Small business life often comes across as this glamorous existence where you quit your 9-5 and make millions of dollars to stay home and play.
Let me hit you with some reality.
That's not the case.
Even the most successful creative entrepreneurs, girl bosses, and small business owners will tell you that it often takes more work and effort than any job they have ever held.
Having your own business means you are held accountable for everything. You must set your schedule, wake up on time, complete your tasks, plan your agenda, make sure you take enough breaks so you don't burn out, but not too many that you aren't productive, and the list goes on. You invest all of your time, money, energy, social life, and sanity into something that you are not sure if it will even work. Will all of your hard work pay off? Will people like what you do? Will people like you? You just don't know.
The only thing you can do is work your ass off. You must be passionate. You must be strong. You must be brave. You must take risks and put yourself out there. A lot easier said than done, let me tell you.
You are never more vulnerable than you are at the start of a new business venture, or during the process of developing a new idea. If you're lucky, those moments come often throughout your venture. Constantly evolving is a great feeling, but also one of the scariest aspects of small business and entrepreneur life. Every time you put yourself out there and share a new idea, you must wait to see how it will be received. Your audience and your community will determine your success. Yes, you have a huge part in the development of your idea and you carefully curate your products, plans, and images, but without your community, it means nothing.
That is one mistake that people make when trying to jump into this lifestyle. They think that everyone will come running to them and want to buy what they are selling.
Hate to break it to you, but it takes a lot more effort than that.
People want to buy from someone that they like. Someone they enjoy following, someone they trust, and someone that speaks to them.
What's your story? People want to know.
That's another big part of this small business gig. People want to know who you are, why you do this, and what your goals are. They want to share in your successes and they want to support you, and you must let them. The support from the community that I have built over the last two years has kept me going in times when I felt like giving up. There have been times when I felt like I wasn't enough. Times when I felt like I couldn't do it because the numbers didn't scream success.
Mistake number two
Focusing on the numbers. I'm guilty. I do it. I obsess. Over the dollar signs, over the followers, over the likes. The numbers will drive you nuts. We are human, we overthink, we obsess, and we make ourselves feel unworthy with these unhealthy and unnecessary habits. The main thing that you must learn is that you must do this because you love it. Do not do this to make money. Do not do this to become popular. Do not do this because you want to be like someone else. Do this for you. Do this because you enjoy it. Do that, and everything else will follow. Money success, and a growing community that supports you no matter what. That's what it's all about.
If you are considering starting your own business remember these things:
You must be passionate about what you do
You must do it because you love it
Do not obsess over the numbers
Grow your community
Never give up
You CAN do it
If you already have your own business remember these things:
Success does not happen overnight
Hard work WILL pay off
You are braver than you think
You are worthy of success
You are creative enough
You are unique
Never give up
You CAN do it
Always tell yourself YES. Yes I can, yes I am enough, yes I can be successful doing something that I love.
The best tip of all?
People want to see you. They want to see why you do what you do. They want to follow your journey and watch you chase your dreams so that they can be inspired to chase theirs. That's the best feeling. Inspiring others to keep going because you never gave up.
Keep going. Never give up. Dream BIG. You got this.