Lessons In A Year And Then Some. I’ve had plenty of lessons, one of the first few lessons that were very important for me to understand early on was :
NOBODY OWES YOU ANYTHING, not your family, not your friends, not your acquaintances. Understand that your business is Yours and the support you do or don’t receive is for you to celebrate, you to grapple with, you to motivate yourself with. And when those you tell about your business aren’t falling over themselves to use your services, buy from you or recommend you- it’s not a sign of failure, they have lives and jobs in the same way that this one is yours, keep it moving. Trust me this will save you a lot of hurt feelings in your journey.
YOU DONT HAVE TO SAY YES TO EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. This one is something I learned (more from hubby) well into my journey as a now reformed people-pleaser and someone who was eager to see growth and validation on whether I was on the right path or not. Saying yes to everything meant I’d stretch myself thin or it often came on terms that were less favorable to me. I had to question why I had wanted to work for myself in the first place; one was so that I have the freedom to enter into professional relationships where my time and my business is valued, the other was being able to maintain a balanced work and lifestyle while providing for my family.
SOMETIMES PROGRESS IS SUCCESS. I’ve recently been asked a lot about “success,” and I struggled a lot with this wording because to me, success was reaching the end goal- whatever that may be, and I had not yet arrived there. However after a lot of pep talks and trying to understand what it could possibly mean to have a “successful business” it became clear to me that actually, success has more to do with the journey, the lessons learned, and progress made than arriving at a destination. Progress meaning that the business still exists a year and a half later. The fact that I am happier and more content on most days should mark a level of success. The fact that I have had repeat customers to date is a level of success, and its okay to stop and acknowledge what you’ve achieved, no matter how small.
A COMFORT ZONE IS A PLACE WHERE NOTHING GROWS. If you dislike challenges, don’t start a business. By definition entrepreneurship is one big challenge after another. I’m an introvert, the kind that will go to an event & pray in a corner that nobody tries to make chit chat with me until it’s time to politely declare my escape – I love my places of comfort. Recently I found myself doing a podcast interview with Creativ & Kin – link here. I’m not a talker in the slightest so this was scary – but I did what I always do and moved forward…. Then I blacked out and remembered nothing that I said or did in that 24 minute chat with the lovely Barbara (haha). So a business will only go so far before it starts asking more from you, it needs you to challenge yourself, be vulnerable, show up as the person you want to be, get uncomfortable. Without ever thinking about it I guess I’ve always known that nothing grows from comfort zones.