6 Challenges I Faced While Launching My Business
I’m going to be truthful with you and share some of my vulnerabilities today.
Throughout my recent journey into building a business, I’ve had many ups and downs. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.
I’ve recently developed a new mission in life: I want to live authentically and be true to myself.
I want to be who I am and share my thoughts without being afraid of failure or judgement. I hope that if you are launching a business (or thinking about launching one), you might benefit from my personal experiences and the strategies I’ve found to overcome the challenges that came my way, which is what compelled me to share them with you today.
Let’s get real: I obviously came across more (oh, many more!) than six challenges in the process of launching my business, but after reflecting on it, I think they all really come down to these six main setbacks:
- creative block
- feeling inadequate
- loss of words
- needing to hire help
- every-day challenges
Can you relate? If you’re currently in the process of launching your own business, you might be going through one of these right now. Below, you’ll find my strategies for coping and keeping your eyes on your goal, without driving yourself nuts in the process.
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I have spent the last few months battling each day with contrary emotions like doubt and perseverance, apprehension and excitement, fatigue and inspiration. Most days though, what really gets me is the dreaded creative block.
Hell, I even have creative block as I’m writing this to you right now. But I won’t let that stop me.
All right, ready to dive into the six challenges I faced while launching my business? Let’s do this.
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01: Launching a Business With Creative Block
Creative block strikes when I’m in front of a computer. My mind goes blank and I can’t figure out the first word to type ( or second, or third…). The voice in my ear is whispering that I’m not good enough, that no one will want to read what I write, and that I should just give up already. Sounds familiar? You’re not alone.
But guess what? I’m not going to give up. Because even if no one reads this, at least I did it for myself and showed that little whispering voice who’s boss – and so can you.
Today, I listened to Amy Porterfield’s recent podcast episode (#217: Why You Aren’t Taking Action with Brooke Castillo) in which she featured life coach Brooke Castillo. Brooke shared a puzzling idea: we should aim for “B-minus” content.
Um, what the?
B-minus? How can that be right, when we hold ourselves (and our business) to a much higher standard? Well, it doesn’t mean we’re going to produce “B” quality services or products. It means that for our own content and marketing, we should aim for finished, not perfect.
That’s why I am sitting here, writing a post for you even though I know it won’t be perfect. But regardless of perfection, the result is I am getting my message out to you and the world to read. And that beats perfect any day.
Brooke said it best herself: “B-minus work can change people’s lives. Work that you don’t produce at all, does nothing in the world.”
With Brooke’s words in mind, I can push through my creative block – and so can you.
If you have any boss tips on dealing with creative block, we want to hear! Please share with us in the comments.
Below, we’re diving into business launch challenge #2…
02: The Imposter Syndrome
Throughout my business launch, I’ve had many days where I feel like I’m not good enough, strong enough, you-name-it enough for entrepreneurship. In case you haven’t heard the term before, it’s known as “imposter syndrome”.
I hear the doubt in my own head, and I hear it come out of my friends’ mouths, too.
“I’m not good enough.”
“There are people out there that know way more than I do”.
First, you ARE good enough. Second, I’m sure there are people that know more than you. But they are not you. They can’t offer the same things that you can, because you are a unique, strong person with your own entrepreneurial superpower.
You just have to figure out how you can offer that superpower to your customers. You are worthy. You can do it. Stop watching the competition because that’s only going to impede your progress.
Researching your competition has its time and place, but not during every second of your journey. When you are creating content, or even just trying to get your business off the ground, focus on yourself and what YOU have to offer.
How do you deal with imposter syndrome? Got any tips to share? Please tell us in the comments.
Now, onto setback #3 (if you’re a mom like me, I know you’ll relate to this one).
03: The Intense Overwhelm
I’ve also had days when overwhelm has struck me in the side of the head. Days when my chest is weighed down, and my breathing feels restricted from the pressure.
Overwhelm has been a big one for me, in my personal journey toward launching a successful business. Overwhelm rears its ugly head when I think about all the different stages of launching a business (there’s a lot!). Even on good days, it’s overwhelming trying to launch a business with a 9-month old, a dog, and a home to run.
But I will not let that overwhelm overtake me. I am strong; I will persevere because my ultimate goals are so worth it, and I know yours are too. If I can manage to take a step back from my work and just find time to breathe, the overwhelm starts to subside. Getting outside in the fresh air for a quick walk can also help snap me back into reality.
What do you do to fight overwhelm? Got any self-care practice that works like a charm, every time? We want to hear about it! Please share in the comments.
Moving onto challenge #4.
04: Putting Feelings Into Words
How can I put my feelings into words?
This little speedbump gets me every time.
It often feels as though I have lost my voice, and that I’m not sure how to channel it again. Even though I love writing and used to journal as a teenager, it’s still a challenge for me. Every. Time.
So, how the heck do I get over this? Here’s how: I write. I write even if it’s garbage, and even if it doesn’t make sense.
You should try it — write even if you don’t know how to spell. Better yet, purposely write bad stuff (more on this below). Once you get all of your ideas out on paper (or the computer), you can go back and gently craft your language to make it say exactly what you want it to. That’s called editing, but before you can edit, you need to write it down in the first place.
Which leads me to my next point.
05: Knowing When to Hire Help
If you’re not so great at grammar or writing, and you’re letting that stop you from launching your dream business, here’s a revolutionary thought: hire help. You can hire someone to assist you with anything that you are not efficient at. If your time is money, you are wasting money spending too much time on something that you could be outsourcing.
The key to having a profitable business is to automate everything you can, so you stop trading your time for dollars. Remember that time is not renewable. We will never get our time back, so we should start thinking of strategies to help keep our time to ourselves.
If you have the means, spend money outsourcing your administrative tasks to a virtual assistant. You can also outsource your writing, editing, marketing, design, and even your cleaning!
Personally, I don’t want to wake up forty years from now and look back at my twenties to realize I spent every waking moment doing chore, after chore, after chore.
What do you outsource to help power you through your business launch? Share with us in the comments.
Finally, here’s the last setback I wanted to talk about today.
06: Working Through the Challenges
Like every human on this planet, I have things on my mind most days. Some stuff is hard. . . Really hard. Life’s challenges can easily get in the way of the tasks I should be doing, like running a business and being a good mom.
I’ve found that in order to work through these challenging thoughts and situations, I need to take some time to myself. I need to spend time on my own.
Keep in mind though, my alone time is never really alone time (ha! What’s that again?). I have a dog and a baby, so these two sidekicks are always by my side. But I strive to find those few moments when my son is quietly playing by himself, and my dog is asleep at my feet… That’s when I can really dive into my thoughts and be present with myself.
I think as humans (and especially women, am I right?), we tend to forget about ourselves. We forget that we are people. We lose our concept of self and abstain from treating ourselves the way we should.
Think about it this way: if someone close to us was troubled, their sadness and hardships would probably become our own. We would, presumably, ask them what is wrong and how we can help. We’d probably listen to that person and give them our love.
Why don’t we do that for ourselves, too?
Try This: Create Bad Stuff On Purpose
Earlier I mentioned creating bad things on purpose. Isn’t that counter-productive?
Well, it may sound like it, but just hear me out. Someone gave me this advice recently on a Facebook post, and once I tried it, my productivity shifted and improved wildly
Purposely creating bad stuff takes away the pressure to be perfect, and all of a sudden, the creative block starts to lift.
Just knowing that your only goal is to produce bad or mediocre material. . . that makes it easier, doesn’t it?
Have you tried creating bad stuff on purpose? I’d love to hear how it helped you – please share with us in the comments!
I don’t know if any of my ramblings have made an impact on you. I don’t know if it will affect you as much as it has affected me while writing it. But regardless of the outcome, I will relentlessly work toward my mission and the goals that I have set for myself; I want to share my truth and live authentically, and in-turn I want to work with people that are like-minded.
It’s common to attempt perfection while living in the age of social media, but I think there is value in sharing real, authentic moments like these. Someone may find value in my story when they see that life isn’t always perfect.
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If this post has helped you in any way, I’d love to hear it. Please leave a comment below or send me a message.
Erin Blondeau • Graphic Designer
I’m obsessed with anthropoids, the 1960’s, and anything true crime (SSDGM). I’ve been a graphic designer for five years; I studied graphic design, communications, and anthropology (my FAVOURITE subject) at Vancouver Island University and Camosun College. My true passion lies not just in design but in humanity. I love all aspects of human nature, from evolution, to pop culture, to history.