My Life Part 3

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My Life. Part Three

So now we’re well into 2017 and what seemed to have been one of my biggest dreams has started to become my worst nightmare.

You see with employing more and more staff to keep up with capacity so more and more issues arose.

Labour laws, unions, bargaining councils. The list continues and before I knew it my once dream for my career started slipping away from me.

Meeting a client and creating the most beautiful space for them was no longer available to me. My new position meant I sat at a desk. One fire after the other I had to put out. I had to make sure the bills were paid ontime. I had to sit in disciplinary hearings. I had to make sure we ran like clock work. That’s the boss right. Yes.

Looking at beautiful fabrics and turning a client’s vision into a reality, what’s that? There are now in-house employees for that. My heart started to long for what truly made me happy career wise. Now if you recall in part one of my story I had a dream and it was big. It started back in 2004 when I was pregnant with my first Baby, Isabella.

Now we’re in 2017 and I ask myself quietly, “Pascalé is this still what you want?” And my answer to myself is one of absolute uncertainty and slowly I started seeing how I simply was not coping and things were starting to unravel.

The pressure and stress started to become insurmountable.

But now you’re in it. “You can do this Pascale, you’re not a quitter.”  I kept telling myself. “You don’t fail!”

I so badly need a break, just a small holiday to get away from it all, even just a day!

A holiday? What’s that? My personal bank account is depleting from constantly reinvesting in the business. Because that’s what you do. You invest for the end goal. “But what is that end goal Pascalé?” The dream is becoming a nightmare.

We keep pushing. The business park we are in are constantly trying to shut us down. Why?  Because our machinery we are using according to them is making to much noise. My continuous argument, we are a business park, a very sought after one for that matter and you approved my business model when you wanted my business. The list continues. Never ending stories. More fires to put out. I haven’t been creative in months. Feels like decades.

Oh wait. I am pregnant. I better calm down to a mild panic. My Baby. These cramps aren’t healthy.

We continue to get busier and busier. Our overheads grow. Stress is killing me. Another bargaining council meeting. Another PAYE and Vat submission to submit. Another bandsaw blade broken and no-one thought to ensure there are spares. Another missing power tool. All just too much!

Does it ever end? I want to enjoy being pregnant for the very last time in my life. I miss my family. I wonder what sport match my daughter is playing today. I shout at my sales manager because the sales team need to do more. I need a holiday. One day.

Let’s pause for a second.

My sales manager, many and I mean thousands of you know her. And later down the line if you don’t know her I will introduce you to her you will understand later on, but let’s just say as an employer it is one of the most difficult tasks in the world to find loyal and truly dedicated staff. The ones in it for the long haul. And let me give you one word of advice for those reading this that are business owners. Treat them well. They are your biggest assets. Appreciate them. Daily. But more on this later on in the series.

So business continues as usual and we are thriving. We’re stressed, I am unhappy but we’re thriving!

Now if you recall back to part one of my story you will recall we opened a multi million Rand store in a mainstream shopping center in the same month as the factory. Have you heard me talk about this store? No. Can you guess why? Well obviously. Because I have been so inundated with the capacity of our factory that who as a sole individual can possible manage all of this? Could I have? I thought I could. But no, it’s simply not possible. So what do we do I hire more staff. I need competent people around me to manage the affairs that I can’t.

My stomach hurts. These cramps are not normal.

Stay tuned for part four.

Author: Pascale Cilliers 

Founder: Baby Belle 


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