What Small Business Ownership is Really Like
FILED IN: Behind-the-Scenes, Education, Holiday & Seasonal, Unboxing the Business
Posted By: Jamie Kutchman Wynne
In honor of Small Business Saturday, I thought it might be refreshing to share what small business ownership is really like by sharing the most rewarding things along with the most challenging aspects. There's so much out there on social media portraying entrepreneurship like it's a life of instant success and a glamorous life. While it's one of the best decisions I could've ever made in my life, this stereotype could not be further from the truth. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out - have a read and let me know if you can relate? And if you're not a business owner but someone who supports small businesses by buying from them or shouting their names from the rooftops, know that you are appreciated today and all year round! You make everything worth it.
MOST REWARDING THINGS
1. Results of your work (good or bad) are evident quickly, making it easier to stay motivated, keep working, and keep the faith. Even if you're just making baby steps in the beginning, you can see the impact of your work and it can be really motivating!
2. You can pivot and make changes quickly whenever needed without much red tape. You don't need to get layers of approval as you would in a large corporation. If you decide something, that's it - you decide and go forward.
3. Teamwork is a secret weapon. When you first start out, it's usually just you doing #allthethings on your own. You start to feel invincible and that there's nothing you can't accomplish by simply working harder, longer, smarter...you get the idea. But when the business grows, you suddenly realize that it is no longer about you. It's about the team. You realize that the business would no longer exist without the team and that their willingness to work together and support one another is a secret weapon that can truly make the difference between success and failure.
4. You get the opportunity to form a community with other small business owners and get inspiration from them. The pressures experienced by small business owners are immense and something not everyone understands. To interact with other business owners can make you feel seen, understood, and certainly not so alone when the going gets tough.
MOST CHALLENGING THINGS
1. You have to be at least somewhat good at everything in the beginning. At least until you get to the point where you can hire people to do some of the things that don't play to your strengths. And this time period to get to that point can feel like forever. It's no secret that business ownership is a huge risk and you carry that potential for failure on your shoulders every single day.
2. Lack of redundancy makes it hard to disconnect. In small business, you often run lean, at least in the early years. This means that when a team member is out, others have to cover for them (in addition to their own duties) and this often means that it's youas the owner filling in. And in small business, the owner often operates within the business making it hard for them to go away and truly unplug when they're needed in the day-to-day.
3. It's hard to separate your personal life from your professional life. This one is the toughest. Small business starts out as a dream that you're willing to sacrifice for and work insanely hard for. When you spend so much of your time, energy, heart and soul on something, it can easily become part of your identity as an individual. It can become impossible to separate who you are from the business, which means boundaries get blurred. You have to be careful that you're not sacrificing your entire personal life and giving up opportunities to pour into family and friends simply because you think the business demands it.
4. The pressure is immense. You get to be your own boss but in reality, that isn't easy. Every decision you make has consequences that can impact the lives of other people - your employees, your vendors, your clients. One wrong turn, and especially in the early years, could land you in danger of not making payroll or losing clients or having a PR nightmare. The fear of failure can keep you up at night, that's for sure.
And now for some small businesses we think you should know - some favorite M&G clients, vendors, and friends. Check them out and show them some love on this #SmallBusinessSaturday and beyond!
Lissa Ryan Photography
Black Wealth Financial
Silk & Slate
The Spice Suite
Caroline Dutton Events
Beth Webb Interiors
And as a reminder, for Black Friday 2022 through 11:59 pm EST on 11/28, take $15 off gift boxes priced over $100 + Free Shipping with code GIFTJOY. Shop all Ready-to-Ship gift boxes here. Shop all Women-Made Gift Boxes here. Shop the Give Back Collection here.