Why I've Not Enjoyed Running My Own Business In 2018 & Why It's Ok
This post needs to begin with a disclaimer, I realise how lucky and privileged I am to own my own business and be able to make a living from it. But I also feel this post is well overdue and might be of use to anybody in the same boat, so here we go. Without fail at this time of year, I always find myself looking back on what the year has bought and how I’ve felt throughout the last 10 months. And to be honest, 2018 hasn’t been my favourite year at all, there have been some amazing things happen of course, but there are also some things that haven’t been amazing. And one of those things for me has been running my own business, whenever I see people talk about having their own business and being their own boss. It’s typically all about the positives and rarely about any of the downsides. And even though the bad outweigh the good sometimes you can just have a bad month or even a few and that is what this year has been for me. So I thought today I would share why I’ve not always loved running my own business is 2018 and how I’m trying to change my mindset going forward and dig myself out of the rut that I’ve been trapped in.
being a one girl band
There are a lot of positives to being the only player on your team, you know everything that’s going on, you have complete control and then there is the undeniable happiness that comes with seeing something you’ve built from nothing work out. However, being a one girl or man band can be incredibly tough and this year I’ve found it harder than ever to do everything myself. There are a lot of things that come with running a business and not all of them are going to come naturally to us. For me, I’ve always been good with the creative and the visual element, those are my strongest assets but that isn’t the only part of my business. I have to be in control of the admin, the marketing, the pitches, the finances and everything else it takes to run a business that is profitable. Something that interests me a lot is business coaches as my mindset just isn’t that way inclined in the slightest but it has to be. But more often than not I find a lot of business talk online is solely about money, which of course, is important but it’s not the only thing I want to focus on. Not having any colleagues or anybody to get into the nitty-gritty of work can really take its toll after a while. Even though I’m a classic introvert I do miss having somebody to have a natter to, the dogs are the loves of my life but they’re not great conversationalists.
time management & overwhelm
Moving out and getting used to a completely new environment and life is something that I’ve loved and feels completely right. But with that move and change came a lot more responsibility, which I’m completely capable of having but going from simply running a business and that being my primary focus. To often running a house alone, having two puppies and running a business as well as needing to do everything else you have to do in life has been a hard switch. No longer having just myself to worry about has been a lot of change for me to get used to which I’m sure some people will roll their eyes at but it’s the truth. Relationships aren’t always simple and finding a way to properly work around each others schedule is something that my boyfriend and I are still trying to do and it’s got a lot easier but when you work from home there are bound to be interruptions. There’s a large part of me that doesn’t want to admit that I’ve been overwhelmed by it all as it makes me feel like I’m weak or that I'm incapable of handling it all. Which isn’t true but living a completely new life isn’t quite as easy as I thought and life always throws you curveballs.
the good & the bad years
As I’ve got older I’ve really started to understand that life works in weird ways and some things can be going absolutely brilliantly and then some things can be seriously hard. So for me, this year my business mindset has been somewhere that I’ve really struggled but in general, my life and my mental health especially has improved so much. A couple of years ago struggling in business would have meant that I completely wasted a year of my life, it would have got into my mind and convinced that I was a horrendous person because that year wasn’t surrounding the hustle. But there is a lot more to life than just sitting at a desk and typing away, obviously, I have worked and I’ve discovered some things that really work well for my business and some that don’t which is ok. Figuring out where you want to be is underrated and something that we could probably all stand to do more of in life as the answer isn’t always clear and there isn't always this pinnacle moment where the fog lifts.
the fear of investing in yourself
Running a digital business comes with very minimal overheads, which is great. But the purchases you do typically have to make aren’t cheap ones and they can be scary, I’ve constantly lived in the fear of ‘what if I make this investment and my business goes down the drain?’. Which is an understandable thought because no business is guaranteed to be sustainable and you never know what is going to happen in the future. Investing in yourself to push yourself further in your business, in the long run, is something that I know is important but it’s so easy to forget. It’s rare that you need the best kit in the world but you do need something that makes your job the best that it can be not only to do but to also make it really pleasurable too. For me, where I've always chosen to invest my money is my tech and my workspace. That is where I spend the most time so naturally, I want it to be an inviting and productive area as I'm so sensitive to my environment. I'm not a person who functions well in chaos in the slightest that's for sure.
the online world & its algorithm
Being able to create a business online is one of the most incredible things that I’ve been able to do but it certainly has its downsides. And nobody needs to hear that another blogger who started years ago is fed up of how the blogging world is now, we all know it’s the case but it doesn’t need to be discussed again and again. In the time that I’ve been doing this things have changed so much, some of the changes have been fantastic but some of I’ve found hard to deal with. Mostly Instagram, a platform that I used to absolutely adore but the constant decline in followers (more than likely bots and fake profiles) I’ve experienced this year has hit hard on my mental state. It’s something that I know is silly but there are so many people out there in the same position as I am and that are secretly beating themselves up all because of a follower count. It’s hard to detach the numbers from your self-worth as it’s what so many others base us on but we’re all so much more than a number. Something I’m striving for is to create without so much pressure surrounding every single thing I do. Because that’s how I used to be and everything used to feel so much better, I still had a business approach to projects but otherwise, I was a lot more carefree and not so surprisingly it's when my business was at it's best.
the fear of failing & THE FEAR OF ASKING FOR MORE
The fear of publicly failing isn’t something that comes easy to me nor do I think it’s something that sits well with any business owner or human. Whilst I no longer care that much what other people think and tend to stick in my own lane the thought of releasing something and no-one liking it makes me not want to do something at all. Which is absolutely ridiculous, and the rational part of my brain knows that and is always reminding me that keeping myself small is not a good way to live and especially not when you run a business. You’re the one who needs to be your own cheerleader for every single thing that you do and having that confidence and faith in what I do and what I create is hard, I deal with imposter syndrome with pretty much every aspect of my life. So being brave and showing up is something that I’m constantly trying to work towards but it’s certainly not something that comes easy to a worried over-thinking human.
what I’m trying to do now
Whilst I might not have enjoyed this entire year with my business there are so many things that I’ve absolutely loved and it’s taught me where I want to go in the future. Which is something that is so important, it’s felt really disheartening at times but I’m a big believer that maybe sometimes we need these times to show us where we’d really like to be.
Josie & Edie
I have a little side project for my two beloved sighthounds Josie & Edie and even though I’ve not been able to give it a huge amount of time it’s something that I absolutely love. For some, they might think it’s really silly but it’s something that brings me so much joy and plenty of people told me From Roses was a waste of time so it’s probably best to stick with my own instinct in these situations. There are so many cool things that have come with the dog's blog and Instagram that I never expected so why not push it further?
This blog was born from my love of taking pictures of pretty things, without my degree it wouldn’t exist. But in the 7 years that I’ve been doing this blogging thing I’ve certainly lost my way at times and almost forgot my roots and why I started. Putting together and styling images is what made me the happiest and where I feel like my strengths truly are so I’m going to start something new surrounding photography in the next couple of months.
Some of my most popular posts are either where I’m talking about mental health or where I'm chatting about my most used items, there never the posts that are most creative but they are the most personal to me. And those are the type of posts that I find myself drawn to from other online creators too. I don’t read city guides or care for luxury goods and my number one piece of advice when it comes to this whole blogging thing is create content that you would want to read. By doing that you attract like-minded readers and isn’t that what we all want? I’ve always strived for a small yet connected audience as that’s what appeals to me far more than hundreds of thousands of people who aren’t really in sync with what I’m doing.