"Me and a friend are making the very first steps to starting a jewellery business, and we are looking for some advice and guidance on the first steps to starting a business. We are wondering if you could be any help to us and just let us know what the main difficulties were to starting up and how you over come them?"
Oh my, what an exciting road you are standing at the start of! I can pinpoint the exact moment I realised Crown and Glory could become more than a hobby for not just me, but open up employment opportunities for other people too - and it feels like both yesterday and a lifetime ago at the same time! At this time of year, I am especially thankful and blessed for the opportunities that have come our way in the last 3 years - and it still blows my mind that we can make a steady income from glitter. But it's not all sunshine and roses, especially when you're just starting out. Here are a few hurdles you may encounter in those early days, and some tips for overcoming them.
Firstly, get over any notion that starting your own business is in any way, shape or form, the easy option. There will be tears. There will be tantrums. There will be many nights where sleep is a distant dream, instead you lay their wracked with worry, panic and crippling self doubt. Easy is going to work for someone else every day, safe in the knowledge of the steady paycheck at the end of the month. But I wholeheartedly believe that, in the world we live in now, being self employed is the safest form of employment. Only you are in control of your income, of the business decisions, of where your destiny can take you. Even in the most steady of careers, if you can fight off the hundreds of other applicants to get on the ladder, we're seeing cuts left, right and center. The houses, pensions and retirement funds our parents spent all their working life paying for are being torn from under their feet. So yes, I may not have started my pension at 25. My friends are buying houses, having babies and getting married. But, in my eyes, we're richer than them; for we get to do what we love, inexplicably and without prejudice, day in day out. This article from the New York Times rings particularly true.
To keep your on the tracks of this rollercoasters' highs and lows, you'll need support from every angle. I was lucky enough to have the unfaltering support of my family and partner from day one. So many conversations in those early days revolved around my loved ones taking up the slack when I needed to put Crown and Glory first. From Gareth, who worked two jobs to ensure we had enough of an income so I could plow every profit back into the business. From my parents, for providing a roof over our heads, keeping their paternal worries under wraps and being roped into packaging thousands of glitter bows. From my friends, who squeal when they see our pieces in magazines and understand when I couldn't go out to party because I was knee deep in glitter for a change. Without their support, I genuinely don't think I could've done it. Crown and Glory has bought some amazing and inspiring people into my life, but also some have left which was hard to swallow at times. But surround yourself with positive, motivating, energizing souls and you won't go far wrong.
Ultimately, though, you can only count on number one in business, which can be both a blessing and a curse - the double edged sword that only you can be blamed for any failures and only you can rejoice in the triumphs. There's going to be a lot of decision making to be done, sometimes teeny little niggling thing and sometimes great big game changers. Ultimately, trust your gut. I wholeheartedly believe that if something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't right. However you'll need to learn to distinguish pretty quickly between the feelings of fear and intuition. Intuition is what you need to trust - fear can cripple your success. Do yourself a favour, and put Gala Darling's Dare Dream Do on your expenses list. Celebrate the triumphs, no matter how small they are. Acknowledging success, and understanding why the outcome was successful, will help you to make better decisions in the future. Equally, sometimes you won't make the right ones; but when something goes wrong, learn from it and move on. Fail quickly and get over it.
If you've got a burning question about Crown and Glory or business as a whole, either email email@example.com or if you'd prefer to stay anonymous, you can ask us anything via Formspring