Cafe owner behind her counter stressing over paperwork

What They Don’t Tell You About Running Your Own Business

Launching your own business comes with new challenges

I’ve come to realise that the only place more hectic than a business owner’s daily schedule is picking the kids up from school at 3pm!

You’ve got emails shooting out your ears, meetings you must attend, taxes, invoices, orders to make, and not to mention the attempt to provide immaculate customer service. You could tackle all of the ‘How to run a business 101’ tutorials and blogs across every social platform, but there’s nothing to prepare you for the real deal.

Cafe owner behind her counter stressing over paperwork

The lifelong dream of ‘being your own boss’ certainly comes with its advantages. Though many are unprepared for the truth that they actually won’t have more spare time than their regular job. I mean I’m definitely working on a ‘How to run the show without actually doing much’ guide, though I’ve just not accomplished that magic recipe as of yet… Oh wouldn’t it be lovely!

We want you to know that it is hard! And you’re handling it well! Of course, we don’t know every single in and out of running your own business… industries differ vastly. But, we hope what we do know will deliver you some relief. Not many people have shed light on the difficult side of business, so here we are doing just that. 

It will all get too much

There will be times where you feel as if you’ve just done a triathlon. You go numb and don’t even realise that you’re actually still running it! What we must tell you is – if you don’t want to lose your mind, listen to your body and honour its wishes. Half Time!

There are many ways you can wind down, but firstly start with learning how to say No. Say no to picking up other peoples tasks, say no to the weekly meeting or say no to staying back late. Take just half an hour to get in some reading, meditation or even just turn off your phone, sit back and watch an episode of your favourite TV show!

Morning will come and you will want to run in the opposite direction

AKA, quitting. Everyone has moments where they doubt their ability to keep pushing. Because let’s be real, spontaneously scooting off to the Bahamas sounds like a to-die-for escape. Realistically…that is not going to land you your dream career! Unless you’re a travel blogger or something of course. Take a moment to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. 

Here is a good read if you ever find yourself needing to readjust that outlook – 5 things to do when you feel like giving up your business.

You will wish that 30 hour days were a thing

Unfortunately, we can’t rub a magic lamp and wish for those extra few hours (apparently, Genie’s don’t exist). Try not to overwhelm yourself, adopt some time management skills, and be realistic about what you can achieve in a day’s work. This way you will be able to hit these goals instead of setting impractical tasks that will leave you feeling as if you’re getting further and further behind.

Email is the devil, we know

Your inbox will come across as a never ending black hole, and it probably is to be honest. I find myself spending far too much time answering emails than doing what I love.

Make sure your spam folder is in working order, and if emails aren’t urgent they can wait a few days for a personal reply. Do more of what you signed up for, even if that means your inbox is creeping past 2000. Don’t let that electronic dinging noise rule your life!

Marketing appears to have become a very important skill you know nothing about

It’s hard to believe that your product won’t sell itself, you’re an innovative genius after all. We would love to spend our days knitting cute little baby mittens, baking some bomb brownies or writing romantic poems for your customers. But your audience need to know you exist! There are oodles of online marketing guides that are quite simple to follow, and are a great stepping stone for beginners. 

We have put together some tips for beginners in our marketing blogs here – Marketing Tips For Beginners, 8 Low Budget Marketing Ideas For Small Business.

Swearing at your computer is kind of expected

Especially when technology has the ability to drive you up the wall. AND, don’t forget those days where the WIFI is playing on/off games with you! Your frustration just shows a love for your work, you want to be productive but inanimate objects keep rearing their ugly heads.

Coffee fails to produce the saving glory it once did

You will feel like you’re on a constant roller coaster, as you have some of the happiest times running your own show. But you will also have some of your lowest, and that’s okay! Everyone experiences it, and that’s when wine works as a substitute for coffee ;). 

You will fail

Not everything goes to plan when running your own business. We all make decisions that we later realise are completely wrong. These learning curves are the most valuable lessons of this roller coaster. As time creeps on, you will have more lessons that will form as steps up the mountain of success. One step back, two steps forward.

Everyone is just winging it

Seriously, those entrepreneurs on LinkedIn or Instagram that seem to be absolutely smashing the business game are actually facing the same issues that you are. Some people are just incredible at faking it till they make it. At one point in time, even Mark Zuckerberg had no idea what he was doing! We all start somewhere, and I bet any other entrepreneur could laugh with you over your mutual mistakes.

You definitely won't have as much money as everyone thinks

Along with running your own business comes the stereotype that you must be rich. In reality your bills have somehow replaced this notion of being your own boss, and your life is not at all what you pictured it to be before starting your own business.

BUT, its worth it

You are the one that will let go of all those ‘What-ifs’, knowing that you’re chasing your ambitions.

By accelerating through the learning curves of having your own business, those ‘whoops’ moments will become fewer and further in between (I promise!). Like they say – practice makes perfect. The self-doubt that at times is playing in the back of your mind will become more and more distant.