Hello floral fans, it’s Hanna here. Some of you may have met me before, either face to face or digitally, and some of you may have not. For those of you who don’t know me, I am the brains behind Face Florals, and today I’m going to share my honest opinion on how to work your way through self-doubt and throwing in the self-employment towel.
Down to the nitty gritty.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that since I started Face Florals back in 2015, I have had my fair share of high moments, with Glastonbury Festival 2019 being one of them. From the outside, running your own business seems like a breeze, and appears to be a lot of fun, which of course it can be. But if we’re all being honest, we never quite show our ‘true selves’ on our personal social media accounts very often, so why would we do the same with our business? This is where I think things need to change.
It’s honesty time!
Back in January 2019, I came so close to throwing in the self-employed towel and kicking Face Floral’s to the curb. A business which I had so much passion and love for, I had grown to despise. In my head I had convinced myself that my business was making me unhappy, and believed it was seriously starting to affect my mental health. I had lost all motivation and passion for what I was doing, but felt like despite this, I had to keep going as it’s what I was ‘expected to do’. We’ll come back to this phrase later…
Finally, I broke. Over slugs in fact. Yes, you read that correctly… slugs. Slugs eating my entire crop of flowers was what finally broke me, and led to me having a complete melt down in my living room. Many tears were shed, and to the complete shock of my other half, the words “I don’t want to do this anymore”, finally came out of my mouth.
The Reality Check.
I finally said it. I had finally been honest about how I was feeling, after bottling up all the angst and emotions I’d been carrying on my shoulders for the last few months.
My other half sat me down, gave me a cuddle, listened to me cry about slugs, and heard every word I said about giving up on my dream. He also called me an idiot, and said I was being silly (which was also true), but more importantly I had that someone to turn to and talk things through with. Thank you, Craig. You are a gem!
And then, reality hit. News Flash… Face Florals wasn’t the thing that was making me unhappy.
There had been several other things going on in my life at that time which had caused me a huge amount of stress, including moving house at Christmas (don’t do it!). In return, the large amount of external stress factors I had going on, had a knock on affect with my motivation, and mental health.
Sitting down and talking things through with someone not involved in the business, truly helped. It made me see things from a different perspective. Which is why I think me being honest about my personal experience of wanting to ‘throw in the towel’ is important.
Not every self-employed business owner has the support I do, and there are several business owners out there which are ‘one man bands’. Which is why I have written this blog post, to give that support and say that it’s 100% OK to go through those emotions.
How to Move Forward.
2019 actually turned out to be an amazing year, for both me and Face Florals. So I thank my lucky soul that I had that conversation, and support. In some ways, those slugs demolishing my plant stock were actually a blessing in disguise. But how can you move forward and over-come those feelings without support?
‘Expected to do’. I said we’d come back to it, and there it is. How many of you self-employed business owners have had the same feeling cross your mind? That feeling of absolute dread when someone asks you “How’s the business going?”, and you feel like you’re expected to respond with, “Yeah, it’s amazing!”, when what you actually want to respond with the total opposite.
There always seems to be ‘expectations’ from external parties on how your business should be performing, when in reality the only expectations that matter and that you should care about, are your own! It’s your business. It’s up to you how much you want it to grow, what products you want to be releasing, and how often you want to post on social media. If you’re meeting your expectations, then you’re ticking off goals and making dreams happen.
Get out of January, before adding the final nail to the coffin. Let’s be honest, January is a horrendous month. It’s the Monday of months, and it’s cold, dark and miserable. All the bills from the festive period slowly start to roll in, and if you’re self-employed… Hello, Tax Return month! In summary, it can be an incredibly stressful month for many. Which is why if you are having similar thoughts to myself, waiting until you’re out of January could leave you with extra head space to think more clearly about the direction you want to head in.
Finding support wherever you can is extremely important. I can appreciate that not everyone is as lucky as myself, and has someone at home (or work) they can turn to for guidance, or just even for a chat. But whether you’re a one-man band or part of a team, having support is important.
Online Forums and Facebook groups are now your go to support family! I’m part of several Facebook groups for independent sellers and small businesses, and believe me, these have helped me through some tough patches since starting my business. And the best thing is, they are full of members who are exactly like me and you! Self-employed business owners, who experience the highs and lows of running your own business.
Most importantly; you’ve got this.