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  • Writer's pictureCharisma Rangipunga

Entrepreneurship – Busy, Busy, Busy

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Sunlight streaming through a window

Nāku iti nei

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ko wai ahau?

Ko Mark Revington ahau.

I will be looking after Nāia te Whakaaro from now on. What does this mean? It means that Nāia te Whakaaro will appear with some regularity although not with an earth-shattering topic every time. And in case you are worried that it is not NAIA’s whakaaro, it will still be under the eagle eye of the auntiest aunty you have ever met. Step forward Charisma Rangipunga.

Which is a relief. Although I have been a writer forever, including my time as editor of Te Karaka and co-authoring Tā Mark Solomon’s memoir, ‘Mana Whakatipu’, it is good to have someone else’s kōrero and keen eye on copy.


Entrepreneurship – Busy, Busy, Busy

nā Charisma Rangipunga

It is a rare day that I get to spend just being, creating and dreaming. Usually, the day is full. Too full to sit and be. The day is full, from sunrise, until the moment I let my head hit the pillow at night. Full of organising the boys to get them out of bed, ready and off to kura. Full of mentally checking off the to-do lists in my head.

  • Get a prescription for more asthma inhalers – check

  • Book the cats in at the vet – check

  • Were the chickens fed this morning? – ummm

  • Did we sign off on that last contract at mahi? – check

  • Has such and such paid that last invoice? – aua

  • Car registration? – not check (mental note on top of mental note – don’t park on roadside today. Eek)

  • Have I got my wallet? – ummm

  • Have I dressed appropriately for my first hui? – umm

  • Gym today? – maybe not

  • Finish that piece of mahi for a client – eek

  • Board pack read – still to do

My day and my brain are full, and full of lists. Today however is a rangi mokopuna. A rare day in the middle of a Canterbury winter when Tamanui te Rā is shining. There is still a chill in the air, but the sunny north-facing bay window at Te Maru Mōkihi offers the perfect place today to be and enjoy the sun. Mental checklists are pushed to the side. There are no glaring deadlines to meet. Yes, there is still lots of housekeeping to chip away at (files need to be tidied, inbox is a bit full, emails to respond to) but nothing too urgent.

The challenges of running a small business with a busy staff never cease. The pressure of ensuring you have enough contracts and cash flow is constant. And the number of balls to juggle and pay attention to are not for the faint-hearted.

So I thought I would take some time to share some of the learnings (and failings) over the past four years for anyone considering or in the flurry of entrepreneurship.

Get help! Setting up and managing a business comes with many responsibilities. IRD. ACC. WorkSafe. HR. Legal. Banking. Accounts. Contracts. Clients. Staff. Te mea, te mea.

Get out and talk to people, start early and understand what you are putting your hand up for. I did a small self-contracting stint in the early 2000s so had a basic understanding of what I was in for. But I still (stupidly) thought I could do it all myself. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb!

Some of this stuff requires an eye for detail. It requires systems to be maintained. It requires knowledge of things that are complex and detailed in nature. Some things are bloody boring! And it requires time. Lots of time.

I thought I was a super-human. Super wahine in fact. And I believed that I could, by myself, manage all of NAIA’s accounts, taxes, GST returns, payroll, drafting of contracts, bookkeeping, negotiations, marketing, business plan development, etc etc. You name it, I thought I could do it. How wrong was I. Not only was I only doing a half-pie job in most spaces (and half-pie is a generous measure), but I was burning out doing it and not feeling very satisfied or happy with my choice to set up and run a business.

Being in business is about knowing your weaknesses and being okay with that. It’s about being vulnerable and building a network around you of phenomenal people who can help carry the load, particularly in spaces where you do not have superpowers. It was humbling for me to say, “I am an ihu hupe (snotty-nosed toddler) in this particular space and I need help”.

A successful business requires an eye for detail and a lot of ball juggling. But that doesn’t mean you have to juggle all those balls yourself. You just need to know the balls are being juggled, and juggled well. Find a crew, find support, reach out and ask for help. Do it sooner rather than later. Being in business is a busy, busy, busy thing with very few free days where you can sit in the sun and just be.

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