Do Your Own Thing!
We wanted to write a little bit about being a small business. And we mean really small. Like, one person small, which is where we started. On the one hand, following a dream and starting your own business is incredibly exciting, freeing and full of possibilities. On the other hand…it can be pretty daunting, at times a bit lonely, and FULL of challenges. But as a few wise people told us along the way, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. So today we’re wondering why so many of us small biz owners are constantly comparing ourselves to others, rather than recognising our own achievements which we have fought so hard to attain?
It’s so easy to peer in from the outside and think everything is running super smoothly all the time with brands, but the truth is even the big guys have their moments of crisis. The major difference is that they probably have huge resources and hoards of people to help them through the rough days, whereas the smaller business owners out there just have themselves.
Making all the decisions, dealing with every issue that gets thrown up (and there will be many!), wearing all the hats…it’s a lot. You’re definitely never bored and no day is the same, but it can also be exhausting. Some days you just want to pass the reigns to a passer by and let them have a go while you take a long nap in the corner. No? Just us..?
The other thing we’ve noticed is the feeling of imposter syndrome looming over a lot of small business owners on the daily, us included. This is a feeling many of us have, the one where we truly believe at any moment we’re going to be wildly exposed as a complete fraud who’s been winging it since day one, and everyone will know that we don’t actually know anything at all. Well, take it from us, you know more than you think you do. You know A LOT actually. Not everyone could keep going when it’s only Tuesday and you’ve just been handed your fourteenth s*** sandwich of the week. Even a perfectly balanced Far Side cold brew can’t help wash that one down…
But if you’ve built even the tiniest of empires by yourself, you’re basically a superhero. You’ve weathered the highs and lows and carried on even when you’ve probably wanted to run a hundred miles in the other direction. And the really big secret in pretty much every industry that no one wants to talk about?…ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE is winging it at one point or another, and sometimes honestly, they’re winging it all the bloody time. That’s real life!
Luckily, small business owners have a true passion for their product/service/craft and that’s what keeps us going through the darker days, because we know there are plenty more fantastic days waiting. The days when you feel you’ve really nailed something big and can conquer the world, skipping home with a big grin on your face. And the best part about that feeling as a small biz owner? You did it all yourself - the glory is yours! So there are definitely benefits of being a one person band, as well as some hardships.
But if on some days, you just feel a bit…bleugh, and think everyone else is achieving more, doing more, looking a bit shinier, try to stop and think of all you’ve achieved and take a break from looking at what everyone’s up to (we’re lookin’ at you, Instagram). It’s so easy to compare and despair, but everyone is on a completely separate path and have their own ups and downs. So we can cheer others on from the sidelines, and then refocus on ourselves and our own business without getting hung up on how we’re doing compared to them.
So what are we really trying to say? Be proud of yourself and keep doing you. Don’t try and copy what other people are doing, because 1. how boring! and 2. being real in an increasingly artificial world is literally the best way to stand out and make a real difference.
Just do your own thing.