• Carrie Stockdale

5 THINGS I WISH I KNEW WHEN I STARTED MY BUSINESS

And I bet you can't guess a single one. 😉



This started as an Instagram post, and I intended to add resources that have made a huge difference in how I run the day-to-day bits of my small biz. But I accidentally didn't do that because my heart took over, and I found greater value in my five things rather than my five tools.


If you want the tools, I'll give 'em to you. But you gotta read through my five things first. Deal? 😉 (That's two winks already; I feel flirty.)


1. HOW MUCH I'D NEED MY FRIENDS


Dear All My Friends,


I knew you were extraordinary, but you believed in me when I had shaky knees and a lump in my throat. You spoke life into me and told me I had a gift with words and was wildly creative. You followed me and cheered for me and hired me and told your friends about me. I could never have launched Hello Story if it wasn't for you. ( I love you.)


Joyfully,

Carrie


2. HOW MUCH I'D NEED HELP


When I was two, my mantra was, "I DO IT!" I suppose I've always loved doing things on my own. Truth is, there's a lot of pride in that approach, isn't there?


Hiring @ivyguice as our social media manager is the single best business decision I've made. When we let go, we make room for more. It's multiplication, not division.


Outsource where you can. Hire when you can.


3. HOW MUCH I'D HAVE TO LEARN


About franchise taxes and scaling a business. About service offerings and passive income. About business relationships and email signatures. About one jillion apps, platforms and tools I'd need to master. About niching down. About how to spell niching down. About imposter syndrome. About setting boundaries for the sake of work/life balance. About, well, absolutely everything.


If you're starting a small business, understand this: you'll never be ready. You'll manage to build the plane while flying it. And that's OK. Be kind to yourself. Be patient. You don't know what you don't know—yet; but you will someday.


4. HOW MUCH I'D HAVE TO NICHE DOWN


Offering all the things to all the people in all the industries (+ being a people pleaser) led me to burnout. And imbalance. And a watered down way of working. I've learned to value expertise—my own and others'.


There's some debate about niching down. After all, when you first launch, you'll see anyone who fogs a mirror. The standard starts a bit low. But what's the saying, "A jack of all trades is a master at none?" It's really true, friend. No one wants their internist performing their brain surgery. Specialists are expertly skilled, positively necessary, sought after and esteemed. And they can charge quite a lot more.


5. HOW MUCH I'D LOVE IT


Every bit of it. The thrill. The passion. The creativity. What it's like to wind up in my 50s rather than wind down. The joy of overcoming and building a thing and making it my own. The failures and steep learning curves and the uncanny success. I never knew I'd be so in love with it all. But I am. I truly am.


And you will be too. You'll be obsessed and work weekends. You'll wake up thinking of 1000 brilliant ideas. You'll be brimming with creativity. You won't be able to shut it off. You'll love it and wondered what you ever did before. So be encouraged. Be brave! That dream in your heart? Launch it, friend!


BONUS: FIVE RESOURCES I LOVE


Let's add some concrete resources for you to get started; here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Quickbooks for invoicing, balance sheets, banking, et. al.

  2. Planoly for planning social media posts

  3. Canva for creating social media posts

  4. Notion for teamwork, planning, goal-setting and customer databases

  5. Moyo for all the pretty things

Cheers to all the dreamers and doers making a GO at it. I believe in you.


Joyfully,

Carrie