I started my own business back in the day before online businesses were the hot thing and the ticket out of your 9-5. Back then, I focused on pretty paper goods for brides and branding for businesses in my local community.
I wasnt yet a mama and I didnt have a whole lot of other women to compare myself to (thank goodness, because in that season, that mightve made me cry into my regular ol, uninspiring, no-boss-lady-inscription coffee mug).
I puttered along and after a couple of years my eyes were opened to this big, shiny, alluring online business world and I had aha! after aha! and idea after idea.
I started to see other designers social media sites and websites. I followed other women as their online businesses began to take off. And I started to compare myself.
youre too small, Ally! youre not marketing yourself the right way. their websites, products, and packages are so much better than yours.color= #009900>
Then, I got pregnant and became a mama.
And suddenly I had this bouncing baby boy who I would do anything for. And it was no longer just my husband and me.
I was willing to move mountains to give my son a wonderful life, while he was busy tearing books off of the bookshelf.color= #009900>
I struggled to balance growing my business, working on clients projects, and being the wife and mama I wanted to be.
I was trapped between comparison, perfection, and loads of mommy guilt (and laundry!).color= #009900>
I was tempted to get out of my business, because the stress and the discouragement of only being able to contribute (some) to the grocery budget made me feel like I wasnt good enough. Yuck!
In an attempt to gain clarity about what I should be doing and how I should do it, I hired a coach.
I fought through truly identifying the right packages, raising my prices, and finding my ideal client.
And, I learned soooooo much. But, I got lost in my business (and not in a good way). I didnt follow my gut and let the pressure of being the perfect big time lady boss lure me into out-pricing and out-packaging myself for who I really wanted to connect with and help.
In my heart, I wanted to work with women who wanted the opportunity to work with a high-end designer at a price point they could afford. Thats the Nebraska in me and the heart behind my biz – I think everyone deserves something pretty.
The pressure to be something I wasnt resulted in me taking the true heart and passion out of my business and a business without heart feels cold, lifeless, and uninspiring.color= #009900>
Its wonderful to have a mentor, but following the guidance of others when, in my heart, it didnt feel right, caused me to stray from my true calling.color= #009900>
All the stress and lack of clarity left me pre-occupied and totally consumed with creating the perfect online biz rather than being present with my sweet boy and hubby (raise your hand if youve been there, too).
This was not filling my cup with the pretty, whimsical, heart-felt goodness I was after.
So, what did I do?
I cried LOL.
Then, once I dried my tears, I said enough with this. Im going to follow my gut.
And, I followed my gut and determined to become who I knew I was all along and design for the women who really need me – who deserve high-end options at an affordable price.
I Set My Mind to Being Great Rather Than Perfect and Being a Cheerleader Rather Than a Big Time Gurucolor= #009900>
I found a community of women who supported my creative vision and heart and while they hold me accountable and challenge me to think bigger, they offer a safe space for me to be who I am.
I stopped obsessing about having a clean house and a full fridge and being a perfect wife and mama, and just started to be present.
I Chose Being Present Over Being Perfect for My Familycolor= #009900>
I was determined to let go and I did. Now, every time feelings of insecurity or doubt try to work their way in and steal the sweetness from my day, I kick them out.
I made a choice and every time I start to compare myself, my business, or my life to someone else, I go back to my visionto be a designer who creates pretty things from the heart and a cheerleader for entrepreneurs with heart.
Then, I get down on the floor and tear the house apart with my toddler and piece together a mediocre meal that my hubby still enjoys.
The next morning when I wake up, I smile into my lady boss mug and get ready to conquer the day Ally B styleno more putting on yoga pants that are sooo not me.
My business to-do list is never-ending, but a big part of it these days is reworking my packages and website to be stronger than ever and more ME. Its focused on the heart of my business and truly helping the women who need a biz and confidence boost from a professionally branded website, but cant afford high-end designer fees.
If you need a designer cheerleader or just an online friend who understands the pressures and the pull of finding your business identity and personal identity as a wife, mama, and online business owner, Im here!
Ally B Designs, by Alicia Bauer, is a full service design boutique specializing in branding and websites for mompreneurs and creative biz owners with heart and purpose. Ally’s hip-hip-hooray and easy-going personality that makes working together like a virtual party (the one where you pour the wine into a normal glass, so no one will notice and give the kids apple juice – no judgement here ;)).
A mid-western girl trying to fill her neck of the online woods who has a bottomless love for her hubby and spunky boy. Ally is a former wedding planner and event designer who followed her calling into the world of pretty. However, she’s not just a typical girl who decided to wing it. Ally has an extensive design background and years of experience working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. (She also used to manage a print shop, so, hello print design experience!!)
Ally B Designs is on a mission to help creatives and biz mommas unlock intentional branding that represents who they are and what their biz is about all while having fun and enjoying the process of brand discovery. To learn all about Ally and her services check out www.allybdesigns.com.
Contributors to jaclynmellone.com are members of the Chasing Dreams and Littles Incubator.