Nearly 16-years ago, when I started my first consulting company I was filled with doubt, and confusion. You could see it in my office which habitually looked like it was ransacked by vikings looking for their next meal. I struggled with the stuff that most new business owners do:
- Do I use my name or create a fancy business name?
- How do I explain what I do without having people nod off?
- Wait, what is it exactly that I do??
- Do I take checks or credit cards (we did checks back in the day).
- Pretending I knew what I was doing (I didn’t).
- Not knowing what to do when a client missed an appointment.
- Spending way more time designing cute business cards than working on my business.
- Wondering if I was charging too much or worse…not enough (egad!)
- Thinking I needed fancy certifications lest I be stoned to death in the center of town for daring to hang my shingle without having a seal of approval framed on my wall.
- Under estimating just how long writing a web page actually took (back then, all freaking day long, sometimes three!)
- Spending my evenings at networking events wishing I could accidentally on purpose choke on the rubber chicken dinner – always chicken – so that I’d have a reason to leave, stat.
STARTING A BUSINESS WAS NOT THE SEXY ADVENTURE I EXPECTED.
And it’s not for the weak, the lazy, the petty, the lame, the dim witted, the greedy, the needy, the blamers, the shamers and absolutely most definitely NOT for the impatient.
If you’re none of these things, rest assured you’re in good company. The company of people who aren’t afraid to fall flat on their faces because you will make mistakes, often.
You’ll lose money, you’ll make money (plenty to live a lovely life), you’ll have moments where you feel like a freaking rock star and times when you feel like the warm up for the opening act to the headliner.
Some days you’ll wake up and try to convince yourself your corporate gig and horrible boss weren’t all that bad. And then, when you scroll through old texts from horrible boss you’ll be reminded just how awful you felt and promptly jump out of bed saying, “no way, never again!”
There will be days when you love everything and everyone; you’ll want to hug your walls, your neighbor with the resting bitch face, your laptop, that half eaten sandwich you left on your desk from yesterday. And other times you’ll hate anything that walks on two legs.
You’ll feel accomplished, like you’re making a difference in this crazy place we call home. You’ll have days when you think you don’t matter and what you’re doing is a complete waste of time and energy.
You’ll doubt yourself 1,234,671 times a day.
There will be days when you have the intellectual capacity of a scone. While other days your creative well is backdropped with rainbows, unicorns and angel wings.
You’ll dislike yourself, your yoga pants uniform, your top knot, being a responsible “good girl”, having the right mindset, you’ll hate being patient, wise, and you’ll especially hate being optimistic all the damned time.
No one (worth trusting) said it would be easy.
Because it’s not.
But it is…
The most rewarding way to invest your waking hours on this planet because you’re not only in service to others, you’re in service to your becoming.
What a time card and steady paycheck can’t guarantee, that your business can, is the opportunity to drop every single solitary ounce of your creativity, passion, love, ambition, talent, latent skills, desire, courage and smarts into something that animates and reinvents YOU.
Feeling satisfied, whole, like we matter and have a purpose that’s bigger than our comfort zone or other peoples expectations of us is how we come alive (not in a musty cubicle with a hang in there baby cat poster).
Being in business isn’t always sexy.
It’s not always easy.
But it is the straightest route to one thing…
From your heart, your smarts and your guts (minus the rubber chicken).
One day at a time.