It’s no secret by now – starting a business and going on to maintain and grow it, is not easy – or for everybody. Not everyone will encourage, support or believe in your dream, calling, vision, and mission.
Along with creating products, offering services, tending to the admin side of your career and managing client and customer relations (peppered with different personalities) – it can seem like a juggling act that requires many hands on deck at all times.
Don’t juggle. Set a schedule, rhythm and apply a formula that flows well for you.
Having a support system is fabulous, but it’s not always a given. Have you ever experienced sharing a highlight with someone who barely cracks a limp smile, or confided in someone about a business idea and in return, they shot it down like a hunter? Maybe you’ve mentioned a milestone that goes ignored until someone else does the same thing and it’s suddenly a big deal. It happens from time to time.
So what can you do if there’s no apparent support system, or no one nearby is cheering you on as you navigate launching a business?
When I started my blog – actually, for quite a while after that, there were crickets on the local front. It was disappointing, but I remembered that’s pretty much how most of my music highlights started, and so I kept on writing and publishing posts, eventually upgrading to videos and podcast episodes.
The blog went from an audience of one (moi) to all of you – from more than 24 countries – now including Barbados. ‘Joy within’ is now on the ‘Top 30 Caribbean blogs’ by Feedspot. (Update as of Oct. 2020 – 60 destination – thank you.)
Thank you, and I’m so glad y’all are here and getting tips to apply to your own creative business and wellness journey.
Consider and remember your why.
This is your vision, calling, idea. When you believe that you can (by grace) make that step and launch that business, there are so many resources in-person and online that you can learn through to grow through the process. Even if you are doing this ‘just’ to earn some extra income, it’ll need attention, effort, a platform and people.
Resources: Books, mentors, workshops, seminars, courses, conferences, tutorials, blogs, podcasts, case studies...
You might be surprised as to how many initial haters become fervent fans and how many mockers become silent as mice as your business grows and flourishes. But don’t get arrogant, ok?
None of us is an island, pride comes before a fall, and a business is meant to serve others.
Pour those tears into your artistry. Let that hurt be transformed into compassion and appreciation for your (upcoming) clients and customers. Remember that journey but don’t cling to anything resembling bitterness; it has a tendency to sting and it can drain joy and try to wither creativity.
Add joy to your work, whether anyone’s looking or not. There are more than a few muscle-building moments on an entrepreneurial journey, especially if you live in a predominantly academic environment, like Barbados.
Make a note of three people you admire in such-and-such a field and reach out to them for advice. Politely state your case and ask if there are any available internships or meeting possibilities to help you get on your feet, so to speak. Many people are willing to help – it’s the assumption that they’re not that often stands in the way.
If you currently have a day job and are planning to start your own business, be extremely aware (all now) of how you perceive, treat and purchase from entrepreneurs.
Do you roll your eyes when you see a facebook update or IG story by ___ who is always posting about her events or products, but sit through a big-budget tv commercial without a peep? Is ___ being ‘annoying’ when she sends reminders about the payment due for the dresses you bought on layaway? Do you think ___ is lazy and must always be available because she works from home?
These are assumptions with frequent flyer miles (they travel more than most humans) and you may encounter even more colourful ones when you’re running your own business. These assumptions are often made by those who are 1. unhappy in their jobs 2. discontented with their gift supply or 3. accustomed to poor business habits.
Chances are, you’ll encounter someone with similar beliefs and opinions to you when you’re a business owner, so it’s probably best to adjust your mindset (if necessary) to suit before making the step.
Some big businesses started as small ideas.
Why should yours be any different? If you’re called to start a business, sis – go right ahead, but be clear about how you define success and resist the temptation to impress.
People will always have opinions: some will genuinely support, some will stick around close enough just to observe what highlights or challenges arise and some will have nothing good to say…but that’s because in general, they’ve got nothing good to say. Some don’t know how to encourage; their mental environment only cooks criticism.
A lot of the time, people are simply busy trying to manage what’s on their plate or they’re a bit fearful about how the road is going to be for you (which, to be fair, isn’t the worst thing in the world.) In many ways, starting a business is taking a leap of faith – with planning!
There are lots of smiles on this road – cherish them. There are lots of tears on this road – but no worries, God catches them all. He’ll help you. Just ask.
What To Do When You Don’t Get The Support You’d Like To Start Your Business was first published on ‘Joy within’ blog.
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