A thousand mini breakdowns later, I'm here to tell you what I wish people had told me when I started my business.
I accidentally started a business.
I didn’t know it at the time, but at the beginning of 2017, I started a business.
There are so many amazing bars, restaurants and cafes in my hometown, Newcastle. But I began to realise that a lot of these business owners didn’t have the time or the headspace to even think about their social media. That’s when Lala Social Club started. I began working with a few places - taking photos, writing blogs and simply doing what I thought looked good. It was instinctive, I guess. I had always been a writer and had an eye for taking photos. I didn’t realise though, what came naturally to me, did not come naturally to others. There was a gap in the market. A Lala shaped gap.
My goal was and is simple: to help other people look good on the internet.
11 months and a thousand mini breakdowns later, I am here ready to have “real-talk” with whoever will listen (or read). I’m going to tell you what nobody told me when I started Lala Social Club.
Starting your own business is freaking tough.
You will cry. You will question whether you are capable. You will compare. You will make mistakes. You will wonder where all your time goes and why you don’t really see your friends that much. You will feel disappointed. You will avoid your accountant. You will wonder how on earth accounting actually works. You will lose sleep. You will doubt. You will feel a little crazy.
BUT! Never fear. This is ok. If you asked, any small business owner would tell you that it’s normal to freak out. And I am certain that I am the freak out queen.
It’s ok to question your entire existence before 9am. And it’s certainly ok to ask for help. I mean, there was one time when I cried the whole drive home from the Central Coast to Newcastle whilst my sister and brother in law listened sympathetically. They couldn’t escape because they were the ones driving, so the joke was on them. That night I sat at a family dinner and cried there too and then cried again when my 2 year old nephew wanted to make sure his “Aunty Lala” was ok.
If you’re wanting to start your own thing, you’ve got to have a streak of crazy in you and that’s what makes what you do so valuable. It takes courage to go out on your own; to turn your side hustle into your full time thing. I am all about people taking a risk and just doing it. It’s crazy and maybe doesn’t make any sense to your family or your friends or your boss - but it will be worth it.
I’m not telling you these things to freak you out or deter you from starting at all. No, I’m telling you these things to help you to keep going even when it feels like you’ve hit a roadblock. 60% of the time, I feel like I’ve got no idea what I’m doing all of the time. And that’s something I have had to learn to roll with. It doesn’t come naturally to me - but I am learning.
So, whilst starting your own business may be a challenge, you will also have the time of your life!
You will grow. You will take risks. You will learn to trust your instincts and to back yourself. You will learn when to say yes and when to say no. You will get better at accounting and all those boring life admin jobs. You will learn how to laugh at yourself. You will inadvertently become a doer. You will start to believe in yourself. You will appreciate the slow build. You will meet new people. You will come up with amazing ideas. You will learn to be kind to yourself. You will learn when to rest and when to hustle. You will learn that what you’re offering is something the world needs.
So here’s to you; the entrepreneurs; the business owners; the creatives; and the hidden geniuses working 9 to 5 jobs. Here’s to those who have a big fat dream and a little bit of faith. You, dear friends, are wonderful and worth your weight in gold.
So here’s what I’ll say, the thing I wished that people had said to me when I started out: You’re a little bit crazy but whatever you do...just keep going.
All my love and support.