Behind the Instagrams

Entrepreneurship

I don’t usually get deep or talk about issues that mean a lot to me here on the blog. I try to keep it fun and light to create an escape for readers and to make you all smile. Once in a while, when I feel strongly about something, I go for it (remember The Nose Diaries?).

Today I want to share with you about what life is really like as a new entrepreneur. I am bringing this up now because every single day I see someone or get an email from a friend that says “Your life looks so amazing, you’re killing it! Are you so happy? Is it so fun?”. Of course I respond with a smile and a thank you and a “yes, it’s pretty great” but in reality, it’s a lot harder than it looks. I’m not sharing this with you to brag or to complain, but just to let you know the reality. Owning a business is an incredible blessing but it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns!

On a regular day, if you’re going by the story that my Instagram tells you, it looks like I just sit around and bake, blog, take pictures of myself in pretty clothes, and go to press previews. That is so far from the truth! In reality, there is a lot of loneliness, a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of tears. Here are a few of the things that I’ve had to deal with over the last 6 months:

– Running an online boutique is not glamorous. Most of my hours are spent alone packing and shipping boxes to customers.
– I don’t pay myself a salary so we live off of my husband’s income- we’ve had to cut down a LOT on spending which has been really hard!
– I never know if I’m making the right choices because I’m the boss. That gives me massive amounts of anxiety.
– Sometimes I get no response on something that I’ve worked really hard on- it’s almost impossible not to take that personally.
– Work never stops. My life is my business and my business is my life. It’s not like I can shut it off at the end of the day. It’s always in my mind!
– If I’m working at home alone, I get lonely and want to see people but if I spend too much time away from my computer, I fall behind. I haven’t found the perfect balance yet.
– Our apartment is full of inventory. In every drawer, corner, and cabinet, I have inventory for the store piled up. It’s kind of funny but very crowded.

Starting my business was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made but it comes with more difficulties than I could have imagined. If any of you out there are in similar situations, I’d love to hear about your struggles as well as your advice. Help a sista’ out!

Check out my 10 tips on how to work from home here.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this! As someone who has entertained this idea an come from a family of entrepreneurs, I really appreciate when people give honest accounts of their experiences. Love the shop and the blog– all your hard work is definitely paying off 🙂

    10.18.13 · Reply
  2. Becky Nally said:

    You have such amazing taste. I love everything you pick for your shop. Keep up the great work and thanks for the honesty!

    Becky
    http://www.thefluffreport.com

    10.18.13 · Reply
  3. RKC said:

    It’s so great of you to open up like that! You certainly DO make running an online business/blogging look easy and chic! Your honesty and humor make you the kind of girl though that we read about online and WANT to succeed! Best wishes and keep up the amazing inspiration! xx

    10.18.13 · Reply
  4. Clara said:

    Truth, lady! It was so lovely meeting you yesterday. I’m so impressed by the fact that you run an online shop- that’s no small feat. Hope we can grab coffee soon 🙂 xx

    10.18.13 · Reply
  5. MarlaCs said:

    Great post….when I left a job to become self employed, friends assumed I had so much free time as I was “always home”. As you say, it’s the total opposite; I work even longer hours now (feels like 24/7!!!) but its for myself, which is very rewarding. I really enjoy your blog & all the best success in your business. Cheers!

    10.18.13 · Reply
  6. Karen Koblan said:

    Thanks so much for sharing this Julia! I so admire what you are doing! I met you for like 5 or 10 minutes at Alt Summit and I knew whatever you were doing was going to be awesome. You had such passion talking about your boutique and leaving your 9 to 5 job! It’s so fun to keep up with your posts and see what you’re up to on Instagram. I know it’s so hard when you want something to work out so badly. I’m working on something now and I just keep telling myself…keep going, keep going! Keep up the great work you are doing! I’m sure you will find that balance you are looking for!

    10.18.13 · Reply
  7. Arielle (Be Well with Arielle) said:

    YOU GO GIRL! Thank you for sharing your truth and honesty. I had a similar week – was feeling a little lonely, overwhelmed and discouraged. Keep your head high, remember your intention and keep on rocking it. The world needs your greatness. LOVE you (and your blog and store). xo

    be well,
    arielle
    http://www.bewellwitharielle.com

    10.18.13 · Reply
  8. garvey said:

    re: I never know if I’m making the right choices because I’m the boss. That gives me massive amounts of anxiety.

    you have incredible instincts, don’t forget that!! if something doesn’t work out the way you imagined it to, remember that everything happens for a reason and it all works out at the end!

    the best is yet to come! 😉
    you’re doing an incredible job, jules!

    xoxo

    10.18.13 · Reply
  9. Great post. I love your honesty. I blog, and still have a 9-5 job, and just wrote a cookbook. I feel like I am working all the time. My instagram makes it look like I am always going to fun parties – but I am there to network. And the networking at events pulls me away from my actual work. It is so hard to balance everything.

    Also – I LOVED the piece you wrote about your nose, it was so brave and refreshing… But think it is weird you have an ad for plastic surgery on the site today. I don’t want to be negative – I don’t know if an Adserver placed the ad, so I thought I would point it out.

    10.18.13 · Reply
    • Thank you! I’m so glad that you loved the posts and I understand what you mean about the ad but a girl’s gotta make money somehow 🙂 It’s hard to balance being perfectly “on brand” and also making enough money to keep the business running but that’s a good topic for another post, thank you!

      10.19.13 · Reply
  10. Dana said:

    Thank you for sharing! These are all such great lessons and reminders 🙂

    10.18.13 · Reply
  11. Kat (With Love From Kat) said:

    Love this post. Totally on the same page here. It may look like rainbows and unicorns on the outside but being an entrepreneur is so hard! Its a 24/7 commitment and can be super isolating – but I’m so lucky to have you as a friend and love that we can relate/vent to each other 🙂 See ya in 30!!! xoxo

    10.18.13 · Reply
    • Lolllll “in 30” – love you two. Catch-up soon!

      10.18.13 · Reply
  12. Cindy Chun said:

    Thanks for sharing! I didn’t know you mostly run this business on your own! Sometimes I wish I was in your shoes. After receiving my necklace from you, I loved that you thanked me in your own handwriting! It was a personal touch. I’ll be buying from you in the future. Keep up the good work!

    10.18.13 · Reply
    • Aww thanks so much for your purchase and for your kind words. You made my day!

      10.19.13 · Reply
  13. You’re an amazing inspiration, Julia. What you do delights the world and adds so much sparkle. It gets easier. Sometimes it just takes awhile.

    And sometimes being okay with sitting on the couch and crying, being lonely and feeling deeply is the best remedy.

    You’re such a gorgeous person inside and out and it’s such an honor to be a reader & friend.

    Big love!

    10.18.13 · Reply
  14. Jennifer Kuhn Schade said:

    I absolutely love your blog, Julia! I read it every day and it has inspired me ever since I discovered it last year. I live in Boston and just got married in August. For years my friends have been telling me you are like, “Miss Boston…you know everything…you need to start a blog.” I think I am to the point of where I ready. I am a trained Special Education Teacher for 10 + years and it has taken a huge toll on me mentally and physically. I need a change.
    I love reading all your information about how you got started, your tips and advice, etc. It is really scary and I don’t quite know where to begin. I am taking a class soon on how to market your blog so hopefully that will help. Boston definitely doesn’t have as many “fashion” bloggers as NYC so I think this city could use me. It’s going to be called the Preppy Bostonian, so watch out for it!
    You do an amazing job and you inspire me every day to push myself to do this scary new adventure even when people tell me “it’s too much work” or “you will never succeed.” Keep smiling and we love you!

    10.18.13 · Reply
    • Go for it girl!! I can’t wait to see your blog, Miss Boston 🙂

      10.19.13 · Reply
  15. Julia, you are AMAZING and you should remind yourself and reward yourself for your successes and strides you have made even over just the last few months {not to mention your whole career!}. You have had unbelievable growth in your social media following, endless features on websites, and some incredibly impressive collaborations. You should be proud because this is something not every girl can reach in their careers no matter how hard they try! You have a gift!!! Oh, and you are cute… that’s gotta count for something 🙂 hehe LOVE YA!!!! KEEP ROCKING and inspiring ME daily!

    10.18.13 · Reply
  16. Shannon said:

    Thanks for sharing this babe! I totally was to just give you props for putting this out there and for putting yourself out there daily in all you do! I feel like you will be able to write a book looking back on the early days in a few years!

    10.18.13 · Reply
  17. Lynzy said:

    You are doing a great job and I envy you for jumping in whole heartedly! I am still working so hard to get my photography business off the ground – but with a lil babe now- its almost impossible….hopefully one day!! 🙂

    10.18.13 · Reply
  18. Tank said:

    Great article Jujaroo

    10.18.13 · Reply
  19. Lindsay said:

    Thanks for sharing this (and all of the honest posts you do), it’s nice to see some clouds in all that sunshine (not to be cheesy or anything!)– I have a 9 to 5 full time job and am just about to hit one year on my blog (onscreenstyle.com). I often look at bloggers like you and think: good lord, what am I doing wrong that I’m NOT getting more followers? that other bloggers who are in my same “genre” (tv and movie style) have so much more clout? that I often feel like I’m talking to a black hole? Anyway, there’s a reason you’re are doing what you do and all of these comments should prove you are NOT alone. Keep up the great work!

    Lindsay
    OnScreenStyle.com

    10.18.13 · Reply
  20. Hang in their, lady!! You’re doing such a great job and we love your blog, your store, your passion and your love. It can’t be easy to follow your heart and just go for it–but you are doing it! And that’s a HUGE accomplishment and something to be truly proud of. Remember, you are your biggest cheerleader! XO

    10.21.13 · Reply
  21. Love it! It takes time to find the “balance”. I’ve felt and been through much of the above, too. The other part I’ve been struggling with lately is when things are good and busy – and you have lots of work! (for me it’s client work) – having the time to keep up the more fun stuff, like blogging and social media, falls behind. It’s all a journey and one we’ve chosen and are lucky to be able to choose. Keep that beautiful chin up! xx!

    10.31.13 · Reply
  22. Pink Champagne said:

    Late to the party and just seeing this now, but thank you SO much for posting. Having just started my own online business 3 weeks ago, I can completely relate and it is so nice to hear I am not alone. I know my business is new, but I have been going through the exact same internal struggles…you are an inspiration, lady! XX

    11.1.13 · Reply
  23. Ravenous Panda said:

    How very, very true!!! It’s tough, but seeing beautiful and strong women like you sharing turns loneliness into a community and support system. Thank you for mixing reality in with all of the beautiful things – it makes you even more of a rock star!

    11.7.13 · Reply
  24. jurse said:

    Thanks for sharing this!

    http://2av.biz

    6.29.15 · Reply