5 things I learned from starting my own business.
Updated: Sep 26, 2020
I left my position as a fundraising executive earlier this year, right before COVID hit the US. I had planned on a restful 4-month sabbatical to travel, visit all the local Smithsonian museums, and spend hours reading in my backyard hammock. Well, one out of three ain’t bad.
I had always toyed with the idea of turning my love for nature and my passion for creating warm and inspiring interior spaces into a business. Inspired by my sister and her daughter who started a hair accessory business from scratch two years ago (now the smashingly successful Supercrush), I took the plunge and launched silverglowstudio.com. Here are the five things I learned:
First, no skill goes unused. I have been amazed at the different skills that are required to run my shop. Calculating fragrance oil to wax (What? Math?), bookkeeping, writing product descriptions, art design and photography, constructing a website, and learning myriad new software. I draw on expertise gained from all the different positions I have held in the last 20 years. I learn something new every single day and it is thrilling and stimulating.
Second, be actively present in my community. This is something I may have underestimated in the past, especially when I was working long hours in my previous company. Now, I enjoy and celebrate the challenges and successes of the business owners in my network. We laugh and encourage each other, and we commiserate together.
Third, I am so much more productive when I listen to my body clock. In my previous worklife, I worked according to the dictates of the company, whether I was inspired to or not. These days, my spinning mind wakes me up at 5am, filled with ideas and inspiration. I work until 8am and then have a quick nap until 9. My mental energy has always waned around 3pm, so I use that time for a break, or I ride my bike to the post office to drop off shipments ("Silverglow Express" pictured below), or I do a task that requires more brawn than brain.
Fourth, people care. So many people have reached out with good wishes, advice, willingness to spread the word and to support me. As I conceived my business, my friends and family were immediately supportive, and when I formally launched, they were among my first customers.
Fifth, I can thrive while staying true to my values. From taking Sundays off (it is surprisingly difficult) to using only recycled or recyclable packing materials, I am committed to do this in a way that reflects what is most important to me.
Now if I can just pay the mortgage….