Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Starting up a start up!

Today I realised how much I miss blogging. It's my only outlet that doesn't require me to make any money from it, which means I can fully enjoy it. Starting up my own business and spending so much time on my own is causing me to spend far too much time inside my own head.....so instead I'm going to get it out of my head and into virtual space for you lovely people to read instead.

 I actually considered starting a new blog to document my start up journey, I thought about calling it 'start up diary' or something painfully cliche but then I remembered this old thing. It seems fitting that I blog about my start up on the blog that started my start up!

Going forward my posts are going to be a bit more honest, personal, start up/business oriented and have very little to do with fashion and textiles so if you follow me for that reason you might wanna hit the unsubscribe button now haha- there's my disclaimer done!

If you are landing on my blog as a total newcomer then welcome :)


I've noticed that startup life, like anything, has its peaks and troughs.... unfortunately I'm finding that my peaks are Mt. Everest and the troughs are comparable to the Mariana trench. I'm constantly giving myself pep talks and advice and thought it could be useful to make a note of them...for other people in a similar situation and also for myself- as a much needed reminder.

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The peaks and troughs of Startup life

I've always said to myself that 'if I had my own business I'd...' my life would be better/I would be happier/ I would spend all my time drawing in creative bliss...' and blah blah blah.

I don't know if that was naive, hopeful or just plain delusional. Quite honestly I have no idea what I'm doing half of the time and there are moments....oh so many moments.....that I think I've made a colossal mistake. 

This is not my illustration but depicts perfectly how I feel a lot of the time!I thought about doing all of my own illustrations for this post but simply typing in 'start up illustrations' on google images provided me with exactly the illustrations I was looking for- kinda reassuring to know I'm not the only one feeling like this

Until December last year I was earning a substantial amount of money as a Senior print designer, moving around Europe working for various companies. I had my own beautiful rented apartments full of my own things, my own fridge full of my own food,my own bathroom with my own candles and plants in and a lovely double bed. I also had enough money to go on weekend city breaks around Europe and permanently have nice new clothes in my wardrobe. Great life huh!?I would be a complete liar if I said I didn't miss all of these things. 

Now I'm living back at my parents house in a small overcrowded/messy space(that's what happens when you move an apartments worth of stuff back into your childhood room) with a single bed, relying on my parents for food and earning very little. My clothes are completely worn out, I have no financial independance and have yet to develop anything resembling a routine. 

Despite these complaints, most of which are materialistic and only temporary(fingers crossed),I am so SO grateful for having such amazing parents that have welcomed me home like the prodigal daughter. They're letting me live rent free and providing me with meals while wholeheartedly believing that I can make this business work and offering me endless necessary encouragement. Massive shout out to Mama and Papa Burns(if you're reading this) without you guys I wouldn't have the confidence to do any of this/I would be homeless haha! Also thank you so much to my Nan ho I know will definitely be reading this- providing me with endless takeaway coffee and advertising ideas!


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One of the other things I'm finding SO VERY HARD is not comparing myself to other small businesses/instagram profiles that started around the same time as me.  I am not the most confident at social media. I find it difficult to post things that happened in a staged photoshoot I did weeks before while pretending they're from today(it feels like lying), I don't know what to say in captions and I'm not particularly engaging a lot of the time. I seriously don't understand how to get people to follow a business page or how people find the time to take and edit all of these perfectly lit photos. I am currently stuck at 350 followers and a little bit stumped about how to do the whole business instagram thing....but I'm working on a plan....again...haha!

I'm going to start using my blog to document how I'm finding starting up a start up. I'm going to let you know when good things happen and when things go wrong. Whoever reads this can be my accountability buddy, which I've heard is an essential thing for freelancers and start ups.  I'll be sharing tips I've found useful, podcasts I find inspirational and everything from my favourite background movies to my music playlists.

SO lets get started with 3 useful tips I have discovered for when you are feeling like you're never gonna get there:

No.1
Comparison is the thief of joy!

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No.2
Look how far you've already come!

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To quote the infinite wisdom of Drake:


Image result for started from the bottom now we here



No.3
Make a to do list every day!

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Quite honestly one of the main things that keeps me going a lot is a bible verse.... for those of you who aren't familiar with the bible its just a really good piece of advice:


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P.s This is not my artwork- I found it on pinterest.

It's so easy when near the beginning of a small business/start up journey to focus on how small the business is; how small an instagram following you have, how small an impact you're having on the people around you, how small your sales count is on Etsy  BUT, no matter how small your beginning is, at least you've begun!
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