Being a business owner is difficult. And not because of the trials and tribulations of lead generation and delivery or the mountains of paperwork that must be carefully organized IRL and online.
Owning a business is difficult because of the emotional toll it can take on your mind.
When Em and I started our first baby business, we were clueless, young, enthusiastic and reactionary.
I want to get this across as best as I can without sounding incredibly harsh or critical: there is no place for emotion in your business.
Should a company be founded on your passion?
Should your passion be used as the guiding force behind your business decisions?
For that, you need a steady hand and a lot of reason. You have to learn how to detach yourself from certain decisions or you will wind up having a nervous breakdown. I know this because I've witnessed it dozens of times. I've come very close to it myself save one thing: Emilia.
I've talked before on the FatChix Film's blog about the benefits of partnership. They really do outweigh anything I could ever put into words. Partnership, like marriage, is a beautiful union of hearts and minds. Choosing a partner, should you go down that path, is tricky business. Some partnerships fail because of greed, changes of heart, mental or physical struggles, etc.
Most often, however, partnerships fail when partners fail to listen. They each have an idea of where the business is going and it is usually the same idea. The fault lies in how they both imagine their business or their cause getting to that place. It is the getting there that fails most partnerships, not the end goal.
Em and I are very conscious of our differences in opinion and thought. We are still caught off guard sometimes when we realize that we have an idea about something that should be done a specific way and the other person has a very different idea about the same issue. It is surprising, but we've learned to find this very reassuring. Sometimes we choose Em's way and sometimes we go with my instinct, but we always respect and value each other's opinions.
Some folks believe you have to go it alone when you start a business.
Working for yourself without a support system or a partner can feel like you are driving the ship one moment and lost at sea another. You are constantly busy working toward your end result and simultaneously wondering if you'll ever see another human being. When you develop a product or service that people want, it becomes your job to deliver it and make those people happy. Truthfully, being in business does not mean you are selling a service or product. You are selling a transformation to people that you believe in your heart of hearts will make their lives easier, better, happier.
Your job becomes acknowledging problems or desires that exist in the world and trying to solve or fulfill those things. That's what makes a business: the drive behind reducing pain and increasing pleasure. For owners, employees, contractors, partners, consumers, clients, everyone.
We all want to decrease pain and increase pleasure.
If you wish to go it alone, I beseech you to reconsider. You might be happy working by yourself most days, but there will be days when you need someone or a community of someones to help you find your way again. It could be a real life meet up or an online community of likeminded individuals, but regardless of where you find your family, find them and hold them close.
No one is truly alone in this world if they do not wish it so.