People seem to think owning your own business is the Holy Grail – something that everyone should aspire to, seeing as being in charge of your own destiny is exciting stuff. For the most part that’s true – it is super exciting. But then why do so many fail?
I think one of the primary reasons (which no one considers when they go into it – me included) is the challenge you’re faced with. Long twisty roads, mental exhaustion, physical exhaustion, finances constantly taxing you – it’s tough.
I often wonder if I had known how tough it would be whether I still would have entered into it. The early days seemed so easy looking back, when I just had a small store with a staff of 3. The bigger the company gets the more complicated, complex and tough it all is which I guess is why some many fail. A scary fact I read recently is that 96% of businesses disappear within 10 years. We’ve been going for 14 years so we’ve passed that milestone but I wanted to really drill into why some businesses get ahead and others fall by the way side.
Obviously your product selection is key. Bad products, poor taste, constantly copying others and not having you own USP gets no one anywhere. It results in poor sales and a lot of work and who wants that. Your product selection is key. Now we’re producing our own label we’re a lot more in control of our aesthetic and it’s so paid off. We have a very unique voice and we’re known in the industry for that. The funny thing is that it was only through being copied so blatantly that it led us to go down our own route. Next year we’ll take it one step further. We’ve been a little busy!
In your own biz you’ll never ever have enough hours in the day. All I can say is make the most of the time you have, and get up a little earlier! When the world is still silent spend the time to see things clearly and push forward. It’s the best time of the day for me. Before yoga with a matcha latte is when I have the time to think. Time to myself when the house is so quiet you could hear a pin drop! Also, manage your time effectively. Don’t be on email every second. I’ll only dip in and out at certain points of the day. Some days I won’t look at until right at the end –you’ll be amazed at how much more you are achieving.
Set long-term and daily goals. If I sit down and think about all I’ve got to actually do I’ll probably faint – so having daily goals helps me feel less overwhelmed about the enormity of the monumental goals I have in front of me. I also have longer-term goals, things that I can work towards and push the brand towards that are exciting and challenging. Persistent action is the trick here. If you’re stuck on something time box it and come back to it, just don’t procrastinate.
Lastly and most importantly… never give up. The most successful businesses have had to endure some really trying times with countless failures, sleepless nights and in my case a headache that lasted over a week – which I was convinced was something sinister. Keep the faith, and believe in yourself!