No Shortcuts - Tell Everyone vs Tell No One

Starting your own business is exciting.  You get a ton of energy at the beginning to tackle this huge challenge.  You are hopeful things start smooth and stay smooth.  Your product is a hit and you make a lot of money.  That sounds incredible! 

The reality is that it pretty much never goes like that.  That brings up the question on whether you should tell everyone you know what you're up to or keep things under wraps a bit as you grind.  You want to tell people to share the excitement, but you don't want to overhype what you're up to and then feel the judgement from others later.  

For Sloane I think we took a middle route, which I think has allowed for us to get the support we need while avoiding the constant questions that come up about how the business is going.  Those questions are well meaning, but when you are grinding hard and feeling like you're trying to stay above water those questions from your aunt aren't too fun to answer.  

At the beginning you need some support and positive energy.  People to try your product.  People to invest.  People to support your Kickstarter campaign.  People who might know people for early advice.  I remember I sent an individual note to everyone I knew on Facebook telling them about our Kickstarter.  Every dollar mattered for that, so needed to let the world know.  

In the beginning I would talk about Sloane to a broader group and got nice connections to website designers, brand experts, lawyers, accountants, etc.  Super helpful!  Once we got the base solidified I wasn't as vocal broadly.  A big part was because I had a full time job and didn't want there to be a question of my allegiance.  If I was spouting off about Sloane all the time, then people would wonder what my plans are.  

I would talk about Sloane to a smaller group of people who I trusted and would provide me with the advice I needed.  I would put my head down and then just execute.  Day after day.  Getting your company up and running talks way longer than you think.  It obviously takes even longer when you're doing it as a side hustle.  Patience is really important because it's so easy to get antsy and rush things.  

That issue is made even more intense if everyone is asking you how things are going.  Is the website up?  How are sales?  What?  No sales yet?  What are you guys doing?? Enter stress and other people's expectations.  You don't need that stuff clogging your mind as you are trying to build.  

Confidence in your business is needed to succeed.  You have to be one of the most optimistic people out there.  Arrogance and over-confidence are not good traits.  And they are often closely tied with confidence.  It's a balancing act that often entrepreneurship just teaches you when you're in the trenches.  You soon realize you might not be as smart as you thought or this might not happen as soon as you thought.  

That feeling is ok and for the strongest people it just motivates them more.  This isn't easy and they will just grind until they get it.  That's what it takes.