Editor's Note: We're happy to bring you another exciting piece from Alisha Olandesca! You should follow her on Twitter @stainlessstyled and check her out at stainless styled.com!!
I say this all the time. It's getting old. But I haven't said it to you yet, so here goes.
Starting a business is like having a baby. For real. The resemblances are chilling. For example:
- You don't really think it's going to cost as much money as is does, especially in the beginning. I mean really, it's not actually doing anything! You think, I'll get myself a car seat/business licence, a laptop/high chair, an e mail address/baby monitor, and an accounting app/diapers. Bada-bing bada-boom I'm in business. The reality is the complete opposite. Business/family expenses truly do add up. Astronomical is the word that comes to mind. You are left looking at your bank account thinking these two thoughts, often and consecutively: "How can something so small cost so much money?" and "No wonder we all crash and burn so often."
- No sane person actually wants a child or a business. We want cuties and scalable growth. In a perfect world we would all have adorable babies that auto-morph into responsible adults with a full scholarship. No sleep deprivation, diapers, or back talk. Entrepreneurs are dreamers. Ideally we would get from inception to exit, enduring as little pain as possible. Surrounded by a squad of battle hardened team players. I'm talking market research gal, accountant, mentor, lawyer, book keeper, banker, adviser, media expert, R&D pro, financier...so on and so forth. The reality is, in the beginning it just you and your potential happy ending. It falls to you to handle all the rough stuff in between, from ultimate tantrum throw downs, and The Talk (the Theology of the Body talk that is), to late payments from clients, and shipping disasters. The stuff you stink at. The stuff you are clueless about. The stuff you just plain do not want to touch. Until you find people you trust with your baby.
- The growth phases are a wonder too behold. At first your baby/business is full of hope and promise. Yes you are wondering where all of your money went, but it's tolerable when you are spending all of your time hand crafting the perfect business plan/baby toes photo. All you want to do is stare at that perfect first smile/invoice stamped paid. People you know are irritated because you won't stop gushing over anecdotes that they aren't actually interested in... whatsoever. Then suddenly it grows! It starts doing new things. Unexpected things! It starts to move on its own, and now you aren't carrying it all the time. It's thrilling! Then it takes off. Like a rocket, or slow at first. You aren't prepared either way. You hold on for dear life, and pray every word you utter/e mail, and action you take is the right one. And seriously hope that you aren't permanently screwing things up.
- You loose obscene amounts of sleep, drink equally obscene amounts of coffee, and when you get a date, the business/baby is all you discuss.
So what do you do? Give up? Not an option. Do it half way? Not on purpose. Both give you the highest highs and lowest lows imaginable. Once you learn to roll with the punches - full disclosure, this took me ages - a few things become apparent.
Every second embroiled in the mess of this particular life is a second closer to sanctification. Whether I'm crying right along side my scolded child, or scrapping the 11th version of our corporate mission and vision statements at 12:23 am, Jesus is by my side. Whatever it is that I'm doing, I've received an exclusive invitation from my Lord and Savior to do it. It's usually with hindsight that I can see why I'm asked to do these crazy things, but not always. The invitation in itself is the part I need to focus on. It's humbling and terrifying. God could have had any one in the world wipe this little guy's chin today. But He asked me. There are far more capable people to handle supply chain. But He asked me. Only me. When I can see each action as a personal invite to some future sanctification, I am left standing in awe of my Creator.
And the only response I can possibly give, is yes.