'Focus your frustration into determination, and eventually the phone will start to ring...'
When establishing the precursor to Actualise Neurofeedback Clinic in 2008, I wish I'd had greater confidence in my own vision. Despite having confidence in my ability, and even after securing the significant investment and attaining the necessary equipment, I still lacked that 100pc belief in my vision - and so I took longer than required to prepare more, learn more and have the vision perfected and in place before starting.
When I established Actualise, I expected the business to be running at full capacity overnight. Throwing yourself in the deep end on the back of your vision is great, but it can take time to adapt to the business side of things, especially when your background is in psychology and neuroscience.
It took some time for me to learn that the business will take time to grow. Looking back, patience was crucial. For anyone else who might be experiencing slow or tough times with their own business, I'd say have grit. Stick to your guns and focus your frustration into determination and eventually the phone will start to ring and the numbers will come through the door.
It took four years from our inception to book our first client - which felt like a lifetime. During these four years, the company suffered many highs and lows. However, a key learning was to build a passionate team and surround yourself with individuals as passionate about the company's vision as you are. During this four-year period, we obviously feared for the business plan and constantly doubted our own vision.
Having the right people around allows you to focus on the important aspects which have allowed Actualise to treat hundreds of children with problems (such as ADHD) in school, or establish our services as a peak performance base for institutions such as Connacht Rugby. If I could speak to myself four years ago, I'd say relax.
I am constantly listening, learning and adapting, and I enjoy speaking with customers and colleagues in a bid to continuously improve. These are the people who are in the best position to give me their honest experience of the service we provide, and what we can do to make our service even better. When you see a successful client, it's very rewarding.
Dr Michael Keane is Director of Actualise
Sunday Indo Business