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How do you find the courage to start and run your business?

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For me, courage is simply making the decision to DO IT, and then following through.

I constantly have ideas for new things (am working on another business venture as well), and as soon as I get those ideas, I'm off and running.

I don't leave myself time to ponder and be afraid.
It does take courage to start your own business, especially when your product is something that you make with your own two hands. It takes a lot of courage to say, "hey, I made this, and it's for sale".

The nice thing about Etsy, is that you can show your creations off to the world with VERY LITTLE RISK.

My courage comes from being able to start very small. Miniscule even. My courage comes from being able to *try*, and knowing that I can grow, learn, change, and adapt as I go.

Etsy enables me to do that.

And the Etsy community is an amazing support throughout the whole process. Someone is always there to help, any time of the day or night. Knowing I have that support and can also give it to others, gave me the courage to start and gives me the courage to keep going.

I don't want to work for anyone else. Seriously. I always give so much more than any job has ever required; I push myself really hard. I just like to do the best job possible. 90% of the employers I've worked for didn't really seem to get all you need to do is appreciate that. I worked for one awesome coffee house owner when I was in my early 20's, that was awesome & promoted me to manager very quickly. The last job I had was for a great California designer. She really taught me how to treat others to help your business grow. I try to give amazing customer service. My business has grown slowly - I have young kids that take most of my time - but I like it that way. Once my littlest starts school (2 yrs) I'm really going to pour it on!
Necessity is often the mother of invention, as many of us well know.

It was not so much courage for me, as it was necessity. I was unable to work at my previous field, my husband had lost his job and we needed income and we needed it fast.

Thinking of another venue (yes the dreaded eBay), I looked around to see what was selling, that I might possibly have.

With no start up money, I needed it to be things I already had. I saw lingerie selling like hotcakes, I saw old toys and advertising. Things I had in my possession. It was more important to me to keep our home and put food on the table, than to keep *things*. So I started listing and selling.

Yes, I had some apprehension, but with little other choice, I kept going forward. I never looked back. Ups and downs, though they can be discouraging at times, are usually a natural reminder to work harder and work smarter.

If the people around you are not supportive, it can be more difficult. For myself, I took it as challenge and became determined to prove myself. The courage comes into play, only as a will to keep going.

For some of us, it's not courage, but fear of something else. I originally opened my shop here as an outlet for my hobby. Our house was just full of soap. Then I was laid off from my job, not because of poor work quality, but because someone three levels above me received a bonus to "cut costs", and the simple way to do that was to eliminate 50 jobs. I am terrified that that could happen again if I choose to work for someone else. I am still looking for another job, but my focus is on making this my job. It just seems less risky to work for myself. The plus side is that it is so much more fulfilling to do work that I'm extremely good at, and that I love.
I haven't read the whole 12 pages, but I think someone once said that "Courage is just getting up one more time than you get knocked down..."

or something like that. Wait, maybe that's persistence...


(BTW, Be careful while traveling, Chad! Best Wishes!)

I found courage when I listen to my inner voice. It's the same inner voice, which told me as a kid, when is the right time to jump off from a high swing without breaking my bones.

The inner voice will let you know, when you and the circumstances are one and the time is right for whatever you are going to do.

Sometimes you'll still break your bones, but the satisfaction of following your inner voice is what makes it worth to take the risk.

Best wishes for you in Berlin!
Yes, Chad, safe travel wishes your way!
I think that once you start your own business, it is an even bigger accomplishment to persist. Day in day out, month after month, in spite of obstacles. This is the key to success, because no one will be as committed to your dream as you. Every single day, minute by minute, you have to step forward, put yourself out there, and be courageous.
Courage comes with experience, but there are still times of uncertainty that we have to muster the confidence to do what we want to do.

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