Doing What You Love is a Process
Starting your own business is exciting in the beginning.
Your head is full of ideas, and you’re living in a whirlwind of possibilities. You’ve got motivation coming out of your ears, and you just know that this is going to work.
Fast forward a few months, and you haven’t seen the kind of progress you hoped for, and you’re thinking of giving up.
Collecting that paycheck every other week and receiving a W-2 at the end of the year sounds so much easier. Trust me, I’ve been there many, many times, but, I’m here to tell you, don’t throw in the towel.
In today’s day and age, it is not uncommon for small business owners to be on their “2nd career”.
Meaning, they didn't initially intend to open a bakery, but working in a corporate environment out of college wasn’t everything they’d hoped for. At some point, we all grow up and realize we want to do something that makes us happy. For some, that seems like a far off dream, but for those who make the leap into small business, it’s a real possibility.
The problem is, being in business isn’t easy.
Entrepreneurs are constantly second-guessing themselves, wondering if they’re doing the right thing, or wasting their time.
Read my story below, and I hope that it gives you some comfort that you’re not alone, and the road to success is not always straight and narrow.
I considered a graphic design major in college, and even took the class (which was my favorite, by the way). But, back then, I was a small town girl, and the jobs available in that field were only available in big cities - or so I thought. I got a job at a bank and worked my way through college, just because I knew I should.
I flip-flopped around in school because I didn't know what I wanted, and just settled on a business degree because that was safe.
After college, I continued working in banking for a few years, because it was a comfortable place to be. When my son was born, I knew I needed to do something different, in a position that was more flexible. When he was about 6 months old, I went back to school for accounting.
It made sense to transition from banking to accounting, and everything I read online said that accountants had freedom in their schedules, and CPAs made more money. So, I did that. As it turns out, I’m a pretty good accountant, but I’m not passionate about it.
What I do love doing is design.
I probably should’ve listened to my gut all of those years ago, but we’re all pretty naive at 18.
That wasn’t the only sign that I was on the wrong path, though. Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at a few different businesses in an effort to find freedom and do something I enjoyed.
I had an Etsy shop selling children’s floor pillows, but I got burnt out sewing the same thing over and over again. Not to mention, that was a lot of work for not much profit. I had an online boutique selling women’s clothing and accessories handmade by other vendors, but retail just wasn’t for me, and neither is fashion (I basically buy everything from one store). I attempted to sell courses to therapists on how to manage their business finances, but my heart was not in it. My husband talked me into selling a product on Amazon, but I did not enjoy that process either.
All of these things I’ve started over the years had a few things in common:
They were good ideas - just not for me
They could have been executed well by someone who had a passion for them
I was trying to force myself into doing something I didn't enjoy
I gave up because I didn't have the drive to push through to success
You see, as the title of this post says, “doing what you love is a process.”
We don’t strike gold from the very beginning - we have to keep digging in different places until we find it. You learn from experience where it’s not, and move forward using that newfound knowledge.
I learned two things from all of these ventures:
Selling physical products is not my jam.
My favorite part of all of them was designing the websites and social media.
I love, love, love designing websites and graphics.
I can spend hours on the computer and not get bored of it. So, I’ve created a business designing custom websites for other people - seemed like the pretty obvious thing to do, right?
I’ll be totally honest here. The reason that I didn't do something like this all of those years ago was because I was scared. I was supposed to be the smart kid, go work in an office, collect a steady paycheck, and get great benefits. But, that’s just not me, and I’m finally comfortable enough with myself as an adult to acknowledge that.
I’ve finally learned that I can take all the pieces that I enjoy doing and it actually makes running this business fun.
And, if you’re having fun doing the work, you’re more likely to push through the hard times and come out the other side.
The other thing I love about this work is that I get to help people succeed in their businesses. For me, I want to know that what I’m doing is meaningful. That’s why selling floor pillows, jewelry, and Amazon products didn't give me the drive to make those businesses work.
Here’s the advice I have after all of those years of experience:
If you’re passionate about the work you’re doing, keep going.
If what you’re doing has a positive impact in the world, don’t stop.
Even if you feel like you’re an impostor because this isn’t what you went to school for - who cares?
Your enthusiasm for the business you’re running now, at this stage in your life, will come through to your customers. If you’re good at it, no one’s going to question how you got there. They key is to not give up, and give yourself time to succeed. If you commit to making this work - it will.
I would be so happy to be a part of your success by designing your custom Squarespace website. If you’re ready to talk more, book a call with me here. Or, if you’d like to see my portfolio first, click through on the image below.