No one handed me a roadmap showing me how to become an entrepreneur. There weren’t classes on launching a subscription box in college. As women, many of us don’t have a lot of support at home. Spouses may view our businesses as hobbies or side gigs, or even just something we do for fun. It can be hard to be taken seriously and to have people view our businesses as legit. No wonder why so many of us suffer from self-doubt.
When I decided to start my subscription box business, I would have loved to have a group of like-minded entrepreneurs to answer my questions. At that time, only major companies were successful in the subscription box business. I realized I needed to figure it out myself.
So I did a ton of research to find the answers to all my questions. I searched for products and packaging and tried to figure out the tech. I knew what I wanted my subscription box to be. I had a clear vision of the experience I wanted to give my subscribers. But getting there was going to be a challenge. And it was easy to let self-doubt creep in.
I Wanted to Hire an Influencer to Be the Face of My Brand.
When I first launched my subscription box business, I didn’t think I should be the face of my brand. I 100% let my insecurities get in the way and reminded myself of all the reasons why I wasn’t enough. I convinced myself I wasn’t pretty enough, young enough, skinny enough, professional enough. The list went on. I set out to find an influencer I could hire to take my place as the face of my company.
As I looked around for what I thought my customers wanted, I realized those influencers all looked the same. They were all gorgeous, tan, blonde women in their 20’s. They weren’t me. And I thought that was perfect, until I had a huge lightbulb moment.
My customers weren’t going to relate to these types of people. Why?
Because my customers were me.
My customers looked like me, they sounded like me, and they were all in their 30s, 40s and 50s. They wanted to see how cute the products looked on me. Y’all, they wanted to connect with ME.
The moment I realized this, I started to let go of my self-doubt. I faced my fears about being on camera and being the face of my brand and did it anyway.
How Did I Bust Through My Self Doubt?
You are who you are. That’s it. There’s no fighting it. I stopped constantly trying to change to fit what I thought other people wanted. Being human means having flaws. Embrace them. We all have things we don’t love about ourselves.
For so long, I was afraid to be myself on camera. I worried if I said “y’all,” people wouldn’t think I was professional. So I tried to be proper. As it turns out, proper wasn’t connecting with my audience. My audience is mostly southern women. They all say “y’all!” Why was I trying to hide that?
I worried I wasn’t young enough or thin enough. Then I realized the most popular sizes I sold were large, extra large, and double extra large. My customers looked like me! And my customers weren’t 20-something. They were in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. I’m 43.
It turned out, my customers wanted to see me.
They wanted to talk to me. They wanted to see how cute my products looked on me - someone who looked a lot like them! That huge mindset shift changed everything about my business. It allowed me to drop all the fears I had and just show up as me.
Remember, you are who your customer is buying from. You know what they want and need. You can build those relationships that turn customers into raving fans.
It’s completely natural to want to be liked by everyone. But think about it for a minute. Think about all the people you “meet” on social media or through blogs or podcasts. Think about all the people you meet in real life. Are all of them for you? Nope. And that’s okay.
Some people will decide you are not for them. That’s a good thing because that makes more room for those people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer. Those are the people you’re here for. At the end of the day, if you try to please everyone, you aren’t going to please anyone.
As any online entrepreneur knows, if you’re going to be successful, you’ve got to go live on social media to connect with your tribe. Now, being on camera has never been my favorite thing. So I decided I needed something to boost my confidence before going on camera. For me, that’s getting my hair done.
When my hair looks good, I feel good. I sit up straighter, present myself with authority and just feel better about myself. My confidence shines through. What’s your version of “getting your hair done?” Whatever it is (and I mean, whatever!), set aside some time to make it happen before that moment when you need a confidence boost.
Busting Through My Self-Doubt Opened New Avenues of Revenue
Once I found my confidence, I was unstoppable. Like most entrepreneurs, my journey started at my kitchen table with just a few dollars in my bank account. When I first launched my subscription box business, I had 44 subscribers. That number has now grown to 3,000 subscribers and three box options. What started as a way to make a little extra money quickly turned into a seven figure business that employs over a dozen people.
When I started getting a lot of questions from other people who wanted to start their own subscription box business, I launched a second business where I’ve mentored over four thousand aspiring entrepreneurs. My business has grown exponentially once I realized that the only thing holding me back was me.
WRITTEN BYSarah Williams