Updated: Aug 7
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Starting a business in 2018, was a huge milestone for me. It took a lot of faith, courage, and boldness to make that happen. I was struggling and needed to get out of the pit I was in.
During the first year in, I was in beast mode. I was in the middle of a personal crisis and needed to make a sudden change. I was hungry, hustling, and my main goals were to survive and provide for my family. I had no idea how things would turn out; I just knew I had to keep working hard.
During the second year, things seemed to be rising. I changed the business name and revamped my business plan. Just like other businesses, mine was affected by the pandemic, but I was still operating successfully. Instead of getting discouraged about the fall, I used the opportunity to rebuild my business into something better and greater. I had big plans, and I was excited to implement them. And then I had some setbacks and failures in my personal life that affected my business. I made the decision to shut down my platforms but still operate part-time.
In the third year, it appeared to look like things were going well. I got some leads and took on new clients, but deep down I still felt like something was not right. As soon as things were going well, I had to make some tough decisions and cancel contracts. I knew the decision to depart was going to potentially harm my business and my name. But I knew If I continued operating and took on new clients, it would’ve led to even more destruction. It was evident that I lacked the drive to continue operating. I was burnt out. I was down to one client and needed a long break.
Although, I’ve had major setbacks, failures, and rejections, I’m still optimistic about the direction my business is going. Here are five things that I’ve experienced and lessons I’ve learned as a business owner.
1. Growth - I’ve grown as a woman, mother, and businesswoman. My goals are not the same. My priorities are not the same. My passions are not the same, and that is okay. Growth means I’m moving in the right direction. It means I’m not settling or being complacent. As my children are still very young, I have time to grow my business and start new ones. It’s exciting to see my children grow along with my business.
2. Decisions - I’ve learned that what might look like the best choice at first glance is not always the best decision once you get a taste of it. I’ve made some wise decisions and unwise decisions during this experience. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how good the pay is, how well known the business is, or how great the opportunity may seem, if it’s not for me, don’t take on the opportunity.
3. Rejection - Rejection is part of life. It can sting but it won’t break you. Rejection shouldn’t make you lose confidence in yourself or make you give up on your business. You might have to examine yourself or business, but rejection shouldn’t make you feel like an imposter. There are plenty of people in this world who could use your service and pay you what you’re worth. Rejection could be a blessing.
4. Process - There’s no need for me to rush the process because it will happen organically. I’ve learned that my setbacks and failures put me in the perfect position to plant new seeds. Owning a business is a marathon not a sprint. I cannot get caught up on what others are doing and what direction they are going in because it’s most likely not in the same direction that I’m going in. Slow process is the best process for me to obtain more success and longevity.
5. Support - I’ve learned that support will not always come from people who know you personally or know of you. Most people don’t even know what I do and probably could care less. People who don’t understand your plans probably won’t support it. If they don’t see any use of it, they will not invest their time, attention, or money. Also, my business is fully funded by me. As of today, I’ve never received a loan or a grant to fund to build my business. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I’ve started my business without additional funding.
I’ve learned a lot of things and a lot has changed since starting my business. Looking back, I’m so happy I achieved that goal. As challenging as it has been, it’s still a goal I’m aiming to maintain. I’m building my business at my own pace and learning as I go and grow.