Because I was afraid, I belittled my business, kept it in a dark corner.
That was my biggest mistake. When I first started my business, is that I referred to it as my "side business" or a "hobby". In referring to it like that I belittled it, I put it in a category that I did not want to be in. I did not want to just have a hobby, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I wanted to create a product that I could sell. I wanted to build something that would allow me to provide for my family.
I wanted to start a business.
So why didn't I say that to people? Why didn't I say "I have a business". Period. Because from the moment I purchased the first business license, I was in business. This wasn't me making craft cards to send out for the holidays. No, this was a legit, money making, producing, tax paying business.
Want to know why I didn't say that. Why I would tell people it is something I do on the side? Like it was illegal or I should be embarrassed. Or they shouldn't take me seriously, because after all I am just a girl from Alaska. Or perhaps, deep down, I was afraid that if I said I had a business and then I failed it, it would be more of a black mark on my history. But, by calling it a hobby, and laughing it off, if it didn't go anywhere then it wouldn't be as embarrassing. I would be able to just drift to the background and people would forget about my failed attempt.
But it is that way of thinking that held me back. It was that way of thinking that put up the walls around me so that I didn't network with people, talk to people about business, build a community of people who could help me through my mistakes and questions.
It was fear.
And once I stepped up and said "This is my business". No belittling words, no downplaying what I was doing. Once I did that, I found the people who could help. I talked to people, I came up with a plan. I revised my goals. I thought BIG. For the first time, I owned what I was doing. So what if I fail, at least I tried. No one will look at me any less for that, and if they do, so what.
This is my journey.
So, if you have a business.
It is a business. Say it.
Build it. Dream it.
Don't be afraid of what might happen.
Take the risk.
And don't, in the name of anything holy, DO NOT downplay yourself.
Thanks for reading!