Hundreds of you answered our community survey (thank you!) and over the next several months we’ll be using that information to bring you the content you said you need from us. Seriously, I wish I could call everyone who responded and give you a business coaching session, a pep-talk, or a long distance hug! Since that’s not exactly practical, my team and I will do the next best thing. The next several solo episodes we release will my very raw and real answers to questions that came in through the survey. These podcast episodes are just one of the many ways we’ve got planned to use this survey to bring you actionable information.
One of our favorite questions we asked you was, “If you could ask Beth Anne anything, what would it be?”
And an interesting, often repeated reply was this cut-to-the-chase one, “Do you ever feel like giving up?”
My honest answer?
To be even more honest, I'll tell you that it’s not a feeling that ever goes away. There are certainly moments where I think maybe all the work and stress aren't worth it and it would be much more luxurious if I could just read books at naptime.
Especially for those of us who are fortunate enough to not require a second job for our families to make it, the temptation to close up shop can be incredibly tempting! It makes staying motivated to keep going that much more difficult.
In this episode, I want to offer a few takeaways and truths that I hope will help.
- Everything in life worth doing is hard. Like marriage and motherhood and almost everything else worth doing, business will be hard! But, in our home, hard work is a virtue. We don’t value staying comfortable, we value pushing boundaries and limits.
- You, my community, keep me going. If I’m being very honest, one of the greatest motivators I have in my business is YOU, the Brilliant Business Moms community. You’re here week after week and you keep me going. If you’ve been helped by our courses or products, thank you! It’s an honor to serve you and I couldn’t imagine letting you down. There are lots of people starting businesses these days, but I’m only interested in you ladies: the gutsy mamas putting their families first and businesses second.
- You’ve got to balance pursuing passion and making money. Never, ever start a business where your only goal is the bottom line! If you’re not passionate about improving the lives of your customers, you will fizzle out. I understand this advice is totally counter intuitive. The purpose of a business is to make money, but you’ve got to have a “why” bigger than that. I will freely admit that once I could take home a consistent paycheck, that was major proof for me that my business was working! The desire to quit does go down as your sales go up. But it can’t be your only motivation.
- When you feel like giving up, take a breather. I mean it! Even if you put your Etsy shop on vacation mode because you’re just not feeling it, do it. You run the show. Give yourself permission to do whatever it is you need to come back refreshed and recharged. If you need to take a week off, do it. And if you’re thinking, “I have tons to do! Are you nuts!? I can’t take a week off!” maybe you really do need a breather, more than ever. If you’re feeling overwhelmed because you’re working so hard and it’s not working out, you’ve got to see where the issues are. Ask yourself these questions, and leave the other stuff behind:
- What do I love doing?
- Why am I doing what I do?
- Where are people connecting with me?
- Where am I starting to get a few more visitors or subscribers?
- Have supportive friends and family. I’m so fortunate that my husband Chris is my biggest supporter! Even last night I was in tears over something. It wasn’t one particular thing, but I was talking about it – and then there were 10 things that had built up throughout the day. Chris was right there for me saying, “You’re doing a great job. It’s not your fault,” offering me nothing but encouragement and reminding me of the important things. A year ago when I was working so hard to grow the shop and nothing was taking off, Chris was right there saying, “You cannot quit! You’re really good at this. And I know you can do it.” He told me this on plenty of days I wasn’t sure I could! Surround yourself with people like this as much as you can. What if your spouse isn’t supportive? Maybe you’re not making progress and it’s frustrating everyone. In that case, a breather could be that much more important. Have honest conversations when you’re not all emotional, but do have them. (And maybe the Brilliant Business Moms community can be that for you, virtually. I am blessed by how encouraging and supportive you all are to each other.)
- Find some help. I can’t emphasize enough how much hiring help has helped me. I was overwhelmed. I was working way too many hours. The business had taken over many of areas of my life. As soon as I hired help, I was able to scale back. How do I sleep? How do I have time with my family? People think I do much more than what I actually do! There are a lot of things that appear like I’m doing them, but my team is actually doing them and that’s how I sleep and have time for my family. There is a trade off. I definately take home a lot less of a paycheck, but it’s worth it. I’m in business for the big picture, but I knew I couldn’t be in business for the long haul if I kept going at my unsustainable rate. Also, I value being able to support my team (and their families) with the work I can provide.
The Heart Behind Brilliant Business Moms
Something else you all wanted to know is how I stay so positive, perky, and happy. It made me happy to hear from a lot of different people that you get that perspective. But, once again, I may need to burst your bubble. I’m not that happy and perky all the time! This is real life, I’m a real person and I’m super flawed.
I’m a person of extremes. That super mellow, calm and steady type? That’s my husband! Me? I’m either super happy, or super frustrated. Believe me, there are tons of times my team gets to see the spitfire side of me. Don’t get me wrong, I truly am happy and positive a lot of the time, but not all the time. Because I have supportive people in my life who pick me back up, and I can be happy and positive for you all. Chris, most of all, and my wonderful team members are always there to encourage me when I’m feeling down about the business. I hope you have wonderful people like this in your life.
But the biggest reason I can stay happy and positive is because of my faith. I am a Christian, and I believe that there’s a purpose for everyone who exists on this planet. I believe that I’m called to more than just taking care of my own selfish desires. That is a huge part of how I stay happy and encouraged. I want to be real and authentic and I simply could not create this episode without sharing what’s at the core of my heart.
Another thing that keeps me going are the even bigger goals and visions for how Brilliant Business Moms can serve others. I want to use the income I bring in from Brilliant Business Moms to build orphanages in India and other places! Thinking about the ways we can minister to orphans and children with special needs totally keeps me going.
And while we’re talking about it, let me share a bit more about these future plans. To lay the foundation, income and profits are two different things. Right now, a big portion of my revenue pays my team and another chunk goes to Facebook ads to keep things growing. And then I take a portion for my paycheck. But there is SO MUCH MORE I want to do. I want to make giving back a huge part of my business. And to be honest that’s what can really discourage me the most. I want to see bigger growth, bigger profits. Not to pad my pockets, but to help others in bigger ways.
Right now, my primary job is to be a wife and mom. I can’t run myself ragged and neglect my own family in the process of building this business. But I do have crazy big dreams for the coming years. Stay here with us, and you’ll get to join along.
That’s it for this episode. I hope if you’re having a rough week or month, you’ll be ready to take a breather, or get right back up again! Know that you can use your business to make a difference.