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I have been a business owner for several years now and in that time I have learned so much about myself and others. I actually have learned some really important lessons that I think could help you and others when starting your own business.
What I am about to say may or may not come as a surprise. I’ll admit, that some of these lessons made me view things in a different light. My eyes were truly opened. Now, let’s get into it.
Everyone is not going to be happy for you
When you first start your business, you’ll probably be expecting others to cheer you on and be happy for you.
Guess what, there are going to be more people who hate on you than congratulate you.
Some people will be fake happy for you. In other words, they’ll really be pretending when they say they are happy for you.
The signs will be there if you just pay attention. I’m not saying look for drama or negative vibes but a jealous person almost always shows their true colors when it comes to someone doing good and making boss moves such as starting their own business.
You do not need these kinds of people around you. It’ll only bring you down and make you feel bad when you should be happy.
People will laugh and hee-hee-haw-haw in your face but when it’s time for them to be happy for you, they’ll be the ones to throw shade. It’s up to you to recognize it and keep your distance from people like this.
Strangers will support you before your family and friends
Your family and friends love you and claim they support you but when it is time to show it, they don’t. I’ve realized and learned over the many years that I’ve owned my businesses that complete strangers will support you before your family and friends will.
This. This is the one that shook my world when I first learned it.
At first, I would wonder if I had done something wrong. Like why wouldn’t they want to support their own family member? But at the end of the day, I had to remember that all family ain’t family. Some families are just family members, nothing more.
You speak and get along when you see one another but you are really not on that level. Only the family and friends that really deal with you will support you and be happy about it.
That has been my experience. I can’t speak for nobody else but myself. My closest family and a few friends have been the only one’s family and friend-wise that have actually purchased something from my business.
They have been repeated customers might I add.
I have posted my work on Facebook several times for all my family and friends to see and not one person came forward to buy anything. Am I tripping? Nope, not at all.
I take note of things like this and I let them go because I refuse to let negative thoughts and feelings live rent-free in my head any longer.
While it is hard to wrap my head around my family not doing for me what I would have done for them, I don’t let it weigh me down. I got bigger and more important things to focus on.
Some people sit back and wait to see if your business is going to be a success. If it does become a success that is when certain family members will buy something from you just so they can have their hands out later.
I know how the game goes and I can’t say I’m surprised because I’m really not.
Don’t Lower Your Prices Just because Others Are Complaining
There are some people who will be quick to complain about your prices being too high. While this hasn’t happened to me as of yet, I’ve heard of it happening to a lot of people.
And I really like the way one woman on TikTok put it. She said if you’re broke just say that then and come back when you got the money. While this was a funny TikTok, it is true.
People will say your prices are too high and compare you to other businesses. Let them. You don’t have anything to prove to anybody. If you know you have fair prices and aren’t charging outrageous prices then you have nothing to hang your head down about.
A lot of times people will say your prices are too high as an excuse not to support you. I feel like if it hurts you to support me, don’t. It’s that simple. You have to be real about it.
Of course, you want to listen to feedback when it is constructive and you know the person truly means well and not just throwing shade your way. You may be unintentionally charging too much for a certain item or all of your items. That is for you to decide and no one else.
If you are cool with your prices then leave them as they are. If someone wants to support you, they will regardless of your prices.
Think about it, how many people support Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, and Versace, and look at their prices. But how many people you know have paid for at least one item from one of these luxury brands? Probably a few if not more than that.
So why is it such a big deal to pay my prices when my items are nowhere near the price of a luxury watch or purse? It just means that they don’t view your products as being that valuable or worth the price.
That is a personal problem and it is not something that you have to deal with. Set your prices and leave them how they are unless you see a need for a change. Don’t let anyone bully you or shame you into changing your prices.
You Need Tough Skin
I have learned that you have to be a tough person to own a business. You are going to encounter irate customers who will try to ruin you.
You will deal with all kinds of critics who just want to be negative and make someone else feel miserable.
The level of drama and negativity that you will face as a business owner is something that you cannot prepare for.
You don’t know from what direction it is coming or when it is going to show up. Just know that it is going to happen eventually because again, we can’t please everybody.
There is always going to be someone who doesn’t like our way of doing things. They are going to complain, email, leave bad reviews, spread false information about your business, and the list goes on and on.
This is why I say you need tough skin because you can’t let it break you.
The hate can get so real that you may want to close your business down and be done with the whole thing. But that would only satisfy the bully’s desires.
You have to stand your ground and part of doing that is developing tough skin.
This doesn’t mean that you should go eye for an eye or try to get back at the person.
All it means is that you should not let it get to you. Anything they say or do needs to roll off of you like water.
You’ll Feel Like Giving Up But Don’t
Another important lesson that I’ve learned since starting my business is that you are going to feel like quitting…a lot. But don’t. Keep going.
There is someone out there watching you, rooting for you, and even looking up to you. There are people who need what you are selling. Even if you think that no one is seeing you or wanting your products.
If you close down your business, someone is going to miss you. So don’t ever give up even when you feel like you really want to.
Now, if for some reason you really can’t continue, there is no shame in closing down a business.
What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t quit because of negative thoughts and feelings.
You may doubt yourself and your abilities but you shouldn’t. You are great at what you do and you are an amazing person.
Starting a business is not easy. It’s very hard and not everyone can do it. So no matter what you may be going through, remember that you did what it took to start a business and even if it doesn’t last or you have to close shop, being able to start a business in the first place is a big accomplishment.
You should be proud of yourself.
And remember that things always seem worse before they get better.
You’re going to go through some rough things as a business owner. Some things will be directly related to your business and other things will be indirectly related.
Whatever the case, just know that it is okay to ask for help. There will be times that you feel so down you can’t even hold your head up.
This doesn’t make you weak at all. But know that you have to keep fighting and doing things to build yourself up emotionally and mentally.
Owning a business is draining at times. It takes so much out of you but you can’t let it break you. You can bend but don’t break.
You are resilient and only when you understand this will you be able to overcome all that you are faced with.
Businesses Don’t Work Unless You Do
So I am very shy but had the bright idea to start several businesses. One of those businesses is a boutique.
I live in a small town but I couldn’t afford to pay the big bucks for online advertising so the best thing I could do to spread the word about my boutique is word of mouth.
I’m not going to lie, it is so hard for me to go up to strangers and start a conversation, especially about myself.
But let me tell you something when I got out and promoted myself I got orders. This would not have happened had I kept my business to myself.
My grandma use to always say, “A closed mouth don’t get fed” and “If a man don’t work he don’t eat.” That obviously applies to women, too.
Those two sayings have more meaning to me now than they ever did.
I can’t make money if I refuse to speak about my business. Word of mouth is a great way to get customers and make sales. Or just get the word out about your business.
If I choose not to work and my work is to promote my business then I can’t expect to put food on the table. After all, you do need money to be able to buy food.
I’ve learned that I have to be willing to step outside my comfort zone. I have to be willing to do the very thing that scares me the most and that is going up to strangers and starting a regular conversation about my boutique.
Starting a business will teach you some things, for real. When I started my business, I learned a lot of important lessons that I feel will help me as a business owner and person overall.
These are just some of the many lessons I have learned along the way. If I were to write about all the lessons I’ve learned, we’d be here all night.
Since we don’t have that kind of time, I’ll just tell you that owning a business is definitely a humbling experience. It is not all fun and games. You have to work hard for what you want.
These lessons for starting a business can help get you prepared for the road that is ahead of you.