I went to Lia Doyle owner of The Half-Door Cafe in Cork City to find out how she feels as a woman in leadership.
“I don’t know if I can do this or not”. The initial doubt Lia Doyle felt when her Dad first showed her the cafe for rent, never stopped her. With years of experience working for other people, being her own boss meant that it wasn’t going to be ‘just a job’ anymore and she could create her own space to progress.
There was a lot of waiting around before she could move in, Lia says those three months were full of uncertainty for her; she didn’t know if she would get it or not. “It was like a long drawn out break-up, I just wanted a yes or no so I could move on”. She wanted to make the place her own. Standing outside the cafe in the pissing December rain waiting to meet the proprietor she saw new black mugs that had been placed on the back shelf, “I thought they definitely found someone else and haven’t told me”.
She says she probably should have prepared more, and she wonders where she’d be without the help of her friends and family. But getting the keys on Sunday she opened on Monday, and the butterflies never left her.
Looking back on past employers, she wondered how they dealt with the pressure. Being a ‘bitch’ had a new meaning to her now and she respected the women who were bold and brave enough to take on this kind of leadership role.
Her advice to women looking to establish themselves in the industry, is to go get a Monday to Friday office job. But to anyone who really wants it, do it, don’t think about it, don’t over analyse and “if you have fear, it’s healthy just go for it and at least you tried”. Fear of failure is not something that should stop you.
Four years ago Lia Doyle dropped out of graphic design. She wasn’t happy in college and working dead-end jobs wasn’t doing much for her either. Lia is headstrong and determined, this is how she describes herself. Everyday she has nerves, but she’s not fooling around. ‘Do it get it done and get out’. In the first year she had to prove herself, the cafe had a long reputation of changing hands and passers by commented that ‘she won’t be here long’. She’s still here, seven days a week. On some days its the worst and on others its the best, but being her own boss is worth the sweat.
By Claire Anderson.