The good, the bad, and the untold about owning your own biz.
There will be no days off. One big difference between working a "normal" 9 to 5 job and being a business owner is that you're essentially never clocked out. While you may not be at your office or actively answering emails at a given moment, your mind is likely still planning out your schedule for the coming days, brainstorming ideas for a future project, answering messages or comments on social media, or researching new marketing tactics.
To put it simply, the hustle never stops. The mind of a passionate entrepreneur is essentially always going. While, yes, this can be exhausting, it's inevitable for any successful business owner. When you're passionate about your brand, you want to surround yourself with it, so it doesn't always feel like work, but trust me, it'll always be in the back of your mind.
Self-care is still the most important thing to focus on. Yes, you'll essentially be clocked in a majority of the time each day, but that doesn't mean you should completely disregard what your body is telling you. If you're not happy, your business is not happy. You need to make sure that you are satisfied in all ways before your business can be. Have you slept enough? Are you eating healthy (you'll need that that energy, y'all!!)? Have you stepped outside today to enjoy the sunshine even if it's just for a few minutes?
In my career as an entrepreneur, I learned the hard way that it's very easy to burn out. I quickly learned during that dark time in my life that I needed to focus on myself first in order for me to do the best I could do when it came to building my brand. As of this year, I've started to eat much healthier and exercise at least 30 minutes per day, and just making this simple change has done a complete 180 for my business. Things are running more smoothly. I'm feeling less overwhelmed.
You'll need a strong network. Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are so many times each week that I have to ask for favors from my close friends and family, and I'm absolutely not ashamed. These people want to see me succeed as much as I do, so until they tell me they can't help anymore, I'll be tapping them for a helping hand.
Usually, I ask my boyfriend to help snap a few photos of me for Instagram, or I'll ask my mom to run to the post office for me since I'll be working the whole time they're open.
While some people in your network may not be the best options to ask for physical favors, you can always use your people for a second opinion. I always reach out to my most blunt friends and ask them for honest thoughts and opinions. If I don't know how people really feel about my brand, how am I supposed to properly run it? It's important to know this information because you can only GROW from it (while it may not be easy to take at first). It's worth taking the constructive criticism.
An organized schedule is necessary. Especially when you're still working your 9 to 5 job, it can be hard to balance all the tasks that you have on your plate. Trust me, it's EASY to burn out. To avoid what seems inevitable, having a schedule has completely is, in my opinion, the savior behind not crashing.
For me personally, I have a calendar and a to-do list for every one of my hustles: The Beauty Studio, my freelance writing, Instagram, and The Fem Em. This way I'm able to see exactly what time I need to allow for each category and plan my schedule accordingly.
Usually, I plan my schedule out hour by hour. I'll look at my to-do lists and estimate how much time I'll need for each task then write it in a calendar so that I am not neglecting one of my hustles for the other (unless I've planned on spending more time on one or the other that day). Trust me, planning and writing everything down will save your ass at the end of the day — for organizational purposes and for mental health.
It's not as glamorous as some may think. I remember a few years back when I was first hustling and starting The Beauty Studio, I was dating some asshole (truth hurts, right?). We got into a fight about something stupid, I'm sure, and then he said to me "It must be nice to sit around and play with makeup all day." SHOOK, right? I immediately busted out of the house, and that was the last time we ever fought because I broke up with that dude immediately after that.
That being said — especially if you're working in the beauty industry — sometimes people don't appreciate all the behind the scenes work you do in order to keep your business running smoothly. While to the world it may look like I'm just swatching the latest highlighters in my day-to-day, my hours are typically spent doing things that are not at all glamorous like answering comments on social media, designing new advertising campaigns, responding to emails, packing and shipping orders, and much, much more.
This, in my opinion, is one of the biggest misconceptions about owning a business. Many commit to being an entrepreneur but don't know the straight up HUSTLE that's involved. While, yes, being a business owner has its perks, it's important that you know it's not all fun and games.
Through all the not-so-glam backend work that I do on a day-to-day basis, I find it very important to take time each day to step back and look at what I've accomplished. I love to walk into the studio on a busy day and think "Wow, I built this." It's quite the warming feeling when I tell someone I'm 25 and own four businesses. While it's not all glitz and glamour, it's worth it.