Entrepreneurship is a personal journey. And no matter how much research you do or articles you read, we each go through it a little differently. Also, entrepreneurship is hard. As in the hardest thing you’ll ever do — except maybe raising children. There’s a certain weight of responsibility that comes with shaping a human being that is simply unmatched by anything.
As I lay awake last night struggling with the latest problems to have cropped up, unable to let them go enough to fall asleep, I started to reflect on my journey so far.
It seems you face one brick wall after another and when you’re in business for yourself. And, ultimately, it’s all on you to figure out how to get past them. This can be exhausting (although apparently not to the point of actually inducing sleep), disheartening, and terrifying sometimes.
As a copywriter, I came across “things I’ve never done before” ALL the time. It could be as simple as an industry or product I’ve never written about before (that list is long) but those are the exciting challenges. The kind your synapses are bursting to tackle.
Example: when I had to write a page of copy for orthotics. I got stuck trying to come up with a hook that hadn’t been done a gagillion (approximate number) times before. If you look around, they’re all the same– and all deathly boring. Because let’s face it: there’s nothing particularly sexy, appealing or exciting about a medically necessary wedge in your shoe.
Plus, for me, I need to get the hook before the rest of the page can flow. If I write the page before the hook it’s like premature writing — and nobody likes a premature writer 😉
After 3 days (thankfully I had that luxury of time) everything came together in my brain and lightning struck. I was literally in the middle of helping my husband switch the car seats from one vehicle to another when I abandoned him and rushed to write it down. 30 minutes later the rough draft for that page of copy was done.
I learned to trust myself (and my creative brain) to get the job done.
But sometimes the “things I’ve never done before” falls way outside the realm of your expertise. Like building a website. You want an awesome looking site but can’t afford a professional design studio to build it for you, when you’re first starting out. So you roll up your sleeves and start researching. Learn everything you can and then you build one (with Google open in a separate tab for all the questions you’ll run into while doing it).
And when you know better you build better. When the vision expands, the website morphs to fit the needs of your business (For the record, I’m still terrified of inserting code into any template). The nice thing about learning how to do it yourself, is that every time you want to make a change you go in and change it, without having to ask anyone else for help. Necessity breeds independence as well as invention, I guess.
I don’t know about you, but, as soon as I’ve conquered one thing, something else presents itself. Yes, it’s exhausting, but the way I see it, you only have two choices: roll up your sleeves, learn what you need to know and tackle that brick wall, that “thing you’ve never done before” one brick at a time if you have to.
Or give up.
I would never have guessed that entrepreneurship would have taught me this about myself but here’s what I’ve learned:
- I’ve learned I’m not so good at giving up.
- I’ve learned I’m more capable than I ever thought possible.
- I’ve learned that the fear of going back to be a mindless, unappreciated cog in someone else’s machine trumps the fear of failure — even for a perfectionist like me.
- I’ve learned that I want this so badly that even when I’m exhausted, disheartened, and terrified I’m going to show up and do the work.
To every entrepreneur slugging it out in the trenches one day at a time, I’m right here with you. Cheers mate!