start up

Me vs. Deborah


My floating thoughts on a daily basis: 

I can't wait to start this business! 
I know I can do it. I know I can be successful.
I've wanted this for so long...
Think about this cool thing we can do! And that cool thing! 
If (fill-in-the-blank competition) did it, so can I.
You realize how much work it will be... right?
What if you fail... 

:: Record scratch:: As confident as I am about my ability to build a business, it's really easy for negative thoughts to enter my brain to discourage me from doing what I want to do. It's getting especially hard as I research more and more and learn about the roadblocks that I'll likely experience.  I believe that getting over the mental blocks of starting a business is the first step to getting started. Once you feel like you can do it, all of the reasons to procrastinate dissolve and you become laser focused on getting shit done. So how the heck do you actually do that? Take some great advice from one of the best Drag Queens in the business: Name your negative voice... then verbally abuse it. 

The Drag Queen I'm taking about is Katya. This RuPaul's Drag Race All-Star contestant and all around amazing Queen said that when she hears the negative voice in her head (whom she's affectionately named Brenda), she simply tells it to shut the f*ck up. Check it out- it's pretty perfect. 

The little voice in my head is named Deborah

Deborah is that middle-aged woman in mom-jeans with chunky highlights wearing too much Sibika jewelry. She's the one that orders at restaurants for her 17-year-old son and is OBSESSED with the drama surrounding her kid's extracurricular activities. She always wants to speak to your manager and gets personally offended when you tell her that happy hour ended 20 minutes ago and she can not, in fact, get her chardonnay half priced just because she wanted to get here for happy hour but couldn't make it in time. Deborah tells me that my business idea is dumb, she tells me that it's risky and not a good industry for a woman. She tells I'm not smart enough to navigate building inspections, lease agreements, and occupancy permits. She tells me that my idea is too big, too expensive, and too stressful. 

And when she starts getting too loud, I tell Deborah to shut the f*ck up. 

I'm sure Deborah will crop back up throughout this process to tell me that I can't do this or that. She may even win some days, which is fine. What she won't do is deter me from creating something beautiful and living my dream. 

Now that she's out of the way... let's write a business plan. 



You know what we should do...

Starting my own consulting business has always been a dream for me. If I was being honest about myself, I would have to say teaching, mentoring and managing (Read: telling people what to do) is something I really enjoy. Luckily, people sometimes want to hear what I have to say so it's been a good run here at Pick Your Poison thus far. I've been blessed with enough room in my house to have an office, a side job to make ends meet and nothing other than some business cards and a domain name to purchase to get this thing rolling. In other words, this business venture has been pretty low risk. Other than, of course, that whole quitting-your-day-job-and-putting-your-faith-in-yourself-and-you-alone thing. That's been scary for sure and I'm not taking that part for granted but in terms of a financial commitment, this risk has been manageable, to say the least.  

Despite being happy with my progress in business, there's always been another business venture that's infiltrated my daydreams time and time again. One that requires significantly more risk, more money, more time, and probably more gray hairs. I don't want to get into the exact business now but just know that on top of being a really expensive industry to break into, it's also seasonal so ya know, you have a limited window to make a profit each year. 

My goal for 2017 is to start this business while maintaining and growing Pick Your Poison. Some parts will be the same as what I did for PYP (setting up a website, getting a DBA name, branding) and others will be very, very different (doing financial projections, getting money from a bank and finding some serious business insurance). Either way, each step is one step closer to my goal of continued world domination and the hope to never work for anyone but myself again. 

I want to document this experience to encourage and inform others about how to do the same, no matter what industry they choose to operate in. I plan to cover the entire process- from idea generation to (hopefully) opening. I'm sure there are going to be tons of things that I won't be able to predict, things that are easy and fun and things that will be incredibly difficult. I want to share them all with you so when the time comes to start a business of your own, it's just a little easier. 

Here's hoping for success, a hair dye strong enough to keep up with my grays, and the ability to inform and educate anyone that wants to take the leap themselves.