Know what it is that you actually want. In deciding to take this path of having your own business, you will have to make personal and financial decisions that will bring up a lot of insecurity, fear, and thoughts of uncertainty and overwhelm surrounding not only your future but also how your decision to start a business will fit in with the other things in life you hope to achieve. These personal and financial decisions will also force you to address the truth of what it is you truly desire, and in finding out what it is you truly desire, determining whether you can indeed have any, some or all of it.
In this age of social media, it’s easy for all of us to get swept up in the mindless scrolling of watching other people’s lives rather than living our own, and by continuously scrolling I would argue a large proportion of individuals avoid going inward to really think about what it is that they actually want for themselves and how they’ll go about actually achieving it.
At the time of writing this, you’re 37 and single. From a financial point of view, you’ve left your full-time job and have a part-time job now which means you have taken a massive pay cut to pursue this business. You also know the only way you can afford to work part-time, invest in your business, your future and still save money for a deposit for your first home is to live with your parents. You will, throughout your first year of business feel like this is an incredibly sensible way to go about achieving your goals, and there will be other times where you feel like a complete failure as woman in her late thirties – still single, living at mum and dads, starting a business during a pandemic, not owning a home, getting older and being childless.
When these thoughts of failure arise, there’s not much I can give you in the way of advice that will make you feel better – the truth is that this is hard and confronting and at times all consuming. All I can offer to you in the way of advice is that these thoughts will ebb and flow like waves washing onto the beach, that will eventually subside back into the ocean. All you can do is try to be gentle with yourself when they wash in, and take a deep breath as they wash away and savour the respite. Try to remember why it is you’re doing what you’re doing. You want a home to call your own, a successful business that allows not only creative joy and financial stability but also the ability to be able to work from home, earn an income and pay rent (or your mortgage) if you decide to go down the path of having a baby on your own.
Frankly, at this particular stage there is no second income or extra financial support from a partner – it’s all on you. Any of those things – business, home ownership and a baby – is a huge ask for two people let alone one, and to want to do all of that knowing that it may be on your own really is a very big decision and not an easy one. These thoughts of just how you will manage to do any or all of this will invade every corner of your mind the hours you are awake. Do you keep pursuing your career at potentially the cost of home ownership and motherhood? Or, do you shelve the business and go back to full time work and pursue the avenue of a home and/or motherhood at potentially the cost of your creative business that brings you incredible joy? Time will tell.
What I can tell you however, is that without starting your business you never would have uncovered what it is you truly want, and for this you’ll be eternally grateful. Even if this business doesn’t end up being what you’re striving for, the silver lining is that you’ve learned what it is you want and that is a beautiful thing. Some people search their entire lives trying to figure it out – and you’ve been lucky enough to find it now. Your journey is still unfolding…and now it is unfolds with more purpose than ever before. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and as Glennon Doyle says “we can do hard things”.
“The absolute truth is that if you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it”.
-Andrew S. Grove
Each of the seven essays reflecting on my first year in business will be released every day in the lead up to my business birthday on the 7th March 2022 and can be found via my journal page.