Yes my venture might be unsustainable.
Yes the industry is heavily saturated.
Yes it could be unrealistic.
My journey into entrepreneurship has been anything but easy. Overnight I somehow found myself filling the shoes of web developer, designer, social media expert, photographer, accountant and research and developer.
Albeit I might not be changing the world with cupcakes and cookies, but I care about my business and brand. It matters to me the way even the very few customers I have knocking on my online door are treated. Every click, message, like, comma, period, and exclamation point is a reflection of who we are as a business. No matter how small we may be in the industry, there is thought and planning that goes into every minute piece.
I plan in my sleep. I plan on my walk to the kitchen. I plan in the shower. I plan while driving. I plan at the gym. Every spare moment is a moment to think about how to grow, improve and be better.
I am chasing after a passion.
One I realize other people don’t always understand and possibly criticize more than praise. One I know everyone watching has an opinion about that isn’t always in favour of support or success. I want to give up on so many days. The days where even with all the careful pre-planning and forecasting, I still don’t seem to find enough hours in the day, or hands to perfect my work.
Moments where I know I didn’t perform my best.
Deadlines that cause sleepless nights, increased cortisol levels, and grey hair.
Stress grows from every inch of my body. I stumble and fumble, trying to learn every piece and become a Jane of all trades.
I am terrified 90 percent of the time about whether my product will please my client.
Whether the results of my last marketing initiative—that almost killed me, and put a dent in my savings—will even lead to anything promising.
There is a pressure I can’t always explain, and a fear that even if I try to I’ll be misunderstood or ridiculed by my listener.
So I hold it all together and slap a smile on my face. I tell the world I have it under control. I celebrate my small wins like they are the biggest wins, and constantly find ways to keep my audience and myself afloat even when the going gets tough.
I cry heavily in solitude on bad days. Not because I am weak, but because I care so much it feels like every slight fall is an attack or threat to the livelihood of a business I took a chance on. A pursuit I know that even with the best of intentions, investment and interest could entirely tank.
Getting used to the criticism is like consciously allowing a tsunami to attack your ego; it is painful and helpful all at once.
But I sing my mantra to myself:
No, it’s not perfect.
No, I don’t know if it will ever prosper.
No, I will not stop believing in it.
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Apprentice Editor: Jess Sheppard/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo Credit: elephant archives