In hindsight, I had a clichéd vision of working life while I was studying at university. For my first job, I expected a regimented working day and a cycle of never-ending routines: the alarm at 7am, the sleepwalk to the shower, the rushed breakfast, the busy commute. I assumed that my weeks would be spent secretly planning for the weekend ahead while I sat staring at the clock, waiting for the relief of 6pm to come around. Perhaps I had been watching too much TV or speaking to friends who’d had a poor experience, but after graduating from university, I headed out into the wide world with more than a degree of trepidation.
After 5 months, 58 applications, 5 failed final interviews and a continual barrage of rejection, I was no closer to finding a job at all. The reality of trying to get a job, let alone hold one down, was far removed from my naïve expectations. The job hunt was a disheartening process. Anyone who hears the word ‘no’ enough will succumb to dejection eventually. It was in these wearisome weeks however that I began to take one idea more seriously than the rest: Catipilla. My instinct suggested that setting up a company was far beyond my capability (even with a helping hand from others), but out of options and tired of rejection, I thought I’d give it a shot.
Fast-forward 4 months, and I’m about to launch our innovative idea to the world on Kickstarter. It is now that I realise how fortunate I’ve been, and the clichés that I had expected are a distant memory. Working in a start-up poses a different set of challenges altogether. You are responsible and accountable for every email, post and website change you make. It’s a test every day, but I’m learning faster than I ever have with the support of some first-class designers, logistic partners and manufacturers. I jumped into the deep end with weights tied to my feet, and somehow, I’m still swimming.
Of course, this is just the beginning and time will only tell if this venture is to be successful. I recognise now though how lucky I am to have this opportunity. I’m proud to be part of this team and I’m excited to see where Catipilla might take us. We can only hope for a roller coaster of a ride.
Irrespective of the outcome, my takeaway from these past 9 months is simple. Everyone goes through difficult times that test us, but it’s important to remember that even though others may doubt you, you should never start doubting yourself.