I’m about to finally realize a dream I’ve held in my heart for the longest time. I’m starting a boutique. Eeek!
Confession.. I have no idea what I’m doing.
Sure I’ve done the research. I’ve looked at other people’s stories and have seen how they’ve done it. Sure I have a plan and a couple steps laid out on paper but truth is.. I feel so clueless.
All the insecurities and questions in my mind come up all the time.
Well who are you? Why would anyone buy from you? What makes you think you’re qualified to be in the fashion industry?
And then there are the voices. It’s going to fail. No one even knows you. You’re doing way too much and you don’t even know what you’re doing.
These are the thoughts that float through my mind practically all day. I heard them as I nervously stood in line at the county clerk office to register my business. I heard them as I walked through trade shows looking for potential suppliers. I heard them as I registered online for a tax ID and all those other tax related documents. I heard them as I went about setting up my business bank accounts.
They never stop.
I hear them as I design my website, create my logos and business cards. I hear them as a think about marketing and promotion.. they’re just insistent – constantly floating around in my brain.
You know this isn’t going to work, right? You just aren’t qualified.
So what do I do?
I keep taking the next step. Anyway. I keep taking the next step because I believe in this dream. I believe in the vision I have for my boutique. I believe in the legacy I know it will be for my children and my children’s children. I’d go into all the super deep spiritual reasons I decided to start a boutique but I won’t. The fact is, fashion has always been a passion of mine and I’ve always known no matter what career path I took, being a business owner was an absolute necessity for my life path. Why? Financial freedom. It’s that simple. And I’ve learned that the only thing that keeps you going long after you’ve lost the novelty of the idea, is doing something your passionate about. Passion fuels and sustains you – if it’s authentic.
I know in this social media age it seems like everyone is an entrepreneur. It’s like the coolest thing to do because it promotes an image that draws admiration and respect and allows us to look like we’re far more important than we really are. Entrepreneurship has become so much the trend or a buzzword that it seems no one is content working a 9-5 anymore and having a job isn’t as respected or idolized (insert eyeroll here). So before I started or even told anyone I planned to start I spent a lot of time praying and examining my heart to make sure my motives were right. I needed to ensure that I wasn’t going along with the hype and that I wasn’t jumping on a bandwagon that I wouldn’t be able to stay on.
See, I’m starting online because for now that is the easiest thing to do. (I still have y’all kids to teach lol.) But I’ve given myself 1-2 years to set up a brick and mortar store because that is my real desire. Launching it online just gives me an avenue to start now and ease my way in without all of the limitations and heavy lifting of having a physical location.
But with that comes the ever present nagging voice – there are a million boutiques on social media. The market is so over saturated. And that may be so. But there were also about a million teachers in NYC when I decided to become one and turns out I was still needed. There was still space for me, with my unique qualities, skillset and personality. So there’s that.
I’m launching a boutique and I’ve never been more excited.
What are you supposed to be launching? Why haven’t you started? More than likely, it’s because of all those voices in your head telling you why it will not work. I get it. It’s not easy. Nevertheless, here is my strategy that I’ve used to silence the voices, feel the weight and the anxiety of what I am about to do but still do it anyway.
I write down all my fears. I write down what every voice is saying to me. I write down every lie I believe. I even write down my challenges and the very real obstacles that I face. I create two columns: all the fears in one column and in the second column I write down the Bible verse and promise that disputes the lie or assures me that despite the challenges, God is my ever present help.
Here are some excerpts from my business prayer journal (yes, I have a separate prayer journal for my boutique – another strategy you may want to consider):
Lies / Fears / Challenge
|Your business will fail. No one will buy||Duet 30:9 The Lord your God will make you prosperous in everything you do.||Joshua 1:8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.|
|You won’t be able to manage it. You don’t know what you’re doing.||John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things…|
|There are so many boutiques already. No one will notice yours.||Gen 12:2 I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing.|
And there are a whole host more, some too personal to share here but you get the idea. I challenge you to do the same. Memorize and meditate on the biblical truth so that when those voices get too loud you silence them with the word of God. Instead of voicing the fear or the lie, I declare God’s truth over my life – who he says I am and what he says I can do. Remember the word is your sword. Use it against the lies of the enemy or against the lies of your own soul.
I’m from a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather all by himself ran a taxi business that supported our entire family and built us a couple houses he could afford to leave for his children and grandchildren. My mom owns her own salon. My dad owns his own auto repair shop. For me this is more than a fad – it’s building on the legacy of my family – and slaying while doing it.
I’ll give more details as I come closer to my launch date – which is soon and very soon. Be sure to support your girl when the time comes but for now I’ll take all the prayers and words of encouragement I can get.
Here’s hoping me stepping out and launching my dream will encourage you to do the same.