Taking a peek into Launching a Business.
Reality Check: This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco.
If we thought we were going to design t-shirts, pop up a website, and the orders would just flow in, we were delusional. OK, we didn’t think that.
E-commerce is another beast. The deeper we got into it, the more complicated it got.
Like designing a website AND shirts, and uploading a bazillion products.
Or finding out we need Cyber Liability insurance. Say what? Then there's thinking about collecting sales tax across the U.S. Oh, that’s about Economic Nexus. Right.
Try looking at the 57-page trademarking application for our company brand, yikes. Or reading and writing Privacy Policies and Terms & Conditions and Shipping and Return Policies. Fun.
Then there’s the Google Search Console. And Search Engine Optimization, but nobody calls it that. It’s just SEO, cuz you’re supposed to know what that is.
Don't forget grinding through pricing, and setting up business accounts and designing ads for Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and coming up with a marketing plan.
We'll be covering all of that (and a lot more) in future blogs. It's the norm, and should be expected.
But it's the “What If's?” that you don't expect. What if nobody likes anything? What if we don’t sell anything? What if this was a mistake? What if we fail?
And then there's the Pandemic on top of it. It’s no wonder it led to mutual meltdowns.
Facing Business Setbacks that No One Planned on.Coping with the Pandemic during our Launch.
It doesn’t take long for the novelty of a lockdown to wear off. And then come to terms with how your lives are affected. Everyone was hit differently. Some lives were shaken to the core, some adjusted fairly easily. Either way, it was an adjustment.
So, let’s take a couple with two small children, both full-time employees, who are now are teachers, parents, babysitters, workers, bosses, life partners, cooks, gardeners, mechanics and housekeepers. And more. Working from home, sort of, or not. Chasing toilet paper, Clorox wipes and hand sanitizers. Watching more TV than ever to drone out the day or keep the little ones engaged. Having an adult beverage at the end of the day that just never ends… and worrying about it.
Maybe not your life, but that was Victoria’s. And we were just a few months into starting a business. Sure, just add one more thing to a crazy schedule. Design in your downtime. Dare I say, what downtime?
Adding to the Pressure of Launching
Depression Rears its Ugly Head.
When you’re at the top of your game, you’re kicking butt. When you’re not, things you love to do just don’t feel right. In fact, not much feels right. You begin to feel like a failure. And you can start the slide into depression. Heaven forbid you let anyone know how rough it is to get through a day.
We knew it was time to put our business launch on hold. After all, we hadn’t taken on a slice of pie, we’d gone for the entire pizza! Step away and breathe. Walk in a park, ride a bike, take a mini-vacay somewhere safe, keep everyone healthy. And get help from your doctor for depression. It happens to more people than you realize.
For years, depression has been hidden, ignored and misunderstood. It’s a mental illness, after all. It’s devious. It slowly takes over to the point that decisions are impossible, tears flow freely and you wonder if you’ll ever feel better. How curious that we go to a doctor when our body hurts, but we don’t when our mind hurts.
Treatment takes a partnership with a doctor or therapist and a commitment to your health. It takes an understanding of what is happening to you. It’s about mental health, not mental illness. It’s about owning it.
Don’t think that I (LynnAnn) dodged the bullet. I had to deal with it, too, just not for the same reasons and not in the same manner. It was a pandemic after all and life changed. We called them our mutual meltdowns.
Getting the Business Back on Track
"Oh I Won't Back Down" (Tom Petty)
It’s not easy to get back into the game after you’ve stepped away. The “What If’s” come to the forefront. Again, what if we fail? But this time, we realized the only thing we had to lose was a missed opportunity. We knew that no matter what, we had learned.
It felt a bit like Sisyphus, the character in Greek mythology who was forced to continuously roll a boulder up a steep hill. People far wiser than I sum up the lessons of Sisyphus: Accept failures the same way we accept our achievements. And don’t back down until we fulfill our potential. Even if we fail, it’s the challenge that defines us.
We didn’t back down and were back at it. After all, we had some Vintage to Own!
LynnAnn & Victoria