After going to school and starting our “grown up jobs”, we both felt this mutual desire for something more. We dreamed of a place where we could use our talents and our passions to their full capacities, a place where we felt as though we were working towards something bigger than ourselves… We dreamed of being a part of a creative community that would challenge and inspire us. We were searching for something that we could not find and our response to this was to create it for ourselves. After deciding on the name DULCET which is sometimes defined as sweet, we coined this dream life of ours as “the sweeter life”.
Today we are truly living “the sweeter life”. We have both quit our jobs to pursue DULCET full time and are thrilled to say that our careers reflect our passion for the first time in our lives. We are finally doing what we truly love. Like most good things though, it hasn’t come easy. We want to share with you a little bit about the trials and frustrations that we experienced in the beginning of our journey and equip you with some of our tips for success if you are in the process of starting your own.
You hear people say it often: “Getting started is the hardest part.” Whether it is in reference to a diet, working out, a project; we can mostly agree that getting started on anything that puts you out of your comfort zone is no easy task. Procrastination, perfectionism, insecurity, fear and apathy are just a few of the issues we had to face when launching our business. What began with wild excitement could have easily ended in devastation if we didn’t learn how to deal with these frustrating barriers to success.
We realized quickly that starting your own business is like volunteering to take a ride on an emotional rollercoaster. For every tinge of excitement you feel there is a load of fear of the unknown that drops on your head like an anvil. For every all-nighter we spent dreaming about the exciting possibilities ahead of us there was a day full of troubleshooting web coding and trying to translate what the tech support representative was explaining to us on the other line. We spent days questioning ourselves and were constantly questioned by others as we tried to put our vision into words and paint a picture for people about what it would look like when we were finished. We got crazy looks and responses like “well… I hope that works out for ya” with a questioning shrug. We were not always supported in our pursuit. Then throw in a dash of insecurity and an aptitude to constantly compare yourself to the incredible talent in the world around you and you are questioning your dream of making “the sweeter life” your reality in no time.
We say all this not to scare you straight but to give you a fair warning about what you are up against and to let you know that if you feeling a little worn out or lost in the chaos; you are not alone.
After months of brainstorming, idea mapping, planning and strategizing, we ultimately came to the conclusion that if we waited until we had every detail of our business figured out than we would never get started. So we gave the perfectionist side of our brains a break and we just jumped in full force before all of our ducks were in a row. Looking back now, that leap of faith we took was the absolute best decision we have made this far.
So now, one year in, we almost feel like we are past the starting line. We have sharpened many of our skills throughout this past year and have added a lot of new ones to our skillset. We survived the trying first few months and would love to share some things that we learned in the process!
If you are considering pursuing a new endeavor:
1. Don’t do it alone.
Accountability is key. Use a friend, spouse or loved one not only as a sounding board for your ideas but as an accountability partner that will hold you to your commitments and help you to follow through with your ideas.
We had each other to keep motivated and without that we know for a fact DULCET would not exist today. There is power in numbers, people!
2. Write it down.
The ideas, the lessons, the doubts, the concerns, the triumphs; document it.
The beginning, like we said, is a whirlwind of emotion filled with highs and lows. Writing was a great way for us to sort through the web of ideas and feelings that was bombarding our minds.
3. Simplify the dream.
If you are anything like us, you are the visionary type. We get a thrill off of BIG, unthinkable dreams but the thought of doing the tactical work required to bring the vision to life makes us shudder. Take as much time as you need to slowly break down the big goals into small, realistic daily tasks. Once you have simplified the dream, half the battle is won.
4. Don’t compare yourself.
It can be so hard not to compare what you are producing to someone who is more experienced, has a clearer vision, has more cohesive branding or a larger following than you. There is a constant temptation to compare and that will always exist unless you have found a way to overcome that completely (fill us in on how to accomplish this if you have mastered it!) but for goodness sakes at least give yourself a break when you are just starting out!!
5. Be Positive!
It sounds cheesy and so obvious but it is way easier than you think to get down on yourself and go negative. We can’t tell you how many times we exchanged text messages to each other that said something like:
“WE ARE AWESOME… WE GOT THIS… WE CAN’T LOSE!!”
It became our little joke to be overly dramatic about every minor triumph throughout the process but in the end, it became something that was so necessary for our success. We pumped each other up and spewed out pep talks as much as possible. It brought us closer and made the whole process so much more fun.
If you are considering pursuing a new endeavor, we hope these tips were helpful and if you have any questions on this topic please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Love love love,
Kayla & Amber