Honestly? Business ownership isn’t for everyone and that’s totally fine. You need be a special blend of nuts and bananas to make it work without it destroying your whole life.
I get asked often about how I built up my business and there’s an elephant in the room I’d like to address. As a woman in business who has also been in a relationship for a long time, it’s not a totally unreasonable assumption that my partner supported me while I built up my freelance portfolio.
That is not, has not and continues to not be true. In fact, the opposite is true – historically I’ve paid his portion of the rent more often than he’s paid mine. Not that it’s a competition but frustratingly when you’re a woman who is in business for herself there’s an assumption that there’s financial backing there and that’s not true for me at all. I always have been and continue to be an equal contributor financially in our relationship – we have a mortgage and a kid and we still have separate bank accounts. That’s just for the record. I remember admiring a businesswoman (the term ‘businesswoman’ always reminds me of Romy and Michelle) years ago who wrote so earnestly about her struggle to build her business and it turns out her parents invested $50k in her business and paid her rent while she built it up. This is perfectly fine but I think it’s important to be very transparent about how you built your business and I built mine while working part-time as a relief teacher in special needs schools and I wrote furiously on my days off, on the weekends and in the evenings. This went on for a good seven years before I was able to confidently quit teaching. It certainly didn’t happen overnight.
I will also 100% own my privilege. I was able to live at home while I was at uni and my parents paid for my uni fees because the HECS scheme is a joke and it was way cheaper to pay upfront. My parents very generously offered to pay for my uni fees and I’m very grateful for that. I worked part-time while I was at uni and living at home rent-free so I paid for everything else – phone, car, food. When I moved cities to study jewellery design at TAFE I paid my TAFE fees and rent myself. I was 100% self-sufficient and have been since I left home. I moved out at 22 and I have never returned or asked my parents to give or loan me money. Transparency is really important if you’re talking about business building and I want to be totally honest about what I was and wasn’t given.
So that’s just a bit of a back story.
Even though my business is established my hustle isn’t over – I don’t have a cruisey business that runs itself. I’m still constantly engaging new clients and searching for work. The pandemic set me back quite significantly so it’s also important to remember there’s no final destination here. I may at some stage have to return to traditional employment and I’m cool with that. I can only control so much, the rest is up to the global economy and demand for the services I provide.
I know a lot of people dabble in the idea of starting a business and I’m not in the habit of blowing smoke up anyone’s ass so this week is a very honest look at what it’s like to start and run your own small business.
On that note, this week’s friend guest is Kate from Hello Funnels. If you’ve been following me for a while or listening to the podcast for ages I mention Kate a lot. She’s formerly of Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily one of the most prolific and profitable fashion blogs back in the day, she then moved on to Secret Blogger’s Business and now operates under Hello Funnels. In a word, the woman is a genius.
In this episode, we chat about…
• Can literally anyone start a small business?
• If you were going to start a small business what niches are flourishing right now?
• The most important habits for when you start a business
• The mistakes we wish people would stop making in their businesses
• How to tell if business ownership is for you – like REALLY for you
• The stats on small businesses – how many are there and what’s your actual competition like
• Finding your value before you jump in
• The basics of incomes streams and tax
• Learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable
So if you’ve been thinking small business ownership might be for you, this episode is a must-listen.
Reviews and ratings make the podcasting world go around – I’d absolutely love it if you could review the podcast here.
Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve started sending weekly newsletters again and they’re full of useful things!