I’ve decided more honesty in small business is needed. To show people what’s its really like running a business but also so others don’t feel like they’re not doing it right or getting it wrong or feeling alone in their struggles.
I’ve been in a strange place recently with my business and I haven’t had a new client in about 4 months…and I’ve done nothing to get new ones either!
Over the last 18 months I’ve had a couple of things happen that at the time didn’t seem so bad but probably due to RSD (rejection sensitivity disorder) linked to my possible ADHD (I’m on the assessment waiting list!) I’ve been unknowingly mulling them over to the point they’ve become bigger than they ever were and have really knocked my confidence.
Business isn’t all £10k months, personal stories of making it against all odds and curated instagram posts. It can be exhaustion, rejections and not knowing where the next client is coming from. This hits particularly hard if you’re neuro divergent and struggle daily anyway.
The thing is I know I’m bloody good at what I do, I just also feel like I’m not good enough quite often.
I’ve realised there’s no shame in doing what you need to do to make things work and there’s no right or wrong way of doing things, something I wish I’d known when I started as full time self employed. I spent 5 years pretending everything was great and business was doing well when in actual fact in the first 3 years my main income was from being a self employed cleaner and VA, not a graphic designer. My income from design was just not enough to sustain me in the early days. Then when covid hit a year later, I spent a year home schooling and 2 years just about living off the government grants when I lost all my design and VA clients practically overnight. in 2021 I got down to 31 days away from defaulting on my mortgage. Luckily I picked up and old VA client, one I’m still with and is my main source of income at the moment.
Why am I telling you all this? Because my word for 2023 is FREEDOM so freeing myself of all this pretending is one way of living up to that word.
I don’t know what being this honest will do to my business but I don’t really care, being open and honest is more important to me and all those others in business scraping by and thinking they’re doing something wrong.
We are great, we are talented, we do deserve success, we just might need to do things differently from others and that’s where I am now.