Taking the plunge

I recently met one of the founders of Sharesies - a little New Zealand company doing huge things. Sonya had left big jobs at first Xero, and then Kiwibank, because she saw an opportunity to do something radical in the share trading space. She wanted to upend the current model and make trading on the share market something that anyone could have a go at, with as little as $5, or as much as $50,000. She spoke to heaps of people – young, middle-aged, wealthy, struggling – who said that share trading wasn’t for them. That it was shrouded in mystery, too confusing, too hard to break into, and way too expensive.

Sharesies image.png

I loved the idea (and have quickly become a Sharesies client as a result, starting out investing $50 of my own money and watching it grow, dip, and grow again…) but what I love more is Sonya’s appetite for change, and for risk.

I told her about my vision for Contentment, but that I was far too scared to take the leap, leave the well paid corporate job, and go it alone.

And she offered two really fantastic snippets of advice to me – two questions I should ask myself to see if I could get the business over the line.

  1. Can you de-risk it? Do you have money in the bank to get you through a few lean months? Can you drum up a couple of clients, or a few hours a week, to get you started? Is it a good enough idea that when you talk about it with your mates, they understand it – and like it? Do you have an exit strategy in case your idea bombs? These are all the factors that make your proposition way less risky.
  2. Is it riskier not to do it? Will you still feel fulfilled if you don’t take this leap? Will someone else move into this space and rob you of the opportunity down the line? Will you be left behind? Or have regrets? Or be a complete pain to live with if you don’t give this a whirl?

So, with Sonya’s advice whirring around my already convoluted brain, I started Contentment Agency. Hello! Here I am, and it’s scary as hell.

But, you see, I had to do it. I had to make a big change. Because my Contentment is in seeing others experience success, ensure they get some column inches and have people talking about what they do, their mission, and their very special brand story. I like to take a little of the load off – whether it’s because feeding the social media beast is taking them away from their core business, or they want to get in front of the media and don’t know how, or because they have a staffing gap they can’t quite fill and need someone fast, fun and flexible to get the job done.

So that’s me. Taking on some (manageable) risk.

Welcome to Contentment. (Oh, and thanks Sonya – you’re wonderfully wise!)

Fiona Fraser