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A Personal Post

Friday, June 22, 2012

This blog is nothing, if not personal.  With that said, I still struggled with the choice to write this post or not.  I decided to move forward however b/c this topic has been weighing on me and it’s how I feel.  See, personal. 

I had an uber small business I started back in the day that was really just a small clothing line and dressmaker business.  It wasn’t lucrative in the long run but it was enjoyable and rewarding to create and collaborate with customers.  I had a couple of blogs and a newsletter that seemed to spark interest in fellow bloggers and friends.  However, because it was not lucrative, I closed up shop, so to speak, with the intention of starting another small business down the road.  Fast forward to present day and I find myself seriously thinking the time is right for me to commit myself wholeheartedly into starting said business.  Luckily I have an amazing husband who is absolutely gung-ho for me to work for myself and use my talents for the good of man-kind.  But here is where I falter.  I second guess myself and my ability to work for myself full-time and make a living.  I often feel very unsupported by friends and family to the degree that I don’t push myself or market myself their way b/c I shut down.  But isn’t this where a small business proliferates - with the help of and recommendations of family and friends? 

People close to me rarely read my blog and certainly never comment on it.  Maybe they don’t understand that I need their help with increasing my reader base and page views.  Maybe my content just doesn’t interest them.  But my content is me.  They like me so why not like my blog?  I do have friends who seem interested in my advice for parties and styling which makes me so happy.  I can’t tell you the joy I feel when one of my girlfriends asks me for advice on what outfit she should wear on a first date.  Happy – happy!  But I have some close friends who don’t show interest at all.  I don’t think they have ever even read my blog or asked me to make them a dress, or whatever...  We are all busy but it hurts your feelings when you feel like your friends are too busy for you.  Life is so very short and full of so many downs and blows to our spirit that I just want positivity all around.  I try to give it b/c everyone needs it.  But I’m not feeling this positivity being reciprocated by some people I thought would be more supportive.  Am I taking things too personally?  To quote an interesting blog I read earlier, “Business should be about business and growth, not about emotions.”  Well I wish I wasn’t emotional about this.  I’m all about paying it forward so I try to support local businesses and I really do try to support my friends and family with any business I can throw their way.  Whether it is a recommendation or purchasing their goods and services myself, I do what I can.  This should get a bit easier as I move closer to civilization in a few months.  I have very talented friends and family members and I want to be their customer.  Does anyone really want to be mine?  Am I just not putting myself out there enough to gain their support?  Do they sense my insecurity and have written me off because of it?     

It is not my intention for this to come off as a woe-is-me plea for sympathy, but again, how I feel is how I feel.  And this is not about money.  It is about time and thought.  I just said to my dear friend the other day (who is having a similar moment of feeling unsupported) that time is the most precious gift you can give someone.  I believe that, anyway.  I tend to be a very reactive person, which may be why I’m getting these results I’m not happy with.  You scratch my back, I scratch yours.  But my back is still itchy.  And I promise, I’m trying to scratch your back first.  If you know an area in life you could better yourself, then work on it.  Constantly I work on not being self-centered and while giving tends to come naturally for me, I consciously try to take my giving a step further. 

People in my life have been so completely generous to me in so many ways so this is not to bash how anyone treats me.  I honestly have the best friends and family a girl could ask for.  They are wonderful.  Truly.  Except maybe in this one area.  How do I get them to believe in what I do?  Is it b/c I don’t believe in myself enough and it shows?  Maybe I haven’t taken the proper steps to let them know how serious I am about working for myself and utilizing my services.  To quote another great article, “Women solo entrepreneurs in particular can have feelings of being alone and unsupported. Often they do not know where to look for help and advice with their new business. They're confused and overwhelmed.”  That is exactly how I feel.  I can always get and receive outside help and support but I want more than that.  How do I begin to delve deeply into making it as an entrepreneur and not taking things personally? 

For now, my plans are to man up and just fake it until I make.  A growth in my self-confidence is a must in the next few months if I’m going to succeed.  I know I need to be a better marketer for myself and choose the right ways to market myself – this does not just include facebook, but here is a link to my facebook page, Frenchrum Emporium and my etsy store so you can check them out.  As for a support system, I need to make sure to keep surrounding myself with like-minded people and other small business owners/entrepreneurs.  They understand, after all.

In conclusion, I am just going to state that I would appreciate any kind of support you can give me.  Need an inspiration board for an upcoming party you are planning?  I’m your girl.  Want some personalized stationery for your own business or personal needs?  I’m your girl.  I understand that the market is saturated with little home businesses and party planners and “creative types” with small businesses but this is me.  Help a sista out.  Recommend me to some friends.  Use me.  Pretty please?

(Not to make anyone else feel bad but I need to give a sincere thank you to a few of my girls for helping me feel supported when I could tend to focus on the negative:  Kelly Herrera, Jennifer Rivers and Heather Joy Hampton.  I believe that you do go the extra mile with me in offering your support and it does not go unnoticed.  Selfishly, I adore the time and attention you give me.  It feels good to a needy Leo like myself.)

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