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When I quit my day job, I was ready to learn as much as I could about owning, marketing, and growing a business. What I didn’t know, was that in turn, I was going to learn about myself.
The last month has been really amazing. Meeting so many new faces at two Renegade shows, participating in Etsy’s Quit Your Day Job series, launching new products…it all has made me feel incredibly happy, and incredibly lucky. Maybe it’s because of all of this that I feel like I have grown a lot in the passed few months. Not just within my business, but in myself.
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I’ve learned how much owning a business requires you to put yourself out there. In order to pursue growth you have to really open yourself up to possible scrutiny. New ideas that you put a lot of time and thought into can fail. It’s giving me a thicker skin. I’m opening myself up to the possibility of failure.
A few weeks ago I hosted an Instagram giveaway to share my new product launch. I was really nervous that no one would want to enter. Don’t we all have this fear? Don’t all small business owners put themselves out there when it comes to launching new products? Isn’t there the doubt, way in the back of our minds, of “what if no one likes this?”
We all feel this. Vulnerability.
I have always been shy. I have always been quiet. Scared to speak up in a room of people I don’t know well, for fear I will say something they think it weird or dumb. Maybe it’s lack of confidence.
This business is helping me gain that confidence. It’s helping me learn who I am. That is something I never expected. I feel like I know more about who I am now, than I did a year ago. And that is thanks to this new journey I am on. It is a constant test but it’s because of this that I continue to learn from it. It’s making me a more confident person. It’s showing me who I am and who I want to become, and where I want this business to take me.
xo JA

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Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • curiousjac says:

    Fist off, any endeavor that can help someone get a little bit thicker skin is a positive one. I’m not implying that there’s something wrong with being soft and sensitive, but I think it’s good to not let others’ opinions determine our self-worth or hinder our good ideas.

    Second … I love how you styled my key 🙂 Thank you!!

  • Hannah Teej says:

    Love your introspective posts of late. I’m contemplating starting a new business and I’m scared beyond believe. I’m naturally sensitive and want to please everyone, especially myself and my perfectionist standards. I’m sure it’ll be an exciting journey. It really helps knowing that others have been brave and challenged themselves to develop thicker skins and succeed.

    All the best,

    Hannah @ thelemonhive

  • Anonymous says:

    It’s funny, I was at Renegade SF and I was super happy to see you there. I wanted to tell you how much I love your work and how much your interview for Etsy inspired me. But when I saw you there, I thought you looked like you didn’t want to talk to anyone. You were probably just tired or shy as well. So I didn’t approach you. Shame, nah… I’m very shy too and many times I get mistaken by angry or aloof. Funny I did that to you too 🙂
    I any ways, I really admire you and your work, and thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience 🙂

  • I’m about to make the self-employment switch and I am incredibly nervous. Great post!

  • so happy for your success. seriously you are such an inspiration!

  • Casey says:

    AH! I know what you mean with putting yourself out there more. It is hard…but I have noticed that every time I do it, I get positive feedback. I was thinking today that I need to do an Instagram special, but I thought “what if no one wants my stuff?” haha. Your story is so easy to relate to!

  • HoLLiE says:

    Finally, someone I can relate to 🙂 Thank you for this post and being such a great inspiration. Love your shop and where you’re going with the new stuff!

  • Erika says:

    all so true. 🙂 xo

  • Eura L says:

    This was perfect to read on a Monday where motivation can be lacking. Thanks!

  • Andi says:

    Julie, I totally know how you feel. I’m definitely not in the stage you are in your business, but I think you’re awesome! Your cards are unconventional, but who loves normal? Normal is boring:) I’ve started a card business last year, but after getting laid off from my full time business in June I’ve been able to focus on all cards everyday all day. I’m not one who is afraid to speak up, especially for someone else. But when it comes to selling myself…can’t do it. And it’s very frustrating. This is a skill is that I know is imperative for me to be successful. If I don’t believe in my own work, who else will. So keep doing what you’re doing girl!

  • gina says:

    yep, totally agree! owning your own biz and putting yourself and your work out there forces you to be more confident and have a thicker skin. If you can’t do that, you probably won’t make it :).

  • You are so right. I’ve been fortunate with my business, since I’m outgoing and I could talk to a fence post. I’m lucky to not have trouble engaging people, but I definitely get butterflies everytime I think about the fact that “what if people don’t like what I make?” I’ve been at this for four years now, but it seems like that fear isn’t going away.

  • You’re such an inspiration! I totally agree about finding yourself through running your own business. It only took me 30 years to learn this for myself!


  • Kiri says:

    Really appreciate opening yourself up to the world and exposing your fears – it lets the rest of us know it’s ok to feel vulnerable sometimes. And also that it takes time. Thank you.

  • I’m happy for you Julie. Your hard work is paying off, and you are gaining personal rewards as well. Your gratefulness is beautiful. x Tamara

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