This season was tough for many small business owners. And it didn’t matter if you were a seasoned professional or just starting out; for many, this quarter was a tough squeeze. Some have chosen to step off the emotional roller-coaster of entrepreneurship, or at least temporarily, to get their baring’s and recalculate next steps. A somber sentiment was felt when talking to small business owners (mostly women and mom’s) at markets or trunk shows this season.
The economic effect what felt by almost every industry, big or small – but mostly small. While reflecting on the last two quarters of small business life, I was reminded that it’s ok to step off the ride, re-evaluate and recalibrate before (or if) we choose to step back onto the rollercoaster for another ride around the sun.
I believe inflation and the rising cost of living has been more fully felt in the last quarter for most of us. I know the cost of groceries has felt a little egregious. And we slowly, perhaps subconsciously, began making thoughtful decisions of where to spend our money.
The struggle of entrepreneurship is real and we have to determine if what we’re doing is worth "it". Our sanity, our hearts, our wellbeing, and happiness. And sometimes, it’s just not; and that’s OK. If we want to take a break from the vertigo, that doesn't mean we failed, we did not give up, we did not quit. Instead, we learned, we chased, we got our hearts broken (a couple times), we grew, and we became warriors.
At the end of each yearly cycle, I like to ask myself, “Am I happy? Is what I’m doing, making me happy?”. The most important thing in this world, is the answer to that question. Because that answer will determine our trajectory; do we continue down the same path, or make a thoughtful pivot? If we listen, we'll be able to support ourselves and enjoy this earthly experience. Because that’s ultimately what it’s all about, creating a beautiful and meaningful earthly experience, one hopefully without too much tragedy or hard life lessons.
This year, my answer to that question is, yes. I’m so grateful to be doing this and I’m not ready to step off this ride. But maybe one day I’ll ask that same question and decide to take a couple turns on the carousel to restore my nervous system, and that’ll be OK too. I’m chasing happiness and peace; I’ll take whatever path needed to find them. I’m not here to prove my worth, I'm here to create beauty and support women, whatever form that might take.
"The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does."