I've been thinking about this blog for at least two weeks now, but if we're real about it it's something that has been on my mind ever since I saw this article pop up titled "How To Run A Successful Small Business And Protect Your Mental Health" (read here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhowell1/2018/10/10/how-to-run-a-successful-small-business-and-protect-your-mental-health/#16d50b1a232e) and I was immediately intrigued and terrified for my own mental health. I never even thought about how having my own business might really do some weird shit to my mental health. Of course I knew it would be a tolling, scary and an intense experience to start a business. I mean, this is something I rely on to make it so I can have a home, food, etc...but whenever people ask what my goals are for the year, my go to response is "to not go bankrupt". Everyone laughs. Yeah, it's hilarious. Bankruptcy sounds like a nightmare and it's a real thing that all small business owners think about probably more than any of us would care to admit.
If I can write the most real thing and share it with the public, now is the time. At the beginning of Good Sugar Baking, I was in a relationship with someone who literally could not care less about what my newest dream was. To be fair, he had every right to not think I was going to follow through with it. We broke up pretty shortly after I started the business, but that breakup had nothing to do with me starting a business...or maybe it kind of did since it isn't alright to be with someone who doesn't support you in every way...ever. All of my friends (and family) were getting married, having babies, going through divorces, losing loved ones, getting old, etc. etc..
Since the beginning of GSB I have had some real shit go down. At one point, I thought I had it all figured out. GSB was (and is!) going really well, I was in a real, happy relationship, my family was healthy, I was healthy, my pets were happy, my house was warm. But then I would run into health issues, my ever so happy relationship ended abruptly after an abusive stint, people were moving away, losing touch or dying...but the business was taking off and my pets were happy, what a sigh of relief.
It has been two years and some odd days since the start of being a small business owner. I am nowhere near the person I used to be, some parts better and some parts way worse. I've hurt people, been hurt by people, spent more time with doctors than most people will ever know, lost some people that I will never, ever let go of and I'm just not the person I was before. I mean, I'm pretty glad that I'm not as shy as I used to be, or as poor, or unable to fend for myself, but it seems that the end of the twenties has really tested me as a person.
Notice how everything I've mentioned has basically had nothing to do with me being a small business owner. My business hasn't been as successful as I think it could be at this point because of my personal life grabbing my body and forcing me to feel paralyzed in my bed for days at a time, ruining some opportunities that I regret but, when you're in such a state it's hard to even think about getting up to feed your animals who rely on you solely.
If it wasn't for the support of some of you, my incredible accounts who continue to be there for me, my accountant for helping me deal with all the horrific tax issues that will always arise, my pets for being cute and near me even when they're in the way, and for feeling like this business has a real purpose, my mental health would be way worse off.
Take care of your mental health, friends. Don't let too many bad things change who you are and make you unhappy. Figure out what you have to do to be the person that you want to be. If it means getting rid of negative people and things, do it. If it means asking for help, do it. And sometimes, if you need an entire day to binge a show and stop thinking for awhile, do it.
I've learned a lot of things in the past two years, business related or not. Here's just a couple of them.
1. People will come and go. The good ones will stay, no matter how much time passes between seeing or talking to each other.
2. The government will try to fuck you over. You can do it all right and they still will try, trust me. And I'm not one to be against the government, but the shit you have to do to make them happy is ridiculous.
3. People will try to fuck you over, too. They'll steal your ideas, steal your money, knock you down, just so they can feel better about themselves, or something. I don't know, I'm still trying to figure out why some people can be so cruel.
4. (Some) people will also be caring and genuine without seeking anything in return. You will meet people that want nothing more than to support you, show you that they care and listen when you need them to. Hold them closely and never let them go because those people are pretty uncommon.
5. You'll never know what the hell you're doing. Just because you don't know how to write a business plan doesn't mean you can't start a business. Fake it 'till you make it. If you want something, you'll figure out how to do it. Or you won't, but then you can't complain when it didn't work out because you didn't try. I'd rather go bankrupt and know I tried.
6. Walks are incredibly great for releasing tension. Seriously one of my favorite things to do, no matter what, is to go for a walk. My dog loves it for sure, but if I'm stuck on some sort of problem and need to get away, walking is the best cure. When I found out my grandpa passed away I walked the entire day away. I wanted to get drunk and stoned and feel so sad for myself, but instead I listened to music, walked my dog and thought of how great that man was. It helped that it was a beautiful June day.
7. You HAVE to pay attention to your body. If you don't, you'll end up sick and miserable. Take those walks, brush your teeth, eat healthier, dance. Do the things that make you smile and laugh.
8. It's okay to ask for help. Whether you need someone to let your dog out because you have a long day, or you feel your world collapsing around you and need someone to hold your hand, just ask. I know so many people who have struggled with this and I want everyone to know it really is okay to ask for help. Trust me.
I don't really know why I wrote all this and why I want to share it, I don't like being open with people until I really get to know them and now I've shared some intimidating things. My hope is that it inspires you, because after writing this my mind is much more focused and I'm inspired to be better. I'll probably never know who I truly am, but who the fuck knows who they truly are anyways?!
Time to bake.