Do you ever feel like giving up?
Like your business isn’t going anywhere and you're doggy-paddling to survive.
It might be difficult to think about, but it’s so important we talk about it.
I want you to know that it’s totally okay to have these feelings, and it’s okay to talk about them.
So many of us are afraid to speak up when we’re feeling bad.
Or to be honest with others (or ourselves, which is sometimes the hardest) when our business isn’t going just the way we imagined it.
But I think you’ll find that the more you talk about it, the better you’ll feel.
You’ll understand that this is something most people experience at some point or another.
You CAN overcome it.
Hi, I’m Mei Pak. I help artists, makers, and designers make a living selling their handmade products online.
While I usually love talking about marketing and sales, running a business is really hard to do and your mindset is a big part of the journey.
You have to juggle so many different emotions like self doubt, anxiety, frustration, all while trying to do the day to day tasks of keeping your shop afloat.
Today, I want to focus on helping you get through these challenges.
You Are A Business Owner
Running a business is really hard.
Don’t underplay that.
You might feel like this should all be so easy, especially since it seems like other people make it look like a piece of cake.
You might feel like you’re the only one who’s having a hard time, but that’s simply not true.
This is hard work.
Most people aren’t profitable until years after starting.
Give yourself credit for diving in, and working like crazy in a super hard industry, so that you can follow your passions and pursue your dreams.
Not everyone can do what you’re doing.
The truth is, most new businesses fail.
Most people give in to giving up.
What sets you apart from the rest, though, is that you keep pushing through.
You see everything – every hardship, every set back, every difficult afternoon – as a learning lesson.
You take something from all of it, and you use all this built up knowledge to do it better the next time.
There are no mistakes.
There are no regrets.
As long as you keep learning.
As long as you keep taking your newfound knowledge and using it every chance you get.
There will always be ups and downs.
That’s totally normal and I don’t think it’s necessarily productive to fix that, that’s just the way it is.
For every business owner.
For every person.
Don’t beat yourself up on the hard days.
Dust yourself off, think about what you learned, and choose to try again tomorrow.
If you’re worried that your business isn’t where it’s supposed to be, or where you want it to be, do a business audit.
It helps so much to see the bigger picture.
Sometimes we freak out when we narrow our vision to only see the sales and numbers we’ve made in a short period of time.
But when you take a bigger snapshot, step back, and look over a longer time period, you’ll be surprised to see you’re actually not doing too bad at all.
A business audit helps put things onto paper and gives you an action plan.
Sometimes how we THINK our business is doing, isn’t actually the reality of how it REALLY is doing.
When you see all facets of your business on paper, for example,
- how much sales you’ve made
- where those sales are coming from
- how much money you’ve spent
- where you’re spending most of that money
- and what you spend most of your time doing every day
you can see what’s working and what is not.
You’ll stop placing so much blame on yourself, because the problems are no longer abstract.
You can actually put in the work to fix whatever isn’t working, and do more of what does work.
For example, if you keep doing social media day in and day out.
Then figure out how many sales you get in a day or week that actually come from social media.
Look into where you’ve gotten some other sales that didn’t come from social media, and how was that?
Maybe that’s something you want to explore more.
Focus on what’s easier, and worth more of your time to pursue.
It’s no secret that social media is super time consuming and is a very low ROI form of marketing.
Which means, for the time you invest in social media, you don’t get back an equivalent return.
This is something to consider.
If there’s one thing you can do right now after reading this post, today, is a business audit.
Make a list of what’s working and what isn’t.
Sometimes, we don’t want to face the truth of what isn’t working because then we’ll feel guilty or ashamed that we spent all this time doing something meaningless.
But we can’t fix the problem until we acknowledge it.
If we are in denial, it will only get worse, until it’s too late to repair.
I promise you there is NO shame in this at all, and well worth giving it a shot.
Another tip I have is don’t be afraid to take a step back and do some soul searching.
A lot of new business owners get so caught up in the day-to-day, that they lose sight of why they’re doing this in the first place.
When you start to find yourself operating aimlessly, or you’re not sure what this is all for, it’s time for you to take a step back.
Ask yourself why you wanted to start this business in the first place?
Reconnect with your reason for pursuing all this.
Is your “why” still a strong enough pull for you?
Do you have the same dreams as you did back then?
Are the dreams strong enough to push you forward?
If they aren’t, then it might be time to reevaluate.
When we no longer have that thing in our hearts that ignites the flame, it’s a lot harder to put in the time and energy we need to to make our business work.
Make sure that fire’s still lit inside of you – and if it isn’t, see how you can reignite the flame.
While you’re soul searching, it helps to prioritize self care.
Remove yourself from the daily grind.
When you’re too close to your business because you’re pushing so hard everyday, it’s hard to think objectively about it or to be agile and grow.
Honestly, I always want you to prioritize self care.
You can’t take care of a business if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
Take some time each day to do something you love.
When you turn your hobby into a business, some of that love for your craft goes away a bit.
When I’ve made my ten thousandth cupcake charm, you can bet I don’t want to make another cupcake charm ever again.
Burnout is a real and scary place to get to and the longer you stay there, the more likely you’ll want to just throw in the towel.
Keeping your battery topped off every now and then will help prevent you from going to that dark place.
Get outside, spend time in nature, read a book.
Journal, go out with friends.
Get therapy or counseling if you need some extra support.
There’s no shame in any of that.
Whatever works for you, carve time aside, put it in your calendar and do it.
Make sure you don’t put it off.
The more we put into ourselves, the more we can put into the world.
I cannot emphasize the importance of that enough.
Cherish The Wins – Big or Small
I want you to get into the habit of cherishing every win.
Even the small ones!
Those are actually the most important.
Did one person sign up for your email list this week? That’s a win!
Did you get a positive review? That’s a win!
Did you set up your website? That’s a HUGE win!
Took new product photos? Amazing!
You should be proud and celebrate!
Once you start celebrating every little win, you will actually get to see how far you’ve come and be grateful for your progress.
This can be a huge mindset shift for you.
When you make this shift, it will change everything for you, and for your life.
Too many of us don’t do this.
We rush through this journey and after a few months or years, we feel like we’ve done nothing because we haven’t made a ton of sales yet.
That’s when you start questioning everything because you define the win as “making it” with your business.
But running a business is a lifestyle, it’s a journey, there’s no finish line.
The more you stop and smell the roses, the more you’ll feel good about everything you’re doing.
It’s really all about gratitude and that can be so powerful in your business building journey.
I know that some days you might feel like giving up. Don’t!
You’ve got this!
If this post was helpful for you, or if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
And please share with us some things you do to stay motivated when the going gets tough.
I’d love to hear from you!
Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel for more handmade business tips and tricks.