9 small business owners share their biggest learning curve

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Until you actually get out there and start a business yourself, there is no way to know what challenges might come your way. That’s why we created our From Scratch series—a series where entrepreneurs get real about launching a business from the ground up, from lightbulb moment to reality. This isn’t just another round-up of success stories either. We get down to the nitty-gritty from how much they pay themselves to the missteps they made along the way because it’s during the struggles and failures where we truly expand and grow.

So, we decided to browse through the interviews from the series so far to share their answer to this question: What has been the biggest learning curve during the process of establishing a business?

The general consensus? Almost everything is a learning curve. Read on to hear what you might be in for if you’re looking to turn your start-up idea into a real-life project.

CLE Cosmetics Founder Lauren Jin

“The biggest learning curve has not only been managing my team but also myself. I’ve often neglected my own personal needs while trying to establish this business. I became so focused on building this brand that I started to put my own self on the back burner for the majority of my time.”

Read the full interview HERE.

Go-To Skincare Founder, Zoë Foster Blake

“Getting used to the responsibility I have to my team, my customers, and the planet (has been the biggest learning curve). We make things, people buy them. That seems simple, but within it there is so much: the culture, the efficacy, the communication, the growth, the quality control, the innovation, the social impact, and for me personally, being the public face of a company that is now in several countries, and retailers, and talking to so many different people, all with different expectations. It’s a lot, on top of being a mother with very young children that I want to be with. But I feel it’s what I am meant to be doing right now.”

Read the full interview HERE.

Wonder Valley Olive Oil Founder, Alison Carroll

“You can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all yourself—know the difference between working hard and working smart.”

Read the full interview HERE.

Squeeze Co-Founder & CEO, Brittany Driscoll

“What isn’t a learning curve when starting a business?! I am still learning something new every day. There’s so much you don’t know, so much you’re figuring out as you go, and really the most important thing is that you keep going no matter what.”

Read the full interview HERE.

MARA Founder Allison McNamara

“Honestly, everything. Every day I’m learning or doing something new that I’ve never done before which is an exciting change of pace. My previous career was working as a television host and writer, so running a business is entirely new to me.”

Read the full interview HERE.

Onekind Co-Founder, Madison Ruggieri

“I’d say the most challenging aspects for me have been those things that you probably would learn if you went to business school—corporate structure, fundraising, etc.”

Read the full interview HERE.

Kozha Numbers’ Founders, Ilona Gerasimov and Lena Vasilenko

“The biggest learning curve for us has been finding efficient ways to put our brand out there. Not everything works, and the industry is constantly changing so it is key to keep trying things and re-adjusting until something works for you. Also, keeping an open mind and continuing to absorb information that you could implement into your business.”

Read the full interview HERE.

BootayBag Founder, Ellyette Gheno

“A big moment for me was learning to never let myself get too comfortable. I now enjoy being uncomfortable because I know this is how I grow and where positive change comes. Every moment that I think I have everything figured out, I don’t! Lol. Reality settles in and all of a sudden everything I thought I knew is wrong and it’s a whole new perspective. I almost fear the comfort level because I know something is around the corner. I can now thrive being uncomfortable because I know this how I grow and how good change comes.”

Read the full interview HERE.

Able Cosmetics Founder, Dana Rae Ashburn

“The entire process of starting a company has been one big learning curve. I’m not sure it’s possible to be 100% prepared, I certainly wasn’t. In my experience, the financial contribution, sales funnel, and distribution have been the biggest challenges and learning curves.”

Read the full interview HERE.

To read more about how these business owners powered through these learning curves and grew more successful because of them, take a look at each of their From Scratch segments!

This article first appeared on Create and Cultivate.