Sometimes running a business is hard.

Bootstrapping brings it’s own separate challenges - much of it is wanting to do so much but having very limited resources to make stuff happen.  This is often a blessing in disguise.

Whilst I network with testers and talk to the community about things, there are certain things I don’t always feel I can talk about.

What do you do when an idea fails?  That’s one of the most painful things.  It can be scary launching something that could fail. Or that could require lots of work for no return or potential loss of money and livelihood for my family.

What do you do when you don’t reach your goals?

What do you do when your community and customer base have this fluffy and inaccurate vision of how things are?

What about deciding to pull the plug on certain projects and potentially upsetting customers?

If I talk about failure will it be bad for the future of the business?

If I talk too much about success will it make me look arrogant?

Where do I draw the line of what to share?

I love openness in business, but where do I draw the line for mine?

There have been many things I have been doing to try to grow my company.  My work over the years has accumulated in ways that sometimes I don’t give myself or get credit for.  I am somehow succeeding where others have failed.

Increasingly I am having to say no.  It still feels weird and awkward sometimes. No I can’t do this. Or that. No I won’t sell that.  No, that’s not where we align our business.  No I can’t do for free what I normally charge for.

Increasingly people see success and want a free ride.

Sometimes it’s lonely. And frustrating. And hard.  Ultimately, where I am now, I am responsible for everything. I make the decisions. Things happen or not based on my actions.

How do I know if I’m making the right decisions?  What makes something ‘right’?

I thank my husband for being around and putting up with the challenges I face.  I thank my kids for being patient with me.

I’ve long felt like I couldn’t talk about the ins and out of my business until I went to BaconBiz last month.   It was a breath of fresh air to be able to speak to people openly about the challenges we are all facing in bootstrapping our businesses.  And to be honest, whilst the talks were certainly interesting and useful, talking to actual people and listening to their stories is what I found most valuable about the whole experience.

So thanks to BaconBiz and the ongoing discussions and friends that have been made, I don’t feel as lonely as I use to!