My brand turns two today. Here’s the truth about owning a small business.

Wow, it’s been two years already? Entrepreneurship is something that has always interested me since I was a little girl, and I am thankful to be able to pursue it as a career path. Regarding the subject of work, I think we need more honesty! I strongly advocate letting people know what they are getting into. Here are a few things I have learned since my brand became official. 

Getting a lot of orders within a short time can be overwhelming. 

As you see, the picture above shows me many orders; I will tell you that it took me three days to complete those. From adding the gems to the clothing and burning myself while doing so, signing all the books, printing the shipping labels to the point where my printer overheated, and messing up a few orders, I had to rip open the package and fix it; it’s time-consuming! I am very thankful for the number of orders I get, but I would be joking if I didn’t speak about how long it takes and what goes into it. During my time of me taking care of orders, I enjoy listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and music. Sometimes I throw on video essays to pass the time. I like taking care of orders for the most part. When I do them, I make sure to set time aside for it so I can focus and ensure I’m getting everything right. 

You’ll be working more than you think.

I work more hours alone than I did for someone else, and I am content with that. I must constantly remind myself that I am only one person and can only complete so much within a day. Often I am hard on myself when I don’t finish a video when I want to, but then I have to remind myself that I am only one person. Other jobs I had were able to get done quickly because numerous people were involved. For the most part, other than my friends and family helping me sometimes, it’s just me. Because I work for myself, I have to do more than I did for others. 

Sometimes you will neglect one part of your brand to focus on another. 

As one of my goals for this year is to blog more on my website, it has resulted in me shifting my time away from YouTube, and that’s ok! Depending on what you have going on for your business, it will result in limited content and products in certain areas. When I was just doing YouTube and being in school, I uploaded much more because I had the time to. Now that I expanded my brand, and been spending less time on YouTube to focus on the other aspects of it. YouTube is a source of income of mine, so it still matters. I have to move away from blogging to designing pieces and making lipglosses to ensure I have a video to upload. I must set a day aside to study and complete my homework. I have to set aside a day to take care of orders. This does not mean I care less or more about one part of my brand or the other; it just means that I have to spend time on everything separately for everything to be intact. 

Nothing is free. Paid promotions do matter. 

Why do we always see commercials for Pizza Hut, Disney, Target, Victoria's Secret, and Universal Studios? It’s how they can get people to come to their brand. People often look down upon small businesses for paying for advertisements and influencers to promote their brand (which is something celebrities do all the time) when it is typical for companies. I hate to say it, but people are not lying when they say it costs money to make money. You can not start a business for free, and that is for all of it. You have to pay for your own website, and if you are selling through an online marketplace like Etsy, you are paying by allowing they to take a percentage of your income through their site. If you are not investing money, you are investing time, and time is money. Money and time go hand in hand, and if you do not include either with your brand, it will likely not go anywhere. You must branch out and get your brand out there to reach others. Let’s say you already have your audience but want it to grow. You need to reach out to others to bring in new people, which often will result in you needing to pay in exchange for that. People turn their noses up to doing paid promotions for their brand, but it does help. 

Don’t sell out, but also give the customers what they want. 

You have to meet in the middle when it comes to being authentic but also wanting to cater to the general public. If everything is what YOU want, you likely won’t have people come to you. People won't come to you if you are too much like everyone else. It can be a bit difficult to think of ideas to cater to your and others' wants just as well. That’s why I am big on thinking of what you can do for your brand that will sell. I used to want to do things for myself, but that backfired because it was only for me. When I started to ask my audience about specific shows, movies, and books, I got the audience feedback I needed, and it clicked for me. I am happier with my brand with meeting the audience in the middle. If I were just doing things for them, I would not be enjoying it, but if I were just doing it for myself, I would not be able to support myself. This is business. It can not be all about what I want, but also I have to like what I do. Asking my audience what interests them and picking what I like from that bucket helped me become more at peace with products and content. 

Thank you so much for reading. To celebrate this weekend (March 10-12), everything is 40% off! No code is needed; the discount is applied at checkout.