Secrets to Success: Rule #10


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

Secrets to Success: Rule #10 | Paper & Stitch So very very important to know before you start any type of business.

Laura C. George (@Laura_C_George)

I love this post so much. Thanks for the truth telling and the encouragement. You are an amazing voice, and I’m so glad you are doing exactly what you’re doing.

Mere // Not Merely Living

great post B. and yes, being a business owner IS hard work. a LOT. I may have a home office, but I got to my desk and work all day like everyone who goes to commutes to an office. I have clients to answer to and project deadlines. I juggle my main business and my side venture that I’m trying to grow and most nights and weekends, you’ll find me back in my little corner studio and working more. Until I can’t see the computer screen anymore. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. However, sure would be nice if it wasn’t so damn hard, but then the payoff (and i’m not talking monetary) wouldn’t be so sweet.

Pamela Bates/Bates Mercantile Co.

Brittni, this is wonderful! You have most definitely hit the nail on the head. No one knows how hard building and running a business actually is until you are in the thick of it. Thanks for posting this :).


Yes. THIS. All of this. Sometimes, like this week, I just wake up and ask myself what have I done. I’m not even going to put the little smiley face emoticon here. Because I don’t feel smiley today.


I was meant to read this post today! I can relate to this struggle, 110% of it, all of it. After shedding plenty of tears switching from a great paying job to pursuing my dream to have my own design studio, I thought the worst part was over! Boy was I wrong 🙂 It’s been an incredible journey, but THANK YOU for talking about the not-so-pretty aspect of having your own business also. It’s really a relief to know that what I am going through- everyone went through to get to where they are. My fiance said last night that “it’s not that getting into slumps defines your character, it’s how you get out of one that does!”


Love this! Thanks so much for sharing. Very empowering for beginning in the blogging/creative shop space.

Especially love your final thoughts — Rough days will make the good ones even better. – you should turn it into an art print!

annie @anniemade

great post and actually this entire series of posts are amazing…

janika R

I’m a new follower of your site and while I don’t have a business, I appreciate how I could completely relate to this and apply it to just blogging itself. For all the hard days, there are days where you remember why you stayed with it. Thanks for a timely post!

Alex @ northstory

Lovely post It came at the right time for me as I’m preparing to go on my own thanks


How encouraging! I’m just beginning to build my blog and this is what I needed to hear. Thanks for sharing.
🙂 Liz @


Aw, love you too Ash!


Oh man, this is why I love you!

Ashley | Sugar & Cloth

Just what I needed to read….

I remember what an old boss of mine used to say, “if it was easy, everybody’d be doing it.”


True story @papernstitch, great post!


Secrets to Success: Rule #10 describes right where I am. Thanks for the honesty. via @sharethis


Hugs to you too Carol.


Yes indeed, its hard, sometimes you cry, get lost, doubt, but sometimes you say ohh im happy with the results. Thanks for your writing and blog. Hugs


This is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m just starting out and already ready to quit ha. I’m going to go through and read the other 9 tips!



Great post, Brittni. I’m loving this series! One day I would love to have my own business and I’m sure these tips will come in handy 🙂

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