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The Struggles of Owning a Business: Overcoming Fears, Comparison, and Criticism

Let’s get real for a second here, being a business owner is HARD. No one tells you all of the work that goes into it, the hours past a normal 9-5 schedule, and the endless supply of work that never leaves your desk. Sometimes you can be on top of the world and unstoppable, and other times you can feel like you’re barely keeping your head above the water. You also don’t hear about the fears and anxiety that accompany never knowing what to expect, the constant comparison of seeing other businesses and wishing you were where they were, and the criticisms you may stumble upon every now and again. As a business owner, we all struggle with these things, but the key is to focus on overcoming those things so you can be the best YOU imaginable for your clients!

During my first year as a business owner I struggled with these things A LOT. I constantly saw where I wanted to be as a business owner vs. where I currently was and got discouraged. How did these designers I knew balance work life, school, family, etc. and still have time to live a crazy awesome fun life?! How did they take time off and enjoy vacations?! I can’t even remember the last time I went on a vacation! The reality is, everyone is on a different page in their story, and what you see online, isn’t always as peachy as it looks. We all have struggles, we all experience them at different points as business owners and entrepreneurs, and even as people. Comparing your story to someone else’s will always get you no where, because everyone lives different lives and experiences.

One thing I learned over my first year of business was to stop, let go of things out of my control, and focus on how I can better them for the future. Focus on channeling that comparison bug into bettering myself and my business and being the best version of me that I can be! How could I grow my business instead of worrying about someone else and what they’re doing? I started channeling that energy into focusing on what I could do to improve. Would that mean taking a class online? Offering a new service? Providing my clients a different experience? All of these things can help you become unique in your industry/niche and help your clients!

Lastly, one thing I learned when I became a business owner is grace. It sounds funny right? How do you learn grace and what does that even mean? Giving myself grace meant giving myself the chance to mess up and learn from my mistakes. It meant not always have everything under control or organized perfectly, and to learn to let things go that I couldn’t change. It also meant giving myself time to fail and to grow. Sure it hurt a few times, and it stung when I would make mistakes, but that’s how you learn!

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” – Malcolm Forbes

Failure can always turn your life into a success if you learn from your mistakes! No one is perfect, especially not business owners, but if you LEARN from your mistakes, you GROW from them. I think my biggest lesson as a business owner has been grace. Life is never going to be perfect. It will always be messy and unorganized, and sometimes chaotic, but if you can find balance and give yourself the grace to grow and just be, well, then you’re off to a pretty good start!

Design by Brianne, freelance graphic designer, houston graphic designer


design by brianne, graphic designer, houston graphic design


  1. Talisa says:

    The comparison bug has bitten me really hard lately. I am struggling with it too, when it comes to business.

    • Brianne Hardcastle says:

      I know the feeling! Sometimes it can feel overwhelming but hang in there. You are exactly where you need to be right now and you’ve got this!

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