So You Want to be an Entrepreneur? 5 Struggles
Updated: Aug 8, 2018
Let's set the record straight on what I am and what I am doing! I am not one of those girls that has "made it".... YET. I am still working a 9 to 5, and I am thankful that I actually love my 9 to 5, and I just launched my side hustle. I am one of those girls starting out and on the rise.
The biggest reason I started this blog is to sort of document that rise, and everything else I love. I am hoping that I can help to encourage the rest of my girls out there on their journey, and let them know, just take one step at a time. But most importantly take a step. I have had all kinds of amazing business ideas that I have wanted to pursue. In the past they were just that though, ideas. I thought I had to have money, or time, or investors to start my business. There was a never ending list of things I thought I needed before I started out! Ever heard of Instacart? 12 years ago my best friend and I wanted to do that locally, order online through our platform and we will deliver! Can you imagine if we had started then instead of just talking about it to everyone, or waiting for someone to give us money or some kind of push to do it?
I am hoping to document the start up, and share resources and tell others "me too!!" It's a beautiful thing that helps your self confidence when you know the struggle is real and someone else is facing the same obstacles you are, so I am putting it all out there from a girl at the beginning.
So here are some of my biggest hurdles, past and present! So that you know girl.... the struggle is real!
1. Petrified of what others think
I think I was always scared or embarrassed to tell people my ideas because I feared their judgement. I feared the questions, "How are you going to do that?" "What are you crazy?" "Why don't you just finish college and get a secure job?"
I feared them asking questions I couldn't answer, "How are you going to finance this?" "What's your business plan?"
I would get too caught up in what people would say or think; that I felt like I couldn't even take any action. Even when I did share with someone an idea that I had, and they were encouraging I would get way too much in my own head and start saying things like "I know kind of stupid, right?... Who knows if it will even work?" Immediately self sabotaging myself not only to whomever I was speaking with but to myself.
Getting over this- I have to say, that the biggest reason I think that I am making this happen this time is my support system. My husband is my biggest fan! He has financially supported in purchasing all my photography equipment, but also tells me the brand is me, and encourages me to put myself out there and sell because what I have to offer is worth it!
I now know you just need to act. I definitely do not have things figured out for my current business. I question everyday, how am I going to scale, what should my pricing structure be, am I doing the right things to market myself. But I do SOMETHING everyday. I don't just sit idly waiting for some magic sign, or the right amount of money in my bank account. I simply do what I can afford, and I am trying to learn with each step something that works, or something that doesn't work.
2. Afraid of saying No
I literally still fall victim to this almost everyday, and my husband catches me on it constantly. I am so afraid to tell a client, or a potential client no to anything. This is one I don't really have the answer to, but girl I just want you to know you're not alone!
I try to deliver the best experience for my customers that I possibly can. I am incredible at evaluating someone else service based pricing plans and expectations and teaching them how to show value and over deliver to customers without burning yourself out. I however have not mastered this. What I do, photography and managing social media, is such a saturated market I fear if I saw no to something I am not going to get that customer. This is one of those things that I try to learn something from each day. Setting realistic expectations for myself and my clients. I am learning that no is ok, and communication is key. If you can communicate why what someone is asking for deserves a no, then you can arrive at a solution for both parties that is a yes.
Whatever your goal is: earning extra money, leaving your 9 to 5, growing your passion- you need to keep the goal close to your heart, and you need to practice envisioning yourself already there. Take time to live the life you want. Take your personal days to work your side business, take your weekends to do what will help you grow. But always take time to envision yourself already there. Maybe it's in your car on the way to work, or over your lunch break, think about yourself living the career you're striving for.
Keeping it real- Ask any successful business owner how they made it? I do this all the time. I listen intensely about how it didn't happen overnight and it took a lot of hard work to get where they are. I absolutely am not a stranger to hard work, and I am not scared of long hours. But I constantly fear will this ever take off? What else should I be doing to monetize, am I missing something? Is this always just going to be a hobby? You can't get stuck in that mindset. You have to know that no matter how it all pans out, try taking steps forward each day toward progress and envision the life you want to create.
4. Mimicking Everyone Else
It is so easy to look at those that are successful in your realm and to try and mimic what they are doing. Trying to make your social media accounts to mirror theirs, your website, everything you do. This is a huge mistake! I thankfully learned early in my career in marketing, long before I started this crazy thing on my own. But if you are trying to look like someone else, you are never going to stand out. Doing what everyone else does is by far and large the worst thing you can do.
Now, let me clarify something. Mimicking and being inspired are two different things. I am constantly inspired by other influencers and #girlbosses out there, they for sure help me create content or inspire ideas. But the line here is that you are not trying to mirror what they are doing. You can't try to replicate if you want to stand out!
5. Obsessed with numbers
We all get caught up in our numbers. And I am not talking about our analytics, but not in the numbers of followers and likes. And let me just say.... guilty! I constantly think, why would someone hire me for their social media management if I don't have 25k followers? But I hate to tell you (and myself for that matter), it doesn't matter. The most important thing is that you are being authentic, true to yourself, and true to your business. Don't get caught up in how many followers you have, full disclosure I mean I personally only have a little over 1,100 followers on Instagram. Remember success is not how many followers you have, but telling your story and making it impactful to serve your audience, whether large or small! You are more than what you do, show it to your audience no matter what the size.
~ No matter our path in life, dress fabulous and let's practice some social graces.