The Real Female Entrepreneur

3 Tips for Not Burning Out as a Busy Mompreneur

Lauren FrontieraComment

ARE YOU FEELING BURNT OUT?

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"I was more tired than I’ve ever been...

...and I wanted to scream, to cry, to throw things. And then I wanted to curl up in bed, away from everyone and everything and hibernate for a few months until it all passed."


Burn out is a very real thing in the land of entrepreneurship. And yes, you can burn out even when you're doing work that you love! I googled "burn out" because I'm cool like that and really wanted to know how to define it for you, and here's what it said: "completely consumed and thus no longer aflame".

As the old saying goes, if you've been burning the candle at both ends and your flame has gone out, you, my love, very well may be burned out. Or maybe you're starting to feel the beginning signs of your flame slowing retreating (you can get the same physical knowing that burn out is coming on as you do when you feel yourself "getting sick").

Either way, you're not the only one. So here's some wisdom from a sisterpreneur who's been there, and burned out...


But, first. A little bumpdate.


THE BUMPDATE: HOW ARE YOU AND BABY?

At the time of writing this, I’m 32 weeks pregnant (though likely 34 weeks when you’re reading this) and let’s just say, I’m ready for this to be done. At 34 weeks with my first pregnancy, I went into pre-term labor, which was one of the scariest moments of my life. I had my son 3 weeks after that at 37 weeks. So, while I’d like him/her to cook a little longer, I’m also ready for this new chapter to start. Here’s to hoping the last month-ish flies by!

 

THE BIZDATE: HOW'S THE MAG?

Our January “Courage” issue just released on January 9th. I AM SO EXCITED. I’ve redesigned the core of the magazine and I’ve never been so proud of a design. The magazine is a little thinner this time around which means slightly lower shipping costs which is ALWAYS helpful to a publisher because aside from printing, that is without a doubt your biggest cost suck.

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I’m going to get a little personal with you today and talk about burn out.  


It’s something I’ve experienced a few times since starting the magazine but it hit me REALLY hard around mid-December. Is it the holidays, the stress of a new baby, or a consistently high level of things on my to-do list? Probably a bit of all of it.

I have a lot going on, but then, I always do. I tend to think that I’m Superwoman and that I can handle anything that is thrown at me.  In the last couple months, those things have been: my regular, full-time job, running the magazine (itself a full-time job), working freelance in both design and virtual assistance in my “downtime”, being a wife, being a mom to a very energetic toddler, and, oh yeah, growing a human.  Plus, I’ve been working on scheduling, planning, and doing from December through March so that I can take a little time off when the baby comes - and that to-do list is MASSIVE.


"I tend to think that I’m Superwoman and that I can handle anything that is thrown at me."


For the majority of my pregnancy, I’ve been handling these things just fine. Sure, I’m a little extra tired, but I attributed that to a living being sucking the life out of me from the inside out.  

But then one day, it all caught up with me. I was sitting at my day job just staring at my computer - my to-do list blinking back at me. I literally felt frozen in place as tears started to stream down my face. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to move forward, I didn’t know how I was going to get everything done. It felt like there was never going to be enough time, that I was never going to get caught up, that I was failing at E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I was more tired than I’ve ever been in my life at that moment and I wanted to scream, to cry, to throw things. And then I wanted to curl up in bed, away from everyone and everything and hibernate for a few months until it all passed.


"I wanted to curl up in bed, away from everyone and everything and hibernate for a few months until it all passed."


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That’s when it hit me: I was burned out.  

I had been fighting that feeling for months, knowing that if I gave in to it, if I admitted my weakness, I’d no longer be the Superwoman I always fashioned myself as. I’d have to admit that I need help (something I’m terrible at) and that I don’t have it all together (something I like to hide from the world). But it was time. I knew I had to do something for both my own sanity, and the safety of my unborn baby. The extreme stress I was putting on myself couldn’t be good for him/her (no, we still don’t know what we’re having).


"I had been fighting that feeling for months, knowing that if I gave in to it, if I admitted my weakness, I’d no longer be the Superwoman I always fashioned myself as."


So, I texted my husband as nonchalantly as I could and said “I really need a mental health day where all I do is lay in bed and rest. I’m struggling so hard.” He responded that he would take my son out of the house the next afternoon after work so that I could rest. It was a nice gesture, and normally I’d pretend that would be enough. But at this breaking point I was in, I knew I had to ask for more - again, something I hate doing. So I told him what I really needed - a full day away from everyone where I could rest, I could work, and I could rest some more. Would that be enough to drag me back from the edge? Probably not, but it was most definitely a start.  

My husband booked me a hotel room for that Saturday so I could have all day and night to myself. I could sleep in, I could have peace and quiet, I could rest, and I could work through my to-do list - but only if I felt up to it.


So today, in case you are getting to the point I was, I wanted to give you three quick tips to help you through it:

  1. Know your breaking point before you get there: As I mentioned, I knew I was getting there, but I kept ignoring it, assuming it would all go away. It didn’t, and it only got worse. Listen to your body. Your body knows when you’ve had enough.

  2. Try to squeak out a little time for yourself each day: Because I have VERY little free time, I never fill that with time for myself. But I need to. My mental health depends on it, and so does yours. Even if it’s just a half hour run, or a 20 minute bubble bath, do it.

  3. Learn to say no: One big thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay to say no to things when I know in my gut that I just can’t do it, whether that’s taking on extra work, traveling for a weekend, or adding that one minuscule extra thing to your plate. It’s okay to think of yourself first once in awhile.

So, that’s my breakdown story. And if you’re reaching that same point, I hope you’ll recognize it and take steps to fix it sooner rather than later. Being an entrepreneur is SO hard. And it won’t do anybody any good if you aren’t functioning at your best. Take time for yourself. You’re worth it.


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Sarah Hartley

Sarah Hartley is the creator, designer and publisher of Holl & Lane Magazine, a quarterly publication celebrating women's everyday existence and opening the door for tough conversations.

Since 2015, Sarah and the H&L team has been dedicated to providing women with a platform to share their truths. From miscarriage and infertility to mental health and body image, Sarah believes in changing the media for good and celebrating women where they are.


MORE OF HOLL AND LANE

www.hollandlanemag.com

Holl and Lane on Facebook and Instagram

Free H&L Mini Issue


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What Happened When Ebony Nichols Left Academia to Go Back to Her Creative Roots

Behind the HomepageLauren FrontieraComment

HI SWEETS! YOU'RE HERE FOR ANOTHER POST IN OUR BEHIND THE HOMEPAGE SERIES!

It's a badass weekly series that's equal parts coffee date (go ahead and refill your mug!) and meeting new friends and all the parts real + inspiring. 

So, cozy up + get to know the badass female entrepreneurs (and businesses) behind the homepage.


MEET EBONY NICHOLS

"I am Ebony. I am a big ball of organized chaos. And I am the real female entrepreneur."

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As kids, it's so easy to pursue what you love. You have all of this time and no one standing over you with this "adult" expectation to "figure it out". Creativity and art are highly encouraged when we're young. Then, something happens between childhood and becoming a teen and most of us end up leaving that creative spark behind.

After spending years in the world of academia, though, Ebony found her way back to that creative spark. And the rest is history ... or, well, history in the making. 


Need some inspiration to find your creative spark again?


BEFORE WE DIVE RIGHT IN, LET'S START OUT WITH A QUICK ROUND OF THE QUESTION GAME…

 

WHAT'S ONE THING YOU MUST DO BEFORE GOING TO BED EVERY NIGHT?

I find something to binge watch. I wish I had a more enlightened answer, but ... nope! 

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS: TOTALLY DOWN OR THEY'RE TOTALLY CRAP?

Totally down! Resolutions give you hope even if it’s for a brief moment. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

Honestly … a judge. But only because I thought the judge on the TV show my grandma watched was so awesome. My first day in poli sci during undergrad woke me up. 


1. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIZ IN 3 SENTENCES OR LESS.

Announce Divinely is a party brand that encourages chic and charming communication and celebration. Our products are designed to equip the perfect social moment whether it’s a celebration for self or others. 


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2. NOW, LET'S START AT THE BEGINNING. WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

I come from a family of creatives, so designing and planning celebrations were my childhood hobbies. I was absolutely obsessed with the idea of creating something that was pretty but also practical because it shared information. However, I never thought that I could actually do this as an adult. All of those creatives I watched growing up had a career or job that did not focus on those talents. So, I just knew that I had to find something else to do for the rest of my life.


"Going back to my roots and creatively expressing myself made my heart sing, so I finally decided to step out on faith and design cards with all of these sayings that I had stored in my phone over the years."


When I went to college, I fell head over heels with the social aspect of cultivating relationships with different people. I ultimately received a postgraduate degree, but I realized that the academia setting was not satisfying for me. So, I just took a break from everything and really got serious about finding out what made me happy.

Going back to my roots and creatively expressing myself made my heart sing, so I finally decided to step out on faith and design cards with all of these sayings that I had stored in my phone over the years. Now, two years later, our product line has expanded to stationery, notepads, and party decor. I could not be more ecstatic! 


3. YOUR LIFE + BIZ JOURNEY IS A BOOK. WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE CHAPTER YOU'RE CURRENTLY IN? 

Grit and Grace. 


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"Sometimes, I’m a horrible boss to myself because I don’t let myself get away with anything! Overcoming that whirlwind of emotions is still a battle, but I’m learning to embrace it." 


4. WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY SO FAR? 

The most difficult part has been being OK with the path that I have chosen. That’s why I named my current life chapter grit and grace. I work hard daily at being very intentional about every aspect of my business, but I also struggle with giving myself grace. Sometimes, I’m a horrible boss to myself because I don’t let myself get away with anything! Overcoming that whirlwind of emotions is still a battle, but I’m learning to embrace it. 


5. WE'RE ALL BATTLING DOUBTS EVERY DAY AS ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT'S BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST DOUBTS YOU'VE DEALT WITH?

My biggest fear is becoming stagnant. I’m always asking myself, “Are you doing enough? Could you execute this better? Do you really know what you’re doing?" I am so afraid of being in the same place next year that I am today. 


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6. SHARING IS CARING. AND THERE'S SO MANY BADASS RESOURCES FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT ARE 3 OF YOUR FAVES?

  1. The Real Female Entrepreneur podcastA lot of my fears and doubts were quieted when I realized that I was not this isolated person on an island in the middle of nowhere. Whether you are a creative or just trying to stay afloat dealing with your vulnerabilities, this podcast is LIFE! 
  2. Pinterest: My Pinterest boards are how I get ideas out of my head and onto something concrete so I can start moving from an abstract state. Pinterest is for more than recipes or your next manicure idea!
  3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’EngleIt is my favorite childhood story, but it inspires me today because it is about an ordinary person doing something absolutely extraordinary. Even if we feel like we don’t have everything that someone else has or we have doubts out the wazoo, we can still do some amazing things!

"My biggest fear is becoming stagnant. I’m always asking myself, “Are you doing enough? Could you execute this better? Do you really know what you’re doing?" I am so afraid of being in the same place next year that I am today." 


7. IF YOU COULD GIVE YOURSELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

Sprinkle some confetti and move on!


8. WHAT'S YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH FOR WHY YOU SHOULD CHASE YOUR DREAMS?

You are the only person who has your exact combination of experiences, triumphs, downfalls, talents, and gifts. You know you’re capable of being absolutely amazing so let the world have it! We’re waiting!


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Ebony Nichols

Hey y’all! I’m Ebony Nichols and I am the owner and lead creator of Announce Divinely. I am obsessed with the charming moments in life and love to design and make all the things that make celebrations tick! When I’m not designing, I love doing fun things with my nieces and nephews, finding new places to dine, and binge watching any new television show. 



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Brittney Lynn Shares the Struggle, Anxiety, + Fear of Building a Business from Nothing

Lauren FrontieraComment

HI SWEETS! YOU'RE HERE FOR ANOTHER POST IN OUR BEHIND THE HOMEPAGE SERIES!

It's a badass weekly series that's equal parts coffee date (go ahead and refill your mug!) and meeting new friends and all the parts real + inspiring. 

So, cozy up + get to know the badass female entrepreneurs (and businesses) behind the homepage.


MEET BRITTNEY LYNN

"I am Brittney. I don't always have it figured out, but I always strive to serve people and myself well. And I am the real female entrepreneur."

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It's so easy to forget that most businesses begin with an idea - nothing more. No website. No press. No clients. No sales. And building a business out of nothing, well, it's hard. Especially the first year.

That first year was really tough for Brittney. After saying yes to every client who came her way, she finally found her niche. And this year she's seen all of that hard work pay off. Growth comes with it's own set of struggles, too, though. 


So, whether you're starting from scratch or are lost knee-deep in the weeds, you're in good company.


BEFORE WE DIVE RIGHT IN, LET'S START OUT WITH A QUICK ROUND OF THE QUESTION GAME…

 

WHAT'S THE BEST BOOK YOU'VE READ THIS YEAR?

It's hard to pick just one! I love reading. If I have to narrow it down, it has to be Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown. Brene Brown can basically do no wrong in my eyes and even though this is an older book of hers, it was new to me and it's been super helpful for my mindset, which affects all parts of my life.

WHAT'S YOUR MOST WORN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING?

I'm a creature of habit and wear the same few outfits every week. My black leggings from Express are a fav!

FAVORITE EMOJI?

💁


1. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIZ IN 3 SENTENCES OR LESS.

I help women entrepreneurs all over the world get more press and media mentions through strategic PR. 


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2. NOW, LET'S START AT THE BEGINNING. WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

Oh boy, how long do we have? Kidding aside, my story really starts in 2012 when my husband and I started paying off all of our debt. I didn't build up a side hustle while working a full-time job because I knew I mentally and emotionally couldn't handle it. So, we decided to lower our expenses by paying off our debt in order for me to eventually quit my job and start my business. 


'The first year was hard. Really hard. I accepted any client that came my way and had no strategy whatsoever."


It just so happens that the month of our last debt payment was the month that my husband accepted a new job in a new city (we moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Dallas, Texas), so I had to quit my job anyways. 


"When I say I started with nothing, I mean it. I didn't have a domain, social media presence (besides my personal), no prospects, nothing. I was starting from complete scratch in a brand new city where I knew no one."


Once we moved, I started my business, and I was initially offering ghostwriting services and social media management/content creation. It took me a good three months to get a website up and running and start building a presence online. When I say I started with nothing, I mean it. I didn't have a domain, social media presence (besides my personal), no prospects, nothing. I was starting from complete scratch in a brand new city where I knew no one. 

The first year was hard. Really hard. I accepted any client that came my way and had no strategy whatsoever. It took me a while to find my groove and I honestly fell into PR as my niche service. 


3. YOUR LIFE + BIZ JOURNEY IS A BOOK. WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE CHAPTER YOU'RE CURRENTLY IN? 

Unexpected Growth. For 2017, I picked the word Growth and I had no idea how much this word would be a part of my entire life.


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4. WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY SO FAR? 

I had never really experienced anxiety until I started working for myself. About a year into my business, anxiety really started to affect my life. I wasn't sleeping. I had heart palpitations. I had trouble breathing at night. I constantly worried. I just could not turn my brain off and relax. I eventually started seeing a therapist because I knew this was stemming from several different aspects of my life and it was the best decision I've made for not only my business but my life.


"I had never really experienced anxiety until I started working for myself."


5. WE'RE ALL BATTLING DOUBTS EVERY DAY AS ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT'S BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST DOUBTS YOU'VE DEALT WITH?

I never want to let people down. My biggest fear is letting someone I care about (which definitely includes all of my clients) down. At times, this is to a fault because no one person can make everyone happy. I'm constantly evaluating if I'm putting too much pressure on myself and making sure I'm also taking care of me and not just everyone else around me.


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6. SHARING IS CARING. AND THERE'S SO MANY BADASS RESOURCES FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT ARE 3 OF YOUR FAVES?

  1. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown: Can you see a theme here? For any fellow perfectionist entrepreneurs out there, this book was extremely helpful for me to combat those tendencies.
  2. How I Built This podcast with Guy Raz by NPR: This is a super popular podcast so maybe many of you already know about it, but I had to share. This podcast always inspires me when I'm feeling down on myself about entrepreneurship and it's always fascinating to hear from such huge brands (such as Rent the Runway, Kate Spade, Kendra Scott, etc.) and how they also struggled too. I especially love when female entrepreneurs are featured!
  3. Overdrive app (it's free!): So, I feel like not a lot of people know about this, so maybe it will blow some of your minds. I love reading, but buying books can become so expensive, so I typically rent books from the local library. Most libraries now also allow you to check out digital books that you can download on your Kindle or iPad ... for free. All you need is a local library card, and then you log in to the Overdrive app and bam! Thousands of books at your fingertips for free! This is how I read a lot of books that help me grow my business and mindset.

"We get so wrapped up in wanting to be the next big thing when in reality it doesn't need to all happen at once."


7. IF YOU COULD GIVE YOURSELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

To chill out and enjoy the ride. I think we all could take that advice. We get so wrapped up in wanting to be the next big thing when in reality it doesn't need to all happen at once. Not everything needs to be done right this second. 


8. WHAT'S YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH FOR WHY YOU SHOULD CHASE YOUR DREAMS?

Do you want to spend your life thinking what might have been? Maybe right NOW isn't the right time for you, but at some point you need to have an honest conversation with yourself and decide whether or not you're worthy enough to go after your dreams (hint: you are). We all only have this one life and I'd rather try and fail than not ever try and see what I'm capable of.


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Brittney Lynn

Brittney Lynn is a PR & Online Marketing Strategist for women entrepreneurs worldwide. She has almost 10 years of experience working in the online marketing industry and has a passion for helping others grow their brand through strategic PR. 

She's also the host of the Day in the Life podcast, which gives a glimpse into the daily lives of people from across the world who work in a variety of industries. Stepping into the lives of these fascinating guests will encourage, inspire and challenge listeners as they share in each guest's trials and triumphs, learning that we are all connected and are more alike than we realize. 

She's based in Dallas, Texas with her husband and pup. 



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When Your Unique Business Idea Isn't As Original As You Thought

Lauren FrontieraComment
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"As an entrepreneur, don't give up on your own idea just because someone else out in the world is already doing it."

Did you come up with your next best business idea only to realize it's already been done? Take a breath sister. There's a light at the end of this tunnel.


Leitia McHugh, the founder of The Confetti Post, shared her story on the podcast. If you haven't heard it yet, you can listen right here.

There's a piece of her business story you won't hear on the podcast, though. And that's why you're here. 


you know when that thing you were reallyyy hoping would never happen actually does? 

like going to pour a glass of wine and realizing THERE IS NO WINE?!

This story isn't about wine. I'm going to go pour a glass, though, and let Leitia take it from here!


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I knew in high school that I was interested in business. But I also knew that I couldn't handle what I perceived to be the "cut-throat" nature of business, and that I could never sell something unless I was head-over-heals passionate about it.  

So, I found myself on a career path in the non-profit world. Then, as you heard on the podcast, I became a mama and, well, that was the catalyst for starting a business and eventually, launching The Confetti Post.

Unfortunately, though, one of my fears about the business world came true pretty early on.


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I came upon the idea for a "party in a box" gift package thanks to Pinterest. My love of parties quickly turned into me being madly in love with this business concept. At the time, everything I found was creative bloggers who were creating the cutest little handmade packages for loved one's birthdays. They would included a cake mix, card, balloons, confetti, birthday candle, and some small gifts. So cute, right?  

Pretty soon after my obsession began, I started Googling this concept to find out what else was already out there like it. I couldn't find any other businesses doing this. I found "parties in a box" that were complete party kits you could order to throw an in-real-life party and also boxes of mass-produced junk food you could send for a birthday from generic websites like www.carepackages.com. But I couldn't find anything quite like what I wanted to create!


"I thought I was really on to something! I also felt like I had found a gap in the market..."


I thought I was really on to something! I also felt like I had found a gap in the market for a more "modern" gift/care package. Everything I found felt really impersonal and generic.  

This can be a really scary place to be when starting a business. There was nothing else to validate whether my idea was viable or not.

Being the obsessive researcher that I am, though, and doing the research any business owner should do, I kept digging. I eventually started finding some more modern gifting services, mostly through good old Instagram.


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I found really elegant gifting companies, and then started finding even more modern gifting companies, too ... even a few with concepts really similar to mine. And ones I wanted to start sending my friends because they were so amazing! I even found a company that seemed to be doing really well and was almost exactly like my concept for The Confetti Post.


"Instead of feeling discouraged though, I felt encouraged. It gave me hope that a market did exist for the vision I had been planning out on paper. Maybe I could make this work!"


Instead of feeling discouraged though, I felt encouraged. It gave me hope that a market did exist for the vision I had been planning out on paper. Maybe I could make this work!

Thanks to the advice from my mentor at the time, I tried to learn from all of these other awesome companies and see what needs I could meet that they weren't. This is called market research. 


"After I finally launched The Confetti Post, I had this nagging sense of guilt..."


After I finally launched The Confetti Post, I had this nagging sense of guilt that my idea and product was so similar to another business' (even though the idea for The Confetti post was formed from my own heart and ideas and those early Pinterest pins and blog posts).

So, I decided to write the owner of the other company a note. Naive, perhaps.


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I wrote this heartfelt email, praising the owner and the business they had created, explaining that I had come up with a similar idea, but felt we occupied different spaces and different target audiences and had different execution strategies and goals. Surprisingly, I never received a response. And soon after, they blocked me on Instagram. (insert shocked/sad face here)


"Being a person that believes in community over competition and that there's enough room for us all, this was a total blow to me as a new business owner."


Being a person that believes in community over competition and that there's enough room for us all, this was a total blow to me as a new business owner. I did understand their perspective ... a little. But this was my first dose, and luckily the only one so far, of that cut-throat nature that kept me away from business for so long. 

Now, I sometimes find myself holding back my ideas out of fear that they'll look like I am copying someone else's, when I really should allow myself to move where my heart leads and do what is best to serve my customers.


"The truth is, there are very few ideas out there that are truly and inherently unique."


The truth is, there are very few ideas out there that are truly and inherently unique.

That cut-throat mentality isn't everywhere in business, though. I later came across another woman with a similar business model that had started her business around the same time as mine. We found each other at least a year into our new ventures. Our brands and models are very similar, even down to the heart of our missions and our branding colors. Instead of operating from this place of competition, though, we cheer each other on on Instagram, along with so many other awesome small business owners whose businesses occupy this similar space. And for me, that is the la-la land that I choose to occupy.  


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As an aside, living in my community over competition lal-la land does not mean that we are sharing all our "secrets." It simply means we root for each other's success, instead of shunning each other or trying to bring each other down. And for me, it means that when a customer reaches out to me because something on my site is out of stock or not quite what they are looking for, I know where to send them so they can have their needs met.


"As an entrepreneur, don't give up on your own idea just because someone else out in the world is already doing it."


As an entrepreneur, don't give up on your own idea just because someone else out in the world is already doing it. And I hope this goes without saying, but never, ever copy someone else! Use your own voice, but learn from others who have gone before you, so you can better serve your customers.  

There is room for you and your idea. Learn, grow, and do what works best for your business. Most of all, let's always keeping working to make the world a better, more beautiful place with our ideas."


STILL FEEL LIKE, "BUT MY IDEA IS ALREADY TAKEN!!"?

Read this article from Entrepreneur. Here's a sneak peek:

"And do yourself a favor -- stop freaking out every time your amazing new idea is already being done by someone else. Instead, celebrate whenever you see other people already making money doing what you want to do.

After all, if you come up with an idea that no one else is doing, there's probably a reason for that."


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Leitia McHugh

Leitia McHugh is the founder of The Confetti Post, an online "party in a box" gifting service. She started The Confetti Post as a way to share her love of parties with everyone and to help others bridge the gap when they want to celebrate someone they love, but long distances get in the way. Think care packages, but a lot more fun and without all the work hopping from store to store to find the perfect items, buying a boring box, then fighting the lines at the post office. These party themed gift packages are the best solution to brightening days and celebrating others even when miles separate.


MORE OF LEITIA

Leitia on the podcast

www.theconfettipost.com

The Confetti Post on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest


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How Kate Tangney Juggles Motherhood and Business as an Abstract Painter

Behind the HomepageLauren FrontieraComment

HI SWEETS! YOU'RE HERE FOR ANOTHER POST IN OUR BEHIND THE HOMEPAGE SERIES!

It's a badass weekly series that's equal parts coffee date (go ahead and refill your mug!) and meeting new friends and all the parts real + inspiring. 

So, cozy up + get to know the badass female entrepreneurs (and businesses) behind the homepage.


MEET KATE TANGNEY

I am Kate Tangney. I am an artist, a mother, and an entrepreneur, and I don’t always balance it all well. And I am the real female entrepreneur.

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Balance is a unicorn. It's dreamy and sounds magical, but it's not real. Woosah. Now the cats out of the bag. So, we can all stop trying to attain the unattainable and just focus on juggling all the things the best we can. 

Kate Tangney is sharing a sneak peek into her own life and juggling all the things. She doesn't always do it all perfectly (who does?!), but at the end of the day, she's going after the things she really wants.


And like Kate says, "There’s something powerful that happens when you decide to go after what you truly want in life. "


BEFORE WE DIVE RIGHT IN, LET'S START OUT WITH A QUICK ROUND OF THE QUESTION GAME…

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK GROWING UP?

I love this question! There are so many, but my favorite was probably Amelia
Bedelia. Apparently I’ve had a goofy sense of humor for a very long time!

HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $500 ON A SHOPPING SPREE?

Oh, I could buy so much paint with $500! I’m not really a big shopper (although my Amazon Prime account might beg to differ), but I do tend to splurge on books and art, and good food and wine.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE NON-TYPICAL PET, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I would totally have a penguin. There is no way anyone could have a bad day with a penguin waddling around the house!


1. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIZ IN 3 SENTENCES OR LESS.

I am an abstract painter and hand lettering artist. My work is consistently inspired by our basic, universal emotional states, such as happiness and contentment, or anxiety and grief. My paintings are usually full of bold color and raw texture, because emotion can be such a raw, powerful force in our lives.


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2. NOW, LET'S START AT THE BEGINNING. WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

Let’s just say, I took a pretty roundabout path to art and business! I did start out as a Fine Art & Graphic Design major in college, but shortly after graduating I got a job in a completely different field. I also met and married my husband within a year after graduation, which was a total whirlwind! Then, a few years later, we decided to start a family, and I left work to be a stay-at-home-mom to our daughter (and eventually, our son).


"I didn't actually make art for close to ten years after college, because I didn't know how to be a wife, and a mother, and an artist all at the same time."


While all this was happening, I was not making art, or doing anything creative. I didn't actually make art for close to ten years after college, because I didn't know how to be a wife, and a mother, and an artist all at the same time. The prevailing “wisdom” I had heard was that being an artist and having a family doesn’t mix. At the time, I didn't have the motivation (or the guts) to challenge that idea.

But then several things happened in my personal life that pushed me back towards art. The biggest was losing my Dad in 2012. It was devastating, and really made me reevaluate how I was living my life. My father always told us we had to make our own luck, and for me, that meant taking charge of my life, and not giving a damn what anyone else thought.


"It’s challenging being a mom of two young kids, an artist, and a business owner, and I certainly don’t always balance everything well. There are days when I think I must be crazy for even trying to do it all."


So, I started to learn lettering, and abstract art, and I haven't looked back since. It’s challenging being a mom of two young kids, an artist, and a business owner, and I certainly don’t always balance everything well. There are days when I think I must be crazy for even trying to do it all. But this life is also chock-full of the things I love the most. And you can’t beat that!


3. YOUR LIFE + BIZ JOURNEY IS A BOOK. WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE CHAPTER YOU'RE CURRENTLY IN? 

“Out of my Comfort Zone” I’m really trying to push myself out of my comfort zone, both in the type of art I’m making, and in my business. It’s scary, but also really exciting.


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4. WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY SO FAR? 

Time has really been my biggest issue, honestly. It’s a constant struggle to find time to do everything, without feeling like I’m sacrificing something, or taking too much time away from my family. My goal lately has been finding more structured time to work (naptime, after the kids go to bed, etc). That way I can be fully present with my kids when I’m not working, and I don't have to worry about when I’ll have time to tackle that never-ending to do list!


"It’s a constant struggle to find time to do everything, without feeling like I’m sacrificing something, or taking too much time away from my family."


5. WE'RE ALL BATTLING DOUBTS EVERY DAY AS ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT'S BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST DOUBTS YOU'VE DEALT WITH?

Imposter Syndrome, for sure. I think most artists struggle with Imposter Syndrome at some point in terms of their artwork, but I also had this disconnect between calling myself artist AND an entrepreneur. In the art world, there is this glorification of struggling for your art, and there is also a stigma against treating your art as a business. So, it took me awhile to realize I could be both an artist and a small business owner. More and more, we are seeing artists create their own versions of what entrepreneurship looks like, and it’s really exciting to see that mindset starting to shift.


"In the art world, there is this glorification of struggling for your art, and there is also a stigma against treating your art as a business. So, it took me awhile to realize I could be both an artist and a small business owner."


6. SHARING IS CARING. AND THERE'S SO MANY BADASS RESOURCES FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT ARE 3 OF YOUR FAVES?

  1. Think Creative CollectiveThese ladies are ah-mazing, and they have so
    many resources for creative entrepreneurs (classes, a kickass podcast, and a wonderful online community, to name a few) They really helped me to get into a business mindset, which was game changing. 
  2. 10% Happier app: Things can get stressful when you're trying to run a business, and I have found this app SO helpful when things get crazy. Their tagline is “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics,” (which, let’s be honest, describes me perfectly. Ha!) It makes meditation so accessible and easy to understand, and they have guided meditations as quick as 1 minute if you're short on time.
  3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: This book is amazing. She really delves into how to make creativity a part of your life, and how to avoid some common problems we face as creatives. It’s part encouragement, part reality check, and it’s just wonderful. 

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7. IF YOU COULD GIVE YOURSELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

“Slow and steady wins the race.” It’s easy to feel like I’m not doing enough for my business, and things aren’t happening fast enough. So, I have to constantly remind myself that I AM making progress, and that it’s OK to go at whatever pace works best for myself and my family.


8. WHAT'S YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH FOR WHY YOU SHOULD CHASE YOUR DREAMS?

There’s something powerful that happens when you decide to go after what you truly want in life. And when those goals align with who you really are as a person, and you decide to just be yourself, it magnifies all the good stuff in your life. I know that sounds wicked cheesy, but it’s true!


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Kate Tangney

Kate Tangney is an abstract painter and hand lettering artist. She was born and raised just south of Boston, MA, and graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2005 with a degree in Art and Graphic Design. After getting married, she moved back to the south coast of Massachusetts with her husband. In addition to being an artist, she is also a stay-at-home mom to her two kids (ages 2 and 6).



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4 Things You Can Do to Stay Sane While Running a Business During The Holidays

Behind the HomepageLauren FrontieraComment

Ready for a real update? 100% real. None of that fake crap.

Sometimes it feels like the only biz updates you get anymore are the sugar-coated, everythings-alright-yeah-it's-perfect ones. They're the ones we all give when we're forcing things to look better than they really are. Because the truth is sometimes hard and embarrassing and quite frankly, it sucks to share.

But life and business are real. They're imperfect and messy. And amidst the chaos and the mess, the real parts are inspiring as hell.

So, meet Real Updates. Our new series where we pull back the curtains and get real updates on life and biz and the happenings of real women and real business owners. 


HOLIDAYS GOT YOU STRESSED?

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"Not only is there so much to get done...

...but it feels like there is extra pressure to sell all the things. Everyone is having sales and if you’re going to stand out inside the online crowd, you need to be doing something bigger and better. It’s just plain exhausting."


If you missed September or October's updates, welcome! This is the second in a monthly series where the creator and editor of Holl and Lane Magazine, Sarah Hartley, is taking us behind-the-scenes on her journey of building and growing a magazine while also working a full-time job, being a mama and a wife, and growing her second baby (due February 2018).

This month, we're pouring a glass of something good and sneaking behind the holiday boxes with Sarah to chat about how hard it really is running a business during the holidays. And Sarah is sharing the 4 things she's doing this year to stay sane amidst the crazy Black Friday sales and keep her cool without drinking or eating away a comparison hangover.


But, first. Let's bumpdate ya.


THE BUMPDATE: HOW ARE YOU AND BABY?

I’m officially into the 3rd trimester now. Whattttt?! And if my last pregnancy is any indication (I’m due 3 days before my son’s 4th birthday), this last trimester is going to FLY thanks to the holidays. Thankfully, I’m still feeling good, aside from my back hurting. But when you’re carrying a bowling ball around 24/7, I guess that’s to be expected.

 

THE BIZDATE: HOW'S THE MAG?

Every once in awhile I get this idea that we need to offer something new and we need to do it now!  That happened to me this past month and now we’re offering a beautiful pastel collection of postcards with inspiring sayings, as well as a couple of prints to remind you of how important you are. Sales have just started, but I’m hoping it’ll be a little something extra we can have during the holidays since our next issue doesn’t come out until January.


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As a business owner, I’ve gotta tell ya, the holidays are some of my least favorite times.  


Not only is there SO much to get done, but it feels like there is extra pressure to sell all the things.  Everyone is having sales and if you’re going to stand out inside the online crowd, you need to be doing something bigger and better. It’s just plain exhausting.

I remember last time around the holidays when I fell into what can only be described as a seasonal business depression. I was very unprepared for the holiday season, I didn’t know what else we could offer to sell, and quite frankly, our sales reflected all of that. This year I had vowed to do better. After all, our magazine has seen a 400% growth, surely our sales will reflect the same, right?


"I remember last time around the holidays when I fell into what can only be described as a seasonal business depression." 


But, as much as I’m a glass half full kinda gal, I just can’t muster up the energy to fight the good fight during the holidays. Maybe that can be blamed on being seven months pregnant?

I want to do better, I really do.  But, I’m also just not a saleswoman. I don’t like selling or pushing people to spend their hard-earned dollars. Mostly because I know what it’s like to be pushed upon.

So instead, I’m doing these few things, and maybe they’ll inspire you to take a more relaxed approach as well:


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1. I'M FOCUSING ON ONE BIG SALE

Yes, we’ll have an ongoing sale on our subscriptions from Black Friday until mid-December. But the biggest (seriously astronomical) sale will be happening for Cyber Monday and it will only be happening for our newsletter subscribers. The decision to do this was two-fold: one, I really only have to focus on one sale on one day; two, it helps to get more people onto my newsletter list who will then hopefully fall in love with what we do on a weekly basis and become regular customers.

Side note: If you’ve ever checked us out and fallen in love with what we’re doing, I promise you won’t want to miss that Cyber Monday sale.


2. IT'LL BE BUSINESS AS USUAL ON SOCIAL

Of course we’ll mention our sale here and there. But I’ve found that people connect with us best through our personal posts rather than the ones that are just trying to sell them on something. I’d venture to guess that’s the same for a lot of other businesses, too. And connection is what sells.


"The comparison game is strong around the holidays, and I refuse to be sucked in this year. It’s been proven to me time and time again that what works for others may not work for us, so why spend my energy trying to figure out the exact strategy others are using?"


3. I PLAN TO STAY AWAY FROM WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING

The comparison game is strong around the holidays, and I refuse to be sucked in this year. It’s been proven to me time and time again that what works for others may not work for us, so why spend my energy trying to figure out the exact strategy others are using? I might as well spend that time focusing on what does work for us and figuring out how to make that bigger and better.


4. I WON'T STRESS SO MUCH ABOUT THE NUMBERS

Last year, I’ll be honest, I felt like a bit of a loser when sales weren’t what I had hoped. This time around, I’m going to set a goal (just because I like a challenge), but if I don’t make it, it won’t be the end of the world. My business will not crumble if I have 5 sales less than I had hoped. There is always next year.


So, fellow entrepreneurs, I’m wishing you a happy holiday season filled with all of the sales that you’re hoping for.  But please remember, the holidays are also supposed to be a time to enjoy your life with your family and friends.  Don’t let the hardships of running a business take that away from you.


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Sarah Hartley

Sarah Hartley is the creator, designer and publisher of Holl & Lane Magazine, a quarterly publication celebrating women's everyday existence and opening the door for tough conversations.

Since 2015, Sarah and the H&L team has been dedicated to providing women with a platform to share their truths. From miscarriage and infertility to mental health and body image, Sarah believes in changing the media for good and celebrating women where they are.


MORE OF HOLL AND LANE

www.hollandlanemag.com

Holl and Lane on Facebook and Instagram

Free H&L Mini Issue


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Grab the latest issue of Holl and Lane!

In the 14th issue of Holl & Lane, the focus is on The Heart. Within this issue, you'll find true stories of romantic love, heartbreak, self-love, familial love, and so much more.  These pages showcase a wide range of stories on this one particular topic.  All related in their common theme, but yet so very different and inspiring in their own way.


KEEP READING!