Secrets to Success: Rule #10

secrets-to-success-rule10

Its not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your hand sewn line of womens clothing full-time. In fact, its almost always quite challenging at times. So, I started a series that tells it like it is”¦the good, the bad, and the completely “˜Girl, I cant believe you went there.” Secrets to success that have been learned along the way. This is where we left off last time”¦

So, we have finally made it to rule #10 of the Secrets to Success series and the big 1-0 is a heavy one. Here goes…I see plenty of biz tip articles popping up around the web, but hardly anyone wants to share how tough and completely non-glamorous being out there on your own as a business owner truly is. Yes, there are glamorous parts. And yes, occasionally someone might mention how ‘completely jealous’ they are that you get to follow your dream and be your own boss. But’s it’s not all cocktails and party fringe. It’s just not. Which is why…

Running a business (big or small) is not for the faint of heart. Period.

Whether you are a freelance designer, blogger, Etsy shop owner, craft stylist, etc the following is true:

If this is your full time job, or you are hoping to eventually make this your full time job, there will be stress. LOTS of stress.

There will also be some disappointments – big and small. Nothing goes ‘right’ for everyone all the time. There will be moments of doubt. And there will most certainly be tears.

I’m not telling you this to scare you. I’m telling you this so that when these things pop up, as you grow your biz (whatever it is), you feel ‘normal’. No matter how amazing you are, and I know you are pretty amazing, the road to success is almost assuredly not going to be a cake walk.

You’re going to have to get your fingernails dirty, and I’m not talking about a little glitter here folks.

This dirt is legit – and it doesn’t fit into the categories of cute or trendy. You may have to scrounge pennies at some point and maybe even break down a few (virtual) doors in the process. But the good news is that it is doable.

And seriously, if I can do it, so can you. I’m just an average person. Honestly. I didn’t go to a fancy business school (or any business school at all, for that matter) or have a shit-ton of media connections before I launched this blog or the online gallery. I introduced myself to anyone who would listen, which is especially hard for a shy, introvert like myself, and kept plugging away – even through those ‘what the hell am I doing’ moments.

Over the last (almost) five years, I have shed a whole lot of tears and felt completely uncool in more than 100 ways, but I’m still here. Still kicking. And in that way, I’ve even surprised myself.

Final thoughts…

At some point, the ball will drop and it may seem like the end of the world. You may even want to quit as a result. But I’m here to tell ya it’s not the end of the world. Not even close. Rough days will make the good ones even better. And on the days when it seems like the walls are closing in around you, feel free to vent here. I’m listening.

54 comments | Click here to reply

I’ve really enjoyed this series. For a few years now I’ve daydreamed about doing my own thing, quitting the office job, and starting a creative business. I’m finally (slowly) working towards that goal. I know I’ll come back to your rules when I need a reality check and some encouragement.

Heidi

You can totally do this Kelly. Even if you’re an introvert like me. I promise. 🙂

papernstitch

Thank you so much for posting this!

I haven’t gone on my own yet, but have been dreaming about it. You actually addressed one of the reasons I’ve been afraid to start up. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of an introvert & very shy. I’ve always been afraid that this makes me destine for failure because it’s all about reaching out. but you’ve shown me it can be done.

It won’t be easy & I do love a good challenge. Now that I see it’s not entirely impossible for a gal like myself, I might actually take the baby steps to get there.

Kelly

I launched my shop nearly 4 months ago and I just can’t express how much I appreciate these posts! Thank you for sharing honest point of views!

Ana

Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve just this year been jumping into turning my creative skills into a business and it’s been a bit overwhelming at times. There have been quite a few midnight worries about whether or not I’m actually cut out for this. On the outside already successful businesses make it look so easy. I just have to remember that’s not true! 😉

Anna Simmonds

Truth! Be sure to read #1-9!! RT Running a small business is not for the faint of heart… http://t.co/znS4CrAOhB … via @papernstitch

@BladeNewYork

Speaking the truth! Rough days will make the good ones even better…it’s what keeps you going and makes you better at whatever you are doing.

Anne

You’re totally right Van – I write encouraging posts a lot too, but this time I just felt like I needed to write something more raw / real. Thanks for stopping by.

papernstitch

I was working on a post like this one. We’re writing a lot of encouraging posts because we really are passionate about helping others do what they want to do for a living and we may be making it look too easy.

It’s HARD. I worked 55+ hours in an office and 20+ on the side before I worked for myself full time and I still put in crazy hours. It’s hard to motivate yourself day after day and set your own money goals and hit them. It takes a hell of a lot of work but like you said, the bad days make the good ones even better. If you’re addicted to what you do and have an obsessive attitude about your work you can make it.

Van

Consider this your virtual hug for the day Danielle. 🙂 You’re not alone.

papernstitch

Great article—-I really needed it today too! I’ve had a lot of the “what the hell am I doing?” moments lately and I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one!

Danielle

Sounds like your mom and grandmother are smart ladies. Thanks for stopping by Rin.

papernstitch

Thanks Brittni, for your very grounding advice. My Mum and Grandmother are both business owners, and they always say that working for yourself means that instead of pleasing your boss, you now have to please all of your customers. It most certainly is not for the faint hearted!

Rin

Keepin’ it real! Running a small business is not for the faint of heart… http://t.co/oARvRY2WLP via @papernstitch

Etsy NY (@EtsyNY)

Yes. This. “@papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #10: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/0Mv1hqCoLCâ€

@urbanbirdandco

Thanks for sharing your thought Erin. You are so right – running a business is very much like a roller coster, with ups and downs – overall the ride is pretty exciting when you look back, but there may be a few scary/nerve-wrecking turns along the way.

papernstitch

Thanks Van! RT @thriftcore Love this post. Running a Business is not for the faint of heart (Amen, sistuh!) http://t.co/KJFpI8BJHD

Brittni Mehlhoff (@papernstitch)

Ain’t that the truth? I have had my share of tearfully bad, “maybe I should just quit” days. And more people going into business should consider that part of it, so thanks so much for bringing it up. The thing to remember during the lows is that owning a business is a rollercoaster ride, and one of the greatest things about it is that when a situation turns on you, it can just as quickly turn back around. Bummed you lost one client today? Don’t worry, tomorrow could bring you five new ones! And in the end, the amazing, fulfulling, rewarding days always far outweigh the bad. “Keep on keeping on” is the rule of game!

Erin

Love this post on @papernstitch http://t.co/673KQEVVZ2 Running a Business (big or small) is not for the faint of heart (Amen, sistuh!)

Thriftcore (@thriftcore)

Secrets to Success: Rule #10: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog… http://t.co/Urx7ORZ0ES

Brittni Mehlhoff (@papernstitch)
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