Opening a business is an exciting accomplishment for many founders. Some may be buzzing with excitement about bringing their business idea into reality. Others may be full of pride, having scaled their side hustle into a full-time business. A lot of owners come into entrepreneurship with an idea of what it'll look like, but for most of us, the entrepreneurial path comes with unexpected turns.
We asked the owners of the Hello Alice Business for All Community to tell their most surprising part of entrepreneurship. Below, some of the lessons and stories you shared with us.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
This owner is learning to take nontraditional routes when it comes to building a successful business. Each business is different; take the path that’s right for you and your company:
“The most surprising part of entrepreneurship is that many models before us teach and show only one way to be successful, and I'm wondering if that's true and trying hard to seek different models that break the mold.”
— Andrea Woods, founder of Thee Doggy Treat
Sometimes, businesses don’t turn out the way we planned it. And that’s okay. This owner recommends to be adaptable to the unexpected:
“You truly have to be resilient and open to change. Nothing is set in stone, and strategic plans have to be flexible. You have to be able to adjust on the fly in order to accomplish your goals.”
— Ramon Hernandez, owner of Ramon Hernandez Enterprises
Rejection is Part of the Process
Owners face a lot of rejections, whether when fundraising, pitching, inquiring for partnerships, and more. But as this founder shares, they aren’t a reflection of your business:
“The most unexpected aspect of being a business owner is how emotional we can be in response to what we perceive as rejection! “No” often means “not right now” instead of "no, not ever" — timing is important!”
— Velonda Anderson, owner of Sweet Potato Delights
Making Money Moves
Learning how to manage business expenses is crucial to running a successful business. That’s why this founder says to prepare yourself to be a money master when operating a company:
“The hidden costs like insurance, licenses that were unexpected, knowing how to bill for time, understanding how to make money, all of the multiple expenses, and so much more.”
— Regina Daigneault, owner of Reggiewine
Keep on Going No Matter What
When you open a business, your enthusiasm and motivation may be at a high, but that can slowly fade throughout time. This owner advises to keep on running, even if you lose steam:
“An unexpected aspect that I think one overlooks when going into business for yourself is the motivation to keep going as the luster of having a business fades. Also, the due diligence one must continue to have to grow the business. Growing the business requires more skill in training when you are in a particular industry. It requires one to connect to others who can assist you and think out of the box.”
— Maria Jackson-Williams, founder
Looking to join a community of fellow owners? Visit the Hello Alice Business for All Community for business resources, opportunities, and peer-to-peer support.