Sometimes I feel like I am the Boy Who Cried Wolf, except (I am a girl and) I am crying out, “I’m going to start a business!” How many times have people in my life heard me say that I will start a business, and yet, I still have nothing to show for it?
It feels somewhat embarrassing, and I must be a fraud in their eyes. After all, more than a year ago, I had sent emails to many friends and family members saying, “Hey! I’m finally starting my business! Check out my new website!”
I imagine them smirking knowingly to each other, “Oh, there she goes again…” over lattes and biscuits, as they casually swipe crumbs off the table.
Of course, that is most likely not happening, but the mind can conjure up the most vivid of thoughts, right down to the last crumb-y detail. In all honesty, the support I have received for Wondershins has been beyond my wildest imaginations – people truly rooting for me and patiently waiting to see where this adventure leads, responding to my emails and Instagram posts, and sprinkling me with encouragement when I see them in person.
In reality, it is I who judges myself for not having a shop open right now; it is I who can actually feel how long it is taking. I am the one who sees all the cogs and wheels working in the background and feel like they are not moving fast enough.
What I know that others don’t is that it has been eighteen months since I started Wondershins. I like to think the birth of it came with my first Instagram post at the end of September 2016. A couple months later, my little sister started to build my website – what you see here today. In March of 2017, that is when I released my “announcement email” and thus began the content creation, the newsletter sendings, and the business thinkings.
Throughout these eighteen months, Wondershins has grown to be something that I am extremely happy about; it has gone through many tweaks and twiddles to become what it is today. I have learned things that worked like a properly oiled door hinge, and other things that played like a horribly out-of-tune piano.
Sometimes that wicked sneer wants to creep out from inside me and remind me of all the things I have not accomplished. But I think of these lessons I have learned, and though it seems I haven’t traveled far, I have gotten closer than I have in the past.
For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have arrived at the right destination. Perhaps I’m still standing outside the gate or maybe I’m across the street and further down a couple blocks, but it’s right there – I can see it! And I’m certain I’m not crying, “Wolf!” this time.
There are still many steps to take to get where I need to be to sell my first product, but if these eighteen months have shown me anything, it’s that I am still going, still putting one foot in front of the other. And that determination is what pushes the doubt and self-criticism down.
So I have decided to share my stories, thoughts, and lessons learned regarding building a business on this blog. Not only to bring you along with me on this adventure, but also because, if you are going through the same thing or went through the same thing, it’s nice to have someone to talk to about things like this.
Starting a business solo and being an artist are both very vulnerable things. Put them together, and it becomes a double dose of vulnerability! You’re constantly putting yourself out there (so hard if you are an introvert, like me!), you’re working by yourself majority of the time, and oftentimes, you feel like others aren’t understanding what you do entirely.
These blog posts may not completely rid the discomforts of solopreneurship and artistry, though I do hope it eases us into a little more comfort. I hope to create a little place here that allows us to discover strength, determination, inspiration, and conversation together. If you have any questions you would like me to address, send them to me in the comments below!
More to come soon – I’m thinking something along the lines of “The Biggest Lesson Learned in Starting a Business.” (It’s not what I would have expected! 😉 )