my R E A L I T Y of being a small business owner

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It’s tough owning your own business. Especially when you feel like you’re really not cut out for it. When I started the bakery, I can’t tell you the amount of people who told me I would need to grow a thicker skin. If you know me, you know that I take everything to heart and worry all the time. It’s definitely a downfall of mine. I’m a people-pleaser and I never want anyone mad at me. I know I shouldn’t be concerned about the negative things people say or the unrealistic expectations people put on me, but it’s just not how I’m wired. You would think by now that being in the business 6 plus years I would have a much thicker skin, but I don’t. Perhaps I have gotten somewhat better at not letting the negative affect me so much and consume my day/days. Wait…who am I kidding?! Yep, I still have the same skin as when I started out and I think I am okay with that!

I’ve read different posts over the years that small business owners have written about owning your own business. The positives and the negatives that go along with being a small business owner and I always walk away thinking, “damn, that couldn’t ring more true!” Yes, there are a lot of positives to owning your own business, but it is not easy. The simple fact that I don’t have a thick skin makes me question whether or not I should even be in this business. I just felt the need to share the other side of it. The other side that I wish more people understood and maybe some do, but either way I just needed to talk about it. So what else is new, right?!

This is just my personal experience and I know everyone’s journey is different, but I’m sure my fellow small business owners can relate on some level. Here’s a glimpse on my reality of being a small business owner:

• I’m always working. There are no days off. Even when it appears I have a day off, there are emails to be answered, products to be ordered, social media outlets to update, etc. If you’re like me, then you’re probably worrying about a customer/order or the just the business in general.
• Emails give me a headache. I am one person and can only do so much. I’m baking all day and running around like a crazy person so when I get home at night my mind is all over the place. I can’t even think about answering emails. I do try my best to respond as quickly as possible. Some days I respond within minutes, other days it takes me a day or two.
• I can’t afford to hire people. I had a tough first year trying to get up and running. I am still til this day climbing out of the financial hole…that will most likely always be there.
• I have a difficult time asking for help.
• I’m human and I make mistakes. No one is perfect. I am not perfect.
• I carry a lot of guilt. I miss out on a lot of family events or get togethers with friends because of work. But the nature of my business is that I’m the busiest on the weekends and that’s when most family events, parties, etc. take place.
• I’m a control freak yet my house/living space is a mess most days. The last thing I feel like doing after working at 16 hour day is putting my clothes away. {Yes, the laundry basket is still sitting there from last week. Yes, I’m just pulling the clothes out of the basket instead of taking 3 minutes to put the clothes away.}
• I escape my reality with reality t.v.
• I’m a hot mess…as in I have melt downs on a weekly basis. Some days I even wear the same clothes with holes in them and I don’t have time to do my hair. {Now ya know why I wear a lot of baseball hats.}
• I think about giving up the business daily and going back to working for someone else.
• I can’t relax. If there’s any downtime, I’m worrying that I forgot someone’s order.
• I don’t lead a glamorous life and I don’t make a ton of money. Maybe in a few years I will, but for the moment…I maybe have about $60 in my bank account. High roller? Yeah…not so much!
• I eat cereal or toast for most meals because I don’t have time to cook and my stomach is a wreck most days.
• I feel like I’m failing on a daily basis.

Okay, okay, enough of that. So, what can you and I take away from all of this? I guess whether you own your own business or not, the fact is that we are all just doing the best we can. In life, in work, in relationships…we are all just doing the best we can. Yes, it would be nice for people to have a little more compassion and understanding but we know that’s not always the case. If you’re like me and you don’t have a thick skin, that’s okay. Just know that I’m right there with ya! Remember, you’re doing the best you can…keep your head up!

As always, thank you for taking the time to read. Remember to be kind to yourself.

-Ange

One comment

  1. Helen McGuire says:

    OMG did you write this about me!!! This is completly me, my life, my household and how I think about my small business. Thank you for making me think I was the only one who felt like this.

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