Garish Gal has officially been in business 3 YEARS! I can’t tell you how exciting, but also shocking that is! It certainly does not feel like it has been three years, but I am excited to see where the next few years take GG.
I get asked a lot about what it is like to start a business. Everyone wants to know what the journey is like, but few actually want to put in the work it takes to do so. I thought I would put together a list of things that no one really talks about. I feel like everyone wants starting a business to sound like it is all roses and immediate success, but that isn’t always what it actually is. So here are the Top 5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Starting A Business!
1. You will Lose Sleep
Every time I get charged for a shipment, I have a mini panic attack. I worry if the customers will like the new merchandise and I worry if it will sell. There are many nights you can’t sleep because your mind is so focused on the business. There will be mornings (and I am NOT a morning person) that you wake up at 4am thinking about something you should be doing for the business instead of sleeping. Learn to shut it off. It took me a long time to learn this. If I am being honest, I am still learning. I could worry myself to death with all the things that need to get done, but I know that I have to carve out time for myself. So I make a list of the things I need to do by the end of the day, once those are completed I move the rest to tomorrow’s list. Don’t let it consume you and find an outlet to relieve the stress and pressure!
2. It’s Okay to Delegate
It is okay to be bad at certain things within your business. I think when we start a business we think we have to do it all to save money. I learned the hard way that in the long run I was hurting sales because I was trying to do things I don’t do well on my own. We all have weaknesses, but we all also have strengths. When we recognize where we are weak, we also recognize where we are strong. Hire the photographer, hire the accountant, hire the social media person, hire someone for your weaknesses so that you can build your strengths. Your business will thrive much better when you focus on what you are good at and hire others where you are weak. We can’t do it all and we don’t have to.
3. You will Sacrifice A LOT
People tend to think that if you own a small business you have a ton of money and you are making a ton of money. This could be farther from the truth. If you took all the hours you spent working on your small business, you would be the most underpaid person in the world. You have to sacrifice time–be it with family, friends, or from something you want to do. But all the sacrifice is totally worth it. The minute someone comes in and buys something they LOVE, it makes every sleepless night and all the long hours seem like nothing. It drives you through the times when you have to miss that party you really wanted to go to, or the concert everyone is at but you.
Sidenote–I am not saying you should sacrifice relationships for your business. Success is incredible, but we were build for relationship. There is nothing more lonely than achieving success and having no one to celebrate it with. That doesn’t just mean partner, but friends and family as well! When you are surrounded by good people, your success actually increases. So make sure your tribe is one that uplifts and supports your dream!
4. It takes HARD WORK
As a millennial, I constantly hear how we are notorious for not being hard workers. Owning a business will throw that out the door. I grew up surrounded by hard workers–my parents and my grandparents taught us to work our tails off. I am so grateful for that because I see SO many people think they can start a successful business by doing the bare minimum. I see business after business fold because people don’t want to put in the work. The old adage you get out of it what you put into it holds true. It takes a lot of work to make a business thrive and there will be times when you don’t want to do the work. When that happens I promise you will immediately see the consequence of that laziness. So prove them wrong–show them that as a millennial you can work hard and drive a successful business. Otherwise, you are just wasting time and money!
5. It will be the Most Rewarding thing You Do
There is no better feeling than seeing my business have successes. I don’t like to say Garish Gal is successful, I like to say she has successes. Every day is different and every day is a challenge. There will be failures, or as I like to call them lessons learned. Don’t let them keep you from going after your dream. I remember before I started GG I told a boy I liked that I was starting a business. His response was “really are you smart enough and do you have enough money for that?” It almost stopped me from starting GG altogether. I remember thinking he was so right I am not smart enough, after all I was only 22. I had started reading a book by Brene Brown and she made some statements that stopped me in my tracks.
“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.
Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.
A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” (Brown, 2012)
So I started Garish gal knowing that I might not have enough money (that’s what SBA loans are for) and that I might not be smart enough, but I had to get in the arena and try. I get to learn new things when I encounter something I am “not smart enough” for, and get to grow and stretch into a better business woman daily. Get in the arena, it will be the most rewarding thing you have ever done.