Sing along with me - happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy biiiirthdaaaaay dear Bartleby, happy birthday to you!
It's hard to believe that we are 3 already! Where does the time go? How did we get here? The past 3 years have been choke full of hard work, a few recognitions thrown in the mix and meeting so many fabulous people. Some of my best friends now have resulted in relationships that started through my business. I have had the opportunity to grow the business and start to make it something bigger than me, which has been my intention all along. As much as I like everything to be about me, it isn't and I have enjoyed consulting with other business owners to help them realize their goals and dreams too. It hasn't been an easy road but everyday comes and goes whether we like it or not. So in celebration of this birthday that leads us out of our terrible 2s and into our third year these are the 3 biggest lessons I have learned as a business owner.
- Keep Moving Forward - We don't really have any choice do we? Every day comes and every day goes no matter what unless you are Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (have you heard my story about seeing Bill Murray at a mexican restaurant in West Ashley? That's for another day). Everyone has good days and bad days and we all have set backs but you just keep moving forward or you remain stagnate and then nothing gets done and those "big ideas" never come true.
- Set Boundaries - With EVERYONE! From your co-workers to your partner, your vendors to your clients, your spouse to your children, your mom to your neighbors. When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE! If you give people the slightest of an opening they will walk all over you. They don't mean too but they will; it's only human nature. This is the hardest lesson to learn for me because I'm a pleaser and I want to make everyone happy even if it is to my own detriment. I never say "no" or "that's enough" and as such I take on too much and have a hard time delegating. I'm working on it.
- And ALWAYS Be Brave - It's hard to be a business owner. I'm not going to sugar coat it and say "I love it everyday." I don't. Its hard work. I have never worked this hard in my life. Every single thing I do now relates to this company. Everyone thinks you're rolling in the dough but you haven't seen a pay check in 3 years and your always on the verge of having your lights turned off or your phone disconnected. You have to be brave and take big risks to get big rewards. Its hard to put on a happy face all the time when you feel like the whole world is out to get you (this is the one I'm best at) but you fake it until you make it as the cliche goes.
I'm still working to master all of these lessons but I accept that I still have work to do. Acceptance that you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right? I'm positive that I have so many more lessons to learn and I'm thankful that I have made it this far and hope that I have more time to learn all those hard business lessons that you only get by trying.