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Starting a business is scary and exciting at the same time. For me, I needed the push to start to dream. Now, coming up on my third birthday, I have had many come to me and tell me that I’ve made it. I did it. I really started my own business. But honestly, I did not feel I had “made it” yet.

In my mind, making it meant that I had reached more of my goals and I still felt so far away. I asked myself why? Why do these people think I’ve made it? I struggled with this feeling and some days, still struggle to understand. Days like this, I like to look back and reflect on my personal growth over the past two years. By seeing where I was then and where I am now is shocking to me. I will not say that time has not been without challenges. In fact, I have faced more challenges than I every anticipated, much less planned for. Through those challenges, I have found strength that I did not know I possessed, but more importantly, I found support and love.

One of the more difficult challenges I found was to be rather simple, but complex at the same time. Acknowledging that I needed and finding help. The acknowledgement was simple for me. I knew I was not the best at my bookkeeping and as workload grew, I would place more focus on work that needed to be done and not as much on making sure my books were in order, much less a budget in place. When I found Kim, who was knowledgeable with Quickbooks and was willing to assist me with my bookkeeping habits, I felt a weight lifted. I felt that I was finally going to get my things in order and take a headache off my plate.

Having the ability to spend more time on what I enjoy most, I continued to work on building the business, planning and setting goals. I found like minded business owners who were willing to be contracted as needed for different jobs that I needed help with that allowed me to expand services and include more of what business owners needed. This spring, I found Jenna who was interested in learning more about the business and took a chance on working with a very young small business that felt like it was just getting off the ground. She is such an integral part of the business now; I would not be where I am today without her. With her assistance, I have been able to expand our marketing and build our brand awareness. More importantly, her assistance has helped me grow as an individual.

As business owners, we tend not to discuss our personal growth, but it is deeply tied to running a business. We are continually learning, often on the fly but it can be purposeful as well, such as attending personal or professional development seminars. This growth comes not from setting and reaching goals, but from learning more about ourselves and what we value. Growth is the foundation of “making it” because others see the difference in you when you focus on yourself and improving your physical and mental health. Your physical health keeps your body performing the tasks of running your business and your mental health allows you to see what others see in you – an incredibly brave and courageous person. Even if you aren’t feeling brave and courageous, you are.

Anyone who chooses to go into business for themselves is incredibly brave and courageous. If you aren’t feeling it, take a look back at where you were six months ago, a year ago, how ever long you need to go back to see the growth you have achieved since starting your business because it’s there. That growth shows you are making it. I know, because I am making it too.