Self-Employment & Failure

failure self-employment

“I am a failure.”

During the past few weeks that thought has crossed my mind more than once. “Why did I ever think I could do it?”. And I have even been looking into supermarket cashier jobs. Maybe that would suit me better.

I’ll tell you about what has been going on after I handed in my MA thesis. I was so eager to get done with my studies and finally start my business. I’ve been self-employed for a year now, as a blogger and, furthermore, I’ve been consulting and planning social media campaigns for businesses. It was my plan to start doing it full-time after finishing my studies. It is my passion and everything I’ve done so far, I’ve been very, very proud of. During the last years I have accumulated quite an understanding about online marketing and I do have some witty ideas, even if I say so myself.

It started off so well: after my studies I went to fairs, met up with several companies, planned big campaigns and a full instagram-takeover including various blog collabs, put hours and hours into research, ideas, presentations and Skype calls. Apart from that I was invited on press trips to Peru and France and planning a big 2-week campaign in the USA. You have no idea how excited I was about everything.

women self-employment

Then gradually it began: The Peru team was too big. My flights were too expensive. There was no budget. No time to work with bloggers right now. Someone else was chosen for campaigns. Companies decided they’d take care of their social media internally. Believe it or not: every – single – project – failed. All my enthusiasm, all my time, all my plans and ideas.. for nothing.

Failure.

Now you know the reason why my motivation and enthusiasm have been gone for a few weeks. Why I have posted barely anything and needed a lot of time off. It was just a lot to handle – and promise, I didn’t yet mention everything that went wrong. This is just a tiny fraction.

My parents keep asking me how my career is going, my grandpa tells me to get a proper job. And yes, I have considered those supermarket jobs. I know that I’m an academic, but at least they’d make more money than I make now. So the big question is:

WHAT NOW?

female entrepreneur

After struggling for weeks, I have decided not to give up. I believe in what I’m doing and I know I’m good at it. I just have to do it better. I don’t really think every successful entrepreneur got it right the first time. I’ve been very unlucky, but I might have been doing some things wrong as well: possibly a lack of a solid plan and trying to do too many different things at once.

So this is my plan on how to cope with failure:

  1. Believe in myself. I know what I’m good at and won’t give up on it.
  2. Have a vision. I’m going to write down what I the main things are that I want to focus on (my social media consultancy business + empowering blogposts).
  3. Have a step-by-step plan. What do I need to do in order to achieve my goal? (e.g. build a homepage for my business, contact possible clients, write 2 blogposts per week).
  4. Accept that nothing comes from nothing. You need to keep in touch with your clients, be active on social media, suggest ideas! I’m not one of those bloggers who get to chose from their overflowing mailbox which brands to work with, so I have to do the work myself!
  5. Have a long-term plan. This is what helps me most! I can imagine how bad I’d feel thinking “I have no idea where I’m going, I have no plan for my life!”. I’m so thankful that I have decided that I’m moving to London to study Graphic Design in September, this way I know that I’ll be doing something very effective and important until 2018! That knowledge is a lifesaver.
  6. Missing some expertise? Study! Do an online course or take evening classes. I’ll go to London to study graphic design (more about it here) and I’m sure that it will be extremely helpful for my business too, when my work will look much more professional. Education is the one thing that’s never too expensive.
  7. Mental + physical health. The knowledge that I’ve gained 9kg over the last year doesn’t make anything better. Now I’ll get back to running regularly (and eating a bit less sweets!), so I’ll hopefully feel overall better about myself soon!

finnish blog

I found this quote, and it really empowered me: “Entrepreneurs average 3,8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence. There are a lot of people out there with good and marketable ideas, but pure entrepreneurial types almost never accept defeat.” -Lisa Amos

I’ll keep believing in myself, but I’ll start working even harder. I’ll make myself a master plan and work it off step by step. I still believe in myself and my dream and I will make them work!

 

PS.: And if you’re from an PR Agency or brand and need someone to take care of your social media, plan influencer campaigns or just want a blogger to happily promote your products or destination… click here to email me!

19 Comments

  1. Lotte
    19/06/2017 / 20:41

    Wwoooow lottie! I found you a couple months ago and you are Such an inspiration for me. Really. Keep doing What your doing. You are a wonderful human being and you deserve the best. X lotte manou

  2. 19/06/2017 / 17:38

    Meine liebe,
    Hut ab vor diesem ehrlichen Post!
    Ich habe mich nach deinen Balistories schon gefragt, wo du plötzlich verschwunden bist. Aber es ist gut dass du dir eine Auszeit genommen hast. Wichtig ist es immer das grosse Bild vor Augen haben und mit dem Glaube an dich wirst du deine Träume erfüllen können ❤️❤️❤️
    Liebe Grüsse
    Michaela

  3. Ana
    19/06/2017 / 02:05

    Hola Lottie!

    Greetings from Argentina! I read your post and OMG…I fully understand your struggle since I’m a new entrepreneur, with a background in marketing & communications, and I do have those bad days where I wonder what the hell I am doing with my career!
    Something that really helps me it is to speak with people about their experiences in different businesses, they don’t have to be friends or family, just people that know the struggle to be a self-employed, those conversations always have a positive impact on me, and I get new tips and inspiration:)
    BTW, I will definitely hired your consulting services about SoMe once my business start running!

    Cheers!
    Ana

  4. Eleonore Buffet
    18/06/2017 / 23:06

    Dear Lottie,
    I am so impressed by this blog post due to iys brutal honesty and that is probably the reason why we all love bevause you keep it real and i truely mean that although your instagram feed is gorgeous and perfect and youre insanely clever and persistent and sporty and basically eim ueberall Genie with ure musical athletic academin and baking talent and yet you are human that is why you are so phenomenal…u answer to comments respond on snapchat and are active and invested and that takes so much effort but we appreciate it and support you for it. Best of luck hope to see you in London and with all your hustling yoy are still an inspiration remember that in no way are you a failure because otherwise thinking so would mean that each and every one of us who follow you and give likes or vues dont mean anythinh and trust me…you mean so much to us.

  5. 18/06/2017 / 20:55

    Liebste Lotti, I FEEL YOU. Danke für deine Ehrlichkeit. Weisst du, der Erfolg, den wir uns alle wünschen, der wächst nicht auf Bäumen. Und leider ist in diesem Business das Spiel manchmal auch nicht fair. Da geht es nicht nur um Können oder geile Kampagnen. Da geht es manchmal um (gelogene, falsch interpretierte, irrelevante,…) Zahlen und andere Unnötigkeiten. Da geht es manchmal leider nicht darum, sass wir Dinge ungalublich gut machen, dass wir einfühlsame Storyteller sind und dass wir unsere Zielgruppe kennen und eine Beziehung zu ihnen haben. ABER früher oder später wird es sich auszahlen. Du wirst Deinen Weg finden. Du bist so weit gekommen, so eine starke Persönlichkeit und eine der wenigen authentisch gebliebenen Bloggerinnen. Ich würde sogar soweit gehen, dass du für mich sogar eine Motivation warst, als ich mich für meine eigene Selbstständigkeit entschieden habe, die nun ab juli 100% meines Berufslebens ausmacht. Geh es langsam und geduldig an. Lass hier erstmal wieder regelmäßig etwas von dir sehen und lesen. Promote dich und deine Artikel. Schreibe, was das Zeug hält. Such Unternehmen, die zu dir passen. Denk über eigene Produkte nach. Affiliate. Dienstleistungen. Fang mit Startups an. Es wird alles. Ich drücke dich aus der Ferne ❤️
    Paula
    http://www.laufvernarrt.de

  6. 18/06/2017 / 20:10

    Tsemppiä <3 I have faith in you!

  7. Ani
    18/06/2017 / 19:39

    I’m sorry you struggled so much during the last weeks but I do know you’re strong and determined enough to go through this and to be absolutely successful with it, good luck Lottie and keep up the good work x

  8. Sarah Bong
    18/06/2017 / 19:22

    First of all, hugs from Faloe. It is very heartbreaking to read all your struggle. I would want to give you a hug and tell you that you’re on your way to more success. I believe all of these had to happen for a very good reason – to transform you to be a even greater person. We truly believe that you are capable of living your dream. Sending you lots of love, from Faloe.

  9. Bernarda
    18/06/2017 / 18:24

    OK I can see what you are feeling. And how. And yes I feel the same. My motivation for uni is non existant. I have to pass very hard exam. And I failed 1.test. And I studied since October le’s be real. My parents ask if I’m done. I need to start working. I need to finish it all till 10.7. I need this. I need that. I don’t need any of this 😂honeslty yyes I can’t study the same this second year in a row. I just can’t. And I need new things. I crave new things but I know I need to pass this first.
    One thing is that soon It will be over.And I will make things i like. I will make YT I will workout becauae I did 1 workout in 2 months. i will swimm. And enjoy. In little less than a month

    • Lottie
      18/06/2017 / 18:28

      It’s so good to have a goal to work for! One month is nothing, it will be over so soon! You can do it!

  10. Susanne
    18/06/2017 / 17:41

    „only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly“ ♥

    • Lottie
      18/06/2017 / 18:09

      Thanks so kind of you! Thank you so much!

  11. Nora
    18/06/2017 / 17:07

    You can do it! Nothing comes easy. Just have a vision and stick with it and soon you will reach it! 💗
    Lots of love and warm hugs from Germany!

    PS.: Please stay avtive on snapchat – love your snaps!

  12. Ryan Greenleaf
    18/06/2017 / 16:54

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You have a good, smart head on your shoulders! The steps you laid out are exactly what I would have suggested, so you are already ahead of the game. Stay strong, stay confident and stay persistent. You are very talented at what you do…it will come thru for You! You have my 100% support in everything you do and even though that may not mean much, I think you are an incredibly talented woman! Stay positive and keep moving forward!

    • Lottie
      18/06/2017 / 18:27

      That is so so kind of you. Words like this really cheer me up and help me going!

  13. 18/06/2017 / 16:20

    I know that you can do it ❤️ Keep trying and fighting for your big dream

  14. Lili
    18/06/2017 / 16:20

    Ach Lottie, sei nicht so hart zu dir selbst. In meiner Familie ist fast jeder selbstständig, deshalb kenne ich die Herausforderungen die damit kommen nur zu gut. Und ich kann dir sagen, jeder von ihnen hat am Anfang mindestens 3 Zeiten gehabt in denen er dachte er arbeitet für nichts, wenn überhaupt Aufträge kamen. Das wichtigste ist, trotzdem weiter zu machen und sich zu überlegen, was man besser machen kann. Das tust du, also bist du auf denn richtigen Weg. London wird es dir außerdem einfacher machen, denn dort bist du an einem Ort wo die Social Media Welt fast explodiert, es wird leichter dort noch mehr Fuß zu fassen. Der große Punkt ist: es liegt in deiner Hand, glaube fest daran, dass wenn du es immer weiter versuchst. Das Universum wird dich da hin bringen, wo du hingehörst.
    Was ich als nächstes sage, sage ich mit all meiner Freundlichkeit und ist zu 100% nicht gemein gemeint: du fühlst dich mit dir selbst nicht wohl und das merkt man, du strahlst es aus. Wenn ich als Zuschauer es sehen kann, sehen es die Firmen auch. Lerne dich selbst mit all deinen Fehler zu lieben, auch wenn es schwer für dich ist einen Flug zu buchen. Es ist okay, jeder hat seine Hänger. Jeder denkt mal, dass er ein paar Kilo zu viel hat. Und trotzdem verdienst du alles Glück der Welt und den Erfolg, den du dir so wünschst.
    Leider wirken Zweifel oft unprofessionell, deshalb gib Acht auf dich. Es wird so kommen, wie es kommen soll.

    • Lottie
      18/06/2017 / 18:26

      Danke danke danke dir liebe Lili! Uuuh, das ist zwar irgendwo ein harter Schlag, aber wahrscheinlich hast du recht. Die letzten Monate waren schon ziemlich krass, viel zu tun, viel Stress, die Masterarbeit, die Fahrten zur Uni, und dann ist vieles schief gelaufen, und zusätzlich fehlten mir das Fitnesscenter und ich war viel alleine zuhause.. und du hast recht, natürlich scheint das durch. Das habe ich irgendwie gar nicht bedacht. Gott sei Dank habe ich diese Woche meine positive Einstellung wiedergefunden und ich hoffe, dass mir das in jederlei Hinsicht weiterhelfen wird!
      Danke danke danke dir für diese lieben Worte, ich werde das im Hinterkopf behalten und dank dir noch positiver weitermachen!

  15. Bonnie
    18/06/2017 / 16:11

    YOU. ARE. AWESOME.💜 Keep rockin’ it.

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