When I started my first business, Bras By S, I really didn’t think much about how I was going to juggle things. I kind of just started it and thought I’d figure it along the way, which in a way, I did. But if I’m honest, I could have definitely done it an easier way if I’d put a little more thought into the plans…
I was just excited, which is and was completely okay! I was starting a new adventure and I was SO excited to do it.
I continued working full-time for almost 12 months after starting the business and I’d work on my business at night and on the weekends. Now that I look back, it’s all a bit of a blur.
I remember working on my website, making my own logo, creating my about me (which took SO much longer than you’d think!) and all of the other little creative things that were needing to be done. It all took so long and I put so much love and effort into creating the business.
I also specifically remember constantly googling. I needed to learn how to do so many things so I was always learning something. To be honest, I still do this now! Who doesn’t love being able to google and learn literally anything at the click of a few buttons?!
After living like this for a while, I began to burn-out. I started to feel exhausted. I was emotional. I was tired of trying to juggle this lifestyle. I loved my business but it was causing quite a few dramas in my life. I was just so tired but I didn’t want to give it up.
I continued living in this burn-out for a while and unfortunately for me, I wasn’t too tapped into myself yet. I didn’t know much about taking care of myself at this stage and I certainly wasn’t taking care of myself. Although, the Universe definitely had my back.
After living like this for roughly a year, I fell pregnant and left my full-time job to stay at home with my son, Ezra and that also resulted in being able to work on my business.
Of course, my son is the real blessing in this scenario, but The Universe gave me a beautiful little boy and also gave me the freedom to work for myself in a way that suited my family and me.
This year, Bras By S turns four. I also just celebrated my second business’s birthday (Mindful Soul Collective). I spend my days with my family (and I’m currently pregnant!) and work on my businesses on the side.
I wanted to share this story with you because when I look back over the years, I definitely learnt a few lessons the hard way and if you want to start or business (or already have a business), I want you to skip those hard lessons! Here are the biggest lessons I’ve learnt in business:
If you want to do it, just do it.
If there’s a business you’re interested in starting, just do it. Honestly, just start. You don’t need a fancy website or a fancy logo. You don’t need to struggle and worry about all of the what-if's. You can just wake up tomorrow, start making a list of business names and start the social media accounts.
There is no better time to start than right now.
When you own a business, you definitely need strong boundaries.
This includes boundaries about when you’re going to work and not work. How you’re going to handle social media and emails on your phone. What and when your preferences are for customers and clients contacting you.
And most importantly, when you will allow time and energy for YOU - not the business, not the family, not the house. Literally just for you. When are you going to schedule in your hobbies and lunches out with friends? Will you be seeing coaches or counsellors, if so, when? When are you going to be able to move your body and exercise in a way that is fun for you?
There is nothing more important than you.
Happy you = thriving business
Happy you = happy family
Happy you = Happy you
Outsource, outsource and outsource!
This is my favouriteeeeee. If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know I mention outsourcing quite often and it’s for good reason – you can’t do it all.
I think there’s a big misconception that you can’t outsource (or hire) until you’re this huge 7-figure business and that’s just not true. Outsourcing isn’t for huge companies or rich families.
I’ve been outsourcing tasks for a few years now and it makes the world of a difference. I have a VA that helps me with so many of my admin tasks. I have a cleaner come once a fortnight and I have somebody come and do my lawns fortnightly.
I can’t explain how amazing it is to not have to even think about when the last time I thoroughly cleaned my bathroom was or when was the last time I nagged my partner, Karl, to mow the lawns or did I forget to reply to somebody on social media?!
Obviously outsourcing costs money, but I earn it back in terms of time, brain-space and energy. Plus, I’m supporting multiple other people in small business too! Win-win for me!
There is no way I would be where I am without my support system.
I am incredibly lucky to have a Mum who also has a small business, so she answered 100 questions a day until I was settled into my business (she still helps me now sometimes – no shame!).
I am also blessed to have an incredibly supportive partner, Karl. No matter what, he is always there for me and supporting me. He is definitely my number 1 cheerleader.
Along with my personal support system, I’ve had a few professionals along the way. These included coaches, a counsellor and of course the more common and necessary support systems like an incredible accountant.
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself
When you’re in business, you’re going to be faced with tough situations. Maybe a client isn’t paying their bill or an accountant has done a crappy job on your bookkeeping. Maybe a customer or client is pushing the boundaries or being incredibly rude to you.
All of these things above are very possible and they happen every day to small business owners, so please remember to stand up for yourself in whatever way possible.
Say no when you need too. Let go and replace staff or people you outsource too. Be firm with customers and clients.
You deserve to be respected, no matter what. Please remember that.
Starting a business can be scary and growing a business can also be scary, it can take a lot of energy and love from your days so if you read the above lessons and allow them to sink in fully, and I mean, really sink in, you’ll be 100 steps in front!
Certified Counsellor & Mental Health Coach