you don't have to do it alone.
'You can’t do it alone and you don’t have to’, he said.
I had just had a humongous screaming and crying fit with myself over some lost orders, unpurchased envelopes for an upcoming order and lots of unanswered emails piling up. I was angry; angry at myself for not thinking ahead; angry at the post office; angry at my inbox for Just. Never. Stopping and angry at myself again for choosing to go down this path. The first year of LH design was a tricky one, nonetheless. But hearing those words uttered by my partner was, what I imagine, it feels like when you’re thrown a lifejacket after hours of being lost at sea -- alone, cold and exhausted.
I felt like he had just given me a huge permission slip to ask for help; something I believed I couldn’t do because it was ‘my’ business and I shouldn’t ‘have’ to get other people involved. Part pride, part not wanting to add more to other’s plates. From then on, instead of putting everything onto my plate and trying to deliver it all with one hand, I got a lot better at asking to put a little onto someone else's plate. Just a chip or a tiny bit of ketchup, maybe- but it makes such a difference.
I feel like we all need a lifejacket thrown to us from time to time, so here is yours:
You don’t have to do it alone.
Yes, we’re One Girl Band's — we’re creating our own ventures and making our mark on the world on our own terms — but that doesn’t mean we have to go through this journey of self employment without support or a helping hand.
We don’t have to do the long days and nights glued to the laptop, not seeing a single soul apart from the postman or the dog. We don’t have to make the big decisions about how much we should charge or which direction we should go in alone. We don’t have to figure out why we’re feeling so stuck and burnt out all by ourselves.
You’re allowed to ask for help. It doesn’t make you unworthy of being a business owner. It’s not you being a pain. As self-employed, self-starting business owners, we’re the talent, the marketer, the designer, the photographer, the accountant, the order fulfiller, the PA, the PR, the CEO (whilst no doubt still being expected to be the mother, the wife, the girlfriend, the best friend, the daughter, the sister). Yes, we can be everything but we can’t do everything.
Think about investing in yourself, and in turn, your business. Hire a photographer who can do your product shots that usually takes you hours. Look into hiring a virtual assistant who can help do the tasks you’re not strong at or don’t have time for. Hire a coach if you’re fed up of feeling fed up in your business and life, or just need a helping hand in getting you to where you want to be.
If you don’t have close friends or family members who make you feel supported, loved and worthy, search for those who do within your community; grab a coffee with a fellow entrepreneur pal who ‘gets it’ and open up about how you’re feeling. They might be able to offer a hand in some way. Join Facebook groups (here’s one I would 10/10 recommend 😉 ), open up on social media, go to meet ups if you're up for it. Every time I’ve asked for help, the wonderful female creative entrepreneur community has come up trumps.
You are so incredibly special and you deserve to have support. You’re going after what you want and you’re creating the life you deserve and desire -- you don’t have to do this alone.
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