I have the best job in the world. Every day I wake up and feel grateful to live my business. It’s really so true that when you do what you love, you don’t feel like you work a day in your life – even if technically you’re logging 12-hour days. There are so many things I have learned along the way of building a small business. Here are three things that have helped me feel successful even when the success wasn’t obvious:
1. See your story as an adventure. Especially at the beginning, setbacks can feel enormously heavy. I found it helpful to think of the adventure of starting a small business as a sitcom – with episodes and characters that are sometimes hilarious and sometimes daunting and always entertaining (at least in hindsight :)). Seeing your story as an adventure helps to keep a larger perspective and allows you to see bumps in the road as a part of the journey and not as failures.
2. Play to your strengths, but be flexible enough — and brave enough — to step out of your comfort zone when you need to. I am lucky to have partners that have different strengths than I do, so we can each focus on the areas of running the business where we can contribute the most. If you don’t have partners in your business, don’t be afraid to ask for (or hire) help if you find that an area of weakness or lack of experience is hurting your business. However, we also each have found the courage to sometimes step out of our comfort zone when necessary and tackle areas that are a stretch for us. That flexibility keeps things interesting, sometimes opens up new business opportunities, and helps us each keep growing.
3. Find a larger purpose for what you’re doing. This one is a big one – and I’m reminded of it every day. Focusing solely on accumulating money, social media followers, or awards and recognition can often add stress rather than lasting fulfillment. Dabble Studio’s purpose is very intentional and, I believe, very important, especially given the current climate in our society. We try every day to intentionally create a space where every single person feels welcome, comfortable, valued and respected. We treasure the diversity of our Dabble community. Whenever I have a class or event, the most rewarding part is seeing very different people who never would have met otherwise, and who might come from very different places, find a commonality and rapport with each other as they share a creative and fun experience. To me, that is the ultimate success. It provides purpose beyond numbers, fuels the sometimes long days and nights, and makes me proud of myself and proud of Dabble and what my partners and I have built.
Jamie Fritz left her Wall Street job in NYC just over 4 years ago to open and run Dabble Studio where she hosts cooking classes and corporate team builders. Dabble also has a painting program and runs both driving and walking tours across Nashville. Recently, the Dabble team has launched virtual food tours through a new company, Bites and Sites.