There’s absolutely no doubt about it running your own business comes with so many ups and downs, it really is hard to keep track. For me personally, the isolation that you can feel is at times incredibly difficult. The emotional roller coaster of the highs and lows can be overwhelming, but also incredibly exhilarating & rewarding.
To be able to say that you are your own boss, to march to the beat of your own drum and build your own career around something you are truly passionate about is, without a doubt, something that motivates you to keep going.
Over the last two years I have learnt alot. Some things the hard way. I have met some incredibly inspiring and motivating business owners, yet we are bound by a common thread. No-one actually knows how challenging it can be to own and run your own business….unless of course you own and run your own business! Makes sense right?
Most of the people I have met are absolutely driven by a passion or belief in their business. They are hopeful that they can create a new career for themselves & generate enough income as stable and full time employment. Many of the women I have met have also created business’ to allow them to spend more time at home with their children.
It sounds incredible on paper right? The reality often looks and feels very different, & actually may come as a surprise to you.
I have family members on both sides of my family that run their own business. They are both very successful and I have had discussions with them about the issues that we face, and it would appear that no matter how big or small your business is – the issues are still the same.
Time and time again my mind is completely blown by other peoples lack of understanding or perceptions of what it is actually like for us on a daily basis. I am beginning to understand that this is absolutely no-ones fault, but it is something that motivated me to write this article in the hope that it might at the very least, create some conversations around this topic.
So before you engage the services of a privately run business, here’s what we would really like you to understand:
Being an entrepreneur can be incredibly lonely. If you are the sole trader in your business, it can be difficult to keep finding the motivation and energy to keep up the positive attitude needed to sustain a business long term. Unlike in other employment, we spend a lot of time by ourselves. We don’t have many people to bounce ideas around with or to share projects with, and this at times can be very isolating. When you genuinely ask us about our business and how it is all going, it really means the world to us.
It really does takes a village to be self employed. We cannot do it alone. It takes a lot of self discipline to grow a successful & thriving business. We need support, encouragement and guidance from family, friends, business peers, mentors and clients or customers. Being a business owner can be really emotionally exhausting and mentally draining at times and we need a good listening ear and shoulder to lean on every now and then. Creating a network of like minded and supportive people is imperative to success and longevity.
Business owners think about their business 24/7. They find it incredibly challenging to switch off and social media has also made this increasingly difficult. We worry that if we don’t respond fast enough, you may move on to someone else. People don’t seem to realise that because you work from home, that this brings its own complexities and difficulties around responding. Messaging people on Christmas day is definitely a big no no! And yes this has happened to me. Try to be mindful of the time or way you contact people about their services. Use their business emails or Facebook accounts and always call within business hours.
Business owners constantly need to self promote, network, hustle, advertise and think of ways to create awareness about their services. It never ends, because unlike someone in full time employment, we have to generate our own income each and every month. This is also why we find it very difficult to switch off. We are constantly thinking about how, when or where our next paying clients will come from.
We wear so many hats at times it feels as thought they might all just topple off! Along with our area of expertise we have to also master many other roles that go along with running a business. Things like bookkeeping, invoicing, taxes, advertising, marketing, social media, quoting- and lets not forget children wrangling and managing a family around all things business too.
When you don’t pay your invoice on time this has a huge impact on business owners and their families. Like you – we have financial commitments, mortgages, swimming fees, childcare, car insurance and clothes to buy. Forgetting to pay your bill on time doesn’t cut it. Refusing to return emails or phone calls after a service has been delivered is just downright unacceptable.
When you cancel at the last minute this has a knock on effect. Most months for me are booked to a tight schedule with not much room to move. I have created a schedule that works for me and my young family. I know things pop up and sometimes unavoidable, but when you cancel an appointment at the last minute this really can create a lot of chaos for some business owners, and more importantly can effect their cash flow for the month.
But you know what? Even after all of this, most of the business owners I know and love say that they wouldn’t give it up for the world. Mostly because they are so passionate about what they do and enjoy being able to share that with the world. We really do put our hearts & souls on the line. Of course there are the amazing things like working your own hours or being able to take the day off whenever you feel like it. But business owners will all say that these little perks are the things that keep us doing what we absolutely love.
“We didn’t start a business just to make money, we started a business to make a difference”
Love Chrissie xx
(P.S – this is exactly what running a business around little humans looks and feels like!)
“Empowering families to create the perfect mix of chaos & love”
Chaos to Calm Consultancy would like Wadawarrung of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge the elders past, present and emerging -particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents who walked before us supporting and connecting their children to the earth, water and community. Always was. Always will be.