When hating your business goes right.

Penned by Samantha Chizanga

The final step of realization that I "hated" my small business happened during an optimal moment in my life; the official launch of my small business. It wasn't the people, people I love, or the glorious and joyous energy, it was the activity itself.
Here is some background. Three years ago I decided I was going to start a modern cooking school. Young, hip, modern, with minimal rules. The antithesis to government mandated cooking schools. I went to culinary school and had a chip on my shoulder; the rebel against the system. I had the grandiose idea, that I was going to start a 1,000 square foot cooking school facility on Queen Street West, with brand new equipment and a full team.
I know.
To promote my small business I created my own content; taking photographs (horrible photographs), I built my own website (it was so bad), wrote my own copy and even managed to get into some serious publications. Meanwhile, my business was evolving (or devolving) from a dream facility to in-home cooking lessons, eventually coming to a head after many pivots; a content creation and business development house. If you had told me then that I'd own a business that focuses on any of the latter, I would've asked you to get out of my house.
Don't ask me where I got 1,000 square feet. It sounded good at the time.
If you're still reading I am going to assume you hate your business or you're my Mom.
We often do things because we feel like we need to do it for other people. Our families, enemies, partners. We become the person we think they want us to be and enter that box. While that may work sometimes, it doesn't always work. One day you may wake up and think to yourself "SHIT! I hate this".  That's totally fine, you're allowed to change your mind and everyone else will also be alright with it because here is the thing; we are our own biggest haters and create these imaginary situations that will never happen. Your sister will still love you.
Okay, so what now? You realize this isn't the direction you want to go in. Cool, mope around for a bit. I took two months which may be extreme but I knew I wasn't ready to go back yet. Luckily, I was green but this change can happen 3 months, 3 years, or 3 decades in. Keep in mind, I want to stay in business, if you don't you can jet.
If you want to stay, you can do what I did.
Or not. You can totally do whatever you want.
Cry and Purge
An emotional release is probably going to happen. Let it happen. You've just spent a lot of money trying to get this idea of the ground and it failed. It failed because you're not emotionally attached or invested. You're going to start over, maybe rebrand. You're going to ask your inner circle 9 million times "what do I do?" and they're going to tell you "do what you love". Millennial's, we're so insightful.
Go back and cry a bit more, change everything, change it back. Cut your hair, try cashew milk for the first time. Try to wrap your head around this major and massive change. It's important because YOUR happiness is important. The first step of going the right way is admitting that you've been going in the wrong direction the whole time and smacking the steering wheel before you hit a u-turn.
Speak to Those Who Matter
Harsh I know. Not everyone needs to know that you're feeling this way because everyone is going to have differing opinions. Unless you have a vice grip on wanting this change telling your Aunt Sue about your new idea during a Facebook chat is going to open a can of spaghetti-o's.
Speak to your mentors (you should have these, at least one), speak to your business peers, and lastly to those who love you and truly understand your personality without judgement. Explain why you feel the way you feel, and ask them what they think. Take every slice with a grain of salt.
These people will often provide insight you'd never considered and give you other options, ideas, and perspective on what you can do. Remember, you're speaking to them to help you figure out how to improve your current structure and situation. 
Go Back To The Drawing Board
You have two options, maybe more but these are the ones I have for you right now.
1. You scrap everything and start from scratch. Take the ideas you had and the lessons you learned and apply them to your new venture. Focus on what worked last time and in the back of your mind remember what didn't.
2. Do what I did. Take what you know and what you have built and continue to build on that. Think of ways you can innovate and recreate your purpose and vision as a small business. You lose less and get to keep what you originally loved about your business
Here is the great thing about doing something new for the second time. You've already done it. Your mind knows what steps to take, what failures to expect and you're already prepared. It's okay to go back to the drawing board. Whether or not you're on the same path, you should always go back to the board and figure out what's working and what isn't. Know what your final-ish decision is before you go and tell the rest of the world.
"Final-ish Sam?"
Yes, what kind of contradictory mess would this be if I told you, you can change your mind any time!  and then tell you, you need to have a final decision. This is what I mean; people will take you less seriously if you're a combination of words but no actions. Show them this is what you want to do, after expressing it. This will cut down the amount of noise that follows your change. 
Do it
This is your chance to do what you've wanted to do for the last however long.  Put your choice out to the universe, show and prove that this was the right choice for you and your life. Here is the tea; when you're a business owner it's your responsibility to show those looking at you that you can do what you say you can do. Go out there with your idea and do it, try it, and if you hate it you start again.
It took me a while to be able to admit that I had changed, it took even longer to take
those feelings and apply an action to them.
The best part of hating your business is finding out what you really love.

1 comment

  • What an insightful & inspiring deep introspection! This is written from the heart & an honest piece.

    Thank you for articulating your journey, and PLEASE “keep moving”. Your are going to disrupt the culinary landscape. I KNOW IT!

    Now I’ve got a new checklist on how to reconfigure my business ideas. What was my first idea?

    Precious Kaseke on

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