Hypha Web

Starting A New Business.. By Yourself

I’ve owned my own business before. Quite a few actually! So why is it that when I decided to start a new one, I found it incredibly hard! The difference is that before, I had a second person there to bounce ideas, business names, product designs off of. I essentially had a second brain!

Needless to say, even though I still have that person in my live, and I am still JUST AS capable of coming up with ideas on my own, and have trust in my own taste, I find it INCREDIBLY hard to make progress in the way that I did when I ran businesses with a partner. 

There are a few reasons for this, and I have some techniques that help me get through the hard patches.

two people high fiving

1 The obvious one, everything is easier with a second person!

EVERYTHING is easier when you have someone else doing it with you. That’s obvious right? Well tell that to me, a year ago, starting my own business by myself, wondering what the hell am I doing wrong? Why is everything so hard when I’ve done this all before?? The biggest thing that I had to learn (or unlearn) is that just because I had an easier time with it all with someone else by my side, doesn’t mean that I am incapable of doing it on my own. It means that I have to learn to trust my own intuition. And that it will take time and that’s ok!

2. It’s ok to ask for help.

Cliché sounding, I know! But it’s so true and I know so many people that don’t know this as fact. It IS ok to ask for help. Countless times I’ve asked my partner “what do you think of this design? I just can’t decide if I like it or not.” And I always get a helpful response that helps me get where I want to go. Now if you’re like me, you also hate feeling like a burden on other people. I have a few friends that have years of experience in my field, that have told me to reach out if I ever need help. I’ve only taken them up on these offers a few times, not because I never come across something that has stumped me, but because I feel like they are going to instantly regret offering to help me as soon as I ask the question (if it’s not clear yet, yes I have anxiety). 

Now, have you ever offered to help someone and then instantly regretted it as soon as they take you up on it? Most likely not! So just keep that in mind the next time you need some advice from a friend! Let’s say you have no one to reach out to for help though. You can ALWAYS find a community of people that have gone through the EXACT problem you’re having online. GOOGLE THINGS! The answer is usually right there!

3. Online forums are your bestie.

As I’ve already mentioned, get your butt online when you come across a bump in your business journey. Reddit, and lots of other online community forums, exist for this reason! Reddit in particular I have found to be the MOST helpful tool when it comes to questions. If someone hasn’t already asked it, then you can ask it yourself and get some useful replies!

4. “I just can’t hold myself accountable..”

This is my biggest challenge. I know I should be working and yet because I’m working for myself, therefore make my own rules, I often will procrastinate, avoid, or put off for a whole day, just because I don’t have a “job” with a “shift”. That right there, is the key to getting me to ACTUALLY get myself to be accountable. I roster myself shifts. “Tuesday, 12pm-5pm, working day”. Sometimes, I don’t have “work” to do though. Well, that doesn’t matter. If you show up, do what you can, find ways to be productive, then if you truly don’t have any work to do, knock off early! That’s the perk of owning your own business right? But more often than not, once I’m there, at my computer, I find SOMETHING that I can do that counts as doing work. 

Even if you clean up your email inbox, tidy your office, or reply to some Instagram comments. Do it in your shift time, and you will feel like you have given yourself a solid chance at propelling forward. And after your shift is done, that’s your free time! Reward yourself with some down time and it will feel so much better!