5 Lessons I Have Learned From Starting A Business in 2022

5 Lessons I Have Learned From Starting A Business in 2022

The year 2022 was a rollercoaster, with so many highs and so many lows. At the end of the day, I won’t change it for the world but there are a few lessons I took from 2022. 

Success Comes From Finding Your People 

It was only during a podcast I listened to on Christmas morning that I heard this phrase. It resonated with me so deeply. I am so lucky to have an amazing partner and amazing friends both in Dingle and all over the country. Each one of them supports me in different ways. They motivate and inspire me, they share their ideas with me, and most importantly they are a listening ear when things go wrong. 

I remember when I was younger I heard my Mum make a speech about friendship. She spoke of a conversation between herself and my Aunt. My Mum used to worry about the kind of people my brother and I would be when we grew up. She of course wanted us to be kind, empathetic, and outgoing. My Aunt put her mind at ease and said “If your children surround themselves with the right friends you will never have to worry too much about them”. 

While she was giving that speech I looked around at my friends. I had a huge sense of gratitude for all of them. In all their different ways they had molded me into a person I was proud of. Since that day in 2013, I have been so grateful to meet so many more people. Some have come and gone, but true and honest friendships still hold strong. Now I can see the small close-knit circle of friends that I have surrounded myself with. They push me to be a better person every day both in business and in life. 

The right people will support you but also challenge you. When running your own business you can feel that you are always right and that you know what is best, it is your business at the end of the day. If there is one major thing I have learned this year is to open your ears and listen to new ideas, constructive criticism, and the wisdom of others. You never know whose advice or help could change your business for the better. Make sure to look at your business from someone else’s perspective every now and then. 


You Owe It To Yourself and Your Business

While going through one of the toughest months I had faced in business, I shared a small snippet on social media of some of the issues I was facing. Someone reached out to me and said “You owe it to yourself and your business to keep going.” To this day I have never met this person but they changed my perspective of what I was going through and how to get through hard times. 

I had worked at this point for over 2 years to create this dream I had always had, and one supplier was not going to get in the way of that. Yes, I had a good cry, it was needed, and then with those words ringing in my ears I picked myself up and with the help of my support system adapted to what needed to be done. The fact was I wasn’t able to physically make the products, I couldn’t make the truck drive any faster to get here, and everything possible was out of my control. So a temporary Plan B was formed. It was in no way perfect but it was a small solution to a problem and as Shane would always say to be “Done is better than perfect” 

At that time only a handful of people knew the extent of the issues I was facing, but to the outside world, I had a shop and a website full of products. The overwhelming pressure I was feeling wasn’t from customers, it was just my internal feelings. When I looked at my business from the customer's perspective, my shoulders relaxed and my mind got clearer and I was able to work ahead with a temporary plan B. 

Launching is one thing, maintaining is another but you owe it to yourself and your business to keep going. Adapt and overcome!


Trust Your Gut

This is in life, not just in business. Your gut is very rarely wrong, especially when it comes to people. As an entrepreneur, you can’t be it all, unfortunately. You will have to rely on others to help you, especially if you have very little experience in some aspects of running a business such as accounting or manufacturing. Make sure your gut trusts these people because these people will be able to bring your businesses to new heights or be the biggest pain in the ass.

As I said above, you can’t know or be everything, but the one thing I learned this year is to stand up for myself as a small business. Some people can look down on you and your inexperience but don’t ever feel pressured or bullied into a decision you wouldn’t want to make. It is your business at the end of the day. Make sure you make the right decision when opening up your weakness to other people to help your business move forward. You can take advice but at the end of the day, it's your decision and your business.

Every person within your business should add value and not overwhelming stress. 


Take A Moment

It all started with a light bulb moment, a passing idea and now in front of you is a business, your business, be so proud of yourself. 

Irish people can sometimes find openly saying they're proud of themselves really hard. For me, it has taken some therapy to give myself the space to be proud of myself. People can say it to you but there is something about saying it to yourself and feeling it in your whole body that makes a difference. 

We can go through the motions day after day, month after month, and not take time to reflect on how far we have come. So if you haven't had a moment of reflection in 2022 take it now. Remember that light bulb moment and the journey it took to get here right now. Be proud of yourself, it takes courage, determination and a hell of a lot of risks to take the leap from the light bulb moment to launching a business. You are the one in a million who took a chance on themselves and made it happen. Well done. 


Stop Comparing 

Comparison is the thief of joy.” - Theodore Roosevelt 

We all need inspiration in our life. We need people and businesses to look up to. They are the things that inspired us to start in the first place but playing the comparison game, it is only you who is losing.  

There are many companies and entrepreneurs I looked up to when creating Outwest Clothing, but after launching I started comparing, which looking back is crazy. I was trying to compare myself to companies that had been in business for 3-10 years, had multiple employees, and were retailing worldwide. How was I ever going to compare to that? You are on your own business journey and many times I had to remind myself of this. Everyone's journey is so different. What I found hugely helpful is following other small businesses and watching their journey, to talk to other local business people. All small businesses face the same start-up challenges so don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for some advice.

From the start, I wanted to document the highs and lows of the Outwest journey. I wanted to be the person that I wanted to see when I was beginning my journey. If there is a young entrepreneur out there who can see the reality of launching and running a business and is inspired to do it anyway, then that is all that matters. Being a startup can feel like a lonely journey but if you find people to share that journey with it makes the day-to-day just a little easier. 


Here’s to 2023 being another year of learning. Sitting here I wonder what I will be writing next year. Only time will tell, but here is to being part of the journey and not just the destination. 

Bec Hoban 

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