You know all of those self-help books and cutesy blog posts that say you should do shit that scares you in order to, idk, be a better person? Yeah, I generally don’t follow that advice.
When you’re an entrepreneur, though, everyday existence is kind of like being on a merry-go-round.
When I was a kid, I did not like merry-go-rounds.
Entrepreneurship, though, I like, so I've learned to roll with it. If I’ve developed any ethos (at all) about entrepreneurship in the year since “pre-launching” Bluestockings and in the four months since opening, it’s that staying afloat is about learning to acclimate to a constant state of uncertainty.
But, as in life, some times are more uncertain than others. Like this month. Over the last few weeks, I’ve done some things that scared me a lot. So I thought I’d share them with you.
In no particular order, I…
Launched my FIRST EVER E-Course
Anyone who regularly follows me on Twitter knows that I have intermittently been announcing eBooks… partly in an effort to hold myself accountable to actually launching them. (Which obviously did not happen.) But last week, I did a webinar with Mariah Coz of Femtrepreneur and it completely revolutionized how I thought about the projects that were turning over in my head.
Within a few hours of the webinar, I revised one of the eBooks/potential consulting pitches into an E-Course, wrote the product description, outlined four weeks’ worth of material, made a pretty cover for it, and put it up for pre-order. It’s a course for other small businesses, retailers, and designers, both in and out of the lingerie industry, on how to reach the LGBTQ community.
Implementation is one of my strengths, but it doesn't mean that fear isn't very, very present. What if no one signs up? What if they do sign up, and the course is a flop? Fear abounds, but the only way to not live in fear is to actually do shit.
Started Planning My Second Business
The idea for my second business hit me like a lightning bolt a few weeks ago. I was not planning to start a second business anytime in the next two years (umm: Bluestockings has been open for four months).
Rather like Bluestockings, the idea grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Unlike Bluestockings, this time around I have enough experience to be more cautious and more patient. So I set up a related blog and am going to test out the waters for a good long while before diving in. (Once you already have a business, I think that makes you a hell of a lot more cautious before starting a second one.)
Actively Set Boundaries With Social Media & Email
In an effort to be more present with my partner, with my spiritual life, etc., I have taken efforts--in some areas of my life--to put my phone down. But actively taking time off -- just off -- for self-care? … Yeah, no, that pretty much hasn’t happened since I first started taking steps to launch Bluestockings a year ago.
However, boundaries are essential for self-care and mental health, generally. A better me makes for a better Bluestockings -- even though not answering emails immediately (even on weekends) and not being on social media 24/7 is a total challenge. I've started enacting small boundaries, which mostly amounted to “less” email and social media on the weekends. I still do “some.” But “less.” Less is good.
Less is working.
Crafted an Exit Strategy
Every formulaic business plan book will tell you to craft an exit strategy (aka: how to high tail it out of your business). I, however, have a rather unconventional business plan. It’s a series of Excel spreadsheets and, more to the point, a fuckton of Trello boards. Goals and schedules, I can organize. An actual, formal business plan? I could never do it. I tried -- oh my God, did I try. Type A Capricorn academic over here, that’s me.
But I never needed the kind of funding that absolutely necessitated putting together a huge business plan, and something about the formality of the business plan, as it’s currently conceived, just rubbed me the wrong way. So I did my own version.
… which meant there are some things I invariably didn’t do. Like craft an exit strategy.
So, why did I finally craft a (several sentence) exit strategy this week? August was a super rough month, tbh. And I know I eventually want to do other things (see: e-course, second business idea). So I crafted an exit strategy.
Having a deadline for when and how I would get out if the circumstances were not optimal made me feel loads better.
I meditated for the first time this week. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. It was really rejuvenating.
Will probably repeat the exercise this week sometime.
(I didn't look as cool as Queen B.)
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