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Confessions of a Small Biz Owner

Small business ownership: an entrepreneurial dream and perhaps, sometimes, maybe, dare we say, a nightmare?

OK, 99 percent of the time it’s not that bad – but we’ve all had our freak-out moments (and we’re allowed).

Owning and operating your own business is serious #goals for a multitude of reasons. The culture is all yours to create. The people are all yours to hire. The schedule is all yours to make. But, on the other hand, the culture is yours to keep positive, the people are yours to keep happy, and the schedule is yours to keep balanced but productive. Responsibility!

You make the boat float and the weight of it all can get heavy. We all can relate to the feeling of laying in bed at midnight trying to shut off our minds, and as a small business owner, this happens, um, nightly. It’s not all bad, though. Sometimes sparks of brilliance hit, sometimes I become at peace with what I cannot change, and sometimes my mind is an unproductive heap of a gazillion thoughts.

As I began to forecast for 2022, I felt very uneasy with a few components of my business, and while I could dwell on those things day after day, I knew I needed to transform these feelings of uncertainty into moments of opportunity.

The highs and lows of small business ownership can be extreme, but let’s all agree to find a way to balance the negative with an extreme amount of positive, shall we?

The not-so-ideal parts of small business ownership mostly derive from personal feelings of stress, guilt, exhaustion and confusion–and sometimes all at once. This is precisely the nightmare I referenced earlier. Whether it’s a disgruntled client, an unhappy team member or a complex budget issue, I seem to always be working through something, even if it’s little.

When I am feeling anxious about my business, the one perspective that always helps me mentally is to get ahead of it. I mitigate my feelings of distress by controlling what I can.

  1. Be proactive–Use the time you have to get ahead of potential issues. Do you *sense* that a client may be wanting more based on the remarks they’ve been making, but they haven’t outright spoken those words? Instead of waiting for the ball to drop, schedule the meeting, update their strategy, get to the bottom of it before it slaps you on the bottom!

  2. Plan ahead–Planning can fall to the wayside because you wear many, many hats, and a plan without a deadline can “wait until tomorrow.” If you let a big task, like your 2022 business plan get pushed week after week, that takes up way too much space in your brain. Even just the thought of it is distracting, so do the big, important, daunting tasks first.

  3. Hire badass team members–You need to trust your team with all your heart; it’s the only way you’ll restfully sleep at night. Figure out the roles and specialties that will make your business thrive with the number of team members you have on board. I know for a fact that every team needs a world-class project manager (ahem, Kayla Weich) and if you can build a team with an impenetrable work ethic with a large dash initiative and a big splash of self-motivation, you’ve got yourself an A+ team.

  4. Lean out your process–This is a big one for me right now. As success hits, business gets busier and workload gets higher. In some cases, it may be the absolute best decision to hire new team members to accommodate; however, in 2022, my goal is to refine team member responsibilities and the processes we have in place to streamline. My small business isn’t becoming a big business any time soon, so, to me, having an intimate number of team members working closely and constructively together helps put me at ease.

With month one of 2022 nearly under our belts, I hope the remainder of the year brings you unlimited success and countless moments of serenity and satisfaction as a small business owner. Let’s do the damn thing!


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