16 Oct TRUTH BOMB: It’s Hard.
Being a small business owner and starting at the bottom can be excruciating. You can go a couple of different ways:
- Expand your business based on originality, ingenuity, integrity, and word-of-mouth. (It’s a long journey, let me tell you.)
- Go nowhere because your content isn’t relevant and/or updated, or because a larger company squelches your opinion/business model or even outright steals it and does a better job than you did at keeping it relevant/updated.
- Continue what you’re already doing, take some advice, then improve, and one day eventually someone takes notice and gives you the platform you deserve. (Unlikely, but not impossible.)
Small ideas become big because of existing relevant platforms, or because the idea itself is relevant to a current situation or problem.
I understand that networking is important for success. I also know that networking is hard; it isn’t always without cost or consequence. I know people that have worked for 20+ years at their craft — who are phenomenal at what they do — and yet, are still not famous. In my personal opinion, if fame is what you are chasing, you’re in for a long and painful ride that might take you off a cliff or into a ditch. Integrity and honesty are key values; fame is an effect.
Basically, I believe you should do what you love and not apologize for it. Charge what you’re worth, what is fair/market price, and be unapologetic about it. Take naps. Hike, if you can (because nature is AWESOME). Rollerblade, if you’re into it. Go on vacations to places you’ve never been and never thought you wanted to see, if you can afford it — and don’t EVER apologize for doing so. Have a glass (or two) of wine at the end of a long day. Take a non-addictive sleeping pill if you need to get a good night’s rest. Go to the movies and get the popcorn… with butter! Love and care about the people around you. Keep in touch with them, because they love you and will be there when everything else seems to go wrong. Expand your horizons by listening to people who think differently. Think twice before you hit “Send”. Seek truth, first and always. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Listen to ALL the music. Try ALL the foods, once. Work on some projects without pay because you have the time and you believe in them and the people who orchestrated them.
We don’t start businesses because we think we are going to get rich. That’s why we play the lotto. *cue laugh track* We start businesses because we are passionate about something; because we believe that we have something to offer the world; because we hope to inspire and embolden good ideas. A lot of us (myself included) have two other jobs in order to fund our passion projects, or we wait until we are retired and have the time. It’s not easy, and there is no formula. But that was never the point anyway.