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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Little Biz Sunday: Little Biz, Big Lessons


“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~ Dale Carnegie


I have always wanted a little biz.

Because it didn't scare me.

I have a full time job that I'm passionate about, so running a little online biz based on my hobby sounds perfect for me to do in my spare time.

The word "little" also sounds very lovely in my ears. It also sounds perfect for a startup like me: no experience, no sufficient knowledge, very limited means. However I was up for a journey on the internet full of trial and error. For an adventure with a lot of challenges.

At the time, PayPal didn't accept members from Indonesia. Challenge number one. But, hey, burning with desire for doing that little biz, I kept looking and finally found a good company who could charge credit cards online...though with quite a fee. I signed-up and used this company's service anyway, because it was the best option for my then situation. When finally PayPal accepted members from Indonesia, I moved to PayPal.

Later, I got very busy at my full time job, all I wanted to do was taking a rest when home. No time for hobby. Not time for my little biz.

Was that true? Now I know it wasn't true. I might be so very tired that I didn't have the much needed motivation to make time for my graphics.

But then, there were those other heartbreaking challenges: my computer crashed, the server crashed (twice!), changed provider, changed hosting, lost my files in an unreliable cloud storage, and lost a lot of time, blame it on the very uncertain and expensive internet connection. Yes I lost a lot of money too, in order to overcome all those challenges. In consequence, my site and blog were on hiatus, and I lost quite a number of visitors, too. It's heartbreaking, but I continuously remind myself that it's part of the education. And somehow, I'm proud I've now come this far and that I didn't give up. Phew.

So now, I've learned some of the lessons. The BIG ones:

To run a business, no matter how small, you still have to face your fears. Courage is required. And a good attitude. And a huge dose of humor! :-)

You might think that all you need is managing your time after work and on weekends, but I've found that, more importantly, you need to manage your energy. Having sufficient energy is what keeps you going, and inspiration flowing.

I've learned that: things change. Constantly change. And what was not available might be in any time soon. Eight years ago I had no idea there would be a thing called social media, let alone cool tools such as Pinterest :-) They unarguably changed the rules of doing business on and off the internet. Stay open and curious. Keep learning and your mood good.

And thankfully, now in 2012, there's an abundance of resources and information over there on the world wide web. There are a lot of good websites with good information on everything you need to know about starting and running a creative biz online. Keep on looking and bookmark your favourite ones.

Speaking of resources, it is my intention to make this blog a personal open library, where I will share what I've learned about doing a little online biz on spare time basis. I've been in contact with a few thriving and blooming part-timers, so I have no doubt that doing business in spare time is a very possible idea. Here, I also want to share kind words to accompany your journey, in each and every post.

My current mantra: "manage your energy, make time for creativity, stay open, keep learning, face your fears, get busy, by happy and bloom!" :-)

Great books I'm devouring right now:
- Right Brain Business Plan / Jennifer Lee
- Anyone Can Do It / Sahar and Bobby Hashemi
- Creative, Inc. / Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joy Deangdeelert Cho

Reading my favorite blogs and resources on little biz:
- Build A Little Biz / Karen Gunton
- Women in Business / Clare Lancaster
- Blacksburg Belle / April Bowles Olin


And you, sweetie pops, do you have something in mind about starting a creative little biz in your spare time?

More kind words to get you going:

“The More you do the better you become”
~ Dena Tyson, Give Me The Strength: Based On A True Story

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
~ E.E. Cummings

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
~ Winston S. Churchill

“Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you. They're there to let you know that something is worth it.”
~ JoyBell C.

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