It Takes Courage to be Vulnerable

It takes courage to be vulnerable.

As an entrepreneur (and as a human) this has been the MOST difficult part of owning my own business. You think you can’t show weakness! But as a business owner, you hear it all the time; be authentic, be transparent, show vulnerability. If you do this, you will connect with people at a very personal level. Shit, I’ve even told clients this! “What’s missing from your brand? YOU!”

Oh, boy. Breathe. What’s the worst that can happen? Who cares if I look like an idiot - people will LOVE me for it! But (says the little voice in my head), what will I do if these inner-most fears are proven to be true? What if I jump and the net doesn’t appear? What if I fail? Wait, what if it works? What if I’m successful?

I jumped 4 years ago.

Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

  • ALWAYS trust your gut.
  • Owning your own business isn’t as glamorous as you think. You’ll work LONG hours, be scared shitless a lot of the time, and wonder if you’ve made the right decision… BUT, you’ll secretly LOVE every second.
  • Once you start one business you’ll be hooked and want to start more. I’m on my 4th-ish business idea/launch/dream.
  • Your closest friends will be your biggest fans but will have absolutely no idea what you REALLY do during the day.
  • Your family might not be as forgiving. It takes a lot of time to start a business. Boundaries will need to be set. Priorities might change.
  • Get a coach. Someone who knows how to write a cash flow projection. Someone who knows WHAT a cash flow projection IS. Trust me, a good coach will be worth every penny.
  • You can start a business AND be a good mom, wife, daughter, friend.
  • Hiring people is really, really fun.
  • Firing people really, really sucks.
  • When you start out you can’t imagine turning down work. 4 years in, you have to turn down some clients to survive.
  • Delegate as much as you can. Your time is worth money, believe it or not.
  • One of the most difficult things to do is write your OWN web copy.
  • Go after the clients you think you’ll NEVER land. You might be surprised! And, great clients are so much fun to work with.
  • Social media really DOES work!
  • I DO know what I’m talking about, and I’m actually really good at it!
  • I have a love/hate relationship with blogging.
  • I still love learning. This is a good thing because I’m pretty sure I learn something new everyday! I seek advice from everyone.
  • I secretly dream of watching my children navigate this journey. Hopefully the entrepreneurial spirit is hereditary.
  • It is possible to be both super excited and extremely sad in the same moment.

I’m sure if I wrote this list tomorrow, I might come up with different lessons, but this list covers the majority of my everyday existence. I can say with certainty that I don’t want to do these first 4 years over again, but I most certainly would if I had to. I can also say I’m excited for what the next 4 years will bring! Cheers to all you struggling, life-loving, entrepreneurial spirits out there!