I spent most of my life in one industry. The thought of switching to a new one was unsettling.
At the start of your career, you're full up with energy and starving for experience. What you gain over time is that highly specific knowledge, the secret language - skills. Then, there is the much broader experience of life as you grow as a person over the years - confidence.
After so long in a single sector, you feel like you have the skills and confidence to do anything, Changing industry presented the challenge of having skills and confidence, energised by enthusiasm, but being a novice to the business of fragrance.
Having been the “boss” in my previous life, I’d gotten used to the hubris that goes with being the most important business person in the room. Now, I was knocking on doors and trying to negotiate minimum order quantities down to something realistic or googling the arcane language printers speak.
Fortunately, and to my great relief, 90% of the fragrance industry has been extremely open and welcoming. Even those who are essentially your competitors are also your compatriots. That's been one of the great joys - to be in a market where there's some real product differentiation.
Once you find the good companies to deal with, life is much easier. People have graciously and willingly given their time. They have listened and gently corrected my skills and guided my enthusiasm.
I'm still writing my entry on the other 10%...