I can't believe the shop has been open 2 months now! It has seriously been a whirlwind of excitement, fear, hard work, joy, and challenges! (all mixed together like a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream!) I've been reflecting on some things I've learned, and I thought I'd share with you all! Side note: I'm still learning a ton!
1. A little fear is normal.
At first I thought it was a bad sign if I was a little fearful; like maybe that is a sign that I can't do it. Questions run through your mind...what if it doesn't work out, what if people don't like it, what if, what if, what if! ...Aaaah! And then fear creeps in. However, the more I've talked to business owners I've come to realize that a little fear is just part of the territory! Usually stepping into a new business venture comes with risks and getting out of your comfort zone. So you'd have to be superwoman not to have a little fear! As a friend says, "If it was easy, everyone would do it."
The real test is what you do with that fear. You can let the idea die so you don't have to deal with the anxious thoughts. OR you can think through them. Are they red flags? Or are they just nerves because you're trying something new? What is the worst case scenario? Can I make it through that? Well if yes, then it might be worth proceeding!
It was a relief to find out that I wasn't the only person to start a new venture and experience a little fear at the same time.
2. Sometimes you have to be willing to fail.
So this is really a continuation of point #1. One of the most common fears is the fear of failing.
I have read a lot of articles by successful business people, and they all say this over and over. You have to be willing to fail. It sounds so silly and cliche to type it. But once I realized that failure can be part of the process, it wasn't so scary! You have to try things to find out if they work, and from there you can tweak your plan! I've tried some products that didn't work right away. But then you learn something, and you take what you learn to make an even better product. I think this mentality frees you up to run hard without constantly counting the risks.
Opening a shop was something I had dreamed of, so it was so extremely exciting to have the opportunity. When faced head on with the fear of failure, I decided I would rather try and fail then never try at all! So far it is going well, but at the end of the day I am so glad I got the opportunity to try!
3. Enjoy the ride!
Make sure you enjoy the process! We are always looking ahead to the next step or wondering how things will turn out. But we never know what the future holds, so enjoy the journey!
I have greatly enjoyed opening Texture Design Co, but I will never know for certain what the next 5 years will hold for the company. So I figure I should just enjoy each step of the way. Instead of pining for the day when I can hire employees or wondering what the next year holds, I think about how grateful I am to be able to open a business. I want to make sure I don't miss the view along the way because I've spent too much time looking at the map! Look out the window and take it all in! (like the metaphor? hehe)
4. It's okay if everyone doesn't have the same style as you.
Whatever you do, you can be certain that everyone is not going to have the same style or the same taste. Guess what?! THAT IS OKAY! Nobody bats a 100 average. If 80% of your customers love what you do; don't fret over the other 20%...you get what I'm saying? Like our moms always said, you can't please everyone.
I think when you're creative, it can be very easy to take it personal. But that is just a fact of life. Thankfully, God made us all very different, and we don't all prefer exactly the same thing. So if you're making a product or selling a service that you're proud of, don't worry if there are a few that don't get it! As T-Swift once said, "shake it off."
5. Teamwork really is dreamwork.
There is a lot to unpack in that statement! But basically, working with people to accomplish something is the best! Even if you are on your own, there are plenty of people that can team with you--fellow industry people, family, friends, and community!
I don't technically have co-workers, but there are a lot of people that have teamed with me along the way. And it is so fun to share the joy with them.
The shop was a fun chance to work as a team with my husband to accomplish something. I knew there was no way I could get it all done without his help. So building the shelves or my countertop was such a high because we met the challenge together.
The girls that have the shop next to me (Be the Change Boutique) have been incredible about working as a team. Having people to bounce ideas off of or someone to just have your back is so refreshing! We are able to give each other advice or wisdom, and I know I'm lucky to have them!
The shop is in the Lower King Street district in Charleston. Recently the shops have started coming together to get to know each other so we can work together. This is in the beginning stages, but I love the example. We will be a stronger community if we work as a team to build up the area! Yup! Teamwork really is dreamwork. ;) Don't be an island!