The 7 Relatable AF Stages of Owning a Business.

Ottawa Business Owner - Female Wedding Photographer

Let’s get real here, being a business owner is friggin hard, no matter who you are! There are so many highs and lows. It can be hard for people to understand what it takes to be a business owner, which can create a sense of loneliness… I’m here to tell you that you are not alone and that we are here suffering and celebrating the same things, I promise.

I’d love to see the comment section of this post blow up with your thoughts and feedback! So please go ham because I want to chat about this more with people!



1. The passion hormone!

First, there’s an intense passion and motivation with a wave of positivity. You get a great idea and without further thought, you go to town trying to create it. You invest endless hours and feel so incredibly high and motivated. This idea is your big break! It’s totally genius and the pieces are finally falling into place.


2. The hiccup

This is the first speed bump, it’s small and manageable. You learn, adjust, narrow down and focus on perfection. The best “what if” possible. Occasionally this hiccup will creep into your subconscious, but only when you’re left to your thoughts for a while like in your car for a long time, making dinner, or dropping a deuce. Never when you’re actually working toward your goal. 


3. Self-doubt… That bitch.

This is about the fourth or fifth-speed bump and it’s one of those abnormally large ones that really slows you down. For whatever reason, you let it get you down, and you start the game of comparison and self-doubt. Now, you know that your self-doubt needs to stop. It’s a distraction, and it usually hits when you’re doing something else of high importance.

I promise this story has a happy ending but we’ll get to that later…

You have a negative ‘aha’ moment, or an ‘ahhhashittt’ moment… your idea sucks, you suck, no one will help you, you have no practical way of dealing with this huge issue. Also you were never good at (insert your worst high school subject) and you’re sure that is somehow related to your inability to fix this problem.


4. Decision time

This is the part that separates us entrepreneurs from the rest. You keep going, there is clearly no easy way to do this but, against your better judgment, you decide that you simply must. Which leads to #5.


5. The glimmer of light

This is the moment where one solution almost works but not quite. Despite this, you have just enough motivation to keep going and, now that you know what almost worked, you can use that as a starting point. You keep on truckin’…


6. Champagne poppin’

There is usually a moment, sometimes big, sometimes small. That moment is hard work, lots of brainstorming, planning, and failure after failure. It’s not quite a ‘light bulb’, but maybe one of those fancy lights that can dim up and down.

This moment is like that, something slowly getting brighter each day. You’ve worked your problem to completion and now you can continue on with the work that you’ve been waiting to do. Good for you, you deserve a glass of wine and a bubble bath – I know you’ll just keep working and reject that moment of self-love but maybe, just for the sake of the story, pretend your drinking bubbly in bubbles.


7. Everything is going fine… For now.

This part is like limbo and it’s where we spend most of our time. Working on products or services for clients, content creation, finances… you know, all the in-between stuff. For now, your work and side passion projects are going well. ENJOY THIS MOMENT! It might feel a bit boring but we all know that eventually, you’ll just cycle back to step 1 and have to go through the whole process again.


Enjoy this bliss, and get as much done as possible. Oh and now is your chance to enjoy a glass of vino!



All these steps are a natural part of life and business. I’ve grown so much as a person and business owner because of those fluxes and look forward to the new ones that I will have in the future. 

Sometimes looking back at how far I’ve come in the last year, or even the last four makes me smile and cry! If you’re a business owner, I’m sure you can relate and being able to reflect on one’s growth is incredible and empowering. I hate to get all preachy and corny but sometimes it just feels good to appreciate how far you’ve come. So cornball it up with me and remember that you’re not alone. These moments are natural and some of the best parts of being a business owner! Enjoy the ride.  




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Ottawa Photographer – Josie Nicole


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