In the previous installment of Profit & Loss, I shared all the twists and turns it took to get WillowSpoon Creative out of the sandbox and onto its path, but does that mean everything is now set in stone? Not a chance! The only constant in life is change. As someone with a natal Grand Mutable Cross (IYKYK; if not, go ask your friendly neighborhood astrologer), I have embodied that phrase throughout my entire life, although not always by choice.
Change can be freeing, but it can also be hard, especially if its due to factors beyond our control. That's why it's important to recognize the need for change and initiate it yourself before the Universe forces the decision upon you. With that lesson in mind, I took WSC's recent birthday to analyze where we are, where we want to go, and how we're going to get there.
Here's the thing about starting a business: it is in many ways the easiest part of the process. Just how easy that is depends on the type of business, where you're located, and what start-up costs are involved, but if we are to paint with broad brushstrokes, starting a business is relatively easy. Heck, there are tons of webinars, workshops, and YouTube tutorials on doing just that! You can get loans, leverage personal assets, or even take on an investor to launch and probably stay afloat for at least the first 6 to 12 months. Unless your business has significant operating costs or other restrictions, you can probably make it to or through Year Two.
In my experience, that's where things start to either come together or fall completely apart. There's a level of enthusiasm and determination that drives an owner through the first year or two - Shiny new business! So much to learn! So much potential! Everything's so exciting! That adrenaline and all the small wins can usually overcome the setbacks, letdowns, and outright failures. Yes - there WILL be failures. Get used to that. What no one really talks about is, how do you KEEP a business going?
After 24 months of hustle, the shine starts to dull, the enthusiasm begins to wane, and you may begin to ask yourself, is it really worth it? The bookkeeping and constant expenses. The marketing that may seem more like screaming into the void. The quest for scalability and profitability. The sleepless nights and missed outings with friends and family. At what point is the Return on Investment sufficient enough to keep going? What is the destination and how many left turns, merges, and roundabouts are there to navigate? Are you at the fork in the road between continuing to invest or nuking the whole damn thing? Does this endeavor still feed your soul, or is it depleting your Emotional Bank Account?
The answers to those questions depend on who you are, where your business is, and your tolerance for the discomfort of change. For me, I know this can be a breakthrough year for WSC, but some things will need to be broken down in order to get there. I'm not yet ready to reveal all of them, but I can share that the first item I'm breaking down is the fourth wall.
What is the fourth wall, you ask? In the performing arts, the fourth wall separates the audience from the person onstage. I've been thinking about different ways to break that fourth wall - ways to connect more with the audience - in a manner that is also sustainable for my energy and health. For me, the fourth wall has been a necessary partition as I allowed WSC to go through its sandbox and larval phase. I know what it takes to be hyper visible and did not have the spoons to make that happen, so I honored that. However, that restriction now needs to be dissolved at least slightly. No, you won't see me doing any dances on the Clock app, nor will I be launching a YouTube channel, and we're definitely not starting a podcast. It's fine if that's your jam, but it won't work for me, and that's okay.
Instead, I'm going to keep it simple and fin - or, uh, fun. On Friday, June 2, WSC will launch "FinLit Fridays" Instagram Lives, where I discuss financial literacy topics with you - the audience! I fully expect these will morph and grow as time goes on, but it's a good place to start breaking down that fourth wall. Our first episode will be a "Meet the Founder/Ask Me (Almost) Anything", so feel free to submit your questions!
Why start here? Of all the options to connect with people, it's the one that's most accessible from a time and energy space, and that has been the biggest barrier for me as a woman with disabilities. The intent it to give you a space to learn more about the work WSC does to create financial education and inclusion, while also giving our audience the opportunity to interact directly. We'll definitely cover some news items and decipher what headlines mean for your bottom line. I'll hope you’ll join us live, but if you can't make, please enjoy the replays!
As I said earlier, this is not the only change in progress, but it's the one that's ready to be shared with the world. Allowing your business to grow - and yourself along with it - is not always easy or comfortable, but for me it is vital. I look forward to bringing you along on this journey.