[memberonly level=“Group Membership for Businesses of 2-5 individuals, Student, Individual or Solo-Preneur”] This workshop was…
Starting a business—especially a pole based one—can be a rewarding experience, both emotionally and financially. In some ways, starting your own business is easier than ever before; while in other ways it’s infinitely harder.
In this post, we’ll talk about some of the emotional challenges to starting a business and what to do to manage or mitigate those challenges.
Comparison is the thief of joy
While the internet and social media has connected us in ways we never expected and made doing business around the world as easy as doing business around the corner from your home, this connection has come with a price. It’s easy to get caught in the cycle of comparison. You might have made an awesome new type of grip or a great new type of pole shorts, but there are so many other people who are equally as talented as you who are also creating the same things. How can your business hope to compete or at least stand out? This type of thinking regardless of your product or service can stop you dead in your tracks and keep you stuck in an imposter syndrome loop.
What to do instead: While scoping out your competition is a great way to understand the market and how to potentially differentiate yourself, if you find that this is becoming a more obsessive and less reflective exercise, consider limiting your social media exposure. Focus on what you do well, for those people that are your target market, and try not to look at everyone else! If you can, consider hiring a social media manager to manage your feeds, stay on top of trends, and set an auto-response for DMs to filter messages to one place, like your email so you’re not tempted to look at your socials.
Expectations are high
Because there are so many tools that make small businesses or side hustles look so professional, customer expectations now are often super high. Customers expect small businesses to respond immediately, manage global shipping issues, and to have rock-bottom pricing for high-quality goods. Just managing the customer service side of a small business can be exhausting and consume all your time—just forget about all the other parts of running the business!
What to do instead: You can’t control every customer response to your product or service or anticipate every way someone might misinterpret your terms and conditions. Do the best you can to write clear information on your website, in your receipts, and anywhere else that your customers or potential customers might look first for information before they contact you directly. Set boundaries for when you’ll answer phone calls or respond to emails or DMs and put those “open” times (even for a virtual business) on your website too, otherwise you’ll likely find yourself working all the time.
You’re working all the time
If you’re trying to get a side hustle off the ground but also have a day job to pay the bills, you will be working all the time. This is an often-unavoidable fact of being a small business owner or a pole-preneur. Once you get your business off the ground though, if you find yourself working 20-hour days, 7 days a week for months on end, you’ll need to make a change or your health and your business with suffer.
What to do instead: If your side hustle has started to generate profit, maybe it’s time to consider hiring some parttime or contract-based help so you don’t work as many hours. Maybe you could move your responsibilities around to work more on your new business and less on your old business or day job. Or maybe there are some new tools that you could use that make your business more efficient, eliminating some tedious processes. If it’s been several years of not making any profit though, it might be time to consider closing your business, selling it, or otherwise divesting the time you spend on it. Closing a business can also be an emotional challenge but in certain cases, it may be the better option.
Running a business, especially a pole-based one, can marry your passion with your ability make money which often seems like a dream scenario. That dream can easily turn into a nightmare if we’re not honest about the challenges of your business. Make sure your business is still “working” for you in both a financial and an emotional sense. Consider making small changes to improve how you feel about your business if possible or consider making a big change if that provides you better peace of mind. There are no right answers—just what is best for you!