This post is one I knew I would have a hard time sharing even before I wrote it. But I strive to be open and honest here in hopes that sharing my story will inspire or encourage at least one other person. So when I was struggling in dealing with a slow growth period in my business, I thought it would be good to share that here with you for those of you that may be in the same place right now.
According to Bloomberg, 80% of businesses fail within he first year. Even more when you talk about small businesses run by a stay at home mom. So to be in business for 3 years is an accomplishment in itself. When I started Printed Ink I was working a full time job and had not yet become a mother. I had high hopes for a quick growth and dreams for what I wanted with my business. I had plans and goals for how I was going to get there and a timeline that I wanted to achieve it in. But three years later and I am still working on getting to where I want to be. However, that is partially due to te changes that have happened over the pay few years and how I have adapted my goals to work with those changes.
Changing the plan
Over the past three years a lot has changed both personally and professionally that have caused the growth and goals to change. I quit my full time job, had a baby, and became a work at home mom. The overall goal stayed the same but the timeline to get there changed. The focus of my business changed as I narrowed down my offerings and honed in on what I am most passionate about. I learned a lot about running a business and about my personal design style along the way that helped me refine my goals and dreams for the business.
I always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted to do with Printed Ink, but how to get there has changed over time with changes in my life. I have lots of ideas and things I want to do to help grow the business, but I may not always have the time to do it. The key is learning how to prioritize those things to best benefit you, even if it translates to slower growth.
what slow growth means to me
Running a business by yourself while taking care of a toddler is no easy task. Some days I wonder if it's worth it. If I should give up on Printed Ink and focus on raising my son. But in the end I always come back to what I am passionate about and what I feel led to do with my life. It may not be easy, but I know that this is what God wants me to be doing. I am meant to be a mom and a business owner and the balance will come eventually.
I may not be where I want to be today, but I know it will come eventually. I have faith that God is handling it all. He knows what I need and what I can handle. But slow growth has a new meaning for me now. Slow growth means that I have more time to enjoy my little boy while he is little. Slow growth means I can take time to perfect my business offerings and strategies. Slow growth means I don't have to work all night and get burned out quickly. It's all about the perspective.
As Lara Casey preaches in her Make It Happen book, it's about the progress over perfection. I am moving forward with my business every day and that is a success to me. I am a strong believer in setting boundaries for your business so that it does not take over your life. Like Lara says in her book, working more does my always mean more success. Working non stop to get ahead does not translate into growth. If anything, it can have the opposite effect and make you less productive. So in my hustle to get my business where I want it to be, I often remind myself that I am right where I should be and that the extra work and late nights isn't always the best for me and my business. The growth will come when the time is right and I am putting all my faith in God that He knows what I need.
how to deal with slow growth
It can be disappointing and discouraging at times, but moving forward is what matters. Everyone will deal with this in a different way, so it is important to find what works best for you. But the best advice I can offer is to have faith. Know that you are where you need to be in your life. Don't worry about pushing yourself too hard or getting upset that you are not further along. It will happen. Things will get better. Keep your chin up and your head in the game. Staying positive will help you to get past your slump and keep you moving in the right direction.