I wrote about what it takes to actually start a small business; this week, I’ll go over some hurdles, pitfalls, and doubts that can come along with that initial jump. Starting a new business is full of uncertainty and questions and there’s no one way to do it.
It’s natural to be scared of the unknown; in fact, if you weren’t, I’d be a little frightened for you. Fear is your bodies way of self-preservation, of telling you something new may have unexpected results so “Run Away!”
But rarely do things change when you’re constantly in fear. You stay in that job you hate, your talents continue to be wasted, and generally, you stay unhappy. Change is hard! Getting used to something, even if it’s something you don’t really like, can be a comfortable place to be. I mean, I get it. At least you know what to expect, even if you’re not entirely stoked on the outcome.
Starting your own business jolts your instincts into overdrive, it sends panic signals all over, but you just gotta push through that. The easiest way to do that is to make a plan and write it down. Even if it’s just a few sentences on some printer paper, having a tangible idea that you can refer back to help settle the nerves and gives you a clear direction move towards. In fact, I’ve made a handy little worksheet for you!
I want to say this loud and clear: YOU WILL FALL DOWN. BUT THAT IS NOT A BAD THING.
Expect it. Embrace it. Get comfortable with it. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with trying… and failing. You have to try to figure out what works best for you. And sometimes it doesn’t, but at least now you know, right?
It might take you a few times of falling down to figure out what’s right for you. Maybe you work better in the morning, perhaps you took on too big of a wholesale order, maybe you shouldn’t have let someone talk you into a $1400 sewing machine you don’t really like because you let someone else make a decision for you… But the beauty of falling down is that now you can do things differently next time.
And by falling down you’re actually growing stronger. Stronger in who you are and what your business needs.
We’ve All Been Lied To
Remember growing up, you heard about all those crazy success stories; how this person just one day ‘made it’? Or how that one person was just ‘discovered’? Or that so-and-so just ‘hit it big’? That they didn’t even have to try because they were at the right place at the right time?
That’s not how it works, folks. They all did two things really well: they persevered and were incredibly prolific. They never stopped, because they couldn’t. Because this is what they were born to do. You don’t naturally one day become a bazillionaire. It takes hard, grueling work, a whole lot of chances, and never, ever giving up.
And I’m not going to lie, maybe you won’t ever make 6 figures, but I guarantee if you’re doing something you truly love, that really won’t matter much anyway.
Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s end. I’m going to say that again:
DO NOT COMPARE YOUR BEGINNING TO SOMEONE ELSE’S END!
Stop comparing ‘likes’, stop desperately checking status’, stop taking time away from your own business to dwell on someone else’s. Just keep your head down and focused on your own work.
Think about it: do you post pictures of you being sad or frustrated or about how shitty of a day you’re having? Probably not. So it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour that Miss Awesomepants just posted and think that that’s how it is all the time. Well, it’s not.
There’s so much behind the scenes stuff that we never get to see and it’s important to remember that. So when you’re feeling anxious about how nothing is going right, take a deep breath, and realize, dude, you are SO not alone!
“Hustle as Hard as You Hate”
That may be one of my absolute favorite quotes. We all get jealous and even envious of others. Those are natural reactions to things we want that someone else has, but it should fuel you instead of consume you. If someone is doing something and gaining more attention, it is a great opportunity to step up your game. What are they doing better? How can you incorporate that into your business model? And high five the eff out of them for doing something awesome. Kindness goes a long way.
And lastly, the internet and the world is big enough for all of us. It’s so full of turmoil and misdirected hostility that it doesn’t need another outlet for vitriol. Don’t become a hater or a person who wishes good things would ‘just happen’ to them. Work consistently and play fair, and it will pay off.
It can all be so overwhelming to figure out where to even start that it becomes easy to just give up. But don’t! Owning your own business can be so rewarding and give you the freedom to be your own boss.
So go on with your badass self! Take that leap! I give you permission to fall down and I’ll be right there to help you back up.
Tell me: what are you most afraid of? What do you need help with? I wanna know!