When Chelsea, Jenni, and myself first started BOXFOX, there was a lot we didn’t know about entrepreneurship. Four years in, we’ve definitely learned some important lessons and are excited to share some of that knowledge with anyone looking to start their own business (or just curious about what it really takes).
Today I’m going to dispel some of the biggest myths about the “glamour” of entrepreneurship—and give you the real deal. Read on!
“You probably don’t have to work as much because you’re in total control of your schedule.”
While we wish this were true, having a flexible schedule does not equal working less. Don’t get me wrong— there are definite perks to having some control over your schedule, but truthfully we work a typical 9a-6p at the warehouse, and often come in early or stay late to get things done. Then there’s usually an hour or two of laptop work, not to mention some weekend time and the holidays. It’s definitely fun doing what we love with a team we love, but make no mistake, it’s hard work!
“The money you make = the money you take.”
We so wish this were true! We’re so excited about all of the growth we’ve achieved with our business over the past four years, but as we’ve learned, it takes money to make money. It’s that simple. So while our growth seems like it would translate to a fat paycheck for each of us, the opposite is true — we’re always looking at how we can use that money to take the next step, whether that’s a new collection, new hire, or an office project. But it’s all a sacrifice we’re willing to make in service of building an organic, sustainable company.
“It’s always fun to be the boss.”
Don’t get us wrong, being the boss can be amazing for so many reasons. But it’s not always long lunches and tee (or tea) time. We always say that one of the biggest challenges in growing our company has been managing our ever-growing team. We love our employees and simply want to make sure everyone is motivated, incentivized, and ultimately, happy to be here! And since we care so much about the culture we’re building, any time there’s a slight challenge with an employee, it can feel like a huge weight. Luckily, since we’re a trio of founders, we handle challenges together, and offer each other support and guidance through any obstacle. And it’s made us stronger and more capable of handling anything that comes our way.
“If you build it, they will come.”
Having a great product is the most important part of starting a business — after all, it’s ultimately why you started the company. But just because you think your product / service / etc. is the best thing since sliced bread, you’ve got to market it accordingly to demonstrate to people why it’s totally going to change their lives. And this isn’t something that happens overnight — building a strong, distinctive, identifiable brand takes time and consistency. The good news? Once you nail it, they will definitely come…and then they’ll come back.
“Entrepreneurs are born, not made.”
Before we started BOXFOX, I would spent tons of time reading stories or listening to podcasts featuring successful entrepreneurs, and I always thought that they had some special gene I just wasn’t born with. That’s what they call in spirituality a “limiting belief” — and as the phrase implies — it holds us back from just going for the things we want. Once we took the leap and started BOXFOX, we realized that entrepreneurship doesn’t take superhuman strength. It just takes commitment, resiliency, and ultimately, a strong belief in remembering why you started, day in and day out.
As you can see, there are lots of myths around entrepreneurship and what it means to have your own company! Hopefully you learned a thing or two.
Have a burning entrepreneurship question? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to submit it for a chance to be featured on the FOX TALE and on our Instagram page.