3 things I’ve observed since starting a small business

Running a small business can be exhausting.  If you’re not yet aware, I decided to start my own tiny online store TYPENU Co curating minimal, feminine, and basic jewelry pieces both handmade and machine made.  It’s been both rewarding and intimidating.  This week’s food for thought are 3 things I’ve observed and learned since starting the business a few months ago.


Preview of new things to come!


1. Me, myself and I

I think the most challenging aspect of being sole proprietor of a small business is the different type of roles it requires you to embody.  The researching, the sourcing, the social media and promotions, and of course product photography, styling, and editing.  Add on miscellaneous things like logo/storefront design and  you’re basically required to be superhuman.  Luckily my design background and my love of tech makes for a good combo in this case.


Never ending amount of pieces for me to photograph and edit

2. Self motivation takes on a whole new meaning

It’s so easy to let a day slip by and tell yourself you’re just taking a break, catch up on some Netflix, but even a day here or there can be detrimental.  I found staying consistent to be so difficult especially when I’m not seeing results, but after making a few sales as a result of pigheadedness and stubborness, I realized the value of consistency.   It’s natural to not see immediate payoff and be discouraged in something as vague as an online business, and ironically the way to tip the scale is stay on focus and push through.


Designing and printing logo/earring cards

3. Willingness to learn and confront what you’re not good at is not optional

I’ve never been a good salesperson even though I’ve tried my hand multiple times at it, but in the end I’m just not built for convincing someone to buy something face to face.  Having a business online is actually a lot easier than promoting in person, but it still requires a degree of self promotion which I hate.  I’m slowly learning to overcome this by believing in the pieces I curate and that what I have to offer is of value.


My tiny editing space

As I’m writing these thoughts I realized much of the same parallels runs in working and maintaining a blog.  Do you write regularly?  What are some of your challenges and how did you power through?  I’d love to learn what keeps you guys motivated!

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  • Lauren Q

    I really love your simplistic jewelry!!


  • I am about to embark on my own online business very soon so this post was right on time – thanks!


  • Love this post! Thanks so much for sharing:)


  • I just left my full time job to concentrate on my blog and freelance writing and I can definitely relate to these points.
    It sounds like you’re doing amazingly, Alice! 🙂 Loved this post.

  • I’d say go for it! If there’s something you’re passionate about, I’m sure you’ll find the courage!

  • Aw thanks Gabrielle, makes me so happy my pieces are well received!

  • Thanks Jasmine!

  • Thanks Filipa! I’m far from successful but I’ll keep chugging along! 😉

  • Rae your words are always so lovely to read, whether it’s your comments or your blog! I definitely agree with not knowing when to take downtime, or rather, feeling GUILTY about taking downtime haha! The guilt apparently isn’t strong enough to stop the occasional Netflix binge though. After our chat I see what you mean about wanting to pursue your photography career more, but honestly I think blogging is such an extension of anything that photography gigs can come from it! It’s like a win win.

  • I want to start my own small business as well. And this is pure light! Thanks for sharing! 😀

    Love, Marie Roget

  • Lynne Le

    Such an inspiring post, best wishes to your work <3

    Love from Best Bags 2016

  • Beautiful and inspiring post. I absolutely loved it. Thank you for sharing xx

    Jac Fleurant

  • Its so inspiring that you have your own small business and are working so hard to reflect and improve on your product!
    An Unblurred Lady

  • What pretty pieces!


  • That’s definitely the hardest one for me! Thanks for reading Whit!

  • Beautifully put, distractions are everywhere! Being open to knowledge and new things can be hard when you already feel like there’s so much back log either in your mind or physically that you have to take care of, but like you said, it’s important and will allow us to do more!

  • Amazing post! I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of starting my own business, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be brave enough to do it. Good luck!


  • Gabrielle

    It’s so impressive you’ve started your own business, though I can absolutely imagine how busy you must be by needing to take on so many varied roles! Your pieces are lovely and so I truly hope you gain the recognition/success you deserve – good luck!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

  • Oh hells yea #girlboss! Love that book, love Nasty Gal too. Heard they’re not doing well currently, hoping they will push through the tough times!

  • Yes it’s definitely a daily reminder 😉

  • Thanks Maryam that means the world to me!

  • Great post! Sounds like you’re really working hard and learning a lot about yourself – I wish you the best in your further business endeavors.

    Jasmine | The Sixth Disney Princess

  • I think multitasking and staying motivated is indeed a huge challenge when it comes to running a business. From experience, I think it is only possible to stay truly motivated if a person finds real meaning and love in what he/she does. Thanks for sharing your tips!


  • Great post – totally feel with you! Especially self-motivation is so important, as none of us is always super inspired. For me, most Inspiration Comes from magazines, travels and – obviously from the web!
    xx. Mirjam


  • This was very informative. Good for those who are planning to start a small business of their own!

    Joyce // http://joycentricity.blogspot.com/

  • These are great insider details. Thanks for sharing them!

    Heba xx || The Heba

  • I love this, so honest !


  • Great post. You have to be a certain mindset to successfully run a business (especially retail) I have seen so many people try and fail… it seems like you have got it right my dear. Truly inspirational post.

    Happy Valentines Day

    Filipa xxx
    PlayingWithApparel.com | Instagram

  • Great post dear! Very motivating :-).
    Don’t stop your business ;-).

    Xx Pisa ❤

  • Really great post and all of these observations are so true! While I am focusing a lot more on my blog than my freelance photography career at the moment (although, I really should be focusing on both!), I could relate to all of these observations. I think that the most difficult part about being the sole proprietor, like you said, is not only having do be the master of all trades that your company needs, but that even when you deserve some downtime, it is really hard to actually take it, as you think of every hour (or minute for that matter) as one you COULD be using to invest back into your business. Still, breaks are necessary and I think it is easy to forget how hard we work and to forget to congratulate ourselves as we are not pulling in the kind of income we would like to be pulling in that would justify a break. At least that is how it is for me at the moment. Your creations and curations are beautiful though, so I am sure you will do well in the end!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

  • Gil Zetbase

    Wonderful post!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Photographer Gil Zetbase

  • This is very enlightenment.
    I, myself would want to open a business soon.
    These are the things that we actually need to consider.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

  • Oh gosh tell me about it -especially the self motivation one! But also, it’s so so much more rewarding when you achieve something (little or big)! Keep going, don’t let anything stop you!! x



  • This is so important! Not only for those who happen to have a business, but for every blogger. I often let myself watch a movie or a tv show when I’m trying to do blogging related work, but I know that it takes times that I could be doing something. Actually today, I’ve prohibited myself of doing that just to see how much I actually get done and I can tell you I’m already seeing a huge difference.

    I feel that another great point is the thirst for knowledge. I don’t feel that we ever stop learning and the more we know, the more we can do with our life and business and work and blog and everything really.

    Ella x

  • Thank you for sharing this 🙂 I love reading posts like this! I’m not sure if you have already read it or not, but I really recommend reading the book #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso! It’s one of my favourite books and one of the best books about how Sophia went from almost nothing to running a multi millionaire dollar business!


  • Loved this post, I find the only way I stay focused and motivated is to remind myself that no one else will do it for me and if I want results I need to push for them 🙂

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog

  • Great post babe, I definitely relate!!

    Adi xx

  • Hun, there is no way this jewelry line isn’t going to be successful, I mean it looks beautiful. I completely agree with you on the second point …. It’s easy to get distracted when you don’t see the results you expected


  • Thanks Ashley, I’m going to try my best! ;D

  • Thanks for your kind words Lindsey, so encouraging <3

  • Thanks Maireem! Don’t forget the VDay coupon if you decided to make a purchase! 😉

  • Thanks Minaali! So glad my curation is well received!!

  • I find the part of ‘keeping it going’ the hardest because I recognized that saying still and just spinning your wheels won’t get you anywhere, but taking that next step forward into the unknown is so scary! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Platforms such as Etsy / Shopify has made the barrier to entry really easy; do it! I’m not super pro at it but I’ll be happy to help if you have any questions!

  • Thanks Rach, makes me so happy to hear that!

  • If you have any questions when that time comes, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

  • Thanks Danielle, you too!

  • Thanks Jeini! So happy to hear it!

  • Oh definitely! Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts!

  • I would like to write more often too; I don’t know why I find it so hard. I think it might be fear that the post won’t be good enough, people won’t enjoy reading it, etc etc. Need to get over that! Thanks for your love and thoughts Viviene, huge fan of yours!

  • I’ve had my first little business at the age of 18. Back then it was so challenging with little no to knowledge on everything, but not gonna lie, that was my very first stepping stone in life. Would love to start a little business again soon! I love your jewlery Alice. With persistence and passion, I believe you will make it one day 🙂

    Oh yes I write really regularly. Pen glued to my hand 24/7 haha! x

    Real Life Nerd // http://www.vivienekok.com

  • agree with you, especially about the self motivation part, working as your own boss makes it easy to get comfortable and that’s always something I struggle with!


  • Wow. You store and your items are just so fancy. They are simple yet powerful in style. More powers Alice. <3

    Spices + Everything Nice | http://www.ajeinomoto.com

  • This is amazing! So inspiring! Have an amazing day and an even better weekend!


  • Great post! Someday I hope to start my own small business. So this is definitely great motivation, and inspiration. And especially help. Know what to expect!

  • These are very helpful tips! Thank you for sharing! Also, you collection is beautiful!! I love the minimal pieces!


  • They are so pretty! Love this post!
    Love from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • great post!
    this is so helpful, i’m thinking of starting my own business, but like you said, i find the sales/promotion part hard. But i’m sure all the hard work will be worth it! 🙂 have a great day Alice.


  • Great post Alice!
    I recently turned my blog into a business and I recognize myself in all three points. Motivation is key! And being your own boss means you have to think about how to keep your business going constantly. There’s no stopping.
    Have a great weekend ahead Alice!

  • Great post! I love all of these.
    Some of these pieces are so lovely – I just need to save up for the shipping! ^^
    The Snap Narrative

  • Ok so I just checked out your online store and I absolutely love a lot of pieces! Such a lovely job! I’m really considering getting something 😀

  • The pieces you have on here are so pretty 🙂 Love it and will be checking out the rest of your line! -Maireem

    My Fair Autumn | Instagram

  • Love seeing your designs!! As an aspiring designer myself I love seeing the success and the behind the works of all small companies and businesses 🙂 Your jewellery is soo pretty and chic !!

    Kathy xx

  • Hope your business flourish , it’s such an amazing thing to start something that you can call your own. x my inspiration


  • Oh man, props to you for starting your own business. It definitely would NOT be easy! Your jewellery looks beautiful by the way.


  • Really love your logo design. Great work!

  • Wow great post! Thx for your thoughts! xoxo Denise

  • I LOVE your line of jewelry! Especially the chandelier earrings – KUDOS to you for running a business. I know there’s a ton of work that goes into it.

    stay styled,


    IG: stay_styled
    BLOG: http://staystyledblog.com/

  • Great info my dear. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Congrats on your business you have very nice product.
    Xo, Christianne

  • mc

    Love these observations & I agree that they do run parallel to maintaining a blog!

  • Congrats on the launch, lady- and great lessons learned. You are getting a straight up education in sisters doing it for themselves. 😉 Go get ’em!