How not to fail in your first year of business - Part 1 - the journey begins.

Statistically eight out of 10 business start-ups fail in their first year, so it's not an easy road. But it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom - ask Penrith entrepreneur Peggy Wilcox.

Peggy has just celebrated the first 12 months of her business, Mooney Real Estate, which she set up from scratch and has established as a leader in the community with more than 100 managed properties and the listing of her first $3 million property.

In Part 1 of this two-part feature Peggy talks about the beginning of her journey and some of the potholes she navigated. Part 2 (tomorrow) features Peggy's top 10 tips for surviving your first year in business.

If was to describe myself in a few words, I would start with: Passionate, Entrepreneurial, Hilarious (well, I didn’t say anything about how other people would describe me) . . . I WOULD NEVER SAY I WAS CREATIVE!

I first met Amanda of “Creative Queen Bees” fame during the period when I was planning to open my very own real estate agency. While I had an incredibly long list of tasks to complete I found myself at a road block and unable to focus on anything other than my new brand. I was frustrated and stressed out; how do I create a brand that embodies everything I want it to? Then the problem of what exactly did I want it to embody? It is safe to say that I was in a creative funk! I tried so many different ways to unleash any creativity buried deep deep down inside of me, I tried listening to music, going for walks, I tried sleeping in the hope it would come to me in my dream (hey, no judgements please I was a desperate woman). I even tried my go-to stress remedy of cheesecake and vodka mudslides. BUT NOTHING! Then almost like a sign from the universe, an invitation to attend a creativity workshop arrived in my inbox! I don’t think I have ever accepted an invite quite as quickly before. So there I was, a creativity workshop filled with other local business women. I must admit that even as I sat there I was still a bit skeptical about whether or not this would release the creativity from within, but what did I have to lose? We began by going through a series of group activities which proved that clearly I was the least creative person in the room.

Then we sat down with some post it notes, paired up and I started breaking down exactly what it was I wanted in my brand: Femininity, Strength, Power, Professional, Classy, UNIQUE!

I went home inspired and driven. I went home knowing exactly what I wanted to convey with my brand and now, I just needed to finalise it into my logo and trading name.

I began researching powerful women in history hoping that this was the last missing piece of the puzzle, I continued to use the techniques that Amanda showed me in her workshop and then there it was, I had it! AND IT WAS PERFECT!

I had uncovered an article written about the late Elizabeth Mooney who was none other than the first licensed female real estate agent in NSW… and so MOONEY REAL ESTATE was born. I knew I wanted the brand to be different from any other agents in town as that was me, different!

We wanted to be boutique and personal while also staying on trend with industrial styling rather than a cookie cutter sterile office.

Everything came together perfectly, we had the name, the logo, the style… I seriously think that without Amanda’s help I would currently be curled up in the fetal position on the border of insanity. Who would have thought, Peggy Anne Willcox is officially CREATIVE!

Inspirational quote: “Wake up in the morning and ask what can I do today to help my fellow man.” Elizabeth Mooney


10 tips for surviving your first 12 months in business.

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