Posted: 8th February 2017
When I tell people I have closed Another Gorgeous Day, I always get met with sympathy and “Oh I am sorry”.
But I am not sorry. I am not sad. In fact I feel liberated!
Here is why? But be warned, after reading my reasons you may feel it is time to move on. Well elements of your business anyway.
Giving up is not easy, but sometimes it is absolutely necessary. To become bigger and better. And it isn’t really giving up. It is progress.
I started planning Another Gorgeous Day in November 2008. After months of planning, creating the website, sourcing products etc. I launched in the summer of 2009. The idea was an on-line shop selling gifts and home accessories all with wonderful words and quotes inscribed on them.
At the time I had 2 children under the age of 2 and I was a Finance Director at my local College. I was running my on-line store whenever I could fit in a few hours. I loved it!
The shop took off from the start. Sales and profits increased year on year. So in 2014 I was able to give up being a Finance Director to run Another Gorgeous Day full time.
Things were going great until December 2015.
It was then that I realised a few things that made me contemplate the future of Another Gorgeous Day.
1. Sales were about 30% down on the previous year.
2. When I started very few were shops were selling or making products with words, quotes and sayings on. Now there were words on everything and being sold everywhere.
3. Suppliers were being greedy – they wanted the on-line sales for themselves so were stopping supplying shops who were solely on-line. Which was me. Six key suppliers of mine did this to me in the space of 6 months at the start of 2015.
4. This was the biggest reason. My passion was no longer there.
By this time I had already started working on my new business, Love Our Shops UK. A website for shoppers to find brilliant on-line shops, and a place to help independent on-line shops get more traffic. This I am very passionate about and so excited to be doing it.
But before I could close Another Gorgeous Day to concentrate on Love Our Shops UK, I had to get it right in my head. I had to think it through. Closure was making me feel like a failure and making me feel sad.
So for anyone who is in a similar situation. This is what helped me to move on.
However, this list is not just about closing your business. It can also help you with shaking it up a bit. Trying a new element or closing a part that really isn’t fulfilling you any more. Remember the answer isn’t necessarily closure.
Reasons to shake things up a bit or even move on:
1. Competition and market changes.
Things are changing all the time. So we and our businesses need to keep evolving too.
when I started hardly anyone was selling products with words on. In fact, at first it was really hard to source them as no one seemed to be making them. Now they are everywhere.
2. Bigger and better.
In a “proper” job quite often you will do it for a number of years and then you move on. This is progress and it is seen as success. So why not in business? You can outgrow your business in the same way as you outgrow a job.
3. Lost passion.
To run your own business you have got to have passion. Running a business is not easy. To keep going and keep the motivation you need passion, lots of passion. When things become a chore rather than exciting changes are needed.
I never have time to be bored. However, I find if I am not being challenged my motivation waivers. I start to procrastinate. I do things half heartedly. Which is no good in business. It will catch up with you sooner or later.
5. No learning or development.
If that stops, it is time to move on, for me anyway. Or it is a good reason to make some changes.
6. Goes against your values.
Do you know what your core values are? I have 6 core values. When I compared my values to Another Gorgeous Day it was no longer fulfilling them. It fulfilled 2, but that was not enough for me. My new business fulfils all 6!
7. A new idea.
Entrepreneurs are naturally creative people. That usually means that we get lots of ideas. When that new idea comes along that fires your passion it is important to give it a go.
This happened to me. For 12 months I tried doing both. It was impossible, I didn’t have the time or resources available to do both. It was one or the other.
But why, after all my perfectly valid reasons for closure, did I still feel rubbish about it?
Why did I see myself as a failure and why were others showing me sympathy?
After lots of thinking I realised I was not a failure, I am actually courageous. This is why:
1. I am braver to close than to keep going.
2. I don’t care if others see it as failure, I see it as exciting.
3. I am intelligent enough to look past my sadness of closing my first business.
4. I have learnt so much from the experience of my first business.
5. I have grown.
6. I love challenge.
7. I am really passionate about Love Our Shops UK and know it will be a success.
8. My gut instinct and my heart told me it was the right thing to do.
Closure (of anything) is not easy. But sometimes it is necessary in order to move on.
Do you want to be the best person you can possibly be? Do you want to succeed beyond your wildest dreams? Is what you are doing going to do this for you?
Forget sentiment. Sentiment won’t feed your passion, make you a success or fill your bank account.
Now stop doing what is not working for you. Don’t be sad. Be grateful. Be excited!