Starting your own business is a lot like learning to swim - no matter how long you spend wearing armbands in the shallow end, at some point you're going to end up jumping in the deep end and hoping you don't drown. And here ends the dodgy business analogy. But seriously, I'm the queen of preparedness (as well as being queen of many other unrelated things) and bought many books on starting your own business, read more blog posts than I care to remember on the subject, and emailed all my business-owning friends for advice. But none of that really prepared me for the reality of working for myself and running my own (albeit very small) business, so I thought I'd share with you all some of the things I have discovered over the last few months...
1. eight hours sleep a night is for wimps - you can still (mostly) function on only four hours of sleep a night, especially if you have spent the entire day drinking coffee
2. no-one bothers to find out your name before they email you - deal with it. Try not to get too angry when they address an email 'to shop owner' and definitely don't bother trying to work out why on earth they addressed it 'dear heidi' as your brain may implode.
3. making things is fun. Making 100 of the same thing is less fun.
4. if you try to use a sewing machine after being awake for 21 hours you will forget to put the foot down and end up making a huge mess, so just walk away and go to bed before you throw said sewing machine through the window.
5. you can never have enough crochet blankets because at 4am your craft room is absolutely freezing.
6. doing accounts is not fun. Not even a tiny little bit. Not even when you do your accounts whilst simultaneously watching a video of tiny puppies. I will give a million English pounds to the person who tells me how to make doing accounts fun.
7. there is no limit to the number of times I can rewatch Criminal Minds.
8. the vast majority of people are amazing, and understanding, and helpful, and supportive. However this means there are a small minority who will make you want to cry/punch a wall/throw your computer out of the window. Ignore them, take a deep breath, move on. Anger and hatred make people ugly.
9. you will want to throw lots of things out of the window.
10. you cannot do everything. Or maybe that should be you cannot do everything in one day.
11. not everything will be perfect all the time. Things will go wrong, you will have to prioritise and that means some things won't get done the way you want. It's okay though, no-one expects you to be perfect except for you.
Does anyone else have any gems of wisdom they have discovered since starting their business/becoming self-employed? I'd love to hear them! xo