the block. I needed feedback before going live. I aggressively marketed it to family and friends - old friends, new friends, anyone who could possibly be a friend. No one was safe!
Disclaimer - the above list is not the complete process. There were many, many more failures, frustrations and fiascos during my journey.
Doing things 'to standard'
I was determined to provide an affordable way for my audience to easily access useful resources to support their transformation journey. I ensured everything was to standard.
Note to self: when establishing a business, 'to standard' means - legalities, collaborations, paperwork, regulations, accountants, paperwork, sleepless nights… paperwork.
After ensuring all was to a standard that could be associated with launching a business, I finally hit the 'on switch'.
And so The Institute for Achievement and Excellence was born:
- The place that provides the solutions for you to succeed beyond your current limits and achieve excellence both professionally and personally
- The place that provides access to short online courses so you can raise the norm and stay ahead of the curve
- The place where you can do this in a few weeks and avoid years of trial and error
My vision was finally a reality and available to the world.
The hours continue to be longer than a regular nine-to-five shift, online rules mean I cannot always do things 'my way' and unplanned challenges continue to be a part of my daily routine now more than ever.
Doing what I love
What keeps me going? Why am I happier, even though it seems that I have chosen the more difficult road to walk? It is because I am doing what I love and the output of that will be of massive benefit to others. I was very successful before, but something always felt incomplete. I continue to be successful now but in a different way, a way that is more aligned with what I am meant to do. I found my Ikigai.
As I continue to navigate the complex landscape of being an entrepreneur, I have learned many lessons along the way. The journey to being your own boss is an exciting and rewarding one, but it is a road filled with unique challenges and they will test every aspect of who you are.
My courses contain everything I wish I had implemented earlier in my life. This is why I am so passionate about what I do and what I have to offer. And remember, stay curious and keep learning.
Top three tips I would tell my inexperienced self
1. Don’t wait for the 'ideal' time to start
There is never a perfect time to take action so let go of the notion that today is not the 'right' day.
The biggest obstacle is simply getting started. Start where you are, use what you have and do the best you can... but just get started.
2. The journey of learning never ends
There is always something new to learn about a topic even when you feel you have mastered it. Remain curious. That one, tiny piece of new information could be the trigger that completely changes everything - even if it is 'only' your perception about a situation.
3. Dedication, resilience, and patience are a must
Your attributes of dedication, resilience and patience will be tested - constantly. Sustaining success as an entrepreneur is a race for the marathon runner, not the sprinter. Dedication, resilience, and patience are required to maintain the momentum, recover from disappointments and control expectations.