** Editor’s note: Because of everything I’ve learned along the way, I am creating a blog series called “The Making Of Wholehearted Woman”.
Starting your own business is hard. In fact, even starting your own blog nowadays is hard. There are so many things that come into play: having an editorial calendar, creating content, creating graphics, setting up your Pinterest, staying on top of Instagram, etc.
It’s kind of like a full-time hobby, isn’t it?
To start off "The Making of Wholehearted Woman" series, I wanted to share 8 very important lessons about life, about biz, and about everything in-between.
6 IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED -
WHEN STARTING YOUR OWN ONLINE PUBLICATION
1. You have to be willing to let things go.
There are so many little things here and there that I would love to fix. And there are some major things that I would have loved doing before launching like running another 7 day Instagram challenge or doing some collaborations with friends or making a solid course that I could launch along with everything else.
But the reality is that I’m only one person. And to be completely honest with you, there were multiple times within 2 months where I felt completely burnt out. There were even a few times when I was ready to call it quits. I’m not ashamed to say that I even cried myself to sleep a few nights, because this was hard.
Making your dreams a reality is hard. It’s hard work and it gets even harder when you’re the only a one-woman band running the whole show (and I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's easy because it's really not - it takes emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual energy), which leads me to my next point.
2. Find your people.
Your soul tribe. Your sisterhood. Your mastermind.
People who get you and are on that same journey as you. They speak the same kind of language. Mine were the kind of people who understood me when I said, “I just spent 10 hours on something just to decide not to use it at the end (but it was a great learning experience)” or “why does everything feel like one big marketing ploy”.
They understand your highs and your lows. Your pains and your victories. They’re there for you through the good times and the bad times. And you’re there for them, because it's a two way street. As Rising Tide Society says, community over competition. Always.
Coffee dates. Make them. Conversations. Have them. Find people you really connect to. Trust me, there’s someone for everyone. There are so, so many people online trying to find someone who understand them. Who get what they're about. Their values, their mission statement, their philosophy, their vision.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to find your people and build your community in an organic and authentic way, I am launching a course on this in mid-February. Sign up now for the pre-sale price at $79 before it goes up to $97 on January 15, 2017.
I also offer a free collaboration checklist in the Wholehearted Woman resource library. Sign up for our mailing list below to get the passcode to the whole library! (Who doesn’t love free stuff?)
3. Know that you’re enough and what you’re doing is enough.
This is something that we all struggle with, especially as women.
I am a major people pleaser, meaning that I will try to make everyone else happy before it’s ever my turn. Making everyone happy will never happen, because there will always be a sour grape in the group. You can be the peachiest of peaches, and there will still be someone who doesn't like peaches (or is allergic to them).
Do not let other peoples’ judgments and negativity rub off on you; you are not a reflection of their thoughts or reactions. But you are responsible for your own reactions to them.
There were so many moments when I doubted myself. I changed my website theme 5 times. Changed the font maybe 20 times. And then changed my branding another 5 times. At some point, I had to learn to let some things go for my own sake.
Do not try to do everything, and do not try to be everything. Because you will end up exhausted, tired, stressed out, annoyed, cranky, hangry, and everything else under the sun. How do I know this? Because I’ve gotten to this point many, many times. More than I would like to admit, but it happened… which brings me to my next point.
4. Learn to forgive yourself.
It’s okay if you’re not perfect; no one is. But when you’re in the process of trying to attain perfection, you will lose bits and pieces of your mind and sanity. You will start to become irrational and depend on unimaginable amounts of caffeine.
Do not beat yourself up about doing things you promised yourself you would never do. Forgive yourself, learn from the situation, and move on. We do not grow by staying in the past; we grow by learning from our past and moving forward.
As my favorite little fish Dory says, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming."
You will get there, but remember that you don't have to solve every little problem and fix every situation in the world. Life will go on and so will you. Things are not as bad as your mind makes them up to be.
5. Self-love and self-care on your own terms.
Take care of yourself. Your mind, body, soul, and heart. These are all things we preach about; what I’ve learned is not trying to do them perfectly, but doing the best I can. The truth is that starting your own business (or even a blog) takes a lot of work. It takes a mountain load of back end work.
Remember when I talked about finding your people? Well find people who understand this and won’t question you on whether you’re doing “enough”, because chances are, you have enough on your plate and validating yourself to someone else should not be one of them.
Do self-love and self-care on your terms. Throughout the past 2 months, I’ve been “keeping it on the down low” about what I’ve been doing (or I guess not doing). Because truth to be told, it’s not anyone’s place to judge me and I know this. But the only reason why I know this is because I have been judged and shamed for my actions (or lack of) for many years. This was something I learned from years and years of body shaming.
Know this: Your body is yours. What you do with your body is your own choice. And take everything (i.e. advice) that is given to you with a grain of salt. Everyone has an opinion on something, but that doesn't always mean they're right.
You do not have to take anyone else’s advice on how to live your life (including my advice).
6. Enjoy the journey.
This is the most important one of all. Don't forget to enjoy the little moments.
The moments when you're reading someone's writing and you start to cry because their words have touched you. The moments when you're building those genuine and very real connections with someone. The moments when you're having a virtual coffee date and you feel like you've known this person for a very long time when you've only met a month ago.
The moments when you're up at 3 am writing a piece on vulnerability. The moments when you post something on Instagram and someone says it helped them. The moments when you feel inspired, encouraged, and loved. These moments count.
With every journey, there are ups and there are downs. There are highs and there are lows. And then there are times when everything goes completely sideways and around the corner.
But there is beauty and magic in every thing. In every moment.
Remember to enjoy the journey and the people on this journey with you, because it's not all about the destination.
Share below: What were some very important lessons you learned in your first few months of creating your business?
Photo Source: Jon Tyson, Unsplash
Hi there! I'm Molly, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wholehearted Woman. A storyteller, introvert, self-love advocate, and multi-passionate creative with big dreams and even bigger fears. I help women find their voice, share their stories, and authentically embrace who they are.
You can read more about me and my mission here.