Confessions of a Female Entrepreneur…

I have a confession. I tossed up whether I should share this one. I’m a business nurturer after all, I promote how wonderful business is and help women grow theirs! But then decided that I’m sure I am not alone, and perhaps it may help others not feel so alone too. I am not immune to what others go through. And hey, maybe it will even educate people into the inner workings of running a business.

Last week, I went on Seek.

For the first time in a long time, I had a look to see what part-time jobs are around. What I might be suited too. The drawcard of going to work, getting paid and coming home proved great last week, so I scoured the job ads.

What did I realise? I think I’m un-employable. There was nothing there that I felt I would do justice. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places. But all I could see were visions of it either sapping joy from me, or me driving the employer crazy.

I realised last week, that I no longer have a back up plan to go back to a ‘normal job’ like I once thought. And you know what, that shit is kinda scary. There is no other option to me now, I HAVE to keep on my path. And boy has it given me a bit of a bomb under my bum.

I have been self employed now for 9 years, hubby and I working in partnership in our PT biz and then 6 years of that out on my own running 3 different and successful businesses. But to be honest there are days it all just feels too hard and the lure of a 9-5 and a weekly pay cheque beckons, these are the things that differ when you run your own biz:

💕 You are CONSTANTLY MARKETING. It is relentless. It never ends. Even if you have built to a point of focusing on referrals, you are still needing to think about marketing and leads. You need to keep your name out there, and keep in the minds of those who you want to work with. 

💕 You NEVER stop thinking about your business. Yes you can ‘clock off’ so to speak, but it is always there, lingering in the back of your mind. But there is something about that, that I really love! I was even coming up with ideas at the go-kart track on the weekend!

💕 Your income is rarely the same. It is really hard to plan long term. Each month it will differ slightly (even if you have some lock-ins, which personally I prefer not to), and if you have dared to take your foot off the marketing pedal and there are no leads in the pipeline, then you have to work with a drop. This is what has happened to me for April with a few of my nurturees needing to take a month off or are heading away. It’s funny how you seem to get used to this. Almost 10 years of it for us and we are so much better with money now, because we know some months we may have more than others.

💕 You prices don’t directly reflect your take home pay. You may look at a biz and go WOW, they must be loaded!! But they have overheads. Rent. Website hosting. Bookkeeping software. Tax. Superannuation. Bank Fees. Insurance. Registrations. Outsourcing. Marketing expenses. Car Expenses. Further Education. The list goes on. While my monthly package for 1:1 nurturing may be $377, I don’t walk away with all that in my pocket like some may think, in fact you can take off about 30% of that alone just for tax. We can always up our prices, but there is always an amount that feels right to you and what the market will tolerate. It feels right to me where it is.

💕 You wear lots of hats. There is this tipping point in business where you are stuck between doing it all yourself and being able to outsource. And you go through phases where you need to do a bit of too-ing and fro-ing. Outsourcing the non-joy activities should be a priority – however if you can’t pay the rent, your bills etc, you simply cannot afford to outsource – in the short term. You need more money to grow, but sometimes it can be a big jump to get there. I promise that you can do it though! I have done it before and know I can do it again.

💕 You are constantly growing. And as exciting as it is (and one part of biz that I really love is how I am always growing and learning), it can get tiring. There are days I just wish I could just not ‘have to’ think.

💕 Things are ALWAYS changing. Technology. Marketing Trends (not that I tend to be one to follow the trends). The market. The economy, even the bloody government can affect things. With both our businesses kind-of economy dependent, we have been hit the last couple of months with job losses, purse tightening and more.

– Being a startup is HARD. I went through being a startup with Sass, and got to a point where things were not necessarily easy, but I knew how they ran. And then I gave it all away and hit the startup train again. Phew, putting myself out there again, constantly, trying to re-educate people as to what I do now is hard work!

But despite all this, I just can’t let go of my freedom, my flexibility, my creativity and the complete and utter joy I get from what I do. My Joy Bank is becoming increasingly important to me. And now it’s about really upping the ante on what I do to make sure this is sustainable long term.

Business is a lot about believing in yourself. I believe She Nurtures is destined to be something pretty special (well ‘she’ already is in my mind), I believe I have so much to offer the world (and see it all the time in the growth of my nurturees) and I have probably been holding back a little in some ways. But going on Seek last week, contemplating life with a ‘real job’ (haha!), was the motivation I needed to really give myself a kick up the bum. It’s time to really make this happen!