Starting a business is very exciting when things are going your way, and then there are days that aren’t so great, and you have to do the stuff that’s not so fun. It is hard to get motivated on those days because you aren’t feeling so positive, either because those things are tougher to do, or you just aren’t as good at certain parts of it.
My struggles are in the areas dealing with technology, (I now blog, and I have an online store, the irony haha!), financial stuff, and not asking for help being the biggest struggle of them all. I am technologically challenged, as in all I know is I am currently inputting information and when I need it, my printer will output the information. I will not let this stand in my way however, I am bent on doing it myself because I feel a lot of satisfaction after figuring it out, though I might have a good cry from frustration, it is satisfying to see things happen just as I envisioned them.
Some might say, ” Just hire a professional to do it for you”, but I’m just not there yet. I am not financially able at this point to pay thousands of dollars; truthfully, I can’t even pay hundreds really because my business is still in its infancy. Currently I am the Manager, Tech Person, Writer, Advertising Department, Packaging & Shipping Department, Designer, Janitor, etc… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing most-if not all of this because I like the satisfaction of accomplishing it all! But just like anybody else, I don’t like feeling stuck. I have to be reasonable about what I can afford or not. I have invested in my business; but on a small scale. For example, I designed my logo myself because I knew exactly what I wanted, and then hired a local graphic and design company to do the final work for me so that I could have it to use on my products and look professional. I honestly don’t think I could be happier with my logo had someone else done it for me; though it took me a while to put it together. I feel a lot of pride knowing it is original and that I did it myself.
I’d rather spend money on a good business card since a lot of my advertising is through passing out my cards at markets and other local events. I printed my first set of cards out on card stock, and I noticed that the ink washed away when it got wet, (which I hadn’t thought about), but that was all I could afford at the time. I used them anyway because I knew the importance of giving potential customers my contact information. Another reason for not hiring someone is because I have little money, and we all know: you get what you pay for (at least most times); and when it comes to my business, I really do enjoy being able to add a special touch that lets my customers know that their item was made with a lot of care. I hate the idea of cheap and rushed work.
Another struggle and probably the one that holds me back many times: not asking for help when I really should. It’s not that I’ve never asked for help, it’s that I’ve had a hard time reaching out for it. I am bad when it comes to expressing myself, words just escape me at the worst times. The other thing is that I feel like I am asking for too much when I should be paying someone to help me figure out my problems, because people get paid to do those sorts of things.
I am a member of many Facebook groups for entrepreneurs, where people ask questions about all sorts of things business related. Somehow I feel like I’m taking advantage of others when I am asking for help. It is a weird thing, I know, but that’s just how it is. I have gotten great help from my fellow group members and they were very sweet and patient with me, but I would imagine it is difficult dealing with someone who knows very little about technology, the Internet, and any related technical issues. So, many times I have dealt with things and figured them out on my own and every once in a while, I’ve had to get over myself and ask for help.
I am not suggesting others go about doing things my way, not at all; but I will say that having had to try things on my own and fail has also been good for me, because I learned a lot too. I am very stubborn when I want to accomplish something, where many would give up, I will try and try and try until I figure it out. Yes, sometimes I get frustrated and even get angry about it, but there is this thing I do when things get very difficult for me. I think to myself , “Nothing is impossible, things that have been said to be impossible by some have been done by others, so why not work a little harder to figure it out?” This works for me at least 90% of the time!
Running a business on your own, no matter how small, is never easy, but man is it rewarding to get through all the challenges that come with it and say to yourself “I did that, I can totally do it this!”. Sometimes I choose to ignore all the voices of “reason” that are family and friends with good intentions telling me to not do something because so much could go wrong. One thing about me is, I’ve always known my limits and I can usually tell when I can attempt something and when I shouldn’t, I find that I’m usually right.
So, no matter who you are, what type of work you do, I encourage you to stick with what you are passionate about, and let nothing stand in the way of your dreams, the struggles will only make you better, stronger, and it will all be even more worth it when you can finally say, “I DID IT!”
What struggles do you deal with as a creative entrepreneur, and what helps you to overcome them?
Below I’ve added a couple of great resources that have helped me through some rough patches recently and gave me more confidence to follow my dreams.
Check it out and let me know if you found it helpful!