I’ve come to realise that the only place more hectic than a business owner’s daily schedule is picking the kids up from school at 3pm!
You’ve got emails shooting out your ears, meetings you must attend, taxes, invoices, orders to make, and not to mention the attempt to provide immaculate customer service. You could tackle all of the ‘How to run a business 101’ tutorials and blogs across every social platform, but there’s nothing to prepare you for the real deal.
The lifelong dream of ‘being your own boss’ certainly comes with its advantages, though many are unprepared for the truth that they actually won’t have more spare time than their regular job. I mean I’m definitely working on a ‘How to run the show without actually doing much’ guide, though I’ve just not accomplished that magic recipe as of yet… Oh wouldn’t it be lovely!
We want you to know that it is hard! And you’re handling it well! Of course, we don’t know every in and out of running a business… but we hope what we do know will deliver you some relief.
It will all get too much – There will be times where you feel as if you’ve just done a triathlon, you go numb and don’t even realise that you’re actually still running it! What we must tell you is – if you don’t want to lose your mind, listen to your body and honour its wishes. Half Time!
Morning will come and you will want to run in the opposite direction – AKA, quitting. Everyone has moments where they doubt their ability to keep pushing. Because let’s be real, spontaneously scooting off to the Bahamas sounds like a to die for escape. Realistically…Not going to land you your dream career! Unless you’re a travel blogger or something of course. Take a moment ad remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
You will wish that 30 hour days were a thing – Unfortunately, we can’t rub a magic lamp and wish for those extra few hours (apparently, Genie’s don’t exist). Try not to overwhelm yourself, adopt some time management skills, and be realistic about what you can achieve in a day’s work. This way you will be able to hit these goals instead of setting impractical tasks that will leave you feeling as if you’re getting further and further behind.
Email is the devil, we know – Your inbox will come across as a never ending black hole, and it probably is to be honest. I find myself spending far too much time answering emails than doing what I love. Make sure your spam folder is in working order, and if emails aren’t urgent they can wait a few days for a personal reply. Do more of what you signed up for, even if that means your inbox is creeping past 2000. Don’t let that electronic dinging noise rule your life!
Marketing appears to have become a very important skill you know nothing about – It’s hard to believe that your product won’t sell itself, you’re an innovative genius after all. We would love to spend our days knitting cute little baby mittens, baking some bomb brownies or writing romantic poems for your customers – but your audience need to know you exist! There are oodles of online marketing guides that are quite simple to follow, and are a great stepping stone for beginners.
Swearing at your computer is kind of expected – Especially when technology has the ability to drive you up the wall, AND don’t forget those days where the WIFI is playing on/off games with you! Your frustration just shows a love for your work, you want to be productive but inanimate objects keep rearing their ugly heads.
Coffee fails to produce the saving glory it did once upon a time – You will feel like you’re on a constant rollercoaster. You will have some of the happiest of times running your own show. You will also have some of your lowest, but that’s okay! Everyone experiences it, and that’s when wine works as a substitute for coffee.
You will hit times of failure – Not everything goes to plan, we all make decisions that will later occur to us as completely wrong. These learning curves are the most valuable lesson of this rollercoaster, as time creeps on you will have more lessons that will form as steps up the mountain of success. One step back, two steps forward.
Everyone is just winging it – At one point in time, even Mark Zuckerberg had no idea what he was doing! We all start somewhere, and I bet any other entrepreneur could laugh with you over your mutual mistakes.
You definitely won’t have as much money as everyone thinks – Along with running your own business comes the stereotype that you must be rich. In reality your bills have somehow replaced this notion of being your own boss, and your life is not at all what you pictured it to be before beginning this chapter of your life.
BUT, it’s worth it – You are the one that will let go of all those ‘What-ifs’ in your life, knowing that you’re chasing your ambitions. By accelerating through all the learning curves, you will enjoy being able to get paid for your hobby, and the self-doubt in your mind will become more and more distant.