Confessions of a Small Business Owner
Hello Friend! Polly here, founder of Horacio Printing. It’s small business Saturday! I can’t believe I have been on this entrepreneur journey for four years now. When I dreamed of starting Horacio Printing back in 2014, I knew I needed an accountability tool to help me transform my life, but I had no idea how the world would receive it. I wanted to build a beautiful planner that would be my canvas to design the life I wanted.
At the time I was working full time at a very successful company making a great 6-figure salary, but I knew that God had MORE in store for my purpose. I began the journey of the ‘side hustle’ creating our first 2015 Dream Planner and continued the ‘side hustle’ route of 1.5 years growing Horacio in the morning, nights and weekend. I leaped full time in February of 2016, and despite only making a fraction of what I made at my previous job, the return in meaningful purpose-filled work is more than I could dream.
I am so grateful for each and every one of my customers. I am blown away to hear how the planner is actually making a difference for people.
Today our business and products look very different then it did back in 2014! We have now moved our operations to Orlando, Florida, we opened up our own fulfillment center, and we have now sold more than 25,000 Dream Planners to dreamers around the world. God is good!
I wanted to share my gratitude today on Small Business Saturday and share my top 10 confessions as a small business owner! Enjoy!
CONFESSION #1 - I AM SO FORGETFUL
- Seriously. My whole family will attest to this. Honestly, this is why I need a planner/system SO badly. I have good intentions, but forgetfulness murders my follow thru! At a young age, my poor mother had to follow me around collecting ALL THE THINGS I would leave/lose.
To be honest, trying to keep all the things you need to remember in your head is the quickest way to kill all your presence. It’s stressful to rely on your mind to remember for you. This is why I use a combination of my daily notepad, Dream Planner, and Asana to help me remember ALL THE THINGS to not only crush my goals but delegate well as a business owner.
CONFESSION #2 - I FEEL LIKE A FRAUD SOMETIMES
- When I talk to people I get the notion that people think I run a large fancy company, with a big team and enormous marketing budgets. HA! If I can be honest with you, I feel like most of my strategy work is how can we keep the lights on over here! As for my big team, the key players over the past four years have been Jesus and me. (which is a great team by the way… if you are starting a company, you definitely want Jesus as a first draft pick!)
I have not been entirely alone throughout my four years, I have had INCREDIBLE designers that have brought my products to life, and the help of a dear friend in Florida to get my warehouse off the ground when I lived in NYC. I couldn’t have done it without them!
But let me tell you… I just entered my fourth year of business in October, and I just made my first ‘TEAM.’ AKA I finally have help with roles and goals!! (insert a huge praise dance here) For the past four years I have been managing social media, email marketing, production management, operations, accounting, website development/content, advertising, and new product development. (plus I started business coaching?!) So yes, there are many times where I felt like a fraud, a little burned out fraud. I’m working on it!
CONFESSION #3 - EVERYTHING STOPPED WHEN I GOT PREGNANT
Luke and I found out we were pregnant at the end of June. Once the morning sickness hit everything stopped with my business. I had no spark, no motivation, no drive. I was miserable. I felt like a super fraud when I wrote my ‘Monday Morning Motivations’ because I was not writing from a place of being motivated, I was preaching to myself.
Slowing down to recognize this new season of life jump-started my quest to build a real team and create my maternity plan. As a small business owner, you can’t exactly sue yourself for not giving you paid leave! It’s DIY over here, so my early trimester was the fuel to get that plan in place, and I am so grateful. I feel a lot better now that I am in my second trimester!
CONFESSION #4 - I WORK IN MY JAMMIES
- This is a fun one! I take a LOT of joy in how I have re-designed my life. That’s the WHOLE point of the planner, to design a life YOU love. My perfect day involved waking up and making breakfast, not checking my email, but instead checking in with God and doing a Soap Bible Study. I journal my prayers, gratitude, and thoughts. After my morning I do my creative work (writing/editing/product design) THEN I check my email before lunch most likely in my jammies. I am currently writing this blog post in a snuggly robe and sweatpants (the BEST sweatpants). Before or after lunch is when I change.
CONFESSION #5 - IMPACT IS BORN FROM CONSISTENCY
- This one is more of a lesson I learned. The impact we make as a company can feel insignificant at the time. What I have learned is, if you keep showing up, God will take your faithfulness and breath on it. Impact, real meaningful impact, takes time. God will take your little and do MORE than you can ask or imagine. I have seen it! One of the critical ways we make an impact is through A21. We set out to donate 10% of our revenue to A21.org back in 2016, and our consistency has ADDED UP! We have now as a company donated $46,000!! Stay consistent!
CONFESSION #6 - SOME DAYS ARE TOUGH!
- This might not be a surprise, but running a small business is hard. It’s hard to turn off work and just be; it’s hard to make every customer or potential customer happy, it’s hard to be patient to see the fruits of your labor come to pass. It’s all worth it, but some days when everything is going wrong, and you have no one to blame, but yourself, it’s hard.
CONFESSION #7 - WE ARE STILL ON OUR WAY TO BEING DEBT FREE
I wish I could say we are a completely debt-free company, but we are not. This has been my goal every year. Get out of debt and earn enough profit to pay for next year's inventory, but each year this goal has eluded me. (queue the imposter syndrome) After taking Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university, I set this goal for our company, and we plan to be there by 2020!
CONFESSION #8 - THE BEST PART OF MY JOB
The best part of my job, the people - our customers - YOU! This is where I get the most satisfaction. Nothing makes my heart happier than to hear the story of a customer realizing a dream, or taking the next step, or being encouraged by our products. This is what fuels me and reminds me I am where I am supposed to be.
CONFESSION #9 - I MADE A BIG DREAM COME TRUE THIS YEAR
- My husband and I dreamed of working abroad together for over a year, and we planned a trip and made it happen. We scheduled it to be a time where we were not paying rent anywhere, and our ‘rent’ went to Airbnb! It was incredible. We did one month in Italy and three weeks in France. We worked remote traveling from town to town exploring the countryside from Amalfi to Venice.
CONFESSION #10 - I LOVE TEACHING
I started coaching in 2018 and launched two programs helping other small business owners start and grow their business. This is a passion of mind to give back and empower other women to take the next step if they have a dream to be their own boss. Since you are here and made it all the way to 10… I have some news for you.... our next course is launching in January 2019! Stay tuned!
Thank you again for shopping small! Happy Small Business Saturday!