My Journey as an Entrepreneur: Into the Unknown
I know that starting a business is intimidating and overwhelming and - let's just say it - SCARY! We are ingrained with a fear of the unknown and starting your own business is the deep space of branching out on your own.
I actually had a boss that was a constant hustler. He started his business from scratch and built it into a multi-million dollar company and it was FASCINATING to me. How did he know what to do, how did he have so much hustle? And I will never forget what he said when I asked him how he learned to do it. He said, "I learn as I go and I didn't do it alone." That's too simple, right? I couldn't believe it could be that simple.
Then let's not mention all the self-doubt and limiting thoughts I had for myself. I would have an idea then psych myself out by looking it up and seeing so many people doing the same thing, and doing it so much better than I had in mind. I could never get to that level, so why even bother?
So, I continued working for others, building other peoples' dreams for the next few years before I had my first kid. I knew that I wanted to stay home with her so, I quit my job. My husband's job kept us afloat but, only just. And, if you didn't know it - kids are expensive!
To help out, I started an Etsy shop designing invitations. I thought "If I can sell enough to cover the diapers we're good." I made $600 my first month (I know it doesn't seem like much, but, it was WAY more than I imagined I'd make - and it covered diapers for like 3 months). Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing? I just put some stuff online and people bought it. I got better as I went along and I grew that business over the next 3 years and replaced the income I was making in my day job, all while working from home. I was complacent making the same salary because I was able to stay home with the baby while doing it.
How did I do it? I learned along the way, and if I had questions, there was an amazing online community that I was able to turn to for help and suggestions.
During that time, we moved in with my in-laws for a bit to save up some money to buy another business. My husband had seen how great I had it while working at home and making almost the same he was making. We bought a home inspection business where I run the backside and my husband is the face of the business (he's the inspector). The first year or so was tough. We had to learn everything and we had no real idea what we were doing. Neither of us had any experience with home inspection, or construction, or real estate.
So, how did we do it? We learned as we went along, and we made some good friends who were able to help us along the way.
Fast forward to now, I've started my own branding and website design company. I had my second baby and I'd taken a year off through the pregnancy to now (pregnancy is tough). The home inspection business has been going fantastic so, I was fortunate to take the time off and regroup. During that time I built several websites for friends, and myself (I'd built sites before through my work but, it was the first time I was doing it on my own). I have an educational background in marketing and brand strategy, so that has been incredibly helpful in providing value for my clients. It was suggested to me, a couple of times, that I should try to design sites professionally. I had no clue how to do it (professionally).
One day I said "f" it! And I built my own website. I took inspiration from a few other designers that I admired and popped it up in a couple of days. I started an Instagram and Facebook page and I've been growing them ever since.
I started slow. When I wasn't working on clients' sites I was working on my own or taking courses to improve my business and skills. I'm still growing this business and I'm not even sure what it will become. I'm open to many ideas and I love the freedom of doing something I love, working from home and enjoying my work.
How did I start? I just did it and I'm still learning along the way. I've got a LOT to learn still but, I have a great community to inspire me and help if I have questions. I'm constantly tweaking my strategies, my website, my designs, etc. I'm enjoying connecting with like minded entrepreneurs to help me along the way.
Building a business is tough, building a successful business is harder, but, with some dedication and persistence you can just do it (Nike had the right idea). So, take your dream, and just get started. Do you. Look at what's stopping you from going after what you want, acknowledge it and move on! I know it's easier said than done, but, I have met so many different people with so many different backgrounds and all of them have overcome some fear/doubt or another to build their business.
If they can do it, if I can do it, why can't you?