4 Lessons I've Learned Since Starting A Business
Ya’ll, I’m tired. So tired! Why? While still trying to keep our spot here on the nets up and running continuously and the usual life stuff (wife, mother, full time employee), I’ve quietly started a business almost five months ago selling natural, handmade skincare products. Clearly since you haven’t heard about it, I’m still in the beginning stages, selling pretty much to friends who want to help support a dream. While I’m not anymore close to making the money I want to make or leaving my job, I find myself living stress free when it comes to my business. Why? Because I know success won’t happen overnight. I do what I can with the hours given to me and keep it moving. Some days I can get plenty done. But other times, my head is simply not in the game and so I don’t attempt because I know it won’t be my best efforts or even a half assed attempt. Just piss poor and that will not do.
As you already know, creating a company that is not only successful but sustainable takes more than just a dollar and dream. Much more (time, sleep, money, even the temporary or permanent sacrifice of relationships). It’s that more that you have to be willing to give over and over again until it all starts to come together.
It also during this period, that not only are you learning more about your business and homing in on the needs of your ideal customer but you are learning more about who you are as a person AND entrepreneur. I’d say that at this point in time in my life, I’m becoming more accepting of who I am while seeing that I am truly capable of not only dreaming but doing the work. For that, I am thankful.
I want to share a few with you here. It’s not all encompassing but they are by far what have been the most important to me.
Motivation Is The Real MVP
While hard work and the ability solve an old problem with an improved solution all serve as key characteristics for an all star entrepreneur, motivation will be what steals the show. It’s what keeps you working well into the wee hours of the morning. It’s It’s what keeps you getting up and going to a job you hate until you are able to make it on your own. But I’m going to be real with you. Sometimes you just don’t have it. Like that shit does not exist. It packed up all its ish and even some of yours and bid you good day. To me that’s just a signal that I’m doing the most and I need to take moment to one) reclaim my sanity and two) recharge, gain refocus and then keep going. For me, that looks like at least 24 hours alone but secretly hoping for 48, leisurely making my way around town taking in the sights and sounds of the city with a stop (or two) at one of the many local coffeehouses. Afterwards, my mind is clear, I’m happier, well happy (let’s be honest) and I’m ready to grind it out. Listen, listen Linda, your day job can drain you. Your family can drain you. We most certainly know the hustle can drain you. But, by all means, don’t let it stop you. It is simply the ebb and flow of this new found “relationship”. You will eventually find your groove.
This Is Truly A Process
I soft launched my business in December with no real promotion, two products and two texts to my small circle of friends. There was no real planning simply because I hadn’t delivered at my initial launch date and felt this overwhelming pressure just to get it done. Now it’s almost four months later and a relaunch is in the process. While I am definitely somewhat better prepared this time around, I still feel as if I’m missing so much and that things still aren’t coming together. But I know I’m making progress, even if it’s small. I just have to learn to appreciate my wins.
At Some Point You Have To Stop Listening And Simply Start Doing
I have watched countless webinars, read numerous blog posts and even listened to few podcasts about blogging, creating products, Pinterest, Instagram, building community and about 500 more topics til I had had enough! I couldn’t absorb anymore information. I was done. I didn’t want to hear anymore about their products or services that would help me better any of these given topics. Eventually it all started to sound the same anyway. It was just another person trying to sell me the goods about what worked for them to get them where they are today.
Sure I want the success that they’ve experienced. But am I going to get there by constantly listening to theirs while neglecting to tell my own? Naw boo. It’s time to make moves and stop sitting by the sidelines trying to learn one more thing. Your best teacher will be your experience. Learn from it. Grow from it. Your story needs to be told NOW.
Fear Likes To Be The Backseat Driver
Everyone know how annoying and distracting a backseat driver can be telling you everything under the sun about what you're doing, where you're going and how bad you suck at it. Well fear is kind of like that backseat driver. When you set out to blow the minds of the people, fear will no doubt be involved. It will be silent initially while you giggle with excitement on how you’re going to twirl on ‘em, but then reality sets in. That little voice from the backseat, starts to speak. It begins to tell you, “You can’t do this. It’s not possible. You know there are 30 other people doing the same thing. Your skills are only subpar.” Fear will tell you anything to get you to pull the car over, park and walk away from it indefinitely. But what does that do for you? What does that do to your dreams? Are you okay with the answers? If so, I apologize because this clearly wasn’t for you. But if any part of your answers makes you uncomfortable, then let me tell you something, no matter how loud fear gets in the backseat, your job will be to do one thing and one thing only, put the pedal to the metal and, “Do it afraid.” Christine St. Vil from Moms ‘N Charge couldn’t have said it more simply. This is your LIFE ya’ll! Do you hear me! YOUR LIFE. You only have one. A finite time designated by a dash at it’s end. Don’t let a perceived emotion stop you from dreaming. From living. From doing. Just move….
Listen, I can’t tell you what to do or what your next steps should because, well I’m still in it. This is simply what I have learned. What I know is that this journey to here has been a long one and the next phase is only just beginning. All my past experiences were practice for the real thing. So here I am, doubting, second guessing, sending up prayers to God, seeking my next steps, doing it afraid but most importantly still moving forward, even its one centimeter at a time.