What We Know (But Hate to Admit) About Entrepreneurship
While Kopy Fresh works primarily with service-based businesses and brands, this post is for EVERY entrepreneur. Specifically, those not afraid to admit that business is not always fun, fulfilling, or fruitful. If that’s you 👀, keep reading.
Grab your drink of choice because it's about to get real. 😏
Getting your business to a place where it runs optimally takes time, effort, and emotional energy. You must work your way up to checked-out two-week-long beach resort getaways and legit CEO moves. There are peaks and valleys in every business, but the downfalls, like overworking, are often brushed aside or sugarcoated.
A July 2022 Hubspot article states that:
"More than half (58%) of entrepreneurs say they work irregular or odd hours."
And that’s not all. There are several other “accommodations” you make as entrepreneurs. And let's not talk about some of the side effects that impact your mental, physical, emotional, and relational health, and even how to handle those sporadic feelings of resentment towards your beautiful business.
Allow me to share my perspective on what we know (but hate to admit) about entrepreneurship.
🗣️ It’s not how you envision it (at least at first).
All business comes with some growing pains. It’s inevitable. Whether you make a bad investment or hire the wrong team member, that lesson comes in hard and fast. It’s how we evolve. Even those insanely-successful coaches, consultants, and speakers who share how much freedom and revenue they manifested had their share of obstacles.
If you’re a Rachel Rodgers fan, you know her story isn’t rooted in privilege or ease. A woman who always dreamed big and applied herself boldly pivoted from owning a law firm to running a multi-million-dollar training and coaching company for women.
But even with a well-known and affluent brand today, she expressed in an August 2020 blog post that her business fell upon some hard times:
"I wish I could go back to those times (there were multiple) when I had just enough money to make payroll for my team but not enough for myself. I’d have to take my big bottle of change from under my desk to the Coinstar machine at the supermarket in order to buy groceries for my family."
Many stories like this exist, but we sweep them under the rug. We become blind to the struggle, strife, and sacrifice and only focus on the wins, luxuries, and abundance.
At least, that’s what we choose to share with our audience.
Entrepreneurship is hard. Running a small business is hard. That doesn’t mean it's impossible or you don’t love your work. Despite what others say, there is no blueprint specific to your business. You have the only business with your brand story, values, mission, goals, and background, so you have to make ish up as you go.
🗣️ You will fall victim to the comparison game.
Tell me if I'm lying — the insane confidence you felt when you launched your business goes MIA a few months into your journey. And a lot of it comes from getting caught up in the “do this, don’t do that” online advice, especially from experienced entrepreneurs. So, it makes you question if you’re conducting business the “right” way, or if you need to revisit or rework your original plan.
Remember when I said we’re all just figuring this ish out as we go along? I meant that. The truth is, it’s always easier to write down your goals and plans than execute them. It gets real when all eyes are on you waiting expectantly. The more you scroll and click to find your way, the less optimism you have in your ideas and perspective.
And you’re not alone.
I did the same thing when I launched Kopy Fresh. While I had 8+ years of business experience, I didn’t know how to run a copywriting business. So I had to figure it out, which led me down a dark path of endless “research” to determine what I wanted my brand to be. It also grew the monster inside — imposter syndrome.
None of these feelings are unusual. Some of the biggest celebrities who star in or produce your favorite shows have had their share of self-doubt.
Issa Rae, a successful actress, producer, writer, comedian, and one of my all-time faves, said:
“...I compare myself a lot to others. Sometimes, we feel like, 'Why is that not my opportunity?' But what's meant for you is meant for only you.”
Imagine the crippling imposter syndrome she felt after launching her YouTube web series, The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl! While she clearly had the talent, she was also an unknown, up-and-coming writer, actress, and producer making a bold move.
Today, she is an unstoppable force, running HOORAE, a broadcasting and media production company with impressive accolades and accomplishments under her belt. She transformed Awkward Black Girl into an HBO Max classic, Insecure, and created another hit for the culture — Rap Sh!t.
Two words: Boss Moves.
The point is, she admitted her challenges, shared her truth, and grew from it all.
We can, too.
🗣️ You will fail (or suck) at something.
Confession time: I suck at planning, which is ironic considering how much of a planner my family and friends think I am. Listen, I am NOT the person to call if you need anything laid out from ideation to execution. For me to help, you must have something before I can produce anything.
That’s why copywriting works for me. Coaches, consultants, and creatives come to me with their existing business infrastructure and brand, and I translate that into copy that connects and converts.
It’s as natural as breathing.
But here’s the thing…none of us know or are good at everything. No matter how many degrees we obtained, certifications we earned, or clients we coached, we all are students. Especially in business, because nothing stays the same.
We either evolve or dissolve.
That being said, sometimes it hurts to admit that we struggle or will fail at some point in our business journey. If you have a community of women looking up to you and hanging on to your every word, it’s not easy to say, “I lost more money than I made in my first few years of business,” or “My last two launches (one as recent as last year) failed and cost me thousands!” Most think these admissions make you appear less qualified, especially if you’re teaching people how to become millionaires.
But failure is a part of the come-up, peeps. My first holiday offer flopped BIG TIME and depleted my confidence. I walked away with zero sales and countless hours down the drain. I was devastated! 😩
But guess what?
I did it again the following year with a new offer, generating thousands in revenue! 🎉 And the best part is I made that holiday offer a permanent part of my service suite. So, yes, I failed at something, but that didn’t make me or my business a failure.
So could it be that…
It was the wrong time to invest in that five-figure coaching program?
You jumped the gun and hired way too early?
You changed your business structure and lost money in the process?
It’s OK because the best lessons are learned lessons.
Knowing all of this, I still choose entrepreneurship. I still choose to be a copywriter. I still choose Kopy Fresh. 💜
What I hope to accomplish with this post is to encourage more entrepreneurs to say with conviction, “I love what I do, but it’s not as easy as people make it seem. Sometimes it gets so tough that I want to throw in the towel!”
The facade has to end.
It’s past time to walk in our truth without feeling like failures.
Just because you have challenges doesn’t mean you’re any less an expert in your field.
Just because you made a $10,000 mistake doesn’t mean you should close the doors of your business.
And just because you’ve mastered the art of making money today doesn’t mean you won’t have financial obstacles to overcome tomorrow.
Like my momma used to say, “Tell the truth, shame the devil.”